* Arizona Gov. Doug Ducey ordered the Arizona Department of Transportation to "suspend" Uber Technologies Inc.'s self-driving testing access in the state, TechCrunch.com reports, citing a letter sent to the company's CEO Dara Khosrowshahi. In the letter, Ducey called the accident that resulted in a death of a woman "disturbing and alarming."
* Warren Schlichting, president of DISH Network Corp.'s Sling, argued that AT&T Inc.'s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Inc. will hurt DISH and its Sling TV service, Bloomberg News reports. Testifying in the U.S. government's antitrust trial against the deal, Schlichting said the potential merger would make it harder for DISH to negotiate for Time Warner programming and its subscribers could lose access to channels such as CNN (US).
* Facebook Inc.'s shares continued to plummet March 26 after the U.S. Federal Trade Commission confirmed it is investigating the company's data privacy practices, according to a news release. The FTC investigation is expected to focus on whether Facebook violated the terms of a 2011 consent decree over its handling of personal user data shared with Cambridge Analytica LLC.
* The Mobile Carriers Show, a conference focused on regional and rural mobile services, kicks off in Las Vegas this week, exploring a range of top issues in the telecommunications industry, including next-generation 5G technology and security. Because of the billions of connected devices 5G will enable and the unique network infrastructure 5G will demand, the security concerns associated with the new technology are different than those the telecom industry faced with 4G.
* The Federal Communications Commission Chairman Ajit Pai proposed new rules that would bar recipients of its Universal Service Fund, a program designed to help offset the cost of connecting rural residents to phone and internet services, from purchasing communications network equipment or services from companies deemed to pose a threat to U.S. national security. While Pai's proposal did not name any companies or countries that could pose a potential threat, it follows the introduction of U.S. legislation that seeks to limit the U.S.'s exposure to Chinese technology firms.
Internet & OTT
* Facebook has offered to send either its Chief Technology Officer Mike Schroepfer or Chief Product Officer Chris Cox to appear before a British parliamentary committee to answer questions regarding the handling of user data, Bloomberg News reports, citing a letter by Rebecca Stimson, Facebook's head of U.K. public policy. In a letter to Damian Collins, chair of Digital, Culture, Media and Sport Committee, House of Commons, Stimson said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg has asked one of the two executives to answer the committee's questions.
* Amazon.com Inc.'s Amazon Studios ordered a mini series that will be produced by Steven Spielberg's Amblin Television, Variety reports. The four-episode series will star Javier Bardem, who will play the role of a Spanish explorer named Hernan Cortes.
* Netflix Inc. renewed "One Day at a Time" for a third season. Set to premiere in 2019, the new season will feature 13 episodes, the company said. The series is a re-imagining of the Norman Lear sitcom of the same name.
* Google Inc. won the dismissal of a lawsuit that accused YouTube of censoring conservative viewpoints on the video platform, according to a report by The Hollywood Reporter. Dismissing the suit filed by Prager University, run by radio-talk-show host Dennis Prager, U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh said the plaintiff failed to prove that YouTube was unfairly treating certain videos and was a "public forum" run by a "state actor."
* Endeavor agreed to buy NeuLion Inc. in an all-cash deal valued at about $250 million. Under the agreement, Endeavor will buy each share of outstanding common stock of NeuLion for 84 cents. Upon completion of the transaction, NeuLion will become a privately held subsidiary of Endeavor, according to a news release.
* Chris Satchell, Comcast Cable's chief product officer, is leaving the Comcast Corp. unit to move back to the West Coast, Multichannel News reports. While the company does not plan to name a replacement for Satchell, it promoted Matt Zelesko and Fraser Stirling to oversee the company' product vision.
* Viacom Inc.'s Nickelodeon (US) and TV producer Dan Schneider have parted ways, The Hollywood Reporter reports, citing an official statement. Schneider, known for shows such as "iCarly," "Drake & Josh" and "Victorious," will be pursuing other opportunities and projects.
* Peter Hutton is stepping down as CEO of Discovery, Inc.'s Eurosport (UK) to join Facebook as director of global live sports partnerships and programming, The Hollywood Reporter reports, citing a post by Dan Reed, head of global sports partnerships. Hutton, who will assume his new role in May, will work to bring live sports on the social network.
The day ahead
Early morning futures indicators pointed to a higher opening for the U.S. market.
In Asia, the Hang Seng rose 0.79% to 30,790.83, while the Nikkei 225 climbed 2.65% to 21,317.32.
In Europe, around midday, the FTSE 100 gained 1.93% to 7,021.46 and the Euronext 100 rose 1.33% to 1,004.44.
On the macro front
The Redbook, the S&P Corelogic Case-Shiller HPI, the consumer confidence report, the Richmond Fed Manufacturing Index and the State Street Investor Confidence Index are due out today.
The Daily Dose Europe: HBO GO launches in Poland; Finnish gaming developer tests Netflix-like service: HBO GO rolled out in Poland, available to consumers without subscription to another pay TV operator, while Hatch Entertainment is testing a Netflix-like streaming service for mobile games.
The Daily Dose Asia-Pacific: Grab acquires Uber's Southeast Asia biz; Russia's Sistema eyes RCom assets: Grab confirmed its acquisition of Uber's Southeast Asian operations, while Russian conglomerate Sistema PJSFC emerged as the front-runner to buy Indian telco Reliance Communications Ltd.'s remaining assets after submitting an offer of US$1.2 billion, plus debt.
The week in OTT: T-Mobile offers free MLB.TV; YouTube Red movie to hit theaters: T-Mobile US Inc. is offering one year of free subscription of MLB.TV, while YouTube Red plans to premiere its upcoming original movie "Vulture Club" in theaters.
M&A Replay: Salesforce acquiring software maker; Meredith completes sale of Time Inc. UK: S&P Global Market Intelligence provides a wrap-up of U.S. companies' media and communications deal announcements and completions from March 19 to March 23.
The Pay Check: Verizon, TEGNA, TiVo disclose execs' 2017 compensation: Verizon Communications Inc. CEO Lowell McAdam pulled in about $17.9 million in 2017 total compensation, while TEGNA Inc. CEO David Lougee earned roughly $4.8 million in 2017.
The Best Of: Kagan research and analysis, editor's picks: Presenting the editor's top picks from Kagan's exclusive research and analysis for the week ended March 23.
Broadcast Investor: IHeartMedia's Chapter 11 filing leaves door open for Liberty and other bids: IHeartMedia Inc.'s Chapter 11 filing included language that allows the company to "consult and coordinate in good faith" on an "alternative restructuring proposal." That could include another bid from Liberty Media Corp. or others.
Economics of TV & Film: Will Netflix, others cause the demise of traditional media companies?: One of the key themes running through the 42nd Annual UCLA Entertainment Symposium was the rapidly rising cost of original programming fueled by Apple Inc., Amazon, Alphabet Inc., Hulu LLC, Netflix and others.
Economics of TV & Film: 'Black Panther' king of the MCU, March profit projections: There is a very good chance that February will end up being the month that the highest-grossing film of the year hit theaters. "Black Panther" stormed into theaters Feb. 16 and has been the top grossing film of the week for five straight weeks.
Multichannel Trends: High-single-digit growth propels top MSOs' CapEx above $18B mark in 2017: Capital expenditures at the top six reporting cable operators increased 9.5% annually to $18.45 billion in 2017.
Economics of TV & Film: Will AT&T-Time Warner merger be approved? If not, will a FANG company step in?: One critical issue discussed at this year's UCLA Entertainment Symposium was the regulatory environment for media M&A given government opposition to AT&T's acquisition of Time Warner and given Walt Disney Co. buying most of 21st Century Fox Inc.'s assets.
Economics of Internet: Modeling the potential impact of a shrinking Facebook: Assessing the potential future impact on Facebook of news that political data analytics firm Cambridge Analytica may have gained access to user data for about 50 million Facebook users is challenging, especially with uncertainties still swirling.
Consumer Insights: Half of survey respondents use more than one SVOD: The user base for the big four online subscription video services frequently overlap, with only a small group exclusively using one service.
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