* Facebook Inc. updated its political ad policy and urged U.S. lawmakers to consider creating a regulatory standard for how online political ads should be treated as the social media company and its peers increasingly diverge in their handling of political marketing.
* Amazon.com Inc. is planning to sell some ads on other streaming TV systems such as Apple Inc.'s Apple TV, Microsoft Corp.'s Xbox, Sony Corp.'s PlayStation and Google LLC's Android TV, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people with the knowledge of the matter. Amazon reportedly started contacting TV app owners in late 2019 about integrating technology that would allow the online retailer to sell some of their ad inventory on other platforms.
* Microsoft Corp. released a new tool, called Project Artemis, to detect, address and report online predators attempting to lure children for sexual purposes. The company's Chief Digital Safety Officer, Courtney Gregoire, said in an official blog post that the tool, developed in collaboration with Meet Group, Roblox Corp., Kik and Thorn, will be made freely available to qualified online service companies that offer a chat function.
* Myriad companies, organizations and brands are scrambling to capitalize on the burgeoning esports market, making it a hot topic of discussion at CES 2020. According to the Consumer Technology Association, the esports industry, centered on competitive organized video gaming, crossed the $1 billion mark in 2019. The association's research also found that more than 70% of Americans ages 13 to 64 play video games.
Internet & OTT
* A ViacomCBS Inc. executive said during a CES 2020 panel discussion that the streaming universe will only continue to swell. About 79% of CBS All Access customers subscribe to a multichannel video package, so the platform is "effectively a premium add-on" to existing video bundles, said Marc DeBevoise, chief digital officer of ViacomCBS, during a panel discussion at CES 2020.
* Verizon Media LLC appointed Rathi Murthy chief technology officer, overseeing the company's global technology strategy. Murthy joins the Verizon Communications Inc. unit from The Gap Inc., where she also served as technology chief.
* AT&T Inc. is working on having some 10 million AT&T-eligible customers able to "sign right into HBO Max" upon launch, Senior Executive Vice President and CEO John Stephens said at a Jan. 8 industry event. He pointed to promotional deals between other wireless carriers and competing services such as The Walt Disney Co.'s Disney+ as a sign that such ties would help to boost the new streaming entry's numbers.
Broadcasting & Cable
* AT&T's U-verse subscribers lost access to WISC-TV, the CBS (US) affiliate in Madison, Wis., amid a retransmission consent dispute between station owner Morgan Murphy Media and AT&T, Broadcasting & Cable reports. While WISC-TV said it is seeking a fair deal, AT&T accused Morgan Murphy of refusing to agree to a new agreement.
* Cumulus Media Inc. Executive Vice President and CFO John Abbot is leaving the company at the beginning of March, after a stint of more than three years. The audio-first media and entertainment company is looking for a replacement for Abbot.
* A+E Networks struck a first-look deal with Ozy Media Inc., Broadcasting & Cable reports. The companies also entered in a partnership to collaborate on multiple projects per year across various platforms.
* Microsoft is rolling out new cloud tools for retail customers in a bid to better compete with Amazon and other corporate software companies such as Slack Technologies Inc. and salesforce.com inc., Bloomberg News reports. Under the initiative, Microsoft is adding a feature to its Teams corporate chat program that will allow store workers to turn their mobile phones into walkie-talkies for in-store communications just by pressing by a button.
* Synopsys Inc. completed the acquisition of Tinfoil Security Inc. Tinfoil Security's services detect vulnerabilities on web applications and application programming interfaces, including web-connected devices such as mobile back-end servers and internet of things devices.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng was up 0.27% to 28,638.20, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.47% to 23,850.57.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.02% to 7,599.56, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.05% to 1,159.24.
On the macro front
The employment situation report, the wholesale trade report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count 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.
The Daily Dose Europe: Discovery in Europe; Android search in Europe; KKR on Axel Springer's board: Discovery Inc.'s HGTV (US) channel will launch in 12 countries in Europe, Google will provide four search engine options for Android users in Europe, and some KKR & Co. Inc. executives joined Axel Springer SE's board.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: UK on Huawei; Japan Display financing update; Tencent's gaming strategy: Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd.'s equipment will not be deployed in U.K. networks used for intelligence sharing, Japan Display Inc. terminated its deal with the Suwa consortium, and Tencent Holdings Ltd. will publish more mobile versions of well-known game titles.
Data Dispatch: T-Mobile embraces higher churn as it signals more wireless competition: According to T-Mobile US Inc.'s CFO, better-than-expected subscriber results for the end of 2019 were enabled by higher churn. "The more switching, the more efficiently and effectively we could grow," he said.
Hires and Fires: Verizon Media names chief technology officer; Gannett CFO to leave: Verizon Media named Rathi Murthy chief technology officer, while Gannett Co. Inc. CFO Alison Engel will leave the company at the end of the first quarter.
Hires and Fires Europe: Sunrise CEO steps down; Sky gets new group CFO: Olaf Swantee stepped down as CEO of Swiss telecom operator Sunrise Communications Group AG, while Comcast Corp. named Jason Armstrong group CFO of its European pay TV unit Sky.
Economics of Internet: Global Video, OTT Index: Kagan provides links to its video provider operational tracking and programming spreadsheets, video-on-demand and over-the-top library data and analysis, and OTT company and country reports.
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