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Pentagon's 5G plan; Cincinnati Bell's $2.6B deal; Apple's satellite tech project


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Pentagon's 5G plan; Cincinnati Bell's $2.6B deal; Apple's satellite tech project

Top News

* The U.S. Department of Defense is urging American telecom equipment makers to develop open-source 5G software and provide a homegrown alternative to Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd., the Financial Times reports. The department wants American telecom equipment makers to challenge the Chinese company, a department official told the publication.

* Brookfield Infrastructure Partners LP and its institutional partners agreed to acquire Cincinnati Bell Inc. in a transaction valued at about $2.6 billion, including debt. Upon closing of the transaction, each issued and outstanding share of Cincinnati Bell common stock will be converted into the right to receive $10.50 in cash.

* Apple Inc. is secretly working on satellite technology that the iPhone maker could use to beam internet services directly to devices, Bloomberg News reports, citing people with the knowledge of the matter. The company plans to finish the project within five years and reportedly has a team of about dozen engineers from the aerospace, satellite and antenna design industries working on the initiative.

* The U.S. Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice's antitrust division said in a court filing that blocking the T-Mobile US Inc. merger with Sprint Corp. will harm consumers, Bloomberg News reports. The two federal regulators noted that blocking the deal would also stop the "substantial, long-term, and pro-competitive benefits for American consumers."


* Twitter Inc. fixed a glitch in its app for Android devices that could allow a hacker to see nonpublic account information, such as direct messages and protected tweets, or to control users' accounts. However, the company said there is no evidence that malicious code was inserted into the app or that this vulnerability was exploited, and it is fixing the vulnerability as an extra caution.

* Verizon Communications Inc. launched its 5G ultra wideband mobile service in six new cities, bringing its 5G coverage to 28 cities. The U.S. carrier's 5G service is now available in Miami, Salt Lake City, Grand Rapids, Mich., and Spokane, Wash., as well as in Charlotte and Greensboro, N.C.

* Newly appointed Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai will receive an increased salary of $2 million, effective Jan. 1, 2020, as approved by the company's leadership development and compensation committee. The executive is also awarded restricted stock units worth $120 million and a transitional award of $30 million worth of restricted stock units.

* Facebook Inc. shut down two unconnected networks of accounts, pages and groups for engaging in "foreign and government interference" on its platform and on Instagram LLC's photo and video-sharing social networking service.

* Google LLC is in discussions with Brookfield Office Properties Inc. to lease nearly 1.8 million square feet at the Brookfield Property Partners LP unit's $3.5 billion project in the Dogpatch neighborhood of San Francisco, the San Francisco Business Times reports, citing sources familiar with the talks.

* DISH Network Corp. expanded into home automation after announcing that its Hopper and Wally receivers now support the Google Nest Hello video doorbell. The integration will allow customers to receive on-screen notifications, including an image, when their Nest Hello has been pressed.

Film & TV

* The Walt Disney Co.'s "Star Wars: The Rise Of Skywalker" soared to the top of the domestic box office with $175.5 million, for the Dec. 20 weekend, with Sony Corp.'s "Jumanji: The Next Level" moving down to the second spot with $26.1 million, according to Comscore Inc. Disney's "Frozen 2" was No. 3 with $12.3 million, Universal's "Cats" was No. 4 with $6.5 million, while Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s "Knives Out" was No. 5 with $6.1 million.

* Comscore renewed its deal to provide box office measurement across domestic and international markets to Paramount Pictures Corp.


* The SEC started a probe into how trading was handled on the first day of the direct listing of Slack Technologies Inc. and other companies' IPOs on the New York Stock Exchange, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the situation. The regulator asked trading firms Citadel Securities LLC and GTS to hand over emails sent just before the stocks started trading.

* The U.S. Federal Communications Commission chairman Ajit Pai appointed Monisha Ghosh chief technology officer, replacing Eric Burger, effective Jan. 13, 2020, Multichannel News reports. Burger moved to the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy in October.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.13% to 27,906.41, and the Nikkei 225 was up 0.02% to 23,821.11.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.46% to 7,617.20, and the Euronext 100 climbed 0.07% to 1,153.34.

On the macro front

The durable goods orders report, the Chicago Fed National Activity Index and the new home sales report are due out today.

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.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Twitter app breach; Google's fine in France; broadband access in UK: Twitter experienced a breach affecting users of its Android app, Google faces a €150 million fine in France, and full-fiber broadband is available in about 3 million homes in the U.K.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Twitter data breach; Huawei product concerns; Mitsubishi, NTT's acquisition: Twitter warned users of a malicious code that compromised users' information in India; Huawei's equipment quality may be affected if the U.S. expands a tech ban; and Mitsubishi Corp. and Nippon Telegraph and Telephone Corp. agreed to buy a stake in Here Technologies.

S&P Podcast: Partisan politics, hot topics to drive political ad records in 2020: An uptick in campaign spending, enhanced fundraising, tight Congressional races and a charged political environment are expected to produce a record year in political advertising spending for 2020.

MarketWeek: Netflix stock soars on global prospects; IAC gains amid spinoff, M&A news: Shares in Netflix Inc. notched gains this week after the company provided more clarity around its international operations, while internet media company IAC/InterActiveCorp's stock rose amid a pair of announcements about its stable of properties.

Featured research

Global Multichannel: DTT spectrum refarming in Western Europe highlights its polarized impact: The emergence of 5G mobile data technology, with its importance for new revenue-generating opportunities, is putting pressure on spectrum allocation, forcing innovation in the digital terrestrial television space.

Economics of Advertising: Broadcast network delivery shows slight increase in October: This analysis of Nielsen Holdings PLC's 24-hour C3 household delivery data includes schedule breakouts by broadcast network.

Economics of Internet: YouTube US viewing gains melt away in 2019: YouTube LLC unquestionably generates a massive amount of video viewing each quarter in the U.S., but the video giant's growth has slowed considerably as 2019 has progressed.

Broadcast Investor: Broadcast Investor: Table of contents for issue No. 652, published December 2019.

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