The Senate Commerce Committee on Wednesday held a confirmation hearing for Geoffrey Starks, during which he revealed his agreement with Democratic thinking on issues such as net neutrality and media consolidation. If confirmed to the Federal Communications Commission's open seat, Starks would be the youngest-serving commissioner.
President Donald Trump met with almost two dozen lawmakers Wednesday concerning Chinese telecommunications company ZTE. At issue was a defense bill amendment that would block Trump's attempt to lift the ban on ZTE, and after the meeting, Trump told the media, "We're working on it."
KKR is buying a 49.99% stake in Altice Europe's French tower business, and a consortium is buying a 75% stake in its Portuguese tower business. Altice is receiving $2.9 billion in the stake sales and will use the money to help reduce debt and develop revenue streams.
The connected car system developed by Sprint and NXM Labs launched Wednesday, featuring high-speed Wi-Fi and a blockchain-powered security system. It will use Sprint's LTE and upcoming 5G networks and will allow consumers, including owners of early-model vehicles, to get the latest auto technology, a Sprint executive said.
AT&T and Verizon could use their large bases of wireless customers, video subscribers and web visitors to take digital advertising market share from Google and Facebook, Aaron Pressman writes. AppNexus, which AT&T is said to be pursuing, could be integrated with Time Warner's TV networks, while Verizon has a large amount of customer and audience data with Oath.
California state Sens. Scott Wiener and Kevin de Leon combined two competing net neutrality bills into one to fast-track the legislation, which aimed to provide a more stable framework for net neutrality in the state. A member of the state Assembly, Miguel Santiago, then proposed amendments that would open the door for internet service providers to charge access fees, prompting Wiener to withdraw the bill.
Disney has formally submitted a $71.3 billion bid for 21st Century Fox assets -- a cash-and-stock offer valued at $85.1 billion, including debt. The move comes as Fox's board is to meet today to discuss Comcast's $65 billion bid for the entertainment assets.
British authorities took a major step toward allowing 21st Century Fox to purchase UK pay-TV provider Sky after Rupert Murdoch's company agreed to sell the Sky News unit to Disney, which has bid on Fox's entertainment assets. Culture Secretary Matt Hancock informally said that the Sky News sale will meet the government's precondition for Fox's acquisition.
Tru Optik has unveiled a new measurement tool for connected TV and over-the-top advertising. The solution delivers "de-duplicated household-level reach and frequency, device authentication, and advanced audience validation for OTT and CTV campaigns," the company said.
Charter's Spectrum Enterprises unit has announced new offerings for hospitals, universities and hotels. The product lineup includes Fiber Connect Plus TV, which provides HDTV without a converter or headend equipment; Set-Back Box TV, which delivers TV through "set-back" boxes behind TVs; and SpectrumU TV, which provides live and on-demand programming to colleges.