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Google buying imaging startup; FTC to probe Facebook over handling of user data


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Google buying imaging startup; FTC to probe Facebook over handling of user data

Top news

* Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. is buying imaging startup Lytro, reports, citing multiple sources. One of the sources, who described the deal to be an "asset sale," said the U.S. search giant is paying about $40 million, while another source pegged the deal price to be $25 million.

* Weinstein Co. LLC received court approval for a $25 million debtor-in-possession financing from Union Bank, Variety reports. The credit facility is expected to help the company pay its employees, according to the report. Weinstein Co. recently filed for bankruptcy and entered into a "stalking horse agreement" with an affiliate of Lantern Capital Partners.

* The U.S. Federal Trade Commission will investigate Facebook Inc. on the alleged violation of a consent decree over the use of personal information, Bloomberg News reports, citing a source with knowledge of the matter. The agency reportedly will look to determine whether the social networking giant allowed Cambridge Analytica LLC to receive some user data in violation of its policies.


* Google closed the acquisition of the 1,188,501-square-foot Chelsea Market building in New York from investment and management company Jamestown for $2.4 billion. The tech giant already occupies a significant portion of the complex, according to a news release.

* Tammy Albarran replaced Angela Padilla as Uber Technologies Inc.'s deputy general counsel, Recode reports. Albarran was a partner at law firm Covington & Burling and co-authored the report on the company's culture along with former U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder, who is also a partner at the firm.

* Apple Inc. has permission to test 45 autonomous vehicles in California, ahead of rivals such as Uber and Tesla Inc., London's Financial Times reports, citing data from California's Department of Motor Vehicles. The tech giant now has the second-largest fleet in California behind General Motors Co.'s Cruise that is reportedly testing 110 cars in the state.

Internet & OTT

* In more Google news, the company unveiled the Google News Initiative to "elevate and strengthen quality journalism," address with misinformation and increase subscriptions for news outlets. The company also committed to spending $300 million over the next three years on various journalism-related projects, Google Chief Business Officer Philipp Schindler said in an official March 20 blog post.

* Netflix Inc. will premiere global original motor series, "Fastest Car," on April 6. Each episode of the original series will show three "souped-up" "sleeper" cars taking on one of the world's most sought-after supercars, the company said.

TV Networks

* 21st Century Fox Inc.'s FOX Sports inked a multiyear, multiplatform agreement with the Professional Bowlers Association. Starting in 2019, FOX Sports will televise four PBA Tour shows on FOX (US) and 25 on FOX Sports 1 (US) in a series of two-hour telecasts, according to a news release. All programs will also be streamed on FOX Sports GO.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.43% to 31,414.52, and the Nikkei 225 was down 0.47% to 21,380.97.

In Europe, as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.37% to 7,034.84, and the Euronext 100 had fallen 0.01% to 1,024.89.

On the macro front

The MBA mortgage applications report, the current account report, the existing home sales report, the EIA petroleum status report, the FOMC meeting announcement and the FOMC forecasts are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Europe: Liberty Global, Sunrise in joint-venture talks; Vivendi sells Ubisoft stake: Liberty Global plc is in talks with telco Sunrise Communications Group AG about forming a joint venture in Switzerland, while French media group Vivendi SA agreed to sell its stake of about 27% in game developer Ubisoft Entertainment SA to the Guillemot Brothers SE brothers.

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: China to merge TV and radio outlets; Alibaba mulls buying Rocket Internet unit: China has approved the merger of its state television and radio networks into one mega broadcaster, while Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. is in talks about a possible acquisition deal for Daraz, the Pakistani e-commerce unit of Rocket Internet SE.

Tech Time: Uber halts self-driving tests; Microsoft opens Germany data centers: Ride-hailing company Uber halted autonomous-car testing in all cities after one of its self-driving cars hit and killed a woman in Arizona, while tech giant Microsoft Corp. is opening two cloud data centers in Germany.

Telefónica bags motoring pay TV rights; Orange Spain, Fox ink content deal: 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

Economics of Internet: Profile: Viu (Singapore): Viu provides consumers in Singapore with relevant Asian content and reasonable pricing.

Economics of Internet: State of Taiwan online video: Subscription: Subscription video on demand has struggled to gain ground in Taiwan due to the prevalence of free content in the form of value-added video options used by telcos, legitimate ad-supported video platforms and pirated content.

Multichannel Trends: Mapping concentrations of 1 Gig internet availability: A geographical analysis of Kagan's survey findings and estimates for gigabit internet availability suggests smaller ISPs have taken the lead on providing wide-scale access within their footprints.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET. S&P Global Market Intelligence provides links to external sites where these offer further, relevant information to our readers. While we ensure that such links are functional at the time of publication, we are not responsible in instances where those links are unavailable later.