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Disney warns Fios subs about blackout; US may ban Huawei, ZTE purchases


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Central European Broadcaster Monetizes Content with a New Online Streaming Service

Disney warns Fios subs about blackout; US may ban Huawei, ZTE purchases

Top News

* While the U.S. Federal Communications Commission has funding available to remain open and pay staff through Jan. 2, 2019, if a partial government shutdown remains in effect past that date, key open proceedings will be put on hold. Notably, the agency will be forced to pause the "shot clock" on its review of the proposed merger between T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp., the third- and fourth-largest U.S. wireless carriers. The commission is currently on day 77 of its 180-day informal timeline to review the deal.

* Customers of Verizon Communications Inc.'s Fios service could soon lose access to several Walt Disney Co.-owned TV networks if the companies fail to reach a new carriage deal. With the current contract set to expire at the end of the month, Disney has been airing ads on networks such as ESPN (US) and Freeform (US) to warn Fios customers of the potential blackout, Variety reports. In a statement, Verizon said: "We are actively negotiating with Disney to ensure the best deal for our customers."

* U.S. President Donald Trump may issue an executive order to stop domestic companies from using telecommunications equipment made by China's Huawei Technologies Co. Ltd. and ZTE Corp., Reuters reports, citing three sources familiar with the situation. The executive order, which has been under consideration for more than eight months, could be issued as early as January 2019 and would declare a national emergency directing the U.S. Department of Commerce to block local companies from acquiring equipment from foreign telecommunications markers that pose significant security risks.


* Foxconn Technology Co. Ltd. will start assembling top-end Apple Inc. iPhones in India in 2019 through a local unit, Reuters reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. New devices that will be assembled at Foxconn's plant in Sriperumbudur town in the southern state of Tamil Nadu include the iPhone X lineup, the source said.


* Powered by superhero movies, the U.S. and Canadian box office is expected to end 2018 with about $11.8 billion, up from $11.1 billion in 2017, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing executives and analysts. Walt Disney Co. captured a 26% studio market share with the help of blockbusters such as "Black Panther," "Avengers: Infinity War" and "The Incredibles 2," followed by Universal at No. 3 with a 17% market share and AT&T Inc.'s Warner Bros. at the fourth spot.

* AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc.'s AMC Stubs A-List movie subscription service now has more than 600,000 members. The service, which allows users to watch up to three movies a month, added more than 100,000 members in the final six weeks of the year, according to a news release.

Internet & OTT

* The U.S. Federal Trade Commission issued a warning about an email phishing scam aimed at Netflix Inc. subscribers. In an official post, the agency said the email invites users to click on a link to update their payment method.

* Univision Communications Inc. is still looking for a buyer for Gizmodo Media Group, the operator of sites such as Jezebel, Deadspin and The Onion, the New York Post reports. While more than two bidders participated in a second round of bidding last month, Univision is still looking for better offers. According to insiders, the company is seeking about $80 million for Gizmodo Media Group.

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, Nikkei 225 increased 3.88% to 20,077.62, while Hang Seng fell 0.67% to 25,478.88.

In Europe as of midday, FTSE 100 was down 0.92% to 6,624.73 and Euronext 100 fell 0.15% to 896.32.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the Federal Housing Finance Agency House Price index, the consumer confidence report, the farm prices report, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Google may cut news services in EU; OneWeb offers stake sale to Russia: Tech giant Google LLC may be forced to cut its news services under the European Union's proposed reforms to copyright rules, while U.S. satellite start-up OneWeb LLC has proposed selling a 12.5% stake in the company to the Russian government.

M&A Replay: Asia-Pacific: SoftBank mulls selling NVIDIA stake; KKR slashes bid for MYOB: SoftBank Group Corp. is planning to sell its stake in NVIDIA Corp. in 2019, while KKR & Co. reduced its buyout offer for Australia-based accounting software company MYOB Group Ltd.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: China drafts bill to curb tech transfers; Tencent funds education app Yuanfudao: China drafted a bill that seeks to ban forced technology transfers, while Tencent Holdings Ltd. led a US$300 million funding round for Chinese online-education platform Yuanfudao.

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