* Sony Corp.'s wholly owned subsidiary Sony Corp. of America will acquire a majority stake in EMI Music Publishing for $1.9 billion. The consumer electronics maker signed a memorandum of understanding with Mubadala Investment Co. for the Sony unit to acquire all of Mubadala's 60% equity interest in DH Publishing LP, which owns and manages EMI Music. Sony will indirectly own about 90% of the music-publishing company.
* Qualcomm Inc. teamed up with Facebook Inc. to bring high-speed internet to urban areas. The companies will use Facebook's Terragraph technology to develop a multinode wireless system based on 60GHz technology from Qualcomm Technologies Inc.
* The European Union's General Data Protection Regulation goes into effect May 25, impacting how companies of all sizes collect, store and maintain users data. The regulation is designed to strengthen privacy protections for EU citizens.
* 21st Century Fox Inc. is close to finalizing a nearly $1 billion five-year deal to air World Wrestling Entertainment Inc.'s "SmackDown" series, Multichannel News reports. The deal comes after NBCUniversal Media LLC declined to match the $1 billion bid for the rights of "SmackDown," which currently airs on USA (US).
Internet & OTT
* Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Studios has appointed Vernon Sanders co-head of television, Deadline.com reports. Sanders, a former executive at Comcast Corp.'s NBCU, will work with Albert Cheng in overseeing creative and production units of Amazon Prime Video's TV operations.
* Netflix Inc. signed a multiyear deal with former U.S. President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama to produce content including scripted and unscripted series, docuseries, documentaries and features.
* Netflix struck an exclusive multiyear first-look deal with Danish producer Kim Magnusson. Magnusson will produce original feature films from the Nordic region, Variety reports, citing a statement.
* Two security researchers discovered a bug that could reveal information about Comcast's Xfinity routers, ZDnet.com reports. The bug could reportedly be used to access the home address, Wi-Fi name and password.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 dropped 0.18% to 22,960.34.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 climbed 0.20% to 7,874.50, and the Euronext 100 gained 0.12% to 1,087.44.
On the macro front
The Redbook and the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index are due out today.
The Daily Dose Europe: Comcast may face less scrutiny than Fox; Mediapro, Google ink streaming deal: Comcast's bid to acquire Sky PLC may face less stringent regulatory scrutiny compared to Fox, while Mediapro will stream Campeonato Brasileño de Serie A soccer tournament on YouTube under an agreement with Google Inc.
The week in OTT: Hulu, VICE ink content deal, AT&T to launch new OTT service: Hulu LLC entered into a content licensing agreement with VICE Media LLC, while AT&T Inc. plans to launch a new over-the-top DIRECTV-branded product by the end of the year.
M&A Replay: China may approve Qualcomm/NXP deal; Bharti Airtel closes Telenor India purchase: China could grant approval to Qualcomm's proposed $44 billion takeover of Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV, while telecom giant Bharti Airtel Ltd. completed the acquisition of Telenor ASA's Indian unit.
M&A Replay: Weber Shandwick acquires Brazilian agency; Google buys data company: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' media and communications deal announcements and completions from May 14 to May 18.
Hires and Fires Asia-Pacific: SoftBank, Sprint shake up top execs; Alibaba changes its management: SoftBank Group Corp. and its U.S. wireless subsidiary Sprint Corp. made some changes to their top management, while Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. made changes in some of its digital media and entertainment units to integrate businesses.
Economics of Advertising: Disney's fiscal Q2 shows investment into the future: Walt Disney Co. fiscal second-quarter earnings showed media networks revenue grew a modest 3% to $6.14 billion, while segment operating income dropped 6% to $2.08 billion.
Wireless Investor: Cooperation across the globe to accelerate new era of 5G: Next-gen 5G technology is a monumental challenge for the global market. It promises untold advances but is a total departure from predecessor technologies. World carriers have together launched a full-court press to make it happen.
Economics of Networks: QVC's US adjusted OIBDA declines in Q1 despite revenue growth: Adjusted operating income before depreciation and amortization fell 3% in the quarter despite a 3.4% increase in revenue.
The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended May 18.
Consumer Insights: Sling TV user profile: Sling TV users get content from additional sources, and subscribe for lower cost and package flexibility.
Economics of TV & Film: MoviePass parent's subscription segment posts $98M net loss in Q1: Helios & Matheson Analytics Inc., the majority owner of MoviePass, reported that the movie subscription service added 1.1 million subscribers in the first quarter.
Wireless Investor: Italy mobile projections, 2018-2028: Italy seeks to bolster LTE coverage, as prepaid remains the dominant mobile subscription type.
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