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TiVo's $3B Xperi deal; NBCU's ad-free Peacock; Broadcom's RF unit sale


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Banking Essentials Newsletter: 17th April Edition

TiVo's $3B Xperi deal; NBCU's ad-free Peacock; Broadcom's RF unit sale

Top News

* TiVo Corp. agreed to merge with entertainment-technology company Xperi Corp. in an all-stock transaction, representing about $3 billion of combined enterprise value. At close, Xperi shareholders will own about 46.5% of the combined business, and TiVo shareholders will own about 53.5%, according to a news release.

* NBCUniversal LLC is considering a $10-a-month subscription price for an ad-free version of its upcoming streaming service, Peacock, The Information reports, citing people with the knowledge of the matter. NBCU is also planning to charge $4.99 per month for a version that would come with limited ads.

* Broadcom Inc. is seeking a buyer for its radio frequency unit in a transaction that could be worth about $10 billion, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing sources. The company is working with Credit Suisse Group AG for the sale process, which is still in its early stage.

* Facebook's director of Global Sports Partnerships, Peter Hutton, said the company's social platform is attracting interest from a variety of leagues and franchises looking to connect with the next generation of fans. Hutton said the platform can help drive subscriptions for streaming sports services, while trial and data inform its decisions around rights acquisitions and renewals.

TV & Advertising

* Facebook Inc. will air its first Super Bowl commercial, a 60-second ad featuring Chris Rock and Sylvester Stallone, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a company spokeswoman. The ad, created with ad agency Wieden + Kennedy, will be part of Facebook's "More Together" campaign to promote its "Groups" feature.

* Spanish-language media company Hemisphere Media Group Inc. and private equity firm Platinum Equity LLC are among those interested in buying Univision Communications Inc., The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. Hemisphere Media and Platinum Equity both made deal overtures to Univision, sources said, adding that at least one other party also expressed interest in Univision.

* Hemisphere Media Group reached a multiyear agreement with DISH Network Corp. to restore WAPA Televisión, WAPA Deportes and U.S. cable network WAPA América (US) to the satellite provider's service. WAPA Televisión and WAPA Deportes were restored Dec. 16, while the distribution of WAPA América will resume in January 2020.


* Nvidia Corp. is expected to secure an unconditional approval from the European Union antitrust regulators for its $6.9 billion acquisition of Mellanox Technologies Ltd., Reuters reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The European Commission is slated to decide on the matter by Dec. 19.

* IAC/InterActiveCorp and Match Group Inc. entered in an agreement to separate Match Group from the remaining businesses of IAC. The transaction is expected to close in the second quarter of 2020, which will see IAC and Match Group becoming two independent public companies.

* Apple Inc., Inc., Google LLC and ZigBee Alliance formed a group to develop a new, royalty-free connectivity standard to increase compatibility among smart home products. The purpose of the project, called "Connected Home over IP," is to streamline development for manufacturers and increase compatibility for consumers.

* Valence Media Group LLC acquired Nielsen Holdings PLC unit Nielsen Music for an undisclosed amount. The acquisition will help Valence Media set up a new unit called MRC Data.

* Facebook acquired Spanish cloud gaming company PlayGiga SL, a spokesperson of the social media company confirmed to CNBC. While the financial terms of the deal were undisclosed, CNBC cited an earlier report from Spanish business newspaper Cinco Dias to note that the deal price was about €70 million.

* Telaria Inc. and The Rubicon Project Inc. inked a deal to combine in a stock-for-stock merger. Under the terms of the transaction, each share of Telaria common stock issued and outstanding as of the effective time of the merger will be converted into the right to receive 1.082 shares of Rubicon Project common stock less any applicable withholding taxes.

Broadband & Wireless

* Verizon Communications Inc. rolled out its 5G Ultra Wideband network in parts of Des Moines, Iowa, bringing the U.S. carrier's 5G service to 20 cities. The 5G ultra wideband service is now available in selected areas in Downtown, the East Village and West Des Moines.

* Top U.S. carriers and phone-makers spent 2019 racing to deploy 5G mobility services and smartphones, but analysts say the new technology is still years away from achieving its full potential.

* NII Holdings Inc. completed the sale of its wireless operations in Brazil to América Móvil SAB de CV for $948.5 million. Upon completion of the deal, AI Brazil Holdings BV sold all of its interests in Nextel Holdings to NII Brazil Holdings.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng decreased by 0.30% to 27,800.49, while the Nikkei 225 was down 0.29% to 23,864.85.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 increased by 0.21% to 7,558.69, and the Euronext 100 increased by 0.01% to 1,140.42.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the Philadelphia Fed business outlook survey report, the current account report, the existing homes sales report, the leading indicators report, EIA natural gas report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Big Tech may face tougher UK rules; Pearson exits book publisher; EE expands 5G: The U.K. antitrust watchdog flagged tougher online advertising rules for companies such as Google and Facebook, Pearson PLC is selling its remaining stake in Penguin Random House LLC to Bertelsmann, and Everything Everywhere Ltd. expanded its 5G coverage to six more U.K. cities.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Lenovo founder to retire; Fujifilm to buy Hitachi unit; Google settles tax case: Lenovo Group Ltd. founder Liu Chuanzhi is set to retire as chairman of Legend Holdings Corp., FUJIFILM Holdings Corp. struck a deal to buy Hitachi Ltd.'s diagnostic imaging-related unit, and Google settled its tax dispute with the Australian Taxation Office.

Netflix ramps up Asia projects for growth; streaming service Viu exiting India: Netflix Inc. revealed several new projects to fuel further growth in the Asia-Pacific region, and Hong Kong-based streaming service Viu is shutting down its India operations.

The Program Guide: HBO sets 'Curb Your Enthusiasm' return date; ABC cancels 'Reef Break': Larry David's "Curb Your Enthusiasm" will return exclusively to HBO (US) on Jan. 19, 2020, while ABC (US) canceled drama series "Reef Break" after one season.

Featured research

Wireless Investor: High regulatory fees stressing Indian telcos; prices to increase next year: Beleaguered with massive debt and losses, Indian mobile operators took matters into their own hands by raising voice and data prices by up to 47% to cool off their financial woes.

Global Multichannel: Global markets update — Jordan: The popularity of free pan-Arab satellite, pay TV prices that are out of reach for many consumers and high levels of piracy continue to dampen the growth of Jordan's multichannel market.

Broadcast Investor: US TV station level households, population reach: This new data set allows the user to filter TV station level households and population reach 2019 estimates by ultimate parent company, market, network and service. This analysis is unique to each station and uses Longley-Rice propagation software.

Global Multichannel: 2019 LatAm groups report: Regional Summary: In 2018, fixed broadband became the largest fixed services revenue source for LatAm's top telecom groups, while cable overtook direct-to-home as the platform of choice for pay TV. Currency volatility dragged revenues down despite subscriber growth.

Wireless Investor: Future global spectrum auctions: Over 100 spectrum auctions across 46 nations are planned over the next two years as regulators eye their 5G futures.

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