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CBS to consider sale post Moonves probe; Google ends play for $10B cloud deal

Top News

* CBS Corp. will focus on selling the company after the conclusion of an ongoing probe into allegations of sexual misconduct against former Chairman, President and CEO Les Moonves, Charles Gasparino, a FOX Business Network (US) journalist, said in a tweet. Also, Gasparino said the company's board plans to look for a new CEO even as members consider Joe Ianniello a leading candidate.

* Alphabet Inc.'s Google LLC backed out of a bidding race for a $10 billion cloud computing contract with the U.S. Department of Defense, saying the project may go against its technology principles, Reuters reports. The company said in a statement that it could not be assured that the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure project would align with its AI Principles. Also, Google said it determined that there were portions of the contract that were out of scope with the current government certifications.

* Google said it discovered a bug following an internal review of third-party developer access to user data earlier this year that shared some users' profile data from Google+ social network, according to an official blog post. As a result, the company announced a series of privacy reforms, including shutting down Google+ for consumers.

* The Senate Commerce Committee will hold a hearing on consumer data privacy, where it will examine lessons from the rollout of Europe's General Data Protection Regulation, as well as California's new consumer privacy legislation.


* A rising tide of illegal robocalls has telecom operators and U.S. regulators debating how far companies should go to block unwanted calls and whether consumers should be paying for these services. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission spent the last 18 months working with operators and soliciting feedback on various efforts to block unwanted and fraudulent calls.

Internet & OTT

* Netflix Inc. plans to set up a new production hub in the U.S. In a news release, the company said it is in final stages of talks to buy ABQ Studios located in Mesa Del Sol in Albuquerque, N.M. Upon closing, the company will invest $1 billion in production in the state over the next 10 years and create up to 1,000 production jobs a year.

* Netflix will stream original series "Selection Day" globally on Dec. 28. Based on Aravind Adiga's novel of the same name, the series is a coming-of-age drama about two brothers who are raised by their strict, obsessive father to be star cricket players in India, the company said.

* Netflix will adapt British unscripted series "The Circle" with three local versions featuring players from three different countries, including the U.S. The social media competition series was created by All3Media Ltd.'s Studio Lambert and recently co-produced by Studio Lambert and Motion Content Group for the U.K.'s Channel 4, the company said.


* Microsoft Corp. will invest in Singapore's GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd. as part of a broader collaboration between the companies. Grab will adopt the Microsoft Azure cloud platform, according to a news release.

* The European Commission is expected to approve Microsoft's proposed $7.5 billion acquisition of GitHub Inc., Reuters reports, citing two sources with knowledge of the matter. The commission has until Oct. 19 to announce its verdict on the deal.

TV Network

* Erik Logan has stepped down as president of OWN: Oprah Winfrey Network (US) to join the World Surf League. The network tapped Tina Perry, executive vice president of business and legal affairs, and board member of OWN, as general manager of the network, effective January 2019, according to a news release.

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 Hang Seng slipped 0.11% to 26,172.91, and the Nikkei 225 declined 1.32% to 23,469.39.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.32% to 7,209.38, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.39% to 1,024.09.

On the macro front

The Redbook report is due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: EC approves Tele2, Com Hem merger; Google to appeal against EC's €4.34B fine: The European Commission approved Tele2 AB and Com Hem's proposed merger, while Google plans to file an appeal against its €4.34 billion fine for Android antitrust breaches.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Tencent to buy minority stake in Nubank; ONE Championship receives US$166M: China's Tencent Holdings Ltd. agreed to pay US$200 million for a 5% stake in Brazilian startup Nubank, while Singapore's ONE Championship raised US$166 million in a funding round led by Sequoia Capital.

The Program Guide: Netflix to create new 'Narnia' films, series; 'Harlots' renewed for 3rd season: Netflix will work on new series and film projects based on C.S. Lewis' "The Chronicles of Narnia" series, while British-American period drama series "Harlots" has been renewed at Hulu LLC for a third season.

M&A Replay: Google acquires Onward; Atlantic Broadband closes South Florida fiber deal: Google acquired customer service automation company Onward, while Atlantic Broadband Group LLC closed its acquisition of the South Florida fiber network.

M&A Replay: European deals: Publicis bus Kindred Group; Cimpress completes BuildASign buy: French advertising company Publicis Groupe SA acquired Czech Republic-based digital communications company Kindred Group. Cimpress NV has closed the acquisition of BuildASign from PWP Growth Equity.

The week in OTT: MGM inks content deal for VUDU; Netflix adds more content: Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer Inc. has agreed to create exclusive content for video-on-demand service VUDU Inc., while Netflix continues to diversify its content lineup.

The Week Ahead Europe: UK High Court blocks £3B suit against Google: The U.K. High Court on Oct. 8 blocked legal action against Alphabet Inc. over claims it illegally collected and used the internet browsing data of 4.4 million iPhone users in England and Wales between June 2011 and February 2012.

Featured research

Economics of Internet: Digital audiences continue to swell reach of broadcasters, cablenets: Digital audiences continued to give U.S. broadcasters and cable networks a big lift in audience reach in the second quarter, with top sites drawing monthly audiences of about 20 million to over 45 million viewers.

Broadcast Investor: Public trading multiples: TV and radio stocks tick up on deal talk: U.S. TV and radio stocks outperformed the major indices in September on potential U.S. Federal Communications Commission deregulatory moves that could open up more deal activity in the broadcast sector.

Q&A: NY pension fund: More regulation needed on board diversity disclosures: Investors are increasingly speaking out about their desire for meaningful data on ESG indicators. S&P Global spoke with Gianna McCarthy, director of corporate governance at the New York State Common Retirement Fund, about the data issues.

Multichannel Trends: Pricing & packaging: Comcast joins operators bundling Gig internet tiers: With the increasing importance of reliable and fast broadband, it is interesting to note that the fastest Internet tiers are not yet part of all bundle offerings.

The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended Oct. 5.

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