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Morning Consult Tech: FCC Pauses 180-Day Review Clock for Proposed Sprint and T-Mobile Merger

Top Stories

  • The Federal Communications Commission announced that it will pause its informal 180-day review period of the planned merger of T-Mobile US Inc. and Sprint Corp. The FCC said it is temporarily halting the clock on the review because it needs time to examine several complex submissions of information, including an engineering model and a business model, that it recently received in relation to the proposed deal. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • President Donald Trump is expected to sign an executive order as soon as today that would authorize sanctions on foreign individuals and companies that interfere in U.S. elections, according to people familiar with the matter. The move comes as intelligence agencies prepare to protect the November midterms from foreign attacks. (Reuters)
  • Apple Inc. is expected to unveil its largest and most expensive iPhone today during an event at its Cupertino, Calif., headquarters. The tech firm is rumored to be releasing three new phone models, in addition to other products. (The Associated Press)

Chart Review

Events Calendar (All Times Local)

EmTech 2018 conference 8 a.m.
Senate Banking Committee hearing on countering Russia 10 a.m.
American Consumer Institute discussion on data privacy and security 12 p.m.
Ohio Public Safety Regional Planning committees meeting 12 p.m.
EmTech 2018 conference 8 a.m.
Protecting privacy forum, hosted by The Atlantic 8:55 a.m.
FTC hearings on competition and consumer protection in the 21st century 9 a.m.
North American Numbering Council meeting 9:30 a.m.
EmTech 2018 conference 9 a.m.
FTC hearings on competition and consumer protection in the 21st century 9 a.m.
Brookings Institution event on ethical dilemmas of the AI era 2 p.m.

New Poll: Consumers React to Nike’s New Ad Featuring Colin Kaepernick

Real-time brand tracking data reveals a sharp drop in favorability and purchasing consideration.


Get ready for Big Bitcoin: Cryptocurrency industry opens a D.C. lobbying arm
Brian Fung, The Washington Post

The price of bitcoin may be down, compared with last year’s meteoric heights. But industry officials aren’t waiting for the next spike in investor demand to launch a charm offensive targeting federal lawmakers and regulators who’ve taken an interest in cryptocurrencies.

White House Workforce Summit Aims to Future-Proof Tech Talent
Aaron Boyd, Nextgov

As technology changes the way organizations do business, the White House is convening an executive symposium Wednesday to hear from government, industry and academics on the best ways to transform the federal workforce. “The goal is to ‘change the conversation’ and hear ‘different’ voices on a variety of topics, including performance/pay/compensation, reskilling, workforce reform, how technology affects people, etc.,” according to an invitation obtained by Government Executive, Nextgov’s sister publication.

Pioneer to Get $538 Million Bailout From Baring Private Equity
Robert Fenner, Bloomberg

Pioneer Corp., once among the world’s hottest names in technology before struggling with debt and failed expansions, agreed to a bailout from Baring Private Equity. Baring Private Equity will buy as much as 60 billion yen ($538 million) of stock in the Tokyo-based company, according to a filing on Wednesday.

Europe Stocks Rise, Asia Extends Drop; Euro Slips: Markets Wrap
Eddie van der Walt, Bloomberg

European stocks advanced on Wednesday and Asian shares extended a losing streak as traders turned their focus to the outlook for monetary policy amid lingering worries for global trade. Treasury yields edged lower after climbing a day earlier.

Intellectual Property and Antitrust

EU Executive Arm Opposes France on Global ‘Right to be Forgotten’
Sam Schechner, The Wall Street Journal

The European Union’s executive arm on Tuesday joined Alphabet Inc.’s Google and a group of free-speech advocates to oppose expanding the bloc’s “right to be forgotten” beyond European borders. In arguments before the EU’s top court, the executive arm as well as countries including Ireland and Greece argued that a global application of the right would stretch the EU’s privacy laws beyond their intended scope—echoing at least some of Google’s arguments.

Telecom, Wireless and TV

5G Needs a Lot More Cell Towers. Some Residents Aren’t Happy.
Drew FitzGerald, The Wall Street Journal

Residents of Denver’s Riviera apartments were surprised earlier this year when a roughly 30-foot-tall green pole appeared a few feet in front of their building entrance. The pole, installed by Verizon Communications Inc. and laden with cellular antennas, was designed to improve cellphone service in the area, but the residents complained about the placement.

NXP shares drop after executives outline post-Qualcomm path
Stephen Nellis et al., Reuters

Shares of Dutch chipmaker NXP Semiconductors fell 4.4 percent on Tuesday after executives outlined their strategy after the collapse this year of a proposed merger with Qualcomm Inc but said they did not expect to raise gross margins to the level of rivals like Intel Corp. Chief Executive Rick Clemmer and other executives said NXP wants to retain its leading position in supplying automotive chips and grow sales by 5 percent to 7 percent a year between now and the end of 2021, which the company said is about 50 percent more than the estimated growth rate of the chip industry.

FCC data exaggerates broadband access on tribal lands
Jon Brodkin, Ars Technica

Broadband access in tribal areas is likely even worse than previously thought because Federal Communications Commission data overstates deployment, according to a new report by the US Government Accountability Office (GAO). FCC data collection was already known to be suspect throughout the US, not just in tribal areas, which in turn makes it difficult for the FCC to target deployment funding to the areas that need it most.

Verizon’s 5G home broadband launches in October and starts at $50
Roger Cheng, CNET

5G is about to cross the threshold between hype and reality. It’s about time.

Mobile Technology and Social Media

EU pushes internet firms to remove extremist content in one hour
Philip Blenkinsop, Reuters

The European Commission will propose new laws on Wednesday giving Google, Facebook, Twitter and other internet companies one hour to remove extremist content or face fines. The Commission told such companies in March that they had three months to show they were removing extremist content more rapidly or face legislation forcing them to do so.

The explosive problem with recycling iPads, iPhones and other gadgets: They literally catch fire.
Geoffrey A. Fowler, The Washington Post

What happens to gadgets when you’re done with them? Too often, they explode.

Apple to create portal for law enforcement data requests
Ali Breland, The Hill

Apple is slated to unveil later this year a new portal that law enforcement agencies can use to submit and track requests for user data related to investigations. The technology company said it will also create a team to train law enforcement regarding digital evidence as well as offer online training to authorities on how to submit requests through the portal, according to a letter sent to Sen. Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.) by the company that was provided to The Hill.

Apple’s autonomous vehicle fleet swells 27% in four months
Kirsten Korosec, TechCrunch

Apple keeps adding autonomous vehicles to its test fleet in California, boosting its ranks 27 percent since May, according to records from the California Department of Motor Vehicles. The company now has 70 autonomous vehicles permitted to test on public roads, Mac Reports first reported.

Twitter strikes new deals to bring in more sports and entertainment videos
Saheli Roy Choudhury, CNBC

Twitter said on Wednesday it struck a host of new deals with media and entertainment companies to bring “hundreds of hours” of live-streaming and video highlights onto the social media site. The partnerships would expand the kinds of videos that are available on Twitter to audiences and advertisers in the Asia Pacific region, the company said in a statement.

Cybersecurity and Privacy

British Airways hackers used the same skimming tactics that breached Ticketmaster UK
Shannon Liao, The Verge

British Airways reported a breach last week that affected about 380,000 customers’ data. Threat management firm RiskIQ revealed today that the same criminal group behind a Ticketmaster UK breach also attacked British Airways.

Internet group backs ‘national’ data privacy approach
David Shepardson, Reuters

A group representing major internet companies including Facebook Inc, Inc and Alphabet Inc said on Tuesday it backed modernizing U.S. data privacy rules but wants a national approach that would preempt California’s new regulations that take effect in 2020. The Internet Association, a group representing more than 40 major internet and technology firms including Netflix Inc, Microsoft Corp and Twitter Inc, said “internet companies support an economy-wide, national approach to regulation that protects the privacy of all Americans.”

Opinions, Editorials and Perspectives

The Slippery Slope of Regulating Social Media
Peter Suderman, The New York Times

The promise of the internet, and social media in particular, was that it would not only allow anyone the opportunity to speak, but would also make it possible for anyone to precisely tailor what he reads, sees and hears online. News and information would no longer be mediated by newspaper editors, television producers and other gatekeepers.

Silicon Valley Needs Regulation
Marcus Ryu, The New York Times

These are polarized times. Yet for business leaders across the political spectrum, there is one area of troubling consensus: a contempt for government’s ability to regulate effectively.

Apple Couldn’t Cure My iPhone Addiction
Joanna Stern, The Wall Street Journal

One day with my iPhone: 310 notifications. 210 iPhone pickups.

Amazon Makes Good on Business-to-Business Threat
Brooke Sutherland, Bloomberg Inc. is no longer a looming threat for sellers of factory-floor basics, lab equipment and office products. It’s a full-blown competitor. The e-commerce giant rattled distributors of industrial parts, IT and medical supplies in 2015 when it launched a business-to-business platform that promised to make ordering supplies as easy and price-transparent as ordering diapers or toothpaste.

Research Reports

Inside the Magecart Breach of British Airways: How 22 Lines of Code Claimed 380,000 Victims
Yonathan Klijnsma, RiskIQ

On September 6th, British Airways announced it had suffered a breach resulting in the theft of customer data. In interviews with the BBC, the company noted that around 380,000 customers could have been affected and that the stolen information included personal and payment information but not passport information.