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Fujifilm to sue Xerox over merger; Vietnam launches probe on Grab-Uber deal

TOP NEWS

* Fujifilm Holdings Corp. is preparing to sue Xerox Corp. for scuttling the companies' US$6.1 billion merger agreement, Reuters reports, citing Fujifilm COO Kenji Sukeno.

* The Vietnamese Ministry of Industry and Trade launched an investigation into GrabTaxi Holdings Pte. Ltd.'s acquisition of Uber Technologies Inc.'s Southeast Asian business, Today Online reports. The ministry suspected that the ride-hailing company's deal might violate the country's antitrust law.

* Facebook Inc.'s lawsuit against the Korea Communications Commission to lift its 396 million South Korean won fine and corrective orders has been accepted by the Seoul Administrative Court, ZD Net Korea reports. As a result, the case will be heard by the court, and the date for pleading has been set for June 28.

JAPAN

* SoftBank Group Corp.'s planned merger of its Sprint Corp. unit with T-Mobile US Inc. risks potential hurdles from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S., Bloomberg News reports. The new company would face a review by the committee for any possible threats to U.S. national security as it would be majority owned by foreign investors – one German and one Japanese.

* Sony Corp.'s new CEO Kenichiro Yoshida is set to unveil a three-year plan on May 22, which will reportedly show the company's increasing dependence on gaming subscriptions and entertainment income, Bloomberg Quint reports.

* NEC Corp. will provide its big data platform, Data Platform for Hadoop, to India-based DMICDC Logistics Data Services Ltd. to support its digital transformation in data analytics for container traffic.

* Toshiba Corp., which was pushed to the brink of collapse last year by the failure of its U.S. nuclear unit, is removing its giant TV screen overlooking New York's Times Square as a cost-cutting measure, Jiji Press reports. The screen has featured for more than a decade as a Times Square icon.

* Moody's on May 18 said it placed Toshiba Corp.'s Caa1 corporate family and senior unsecured debt and Ca subordinated debt ratings on review for upgrade, after the Japanese conglomerate received the go-ahead from Chinese regulators to sell its memory chip business for ¥2 trillion.

SOUTH KOREA

* LG Corp. Chairman Koo Bon-moo passed away from illness on May 20, ET News reports. His adopted son and LG Electronics Inc. Vice President Koo Kwang-mo is expected to succeed the group ownership after being confirmed at the shareholders' meeting on June 29.

* KT Corp. is launching a child monitoring service using its nationwide Narrowband Internet of Things network to let parents identify the location of their child, Financial News reports. The service uses a connect tag device that the telco co-developed with Samsung Group unit Samsung Electronics Co. Ltd. last year, and the battery of which lasts longer because little data is required to send location information on the NB-IoT network.

CHINA, HONG KONG AND TAIWAN

* China may grant approval to U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm Inc.'s US$44 billion takeover of Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors NV, The Wall Street Journal reports, citing a Beijing official.

* Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. invested over 10 billion Chinese yuan to build a cloud database in Ulanqab, Inner Mongolia, Beijing Daily reports. The giant database, which will include three data centers, is set to start operation in late 2019.

* China United Network Communications Ltd., or China Unicom, will establish a content delivery network unit, C114 reports. The new unit is said to be a joint venture with Shanghai-based CDN company Wangsu, which told C114 it is unaware of the deal.

* Baidu Inc.'s Qi Lu is stepping down as COO of the company effective July, but will remain vice chairman of the board of directors. Moreover, the internet search giant has promoted Haifeng Wang to senior vice president and general manager of Baidu's AI Group.

INDIA AND SOUTH ASIA

* Bharti Airtel Ltd. is partnering with Amazon.com Inc. unit Amazon India Ltd. to lower prices of 4G smartphones to an effective price of below 3,400 Indian rupees across 65 brands. The Economic Times (India) reports this to be an attempt to compete with Reliance Jio's 4G feature phone, the JioPhone.

* Meanwhile, Amazon India's chief technology officer Dale Vaz is quitting the company and is likely to join Swiggy, two people aware of the development told The Economic Times (India). "We confirm that Dale Vaz has decided to move on from Amazon," an Amazon India spokesperson confirmed.

* Facebook India Online Services Pvt. Ltd.'s ad spends were unaffected by the Cambridge Analytica LLC incident, Sandeep Bhushan, director, India and South Asia at Facebook told The Economic Times (India). "We expect a 30% growth on advertising on digital platforms in general and there is no reason for Facebook to be behind that for sure," he said.

* The Competition Commission of India's February ruling that found Alphabet Inc. unit Google Inc. guilty of search bias may cause "irreparable harm" to the search engine giant, Google reportedly said in a plea exclusively seen by Reuters.

* India's Department of Telecommunications is seeking Bharti Airtel's reply within a week, on Reliance Jio's complaint that Airtel flouted norms on eSIM activation in Apple Inc.'s Watch 3, an official source told the Press Trust of India.

SOUTHEAST ASIA

* Singtel's net profit for the fourth quarter that ended March 31 fell 19% to S$781 million, down from S$963 million a year ago, due to weaker results from its regional associates, adverse currency movements and lower National Broadband Network revenue.

* Thailand's Ministry of Digital Economy and Society said it will work with the Electronic Transactions Development Agency to ensure that Thai companies comply with the EU's new General Data Protection Regulation, which comes into force on May 25, Prachachat reports. The ministry also said the cabinet is expected to approve Thailand's first ever data protection law within a month, which will mirror some of the provisions of the GDPR.

* MediaCorp Pte. Ltd., a Singaporean media company, will onboard its new Chief Marketing Officer, Debra Soon, and Chief Customer Officer, Irene Lim, on June 1. The organizational change aims to strengthen Mediacorp's consumer engagement and brand experiences.

* Thai telco TrueMove H, a True Corp. unit, announced it will not take part in next month's 1,800 MHz spectrum auction, citing financial burdens and sufficient bandwidth on other spectra, Manager reports.

AUSTRALIA AND NEW ZEALAND

* The Australian Broadcasting Corp. is sending back its journalists to training as it seeks to improve its flagship 7 pm news, which is experiencing declining ratings, The Australian reports, citing an ABC strategy document it obtained.

* Australian Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull's chances of getting support for his proposed corporate tax cuts bill could hinge on a promised clampdown on tax avoidance by international tech companies, as the Centre Alliance senators are reportedly keen in ensuring companies such as Facebook and Google paid more tax, The Australian reports.

FEATURED NEWS

Conference Chatter: Cloud Expo Asia: Lack of gov't focus widens gender gap in Hong Kong's tech space: Gender inequality is alive and kicking in Hong Kong's technology sector with industry experts branding the government's lack of focus a large contributor.

Data Dispatch: Cell tower companies see little to fear from T-Mobile/Sprint merger: The pending merger of the No. 3 and No. 4 largest U.S. wireless carriers will result in fewer cell towers, but U.S. tower companies expect increased investment in the ramp up to next-generation 5G technology to make up for any difference in revenue.

Economics of Advertising: Outdoor ad revenue up 1.0% in Q1, local expected to step up: Strength in ad revenue demand from local advertisers and an uptick in ad dollar inflow from digital properties drove first-quarter revenue for outdoor advertisers.

FEATURED RESEARCH

Global Multichannel: Comcast bids up on Sky, recognizing unmissable opportunity: The latest Comcast maneuver suggests it identifies Sky as a perfect horizontal acquisition target.

Economics of Networks: Prime time 2018-2019: Focus on nostalgia, sitcoms rises: As the broadcast networks continue to battle with declining viewership and rising content costs, this week's announced 2018-2019 prime-time schedule illustrates focus on what lies in the comfort zone.

Joji Sakurai, Myungran Ha, Frances Wang, Patrick Tibke and Kevin Osmond contributed to this report. The Daily Dose has an editorial deadline of 7 a.m. Hong Kong time. Some external links may require a subscription. Links are current as of publication time, and we are not responsible if those links are unavailable later.