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Apple Rips Spotify Complaint In Europe As “Misleading Rhetoric”

Apple has issued a lengthy response to Spotify’s complaint before European Commission regulators, which was issued earlier this week. The iPhone maker dismisses it as “misleading rhetoric” that conceals its streaming competitor’s financial motives. Spotify told the EC that Apple’s 30% “tax” on Spotify streams represents an “unfair advantage” that hinders competition. Other companies have long had the same issue with the environment of the App Store. In its response, Apple… Read

Business

Net Neutrality Returns To Democratic Agenda With Save The Internet Act; FCC Responds

UPDATED with FCC commissioner statement: Democrats on Capitol Hill, now that they control the House of Representatives, are resuming their efforts to restore net neutrality with the introduction of a new bill in both the House and Senate. Dubbed the Save the Internet Act, the legislation aims to return conditions to where they were before 2017, when the Republican-controlled FCC undid a 2015 Obama-era limit on the extent to which corporations can act as internet… Read

Business

Sinclair’s Unrequited Tribune Quest Hits End Of FCC Review, But U.S. Judge Says “Extremely Serious Charges” Merit Probe

An Administrative Law Judge reviewing Sinclair Broadcast Group’s ultimately unsuccessful effort to acquire Tribune Media at the FCC’s behest has dismissed the case with prejudice, urging a more thorough investigation of the matter. Judge Jane Halprin issued an order today saying proceeding with hearings in the case would be an “academic exercise,” in part because Tribune wound up being sold to Sinclair rival Nexstar. But her order emphasizes that the indications that… Read

Business

Disney-Fox Deal Nears Final Approval After Progress In Brazil And Mexico

20th Century Fox Disney

In one of the last steps in the regulatory review of Disney’s $71.3 billion deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox, regulators in Brazil appear to be poised to approve the transaction on Wednesday. Officials at CADE (whose translated full name is The Administrative Council for Economic Defense) are said to now be satisfied after Disney offered some of the concessions they had requested. Once their OK is secured, a final closing period of about 10 days will begin as the… Read

Business

AT&T Prevails Against DOJ In Long-Running Legal Battle Over Time Warner Deal

AT&T has defeated President Donald Trump’s Department of Justice in a long-running legal fight over its acquisition of Time Warner. A three-judge panel on the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit ruled unanimously that the $81 billion transaction was not harmful to consumers or competitors, contrary to the DOJ’s assertions. The regulatory agency first mounted the rare challenge in a blockbuster lawsuit in late 2017 and persisted on appeal after U.S… Read

Business

FCC Succumbs To Government Shutdown After Welcoming Two New Commissioners

The Federal Communications Commission is joining the list of those affected by the government shutdown, closing its doors today just after welcoming two new commissioners. The only part of the FCC’s daily function that will remain in operation is its response to reports of 911 service outages. Just before shutting its doors, the FCC saluted the confirmation by the Senate on Wednesday night of two new commissioners to five-year terms — Democrat Geoffrey Starks and… Read

Business

NBC/Telemundo Stations Fined By FCC For Violating Children’s Television Act Of 1990

Telemundo Logo

Telemundo parent Comcast has agreed to pay a fine of $495,000 after an investigation by the FCC found that some of the Hispanic broadcaster’s local stations had pre-empted children’s programming in favor of sports. That action was deemed out of bounds under the federal Children’s Television Act of 1990. The FCC said it would approve applications from Telemundo for local station license renewals, provided that the company pays the fine and abides by the terms of a consent… Read

Business

Gray TV And Raycom Must Divest Stations In Nine Markets In Order To Gain DOJ Approval For Merger

The pending $3.6 billion merger of Gray TV and Raycom, one of the two mega-deals poised to transform the local TV sector, is facing final regulatory conditions before it can proceed. Antitrust regulators at the Department of Justice today ordered the companies to divest stations in nine markets in order to avoid a scenario where the combined company owns more than two of the CBS, ABC, NBC or Fox affiliates in any single market. Without shedding stations, the company would… Read

Business

Google CEO Sundar Pichai Addresses Anti-Conservative Bias In House Judiciary Committee – Update

Sundar Pichai

Google CEO Sundar Pichai testified this morning before the House Judiciary Committee, where the executive fended questions about a range of issues, including data privacy and charges from Republicans that its search algorithms are biased against conservatives. The search giant became the focus of criticism when Pichai declined the Senate Intelligence Committee’s invitation to testify about Russian meddling in the 2016 presidential election. Now, Pichai opted to follow… Read

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Patrick Stewart’s ‘Star Trek’ Series, ‘Mayans M.C.’ & ‘Why Women Kill’ Score Tax Credits From California

Jean-Luc Picard Mayans MC

On Star Trek: The Next Generation, Patrick Stewart's Capt. Jean-Luc Picard was well known for telling his first officer to "make it so.” Well, it seems that the California Film Commission has followed the Enterprise commander's order to the lucrative letter in its latest round of small screen tax credits allocations. First announced on August 4 that The X-Men¬†franchise alum would be back as Picard on a new CBS All Access expansion of the Trekverse, the "New Star Trek… Read

Business

AT&T Gains Upper Hand On DOJ In Appeals Court Arguments Of Lawsuit Over Time Warner Deal

AT&T

A panel of three judges hearing the government’s appeal of its lawsuit aiming to block the AT&T-Time Warner merger peppered a Department of Justice lawyer with critical questions while going notably easier on the attorney for AT&T. This morning’s nearly two-hour session at the District of Columbia Circuit of the¬†U.S. Court of Appeals, which was live-streamed on the court’s website, included solo appearances by lawyers for both sides as well as two “amici” representatives… Read

Business

Major Tech Stocks Slump On Regulatory Fears After Senate Hearing

After top executives from Facebook and Twitter faced a grilling in the U.S. Senate and reckoned with potential government regulation, investors gave the cold shoulder to their stocks and most of the tech sector. Shares in Twitter, Snap and Facebook all declined significantly, dragging the Nasdaq down more than 1% to below the 8,000 level that prompted celebration barely a week ago. Major tech companies have been powering the ongoing bull market, leaving Wall Street with… Read