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In This List

EC approves Verizon-Yahoo deal; Nokia-Apple patent battle heats up

Virgin Media-O2 Tie Up, EC Reversal on Three-O2 to Reboot Consolidation

COVID-19 Impacts Incumbent Telco Revenues In Western Europe

Disney+ Ditches Free Trials — Will Other Big Streamers Follow Suit?

COVID-19 Pandemic Likely To Cause US Telemedicine Boom


EC approves Verizon-Yahoo deal; Nokia-Apple patent battle heats up

Top News

* Verizon Communications Inc. won approval from the European Commission for its deal to acquire Yahoo! Inc., according to a post on the EC's website. While approving the deal, the EC said the proposed transaction "would not raise any competition concerns given the companies' moderate market positions, the limited increments brought by the proposed transaction and the presence of a number of strong players providing such services."

* Nokia Corp. upped the ante in a growing conflict with Apple Inc. on Dec. 21, filing lawsuits in the U.S. and Europe alleging that Apple had violated the Finnish cellphone maker's patents in creating its mobile devices. The suits, which allege Apple is infringing on 32 of the phone maker's patents, come a day after Apple filed a suit of its own accusing several patent-holding companies of conspiring with Nokia to fix prices for the technology.

Technology

* Honda Motor Co. Ltd. unit Honda R&D Co. Ltd. is engaged in talks with Alphabet Inc.'s Waymo to add self-driving technology to Honda vehicles. According to an official news release, the carmaker will initially provide modified vehicles to Waymo for its self-driving technology, which will then join Waymo's fleet.

* Google Inc. is working with Huawei to investigate the Nexus 6P smartphone's premature shutdown issue, VentureBeat.com reports. Most users complained that the phone shuts down or starts running out of battery life when the battery crosses the 20% mark.

* Facebook Inc.'s hardware development division Building 8 teamed up with 17 universities to work on technology research projects, Reuters reports. The move comes as the social networking giant is working to find new revenue streams in virtual reality and artificial intelligence.

Multichannel

* The U.S. Federal Trade Commission approved the proposed merger deal between Windstream Holdings Inc. and Earthlink Holdings Corp., the FTC said. The deal, however, still requires approval from the FCC.

* Sacramento, Calif.-based newspaper company McClatchy Co. is expanding its footprint on the East Coast with the acquisition of The (Durham, N.C.) Herald-Sun from Paxton Media Group. The acquisition, financial terms of which were not disclosed, includes the North Carolina paper's digital assets, the company said.

Internet & OTT

* Walt Disney Co.'s Disney-ABC Television Group joined forces with Snap Inc. to produce original episodic shows for Snapchat. The first Disney-ABC brand, which will co-produce a series with Snapchat for Discovery, is "The Bachelor," and the new show, "Watch Party: The Bachelor" will debut Jan. 3, 2017, the company said.

* Genna Terranova, former festival director at the Tribeca Film Festival, joined Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Studios, The Hollywood Reporter reports, citing sources familiar with the details. Terranova will reportedly oversee Amazon Studios' virtual reality efforts, indicating the company's plans to license VR content as well as develop original immersive projects.

TV Networks

* Doug Herzog, president of Viacom Inc.'s Music and Entertainment Group, will leave the company in January 2017, Reuters reports, citing a memo CEO Bob Bakish sent to employees. Herzog, who oversees various Viacom channels including Spike TV (US), Comedy Central (US) and MTV (US), is reportedly leaving as part of a restructuring that ensued after Bakish was appointed permanent CEO of Viacom earlier in December.

* Mireille Soria, co-president of Comcast Corp.'s DreamWorks Animation LLC unit, stepped down as co-president of the company, Variety reports, citing an internal memo. The exit leaves Bonnie Arnold as sole president of the studio.

The day ahead

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

In Asia, the Hang Seng fell 0.80% to 21,636.20, and the Nikkei 225 was down 0.09% to 19,427.67.

In Europe as of midday, the FTSE 100 was down 0.11% to 7,033.66, and the Euronext 100 fell 0.08% to 928.63.

On the macro front

The durable goods orders, the GDP report, the jobless claims report, the Chicago Fed national activity index, the FHFA house price index, the leading indicators, the EIA natural gas report, the Kansas City Fed Manufacturing Index, the Fed balance sheet and the money supply report are due out today.

Featured news

The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: TDK to acquire Apple supplier; Alibaba lands back on piracy list: Japan's TDK Corp will acquire U.S. motion sensor maker InvenSense in a US$1.3 billion deal, while Alibaba Group was placed back on a U.S. list of marketplaces linked to counterfeit and pirated items.

TV stations, local cable eye strong political ad spending during 2018 cycle: Executives at local station and cable organizations are turning the page on this year's historic election cycle and looking ahead to projections for ad spending during the 2018 midterm elections.

Q&A: Hollywood investor sees opportunity in ambivalent investment environment: Chuck Bush, founder of Great Road Capital, talks about digital and traditional content opportunities in a highly stratified industry.

VR Focus: Apple bucks the trend: Apple Inc.'s failure to hop on the virtual reality bandwagon has raised questions about its long-term prospects. With major players like Facebook and Alphabet leading the VR land grab, many took Apple's path less traveled for a bad bet.

The Daily Dose Europe: EU court rules against data retention; Nokia sues Apple over patents: The Court of Justice of the European Union said forcing telcos and internet firms to store collected data was illegal, while Nokia filed lawsuits against Apple in Germany and the U.S. alleging patent infringement.

Featured research

Broadcast Investor: Retrans per sub rates continue steady climb, growing 27% YoY: Based on our analysis of 15 publicly traded TV station groups, third-quarter retrans per sub averaged 27.3% year-over-year growth to an estimated $1.16 per subscriber on a TV station/network basis, while third-quarter retrans per-sub fees also grew 27.3% year over year to $1.51 on a market-level basis.

Multichannel Trends: US multichannel revenue avoids negative territory in 10-year outlook: Changing consumer viewing habits and the virtual operator model have dimmed our outlook on multichannel subs, but some revenue growth is still in the cards overall.

The Daily Dose is updated as of 7 a.m. ET. Some external links may require a subscription.