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Apple iPhone debate; global 5G forum; T-Mobile/Sprint hearing

Top News

* U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin urged Apple Inc. and other technology companies to cooperate with law enforcement agencies investigating a December 2019 shooting incident at a U.S. Naval Station in Pensacola, Fla., Reuters reports. The Federal Bureau of Investigation is seeking to unlock two iPhones believed to contain information related to the case. Apple said it is cooperating with officials but it cannot provide access to encrypted data.

* A coalition of global telecommunications company launched the 5G Future Forum, a body dedicated to developing uniform interoperable 5G specifications for the Americas, Asia-Pacific and Europe. Partners include Verizon Communications Inc., Rogers Communications Inc., Vodafone Group PLC, América Móvil SAB de CV, KT Corp. and Telstra Corp. Ltd. The group aims to accelerate the delivery of 5G and mobile-edge computing-enabled services around the globe.

* Closing arguments in a multistate lawsuit challenging the T-Mobile US Inc.-Sprint Corp. deal began Jan. 15 in New York. Wall Street analysts and investors remain skeptical of the merger's approval odds, while policy analysts are divided.

Internet & OTT

* Cincinnati Bell Inc. struck a partnership to offer YouTube LLC's livestreaming service YouTube TV. The U.S. regional operator and its unit Hawaiian Telcom Holdco Inc. will provide YouTube TV to their fiber internet subscribers in the Greater Cincinnati area and Hawaii, respectively.

* Hulu LLC is looking to launch new ad formats in 2020, which will allow users to choose what ads they want to play, reports. The new advertising format will let viewers engage with the advertisers by using QR codes or by getting information sent directly to their mobile phones.

* While Inc. and other U.S. technology companies face potential enforcement action from regulators in 2020, antitrust experts say history suggests that rule changes are more likely than a big tech breakup.

* Twitter Inc. suspended dating app Grindr LLC from its MoPub ad network over alleged privacy violations, London's The Guardian reports. A study by the Norwegian Consumer Council found Grindr and other apps to have been sharing personal data and tracking users through methods prohibited under the European Union's General Data Protection Regulation.

* The top U.S. internet service providers saw their prime-time streaming speeds for Netflix Inc. improve during December 2019, with Verizon registering the largest month-over-month gain among the big ISPs.

Film & TV

* Nexstar Media Group Inc.'s WGN America (US) cable network will launch a live daily three-hour national newscast beginning this summer. Called "News Nation," the newscast will air in prime time, from 8 p.m. ET to 11 p.m. ET, telecasting breaking news and live video on stories and issues impacting regional and local communities throughout the U.S.

* Warner Media LLC struck an agreement with All Elite Wrestling, extending its deal for the wrestling league's series, "AEW: DYNAMITE," through 2023. The parties also agreed to launch another night of "AEW" action with a second show straight-to-series.

* TBS (US) ordered two more seasons of the cable animated comedy "American Dad!." The series will roll out its 300th episode this year.


* Apple acquired, a Seattle-based developer of artificial intelligence tools, GeekWire reports, citing sources with knowledge of the deal. The iPhone maker reportedly bought in the range of $200 million.

* Canadian communications and media company Rogers Communications began rolling out the country's first 5G network in downtown Vancouver, Toronto, Ottawa and Montreal. Rogers plans to expand its 5G network to more than 20 additional markets by the end of the year.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng gained 0.38% to 28,883.04, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.07% to 23,933.13.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.43% to 7,609.75, and the Euronext 100 decreased 0.10% to 1,156.67.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey, the retail sales report, the import and export prices report, the business inventories report, the housing market index, the EIA natural gas report, the treasury international capital, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply 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 Asia-Pacific: Netflix terms revision; TikTok, iflix partnership; US, China 'phase one' deal: Netflix Inc. made revisions to its terms of use that were deemed unfair by Korea's antitrust regulator, TikTok is partnering with Malaysian streaming service iflix, Washington and Beijing signed a "phase one" trade deal.

The Daily Dose Europe: Deutsche Telekom in JV; Twitter drops Grindr; Discovery shuts Ukraine office: Deutsche Telekom AG and energy company EWE AG launched their fiber joint venture, Twitter dropped dating app Grindr from its ad network, and U.S. media group Discovery Inc. closed its office in Ukraine.

Netflix strategies in Asia-Pacific; ByteDance in deals with iflix, Tencent Music: Netflix will revise its terms of use in South Korea, while Beijing Byte Dance Telecommunications Co. Ltd. struck deals to expand the reach and offerings of its video apps TikTok and Douyin.

Next — CES surprises; new cyberthreats; fintech trends: Welcome to Next, a weekly newsletter highlighting news and research insights on how technology is reshaping the future of industries across global markets.

Featured research

Economics of TV & Film: ESPN+ hopes for 'Notoriously' good start to 2020: A look at events and movies on pay-per-view and video on demand in January.

Wireless Investor: Asia-Pacific tower, small cell, DAS projections through 2029: Although traditional towers still dominate, small cells and distributed antenna systems are gaining momentum in Asia-Pacific due to the aggressive push for 5G by China, Japan and South Korea.

Technology: CES 2020: Different perspectives on the future of the smart home: Making homes smarter has long been a goal for device manufacturers, service providers, software developers and homebuilders, but this year's CES highlighted how there are different visions about how to achieve that goal.

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