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Gannett set to acquire tronc; Google hires Lazard for Twitter bid

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Gannett set to acquire tronc; Google hires Lazard for Twitter bid

TOP NEWS

* Gannett CoInc. could announce a deal to acquire tronc Inc., formerly Tribune Publishing, as early asOct. 3, Politico reports,citing sources familiar with the details. The companies have reportedlyexchanged drafts for purchase agreements, and The Los Angeles Times publisher could be acquired at a likely priceof $18.50 per share to $19 per share.

* unit tapped Lazard Ltd. toevaluate a potentialbid for Twitter Inc.,Bloomberg News reports,citing a source familiar with the arrangement. Twitter, meanwhile, reportedlyhired the services of Goldman Sachs Group Inc. and Allen & Co. to solicitpotential acquirers after receiving Salesforce.com's interest.

Technology

* A federal jury in Texas asked to pay VirnetX HoldingsCorp. more than $302 million in damages in an alleged patent-infringementcase, TechCrunch.com reports.The tech giant could be asked to pay more damages after a proceeding overwhether Apple intentionally infringed VirnetX patents.

Internet & OTT

* Members with Amazon.com Inc.'s $99-a-year Prime membership canreceive one free channel subscription on Twitch Interactive, Bloomberg News reports.While watching others play games is free, users can pay $5 a month per channelto interact with their favorite streamers in chat rooms.

* FacebookInc. unveiled a stripped down version of its Messenger app formarkets with slower internet speeds and basic smartphones. According to a poston the company's newsroom page, Messenger Lite will allow users to send andreceive text messages, photos, links and stickers, and will be introduced inKenya, Tunisia, Malaysia, Sri Lanka and Venezuela, with more countries tofollow in the coming months.

Film & TVProgramming

* A joint venture of China's Huahua Media and Shanghai FilmGroup agreed to makea significant investment in Paramount Pictures' upcoming title "JackReacher: Never Go Back," Deadline.com reports.The Chinese companies will also help the Viacom Inc. unit market the sequel starring Tom Cruise,which is slated for release in Chinese and U.S. theaters on Oct. 21. 

* 20th Century Fox's "Miss Peregrine's Home ForPeculiar Children" pulled in $28.5 million to top the domestic box officefor the Oct. 2 weekend, followed by Lions Gate Entertainment Corp.'s "DeepwaterHorizon" at No. 2 with $20.6 million, and 's "The MagnificentSeven" at No. 3 with $15.7 million, according to comScore Inc. Warner Bros.' "Storks" was No. 4with $13.8 million, and Warner Bros.' "Sully" took the fifth spotwith $8.4 million.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 1.23% to 23,584.43, while theNikkei 225 increased 0.90% to 16,598.67. In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100was up 0.19% to 6,977.73 and the Euronext 100 higher by 0.25% to 883.24.

On the macro front

The Markit Purchasing Managers' manufacturing index, theInstitute For Supply Management manufacturing index, the construction spendingreport and the motor vehicle sales report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily DoseEurope: EU wants Google to stop antitrust practices; O2 mulls retail sharesoffer: EU antitrust regulators are planning to order Google to stopgiving incentives to smartphone makers for preinstalling Google apps on theirdevices, while TelefónicaSA unit O2 is considering selling shares to ordinary investors.

US regulatoryspotlight: Court hears 11th hour effort to block ICANN transition:The battle over the U.S. government's continued stewardship over key internetfunctions nearly went down to the wire.

MarketWeek:Viacom, CBS up on M&A rumors as investors buck advice on other TVnames: Media and communications markets saw a mostly bullish weekon the back of some substantial swings in the television and digital spaces.

ConferenceChatter: NBCU exec: Snapchat, VR marketing behind success of 'Mr.Robot': TV's golden age has upped the ante for marketers looking tocreate awareness for series.

The ProgramGuide: International edition: Matt LeBlanc to continue as 'Top Gear' host;Amazon to make 'The Bachelor Japan': S&P Global MarketIntelligence presents a roundup of recent programming announcements fromvarious international networks and online video platforms.

CAPITALLetters: The politics of entertainment: This year looks to be a banneryear for politics in entertainment (and entertainment in politics).

Best of SNL:Media & Comm, editor's picks: Take a look at the media andcommunications editor's top five picks for the week ended Sept. 30.

Best of SNL:Media & Comm, most read: S&P Global Market Intelligencepresents the five most read media and communications articles for the weekended Sept. 30.

Featured research

Technology:Distributed, virtualized access networks the clear path forward forMSOs: The future of cable broadband networks will largely besoftware-driven, as operators look for ways to address the ongoing bandwidthexplosion seen among their residential and enterprise subscribers.

Economics ofNetworks: Cable network revenue forecast to grow at 5.3% CAGR, reaching $106billion in 2025: The year 2016 is turning out to be one of the mostexciting — and frightening — years in the cable network industry since theGreat Recession.

Economics ofNetworks: Sinclair doing well with increasing distribution at TennisChannel: TennisChannel (US) had a tough slog as an independently owned network.Now under the ownership of Sinclair Broadcast Group Inc., which has significantretransmission leverage, the channel is becoming more mainstream and profitable.