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Verizon workers go on strike; Judge recommends conditional approval for Charter M&A transactions by Calif. regulator


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Verizon workers go on strike; Judge recommends conditional approval for Charter M&A transactions by Calif. regulator


* Santa Monica,Calif.-based multiplatform satire brand Cracked for $39 million in cash from Launched in 1958 asa humor magazine, Cracked has nearly 40 employees and generated revenue ofabout $10.9 million in 2015. Demand Media, which purchased the Cracked propertyfor less than $1.0 million in 2007, expects to use its existing net operatinglosses to offset the gain resulting from the sale of the Cracked business,according to a company newsrelease. The Cracked team will continue to operate out of its SantaMonica offices and will be led by Mandy Ng Rusin, general manager and vicepresident, and Jack O'Brien, vice president and editor-in-chief, according to aseparate news release.

*Chief Administrative Law Judge Karl Bemesderfer recommended that the CaliforniaPublic Utilities Commission approve the proposed merger transactions between ,Time Warner CableInc., and BrightHouse Networks LLC. According to an official , Bemesderfer also recommendedconditions to be set such as increasing broadband download speeds forhouseholds in the New Charter's California service territory that are currentlyon an all-digital platform to not less than 60 Mbps; the option for allcustomers to buy their own modems and cable set-top-boxes without any increasein the price of services; and full compliance with the FCC's Open InternetOrder. The California PUC will have a final decision on the deal by May 12.

*Thousands of workers at VerizonCommunications Inc. are on strike after the company failed to reachan agreement with the unions representing the workers by 6 a.m. on April 13.Verizon Chief Administrative Officer Marc Reed called the decision by CWA andIBEW leaders to move ahead with the strike "regrettable" andcriticized them for not accepting Federal Mediation and Conciliation Service'soffer to mediate,according to a newsrelease. With the deadline for a union led strike approaching, Verizon hadon April 12 agreed to take assistance from Federal mediators in settling thedispute if the unionsextended the strike deadline. Verizon said it has made preparations to ensurethat the strike will not affect its service.


* Inother Verizon news, the company plans to invest more than $300 million over thenext six years in Boston. In a news release, Boston Mayor Martin Walsh said that thecity has partnered with Verizon to transform the city's technologyinfrastructure. Verizon will be replacing the copper-based infrastructure witha fiber-optic network platform across Boston. The new network will offer higherspeeds and bandwidth. The project will begin this year in Dorchester, WestRoxbury and the Dudley Square neighborhood of Roxbury, followed by Hyde Park,Mattapan, and other areas of Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.

TV Networks

*Following a rights extension, Time Warner Inc.'s Turner Broadcasting System Inc. and will be in "March Madness"through 2032. The partners, which just completed the sixth of a 14-year, $10.8billion deal for theDivision I Men's Basketball Championship that went into effect with the 2011tournament, announced an eight-year, $8.8 billion extension with the NCAA thatcovers all platforms, including those that have yet to be established,according to an official newsrelease. Under the agreement, Turner and CBS Sports will maintainthe existing sales partnership surrounding the NCAA Corporate Champion andPartner program.

Internet & OTT

*Facebook Inc.launched the Messenger Platform (Beta) with bots and the company's Send/ReceiveAPI. The bots for the MessengerPlatform will allow businesses to deliver automated subscription contentlike weather and traffic updates, customized communications like receipts,shipping notifications, and live automated messages by interacting directlywith the users of the Messenger app, David Marcus, vice president of messagingproducts, said in a poston the company's newsroom page. Facebook now has more than 900 millionMessenger users around the globe.

* Asexpected, will air theBritish BroadcastingCorp.'s revamped motoring show "Top Gear" worldwide, The Guardian (London) reports,citing Ted Sarandos, Netflix's chief content officer. The show's onlinebroadcast still falls under the terms of an old deal with Netflix, Sarandosreportedly said. The move will put the Chris Evans-helmed program head-to-headwith Jeremy Clarkson's new motoring show on Inc.

Film & TV Programming

*Time Warner's Warner Bros. Entertainment tapped Ben Affleck to direct a stand-alone"Batman" movie, reports,citing a statement by Warner Bros. Entertainment Chairman Kevin Tsujihara.Tsujihara, however, did not offer any details regarding the new project.

The day ahead are expected to start the day's trading on a higher note as the Nasdaqcomposite index, the S&P 500 and the Dow Jones Industrial Average weretrading above fair value in early morning futures trading.

InAsia, the Hang Seng rose 3.19% to 21,158.71, and the Nikkei 225 was up 2.84% to16,381.22.

InEurope as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 1.38% to 6,328.29, and the Euronext 100had climbed 2.08% to 874.35.

On the macro front

TheMBA mortgage applications report, the retail sales report, the Atlanta Fed'sbusiness inflation expectations survey, the EIA petroleum status report, thePPI-FD report and the Beige Book are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily DoseEurope: Amazon, UK broadcasters in content talks; EC may force Google, othersto disclose tax affairs: Amazon is in talks with Britishbroadcasters to add their channel brands and programs to the e-commerce giant'sstreaming service, while The European Commission is proposing to forceGoogle Inc. and othertech companies to disclose their tax practices across Europe.

ConferenceChatter: Upfront and Personal: Data's role continues to grow in shaping marketnegotiations: Executives at Simulmedia's PeopleFront 2016 discussedhow behavioral information and C7 measurement are expected to be integral partsof the negotiations for the 2016-17 upfront market.

Featured research

Economics of Advertising: Digital gains help boost major ad agenciesin 2015: Leading global ad agency holding companies saw strongresults across most regions in 2015, with growing demand for digitaladvertising one key driver behind gains.

MultichannelTrends: MSOs' expansion drives CapEx over $15B mark in 2015:Footprint expansion and subscriber growth propelled U.S. cable operators'capital expenditure 6.1% year over year to $4.01 billion in the fourth quarterof 2015.