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Amazon mulls buying Boost Mobile; T-Mobile, Sprint may sell some airwaves

Top News

* Amazon.com Inc. is considering buying prepaid cellphone wireless service Boost Mobile LLC from U.S. carriers T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp., Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The development comes a few days after it was reported that a number of interested parties are working on bids to purchase the prepaid wireless band in a deal that could value Boost at up to $3 billion.

* T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. are considering plans to divest some airwaves to the government to win the U.S. Department of Justice's approval for their proposed merger, Bloomberg News reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. Both Charter Communications Inc. and Comcast Corp. have expressed interest in the airwaves and have met DOJ officials over the potential role as a fourth wireless carrier, sources said.

* Interested buyers are already lining up for Sprint's Boost Mobile prepaid business. But any deal for Boost hinges on the uncertain regulatory outlook for Sprint's larger planned deal with T-Mobile. The CEOs of at least two smaller wireless players are already in talks about arranging separate offers for Boost, according to interviews with S&P Global Market Intelligence.

* Location technology company Foursquare Labs Inc. has struck a deal to buy Placed from Snap Inc. After closing the deal, Foursquare will add the Placed product to its bundle of location-based offerings, according to a company post. The deal comes as Foursquare secured $150 million investment from a group of investors led by The Raine Group.

Film & TV

* CBS Corp.'s board is expected to hold talks with Viacom Inc. in mid-June, though sources said the discussions could start sooner, CNBC reports. Shari Redstone, who controls the companies through majority shareholder National Amusements Inc., previously encouraged the two media conglomerates to explore a deal in September 2016. However, National Amusements withdrew the proposal in December 2016, saying it was "not the right time to merge the companies."

* AT&T Inc.'s WarnerMedia, Comcast Corp.'s NBCUniversal Media LLC and AMC Networks Inc. have joined Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co. in opposing a law in Georgia to restrict abortions, Variety reports, citing statements from the studios. WarnerMedia and AMC said the companies will reconsider their content production in Georgia if the law is adopted on Jan. 1, 2020, while NBCU said the law would "strongly impact our decision-making on where we produce our content in the future."

* Five Hollywood studios have teamed up to launch the "Ultimate Movie Weekend" promo to let viewers rent movies at discounted rates from digital services in the U.S., Variety reports. The four-day promo from May 31 through June 3, will offer select titles from Lions Gate Entertainment Corp., Viacom Inc.'s Paramount Pictures, Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Entertainment Inc., Universal Pictures and Warner Bros.

Internet & OTT

* Facebook Inc. stockholders shot down shareholder proposals to curb Facebook founder, Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg's power at an annual meeting on May 30. Stockholders voted down the proposals regarding the appointment of an independent chairman and equal voting rights, in addition to six other shareholder proposals.

* Netflix Inc. has optioned three of author Sarah Dessen's novels. The titles are "Along for the Ride," which will be adapted into a feature film; "This Lullaby"; and "Once and For All," according to a news release.

* Netflix has picked up worldwide rights to "The Power of the Dog" from See-Saw Films' in house sales division Cross City Films. The movie will be released by Netflix on its streaming service and in theaters in 2021, according to a news release. BBC Films retains free TV rights to "The Power of the Dog" in the U.K.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.79% to 26,901.09, and the Nikkei 225 fell 1.63% to 20,601.19.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.92% to 7,151.63, and the Euronext 100 was down 1.58% to 1,014.46.

On the macro front

The personal income and outlays report, the Chicago PMI, the consumer sentiment report, the farm prices report and the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report are due out today.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng was down 0.79% to 26,901.09, and the Nikkei 225 fell 1.63% to 20,601.19.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.92% to 7,151.63, and the Euronext 100 was down 1.58% to 1,014.46.

On the macro front

The personal income and outlays report, the Chicago PMI, the consumer sentiment report, the farm prices 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.

Featured news

Hires and Fires: TDS reshuffles top leadership; Netflix hires new content exec for India: Telephone and Data Systems Inc. and its subsidiary United States Cellular Corp. made some changes to their management structure, while Netflix named Monika Shergill head of series, international originals, for Netflix India.

The Daily Dose Europe: Netflix to hike prices in UK; American Tower Corp. in $1.85B deal: Netflix has raised prices for some of its subscription packages in the U.K., while American Tower Corp. has agreed to acquire London-based Eaton Towers Ltd. for roughly $1.85 billion.

Alibaba pondering second HK listing; Tencent leads investment in travel app: Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is considering raising US$20 billion through a second listing in Hong Kong, while Tencent Holdings Ltd. led an investment of US$250 million in Chinese travel app Beijing Mafengwo Network Technology Co. Ltd.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: SoftBank eyes US$4B loan from tech stakes; Alibaba invests in India's VMate: SoftBank Group Corp.'s SoftBank Vision Fund LP is planning to borrow US$4 billion against its holdings in Uber Technologies Inc. and two other companies, while Alibaba Group made an investment in Indian short video app VMate.

The Program Guide: NBC drops 'AP Bio' after 2 seasons; Netflix sets date for 'Jessica Jones' finale: NBC (US) has canceled single-camera comedy show "AP Bio" after just two seasons, while Netflix will premiere the third and final season of "Marvel's Jessica Jones" on June 14.

Featured research

Broadcast Investor: Broadcast Investor: Table of contents for issue No. 645, published May 2019.

Global Multichannel: Global Markets Update — Italy: Kagan has recently updated Global Multichannel and Broadband analyses for Italy, as well as analyses for related operators Fastweb SpA, Telecom Italia SpA, Mediaset SpA and Sky Italia SRL.

Multichannel Trends: US cable capex plummets in Q1'19: A core group of public MSOs posted its smallest quarterly capex figure since first-quarter 2015.

Economics of Internet: Netflix, Hulu lead Q1'19 viewing as OTT space expands: New year, new launches, subscribers and additional ways to bundle over-the-top: We analyze Comscore Video Metrix viewership data for first quarter 2019 to gauge the performance of some of the top players in the OTT space.

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