* The U.S. Federal Communications Commission will have to suspend most operations by the middle of Thursday, Jan. 3, if the partial government shutdown continues. In a news release, the agency said "work required for the protection of life and property will continue, as will any work related to spectrum auctions, which is funded by auction proceeds."
* The Federal Communications Commission allowed Alphabet Inc. unit Google LLC to operate a radar-based motion sensing device, dubbed Project Soli, Reuters reports. While approving the use of Soli sensors, the agency said the move "will serve the public interest by providing for innovative device control features using touchless hand gesture technology." The approval allows the U.S. search giant to operate the sensors at higher power levels than currently allowed and also aboard an aircraft.
* Netflix Inc. plans to announce the appointment of Spencer Neumann as its CFO in the next few days, Reuters reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. The news comes after Activision Blizzard Inc. said in an SEC filing that it intends to fire Neumann as its CFO for unspecified reasons. Neumann is expected to start at Netflix in early 2019, the source said.
* Netflix pulled the second episode of "Patriot Act with Hasan Minhaj" from its streaming service in Saudi Arabia after receiving a complaint from the kingdom, the Financial Times (London) reports. The episode reportedly was critical of Saudi Arabia and its Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman over the killing of journalist Jamal Khashoggi and the Saudi-led military campaign in Yemen.
* Netflix will premiere the third season of supernatural drama "Stranger Things" on July 4, the streaming giant said in a tweet. The first season was released in July 2016, while the second season premiered on Netflix in October 2017.
* AT&T Inc. closed the sale of its data center colocation operations and assets to Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP and its institutional partners for $1.1 billion. Brookfield created a wholly owned company, Evoque Data Center Solutions, to own and operate the assets, according to a news release.
* Telephone and Data Systems Inc. and Nexstar Media Group Inc. failed to reach a retransmission-consent renewal, resulting in the broadcaster's stations going dark to TDS Telecom video subscribers in eight states. The parties had faced a retransmission deadline of 11:59 p.m. ET on Dec. 31.
* Tribune Media Co.-owned Tribune Broadcasting Co. LLC and Charter Communications Inc. have avoided a disconnect at least for a few days, while TEGNA Inc. stations are now dark to Verizon Communications Inc.'s FiOS customers in three markets. Tribune and Charter said they reached an extension that carries through 5 p.m. on Jan. 2. The parties' contract, covering 33 stations in 24 markets and cable network WGN America (US), was set to expire at 12:01 a.m. ET on Jan. 1.
* After Comcast, Verizon's FiOS TV has also dropped FUSE (US), a multicultural and music-oriented channel. Fuse Media President and CEO Michael Schwimmer expressed displeasure and surprise with Comcast's move, questioning its commitment to diversity after it was freed from the consent decree it agreed to when it bought NBCUniversal Media LLC. As to Verizon, Fuse said the telco decided to drop the channel "despite the ability to continue carriage of the network at highly-competitive rates."
Click here to read about today's financial markets, setting out the factors driving stocks, bonds and currencies around the world ahead of the New York open.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, Hang Seng fell 2.77% to 25,130.35, while the Nikkei 225 was closed.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 decreased 0.82% to 6,672.97, and the Euronext 100 was down 1.36% to 904.15.
On the macro front
The Redbook report and the Purchasing Managers' Manufacturing index report is due out today.
The Daily Dose Europe: Deutsche Telekom, others sue German regulator; NTV-Plus CEO steps down: Deutsche Telekom AG, Vodafone Deutschland Gmbh and Telefónica Deutschland Holding AG filed a suit against Bundesnetzagentur over 5G rules, while NTV-Plus CEO Mikhail Dyomin resigned.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Apple seeking incentives in India; Go-Jek in expansion mode in Singapore: Apple Inc. is in talks to seek some benefits for its component manufacturers in India, while Indonesian ride-hailing company PT Go-Jek Indonesia is on course to expand its operations in Singapore.
Hires and Fires: Entercom increases board size; Mobiquity Technologies adds 3 directors: Entercom Communications Corp. increased the size of its board from eight to nine members. Mobiquity Technologies Inc. added three new directors to its board.
M&A Replay: European deals: Tele2 to sell Kazakhstan JV stake; NEC buying Danish IT company: Swedish telco Tele2 AB is selling its stake in its joint venture in Kazakhstan to its venture partner Kazakhtelecom, while Japanese tech company NEC Corp. agreed to acquire Danish IT company KMD Holding ApS.
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