* Verizon Communications Inc. is considering either ending its takeover bid for Yahoo! Inc. or negotiating a price cut following news of another cyberattack at Yahoo, Bloomberg News reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. While a Verizon team led by AOL Inc. CEO Tim Armstrong is still working on the integration planning, a separate team led by Verizon General Counsel Craig Silliman is reportedly reviewing the breach disclosures and the company's options.
* A jury ordered Apple Inc. to pay $2 million to retail employees in California as part of a class-action lawsuit against the company, Engadget.com reports. The suit, which was filed by four former staffers in 2011 and includes nearly 20,000 Apple retail employees, accused the tech giant of not providing adequate breaks to the affected staffers, not paying wages in a timely manner after employees left the company and failing to provide accurate wage statements.
* Sen. Mark Warner, D-Va., called for an investigation into the latest Yahoo cyberattack that impacted more than 1 billion user accounts, Reuters reports. In a statement, Warner reportedly said he plans to "press the company on why its cyber defenses have been so weak as to have compromised over a billion users."
Film & TV Programming
* 21st Century Fox Inc. and Sky plc agreed to the terms of a recommended pre-conditional cash offer, which represents a value of about £11.7 billion, for the fully diluted share capital of the European pay TV operator that Fox does not own. The company said it expects the deal to close before the end of 2017, and will pay a deal termination fee of £200 million if it fails to obtain regulatory approvals before the longstop date.
Internet & OTT
* Facebook Inc.'s Instagram now has more than 600 million users. According to an official blog post, 100 million of Instagram's total user base joined in the last six months.
* Meanwhile, Facebook provided an update about its efforts to identify and warn users about misinformation on the social networking website. In a filing, the company said it is testing several ways to make it easier for users to report a hoax, and has also teamed up with third-party fact checking organizations to help users flag such stories.
* In more Facebook news, the company's Messenger app unveiled new camera features for users across the globe. According to a news release, the camera has been tweaked to offer a quicker response, in addition to offering new art and special effects such as 3-D masks, stickers and frames.
* Priceline Group Inc. tapped Glenn Fogel to serve as CEO of the company, effective Jan. 1, 2017. Fogel, who joined the company 16 years ago, recently served as the company's head of strategy and planning and executive vice president of corporate development, the company said.
* Nintendo's "Super Mario Run" is now available for Apple's iPhone and iPad devices in 150 countries. The game can be downloaded from the App Store for free, with a one-time fee of $9.99 for full access, Recode reports.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng slipped 0.18% to 22,020.75, while the Nikkei 225 increased 0.66% to 19,401.15.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.31% to 7,020.64, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.57% to 927.51.
On the macro front
The market focus report, the housing starts report and the Atlanta Fed Business Inflation Expectations report are due out today.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Nintendo launches 'Super Mario Run' on iOS; Meitu flat in Hong Kong debut: Nintendo's iPhone game "Super Mario Run" has been released in 150 countries, while Chinese selfie app developer Meitu had a muted performance on its first day of trading in Hong Kong.
Data Dispatch: 'Rogue One' to bow to 'Force Awakens,' but incinerate holiday competition: Walt Disney Co.'s newest title in its Star Wars franchise is tracking to be the year's premier blockbuster, even if it falls short of 2015's installment on a few metrics.
Washington Watch: Wheeler takes final bow, Rosenworcel to exit stage right: Though FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said he would step down from the agency, the move felt like too little, too late -- at least in terms of Commissioner Jessica Rosenworcel's reconfirmation.
The Program Guide: 'Workaholics' final season to premiere Jan. 11; Netflix cancels 'Marco Polo': The latest installment of The Program Guide includes the debut of new show "Holmes & Holmes" on DIY Network (US) and the Jan. 15, 2017, debut of "First Family of Hip Hop" on Bravo (US).
Hires and Fires: US Media & Comm management moves through Dec. 14: Google, Verizon, Viacom: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media and communications industries.
Hires and Fires Europe: European Media & Comm moves through Dec. 14: Twitter, Telefónica, Türk Telekom: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a biweekly rundown of executive and board changes in the European media and communications industries.
The Daily Dose Europe: Fox, Sky agree on £11.7B deal; United Internet buys Deutsche Telekom unit: Fox and Sky agreed upon on the terms of a pre-conditional cash offer worth about £11.7 billion, for Sky shares that Fox does not already own, while United Internet purchased internet service provider Strato from Deutsche Telekom.
Broadcast Investor: Deal market November – Calming down again: After a surge of broadcast deals in October, the deal market slowed down again. In November, SNL Kagan registered deal volume of just $22.9 million, the second-lowest monthly total in 2016.
Technology: AWS re:Invent 2016 – Let it all run in the cloud: Using a public cloud for storage, video processing and distribution is becoming more common in the media and entertainment industry. Netflix is perhaps the largest example, shutting down its last data center in 2016 and now operating completely on Amazon Web Services.
Economics of TV & Film: Film release windows maintain the course set in past years in 2016: We conducted our annual study of release windows, the 181 films we tracked in 2016 were released on PPV/VOD an average 12 days before they were released on DVD/Blu-ray.
Economics of Advertising: Outdoor, out-of-home ad revenue down 0.3% in Q3'16: Outdoor and out-of-home revenue for OUTFRONT Media Inc., Lamar Advertising Co. and Clear Channel Outdoor Holdings Inc. averaged a year-over-year decline of 0.3% for the third quarter and an increase of 0.5% for the first nine months of 2016.
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