* Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc., Netflix Inc. and other tech companies have been invited to meet Jan. 31 by tech company GitHub to consider filing an amicus brief in support of a lawsuit against U.S. President Donald Trump's immigration ban on seven Muslim-majority countries, Reuters reports, citing a source from GitHub. The other companies invited to the meeting include Airbnb Inc., Adobe Systems Inc., Yelp Inc. and Salesforce.com Inc. Amazon.com Inc. and Expedia Inc. have already filed amicus briefs in support of a lawsuit by the Washington state attorney general, according to the report.
Meanwhile, more than 2,000 Google employees protested against President Trump's executive order on immigration, TechCrunch.com reports. The Google staffers reportedly rallied at company campuses in Mountain View, Calif., San Francisco, New York, and Seattle.
* Facebook Inc. is seeking court approval to challenge search warrants for user accounts, The Wall Street Journal reports. The Court of Appeals will reportedly hear the arguments Feb. 7 in a lawsuit between the social networking giant and the Manhattan district attorney's office.
Internet & OTT
* History Vault, a subscription video-on-demand service from A+E Networks, can be accessed via Comcast Corp.'s Xfinity On Demand platform for set-top boxes, Multichannel News reports. History Vault costs $4.99 per month and provides access to a range of programming on History (US).
* Amazon.com Inc. added original animation series "Crayon Shin-chan: Lone Wolf and Family" to Prime Video, Variety reports. Available for streaming Feb. 22, the "Lone Wolf" is the third season in a spinoff series from the "Crayon Shin–chan" franchise.
* SoftBank Group Corp. is considering an investment worth more than $1 billion in shared-office space company WeWork, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The deal would reportedly be among the first by SoftBank's new $100 billion technology fund.
* Ed Ho, vice president of engineering at Twitter Inc., said the company will move faster in dealing with harassment on the microblogging service and making it a "safer place," according to a series of tweets. Ho said Twitter will roll out a number of product changes that will address issues such as muting or blocking repeat offenders from creating new accounts.
* Billboard struck an exclusive deal to add streaming data from Pandora Media Inc. to the Billboard Hot 100 songs chart. The deal also covers various streaming-based charts, and Hot 100 formula-based genre rankings such as Hot Country Songs, Hot R&B/Hip-Hop Songs, Hot Latin Songs, Hot Rock Songs and Hot Dance/Electronic Songs, the company said.
* Lions Gate Entertainment Corp. unit Starz extended the employment agreement of its COO Jeffrey Hirsch, Multichannel News reports. Hirsch, who joined the company in 2015, will now serve through December 2020.
* AT&T Inc. and Communications Workers of America reached a tentative agreement covering former DIRECTV tech support employees in seven states. The tentative agreement, covering about 500 CWA-represented employees in Alabama, Arizona, California, Colorado, Iowa, Minnesota and Tennessee, will place the employees into an existing labor contract, according to a news release.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Nikkei 225 dropped 1.69% to 19,041.34.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 0.53% to 7,156.03, and the Euronext 100 climbed 0.27% to 926.14.
On the macro front
The employment cost index, the Redbook index, the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI report, the Chicago PMI report, the consumer confidence report, the State Street Investor Confidence Index and the Department of Agriculture's farm prices report are due out today.
Business backlash to Trump's travel ban: Some business leaders who have agreed to advise President Donald Trump came out against a temporary travel ban signed Jan. 27.
The week in OTT: Fire TV devices get Starz; T-Mobile lures AT&T subs with Hulu: Starz launched a streaming app for Amazon.com's Fire TV box and Fire TV Stick, while T-Mobile US Inc. is luring AT&T customers with a free year of access to Hulu.
M&A Replay: Liberty Media closes Formula 1 deal; AMC Entertainment buying Nordic Cinema: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. media and communications deal announcements and completions from Jan. 23 to Jan. 27.
M&A Replay: European deals through Jan. 30: Vodafone, Sky, Liberty Media: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of European media and communications deal announcements, completions and updates from Jan. 23 to Jan. 30.
The Daily Dose Europe: Sky, Discovery blackout looms; Mediawan offers €270M for Groupe AB: Discovery Communications Inc. channels may cease airing on Sky plc in the U.K. and in Germany on Feb. 1 if both companies fail to reach an agreement today, while France's Mediawan has offered to buy Groupe AB for €270 million.
Best of SNL: SNL Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from SNL Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended Jan. 27.
Broadcast Investor: Top 50 TV station groups by US TVHH including the UHF discount: With the deregulation prospects of a Republican-led FCC and new Chairperson Ajit Pai, SNL Kagan has updated its analysis for the top 50 commercial TV station group owners if the UHF discount was reinstated by the FCC.
Broadcast Investor: Deal market December – A very slow end to a very slow year: The $522.5 million radio deal volume in 2016 was lowest year on record going back to 1982.
Economics of Internet: Profile: Amazon Prime Video (US): Amazon's main motivation for Prime Video has been to drive and retain Prime subscribers, and over the past few years it has steadily stepped up its feature offering and content licensing in an effort to battle its rivals in the U.S. over-the-top space.
Broadcast Investor: Broadcast public trading multiples: TV and radio stocks trail the broader markets in the New Year: Despite the tapping of broadcaster-friendly FCC Chairperson Ajit Pai and a Republican-controlled commission primed to deregulate under a Trump presidency, TV and radio stocks have trailed the broader market year-to-date.
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