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Apple suppliers wary of potential US tariffs; pressure grows on Facebook CEO

Top News

* Apple Inc.'s suppliers will consider moving iPhone production out of China if the U.S. moves the tariffs on the devices to 25%, Bloomberg News reports, citing people familiar with the matter. The suppliers, however, feel they can maintain production in China at a 10% tariff level.

* In more Apple news, the company will invest $1 billion on a new, 133-acre campus in North Austin, Texas. The company also plans to set up new sites in Seattle, San Diego and Culver City, Calif., and expand in cities across the U.S., including Pittsburgh, New York and Boulder, Colo., over the next three years, the company said.

* The year 2019 promises to bring big changes for several of the biggest pay TV providers in the U.S., especially those that participated in the wave of M&A that swept over the industry in the last few years. During that wave, the U.S. pay TV market saw a number of multibillion-dollar deals, including Charter Communications Inc.'s combination with Time Warner Cable Inc. and Bright House Networks LLC, Altice USA Inc.'s roll up of Suddenlink Communications and Cablevision Systems Corp., and AT&T Inc.'s acquisition of DIRECTV Group Holdings LLC.

* A series of scandals have erased a fifth of Facebook Inc.'s market value, key members on Capitol Hill are calling for stricter regulation and the firm's top executives have been on the defensive with a chorus of mea culpas. Growing scrutiny of Facebook's handling of data breaches and platform concerns is renewing calls for Chairman and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to relinquish some control over his company.

Technology

* The U.S. International Trade Commission will review a ruling that found Apple to have infringed on one of QUALCOMM Inc.'s patents and whether it was right not to grant the chipmaker's request to ban import of some iPhones in the U.S., Reuters reports. Administrative law judge Thomas Pender, a now-retired member of the ITC tribunal that hears patent infringement cases, had then ruled that banning iPhone sales in the U.S. was not in public interest. A final ruling is due before Feb. 19, the ITC said.

* Facebook has settled a legal dispute with ZeniMax Media Inc. related to the social networking giant's Oculus VR LLC unit, TechCrunch.com reports. Facebook had been looking to avoid a sales ban on virtual-reality headsets developed by its Oculus unit following a $500 million ruling in favor of ZeniMax in 2017. The damages award was reduced to $250 million following a Facebook appeal.

Broadcast

* CBS Corp.'s CBS News Inc. has entered into a settlement with three former employees who accused former "CBS This Morning" anchor and "60 Minutes" correspondent Charlie Rose of sexual harassment, The Hill reports. CBS News fired the veteran anchor in 2017 following the revelation "of extremely disturbing and intolerable behavior said to have revolved around his PBS program."

Streaming

* Discovery Inc.'s direct-to-consumer offering GolfTV will carry more than 40 European Tour events per year starting in January 2019. The agreement includes international multi-platform live rights, in selected territories, to all European Tour events and the next two Ryder Cups, according to a news release.

* Netflix Inc. is testing an instant replay feature that will let users restart a scene from the beginning, Engadget.com reports, citing a company confirmation. The feature will reportedly be available in certain shows.

* Netflix green-lighted new series, "I Am Not Okay With This," based on a graphic novel from Charles Forsman. The eight-episode series is about a teenage girl navigating the trials and tribulations of high school, all the while dealing with the complexities of her family and mysterious superpowers just beginning to awaken from deep within her, according to a news release.

Multichannel

* Charter is finally turning the corner on its integration process. Company executives have promised positive changes in 2019, but analysts highlight how shifting consumer habits can complicate matters.

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 mixed opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 1.29% to 26,524.35, while the Nikkei 225 was up 0.99% to 21,816.19.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 fell 0.23% to 6,864.05, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.40% to 949.24.

On the macro front

The jobless claims report, the import and export prices report, the Energy Information Administration natural gas report, the treasury budget report, the U.S. Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Viacom inks deals with Amazon, Vodafone; Eleven Sports may exit UK, Ireland: Viacom Inc. signed European content deals with Amazon.com Inc. and Vodafone Group PLC, while Eleven Sports may pull out its operations from the U.K. and Ireland.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Tencent Music shares soar at NYSE debut; SoftBank, Alibaba invest in Tokopedia: Tencent Music Entertainment Group's stock climbed 7.7% above the company's IPO price for its U.S. trading debut, while Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. and SoftBank Group Corp. participated in the US$1.1 billion funding round of Indonesia's PT. Tokopedia.

Featured research

Multichannel Trends: November 2018 cable system sales summary: The cable system sales summary lists monthly deal data for the U.S., including basics, homes passed, total value, value per sub and per-home-passed, and cash flow multiples.

Multichannel Trends: Are local sports keeping subscribers in traditional multichannel bundles?: Markets with teams in the NFL, MLB and NBA were able to hold on to a larger share of their subscribers since the end of 2014 than markets without, according to MediaCensus data.

Economics of Internet: State of US search advertising: Search advertising remains a key pillar in the U.S. digital ad ecosystem, with a wide range of advertisers spending heavily to feature their products, services and websites in both desktop and mobile search results.

Broadcast Investor: New Kagan report: State of the Canadian TV broadcast sector, 5-year outlook: Our analysis of the Canadian TV broadcast sector, including spot and digital ad revenue projections, shows an industry fighting back against declines in viewership and digital competition to maintain its share of ad revenue.

Global Multichannel: Challengers to Swiss duopoly to drive new market dynamics: A reinvigorated competitive landscape in Switzerland, via multiplay ISPs Sunrise and Salt, is driving exponential leaps in broadband speeds and increasingly competitive pricing that is challenging the established players.

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