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SEC investigating Yahoo; Apple files $1B lawsuit against Qualcomm

Top News

* Yahoo! Inc. is facing an SEC probe over whether it could have reported sooner the two massive data breaches from 2013 and 2014 that it disclosed in 2015, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. The agency is reportedly looking to determine whether the company violated civil securities laws, which make it mandatory for companies to disclose cybersecurity risks as soon as they are determined to have an effect on investors.

* Apple Inc. filed a lawsuit claiming chipmaker Qualcomm Inc. engaged in an "abusive licensing model" that resulted in billions in overcharges to the iPhone maker. Seeking a payment of $1 billion from Qualcomm, the suit accused Qualcomm of using its market power "to collect its 'tribute'" on every iPhone update, even when such updates have nothing to do with patented Qualcomm technology.

* AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. agreed to buy Stockholm-based Nordic Cinema Group Holding AB from European private equity company Bridgepoint and Swedish media group Bonnier Holding in an all-cash transaction valued at 8.25 billion Swedish kronor ($929 million). Nordic operates 68 theaters, 463 screens and about 68,000 seats in nearly 50 large and medium-sized cities in the Nordic and Baltic nations, and has a substantial minority interest in another 50 associated theaters to which Nordic provides a variety of shared services, the company said.

TV Networks

* Almost 31 million viewers watched television coverage of Donald Trump's swearing-in as the 45th president of the U.S. and other inauguration day activities Jan. 20. According to live and same-day data from Nielsen Holdings, 12 networks combined to average a 20.1 household rating, translating into 30.6 million viewers from 10 a.m. ET to 6 p.m. ET.

* Meanwhile, the White House Chief of Staff Reince Priebus said that the Trump administration will fight the news media "tooth and nail" over what he called "attacks and the attempt to delegitimize" Trump's presidency, Reuters reports, citing a statement on Fox News Sunday. The Trump administration's response comes after pictures surfaced comparing the crowd at Trump's inauguration to the crowd that attended Barack Obama's 2009 swearing-in.

Technology

* Microsoft Corp. is considering laying off about 700 employees in the week of Jan. 30, Business Insider reports, citing a source familiar with the matter. The job cuts will reportedly be part of the software giant's previously announced plans to cut about 2,850 jobs.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. backed Israeli augmented reality lens maker Lumus with a $6 million investment, Deal Street Asia reports. The investment reportedly is in line with the Chinese e-commerce giant's focus on technologies that could factor into online shopping in the future.

* Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. disclosed the findings of an investigation into the incidents of Galaxy Note 7 batteries exploding or catching fire. While highlighting the flaws in the design of the batteries and other manufacturing issues, the South Korean electronics company also outlined an eight-point battery safety check for the batteries, according to an official news release.

Multichannel

* After a blackout of more than a week, News-Press and Gazette Co. has reached a retransmission-consent deal with AT&T Inc.'s DIRECTV unit. Eighteen News-Press & Gazette stations in Missouri, Oregon, Texas, Idaho, Colorado and California had been unavailable to DIRECTV subscribers since Jan. 12.

* A jury in a North Carolina court held DISH Network Corp. liable for more than 51,000 telemarketing calls made to people with telephone numbers on the National Do Not Call Registry and awarded $400 per violation of the Telephone Consumer Protection Act, totaling $20.5 million, The Herald-Sun reports. According to the report, the class-action lawsuit stemmed from a complaint filed in 2014 and ballooned to 18,000 class members.

* President Donald Trump has chosen Republican FCC Commissioner Ajit Pai to take over as chairman of the agency, according to multiple reports. The Hill cited two industry sources as confirming the news, while four industry sources familiar with decision told Politico the same thing.

Internet & OTT

* Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Studios picked up distribution rights to "The Big Sick" movie for about $12 million, Variety reports. The romantic comedy is about how cultural differences and a health crisis affected the relationship between a Pakistani-American comedian and his girlfriend.

* Users of Sony Corp.'s PlayStation 4 and PlayStation VR can now watch 360-degree videos from Google Inc.'s YouTube, according to an official blog post. The new feature was rolled out as part of a new update for the devices.

Film & TV Programming

* Universal's "Split" topped the domestic box office for the Jan. 22 weekend by pulling in $40.2 million, followed by Paramount's "xXx: The Return Of Xander Cage" at No. 2 with $20 million, and 20th Century Fox's "Hidden Figures" at No. 3 with $16.2 million, according to comScore Inc. Universal's "Sing" was No. 4 with $9 million, while Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s "La La Land" slipped to the fifth spot with $8.3 million.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng climbed 0.06% to 22,898.52, while the Nikkei 225 slid 1.29% to 18,891.03.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.41% to 7,169.13 and the Euronext 100 by 0.21% to 933.25.

On the macro front

No notable reports are due out today.

Featured news

MarketWeek: Netflix scores big on sub gains; T-Mobile swings up amid M&A talk: Shares of T-Mobile US Inc. saw a boost as M&A speculation swirled, while Netflix Inc. saw gains on positive earnings during the week.

Data Dispatch: Charter leads EPS expectations for large-cap communications companies in Q4'16: Charter Communications Inc. is expected to see large gains in reported EPS and revenue in the wake of the company's recent acquisitions. The outlook is more mixed for other large-cap communications companies.

Data Dispatch: Most large-cap new media companies expected to show YOY gains in Q4'16: Analysts expect most large-cap new media companies will report year-over-year EPS growth for the fourth quarter of 2016, but sequential comparisons will be tougher.

Data Dispatch: Netflix Q4'16 EPS beat first of many strong results expected for large-cap media: Analysts expect a majority of large-cap media and entertainment companies to report higher EPS and revenue for the fourth quarter of 2016, with Netflix leading the way.

Briefing Room: Despite Dallas, NFL ratings decline continues in the playoffs: The Cowboys-Packers face-off scored a record audience, but five of eight postseason games drew fewer viewers than last season.

Best of SNL: Media & Comm, editor's picks: Take a look at the media and communications editor's top five picks for the week ended Jan. 20.

Best of SNL: Media & Comm, most read: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents the five most read media and communications articles for the week ended Jan. 20.

The Daily Dose Europe: Vivendi denies Telecom Italia sale; Germany clears Tolino sale: Vivendi SA said it will not sell its 24% stake in Telecom Italia SpA, while Deutsche Telekom received antitrust approval to sell its unit Tolino.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Foxconn considers $7B plant in US; Sony mulls sale of film, TV unit: Foxconn is considering an investment of more than US$7 billion to build a display plant in the U.S., while Sony is weighing a potential sale of its film and TV business following pitches from banks.

Featured research

Economics of TV & Film: MOWs up, theatricals down for broadcast in 2016: Made-for-TV movies ("movies of the week," or MOWs) seem to be making a slow comeback on the broadcast networks, with a 71% rise in airings during 2016.

Economics of Advertising: Nielsen partners with AT&T/DIRECTV on set-top box data: In a major victory for Nielsen Holdings, the company signed a deal with AT&T to license set-top box data from DIRECTV and U-verse subscribers.

Economics of TV & Film: Focus on TV originals does not appear to be waning: As the expanse of original series grows, there seems to be even more pressure for industry players to up their exclusivity game. Panelists discussed those burdens, their motivations and rewards at NATPE Miami 2017.

Consumer Insights: Q4'16 UK Survey Summary Report highlights growth in subscription OTT: Six in 10 internet households in the U.K. subscribe to an over-the-top video service, according to our November 2016 survey data.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.