* Analysts have suggested Verizon Communications Inc. might need to purchase a major cable operator, but the telco's recent deal to acquire a portion of WideOpenWest Inc.'s fiber network in the Chicago market is a much smaller and more targeted transaction. Verizon is planning to use the fiber assets it is acquiring to support its next-generation 5G network plans. The build-out of the newly purchased fiber is expected to be completed in 2018.
* The Federal Communications Commission's Aug. 3 meeting was largely focused on expanding broadband access, especially in rural areas. The commission unanimously voted to adopt a public notice initiating the pre-auction process for the Connect America Fund Phase II auction, which will award up to $198 million annually for 10 years to service providers that commit to offer voice and broadband services to fixed locations in unserved high-cost areas.
Internet & OTT
* Yelp Inc. is selling its Eat24 business to online and mobile food ordering company GrubHub Inc. in a cash deal worth $287.5 million. Yelp plans to integrate online ordering from all GrubHub restaurants onto its local goods and services platform after the deal closes.
* Facebook Inc. will start using updated machine learning to detect possible false stories on its platform and send them to third-party fact checkers. It could then show the fact-checking results under the original post. "In addition to seeing which stories are disputed by third-party fact checkers, people want more context to make informed decisions about what they read and share," Facebook executive Sara Su said in a blog post update. "We will continue testing updates to Related Articles and other ongoing News Feed efforts to show less false news on Facebook and provide people context if they see false news."
* LinkedIn Corp. is launching its LinkedIn Lite app, a pared-down version of its flagship product, in more than 60 countries. Though it is less than one megabyte in size, the company said it still offers all key features such as the news feed, profiles, networks, messaging and notifications.
* DISH Network Corp. has spent years acquiring spectrum, but now the timelines for how and when the company may use its purchased spectrum are not lining up. Speaking during an earnings conference call, DISH CEO and Executive Chairman Charlie Ergen told investors and analysts a combination of deadlines and delays has made for a complicated timeline.
* Paramount's Chinese co-financing partner Huahua is disappointed with the reception and box office results of Paramount's latest slate of films and believes that the Viacom Inc.-owned studio's creative team has not done a good job of capturing international audiences, Variety reports. Executives from Viacom are set to head to China next week to reassure Huahua that the situation will improve in the coming months.
* The hackers behind the HBO breach are threatening to release additional content that they managed to steal from the cyberattack on the Time Warner Inc. premium cable network. In an automated email reply sent to Variety, the group wrote that it will "release the leak gradually every week," adding that it may release the next batch of files on Aug. 6.
Viacom charts sequential domestic ad improvement as ratings begin to grow: CFO Wade Davis said U.S. ad sales declined 2% in the third fiscal quarter, but would have grown 1% without a reduction in inventory load.
Sling TV CEO on advanced ads: 'We think we have it cracked now': As DISH continued to shed pay TV subscribers in the second quarter, company executives explained why they are very optimistic about the opportunities presented by its over-the-top Sling TV offering.
Original programming, extended viewing windows help AMC drive upfront gains: CEO Joshua Sapan said on an earnings call that AMC Networks Inc. notched upfront gains "at the top of the market."
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng increased 0.12% to 27,562.68, while the Nikkei 225 declined 0.38% to 19,952.33.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was up 0.09% to 7,481.22, and the Euronext 100 was up 0.01% to 1,001.41.
On the macro front
The employment situation report, the international trade report, the Baker-Hughes Rig Count report and the Treasury STRIPS report are due out today.
The Daily Dose Europe: VEON to pay 1.25B rubles to MegaFon; Sky, Enel in broadband talks: VEON's Beeline will pay 1.25 billion Rusian rubles to MegaFon for the purchase of half of the Euroset shops, while Sky have entered talks with Enel Open Fiber over broadband services in Italy.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Vodafone India tower biz receives bids; Chinese food delivery startup seeks $5B: American Tower is among several companies that have separately bid for the 11,000 towers of Vodafone India worth US$600 million, while a Tencent-backed Chinese food delivery startup is seeking up to US$5 billion.
Lions Gate CEO, CFO see YOY increase in fiscal 2017 compensation: The compensation packages of CBS Corp. and Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. executives are among those included in the latest installment of The Pay Check.
Hires and Fires: US Media & Comm management moves through Aug. 2: S&P Global Market Intelligence presents a weekly rundown of executive changes in the media and communications industries.
Economics of Internet: Profile: Amazon Prime Video (Japan): Amazon.com Inc.'s Prime Video is a vehicle for driving e-commerce, and Japan has played a significant role in Amazon's e-commerce market share from the beginning.
Economics of Advertising: Western Europe TV ad spend upturn offset by digital growth, tentative economy: Key advertising markets in Western Europe saw TV ad spending grow in 2016, but competition from the digital space and macroeconomic issues give TV advertising cause for concern in 2017.
Consumer Insights: US and European tablet markets enter more measured growth phase: Results from Consumer Insights surveys indicate that tablet growth in the U.S. and Europe is slowing, in concert with the wide adoption of online digital entertainment services.
Global Multichannel: Global markets update – Middle East & Africa, Finland, Spain: Kagan has published updated Global Multichannel & Broadband analysis for two markets and one regional summary.
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