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Apple looks to buy cobalt directly; AT&T loses bid to access official documents

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Apple looks to buy cobalt directly; AT&T loses bid to access official documents

Top News

* Apple Inc. is holding talks to buy cobalt directly from miners, Bloomberg News reports, citing sources with knowledge of the matter. Potential agreements with miners will help the tech giant secure several thousand tonnes of cobalt a year for a five-year period or a longer duration. Cobalt is a key ingredient for smartphone batteries.

* The U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia dealt an early blow to AT&T Inc. in a ruling that could undercut its defense strategy ahead of a March trial about the company's pending acquisition of Time Warner Inc. In a court decision, U.S. District Judge Richard Leon said the U.S. Department of Justice does not have to provide AT&T or the court with logs showing all written communications between the White House and U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions about the deal.

* In an effort to better understand how law enforcement can fight criminal cyber activity, U.S. Attorney General Jeff Sessions ordered the creation of a cyber-digital task force at the U.S. Department of Justice. The task force will canvass how the department is currently combating global cyberthreats, and will also identify how federal law enforcement can more effectively confront these threats and operate in this evolving area, according to an official news release.

* Set to bow in the fourth quarter, Fox Nation will be sold directly to consumers, but 21st Century Fox Inc.'s FOX News Channel (US) will work with traditional distributors in marketing the add-on product. Ad-free at launch, Fox Nation will dive into the issues of the day with live, exclusive daily streaming content and long-form programming available only to subscribers.

Technology

* S&P Global Market Intelligence spoke with Adrian Fleming, CEO of ESG and sustainability software company, Accuvio, to discuss organizations' efforts to automate and manage sustainable reporting.

Internet & OTT

* Netflix Inc. green-lighted animated series "Tuca & Bertie" for a 10-episode first season. The comedy series is about the friendship between two 30-year-old bird women who live in the same apartment building, the company said.

* Amazon.com Inc. will premiere family show "The Dangerous Book For Boys" March 30, Multichannel News reports. The six-episode series, which is an Amazon Studios production with Sony Corp.'s Sony Pictures Television and Moonshot Entertainment, is based on a book of the same name by Conn and Hal Iggulden.

* Facebook Inc. offered support for industry-standard glTF 2.0 file format to improve the content quality for Facebook 3D posts, according to an official blog post. The compliance with the file format will allow artists and content creators to bring support for textures, lighting and realistic rendering techniques to the posts.

The day ahead

Early morning futures indicators pointed to a lower opening for the U.S. market.

In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 1.81% to 31,431.89, and the Nikkei 225 increased 0.21% to 21,970.81.

In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.14% to 7,236.82, and the Euronext 100 was down 0.37% to 1,017.62.

On the macro front

The Redbook, PMI Composite Flash, Existing Home Sales and FOMC Minutes are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Fox ups Sky offer; Qualcomm hikes NXP bid: 21st Century Fox increased its offer for British pay TV giant Sky plc with a 10-year Sky News funding guarantee, while Qualcomm Inc. raised its offer for Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV amid a hostile takeover bid from Broadcom Ltd.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Sony Pictures shakes up international team; SoftBank taps Nomura for telecom IPO: Sony Pictures Television Inc. revealed several changes within the senior management of its international production division, while SoftBank Group Corp. is being advised by Nomura Holdings Inc. for the IPO of its Japanese telco unit.

The week in OTT: FOX News to launch streaming service; Netflix bolsters lineup: FOX News unveiled a stand-alone subscription streaming service Feb. 20, while Netflix continued to bolster its content lineup with series renewals and new deals.

La Liga eyes OTT service; Italian broadcasters bag sports rights: In this monthly southern Europe video spotlight feature, S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a roundup of news related to over-the-top, video-on-demand and other video initiatives in Spain, Italy, Portugal, Greece and Turkey.

Featured research

Multichannel Trends: 2017 VOD title counts boast big increases: The average title count for the major cable operators and Verizon Communications Inc. FiOS, according to surveyed responses and published reports, topped 93,000 selections per month at the end of 2017.

Economics of TV & Film: Action films have the highest average box office gross in 2017: Movie theaters continue to be populated primarily by big budget franchise pictures, or films looking to launch a franchise. The films that performed best on an average box office basis were action, sci-fi/fantasy and animated films.

Broadcast Investor: Cumulus Media plans to emerge from bankruptcy in April: Cumulus Media Inc. appears closer to emerging from Chapter 11, having received court approval to progress with a revised reorganization plan.

Economics of TV & Film: 3 January films turn profits on low budgets, international strength: January tends to be tough for new films as holiday hits continue to draw audiences to theaters and overshadow new releases. Yet Kagan estimates a few films to earn a profit thanks to low costs or a solid international showing.

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