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Apple apologizes to Chinese customers; Hulu mulls cheaper live TV bundles

Top News

* Apple Inc. said it is "deeply apologetic" about the inconvenience caused to Chinese customers whose accounts were hacked because of phishing scams, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a company statement. The tech giant said a small number of its users' accounts were affected after the theft of Apple IDs.

* Hulu LLC is planning to introduce cheaper live TV bundles for viewers, the company's CEO Randy Freer told The Information in an interview. The company would reportedly drop some entertainment channels and create bundles of live sports, news and on-demand entertainment, Freer said.

* Google LLC's YouTube resolved an issue that resulted in downtime for YouTube, YouTube TV and YouTube Music services, the video service said in a tweet. According to media reports, the outage lasted for more than an hour.

* Netflix Inc. on Oct. 16 reported a big subscriber and earnings beat for the third quarter, but executives on a same-day earnings webcast acknowledged that deeply negative cash flow will persist for years and eventually over-the-top competition could be a concern. The membership beat is likely more due to problems with internal accurate forecasting than with any dynamics in the business itself, CEO Reed Hastings said on the call.


* Facebook Inc. is facing fraud charges for failing to disclose issues in its measurement of video ad consumption earlier, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a complaint filed in a California federal court. A group of small advertisers reportedly alleged that the social media giant already "knew of the irregularities in its video metrics by January 2015." The company, however, chose to withhold the information for over a year before it decided to publicly share details of the matter in 2016 through a post on its advertiser help center.

TV networks

* Viacom Inc. has filed a lawsuit against Netflix over its hiring practices, Variety reports. In an Oct. 5 filing, Viacom said Momita SenGupta, who joined Netflix as vice president of physical production for its original series, breached her contract with Viacom that was not set to expire until April 21, 2020. Netflix said it will defend against the suit since it believes this "contract as well as the legacy studio employment practices underlying it create unenforceable obligations under California law."

* Univision Communications Inc. complained to the Federal Communications Commission and the U.S. Federal Trade Commission over DISH Network Corp.'s marketing of its channels even though they had gone dark on the satellite service, Multichannel News reports, citing a letter sent to the heads of the agencies. DISH, however, said its agents were not misrepresenting the status of the talks with Univision and any inaccuracies that pointed out were exceptions and not a "systematic issue."


* U.S. Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai has joined Florida Gov. Rick Scott in urging wireless carriers to waive the bills of customers living in areas affected by Hurricane Michael for the month of October. In a statement, Pai also urged carriers to allow affected customers to switch carriers without early termination fees.


* Facebook is working to launch, in the spring of 2019, a camera-equipped device that connects to televisions, reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter.


* Netflix will debut the original limited series "Armistead Maupin's Tales of the City" in 2019. Inspired by the books by Armistead Maupin, the series follows Mary Ann, who returns home to San Francisco and is reunited with her daughter and ex-husband, 20 years after leaving them behind to pursue her career, the company said.

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 day ahead

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

In Asia, the Nikkei 225 was up 1.29% 22,841.12.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.20% to 7,073.55, and Euronext 100 had climbed 0.19% to 1,006.33.

On the macro front

The MBA mortgage applications report and the EIA petroleum status report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Google revamps licensing model in EU; Netflix to make TV series in Spain: Alphabet Inc. unit Google is set to charge licensing fees for smartphones and tablets shipped into the European Economic Area, while streaming giant Netflix said it will produce between 10 and 12 TV series in Spain.

Featured research

Multichannel Trends: Databook: Broadband Cable Financial 2018: This edition includes PowerPoint and Excel, a sector overview, and a curated selection of more key Kagan analysis.

Consumer Insights: Attitudes toward journalism bias: This is the second article in an eight-part series focused on news in America. This installment covers consumer attitudes toward the accuracy of journalism.

Multichannel Trends: Broadband reaches maturity in top markets, with cable increasing its share: Telco tops cable in only two of the top 10 markets, according to MediaCensus' second-quarter broadband subscriber data.

Recent earnings

Advertising giant Omnicom sees share gains after Q3 EPS beat: Omnicom Group Inc.'s stock had gained over 5% as of midday Oct. 16 after the company beat consensus earnings per share expectations during a quarter that saw a number of changes to its advertising agency portfolio.

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