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Situational awareness: Comcast has asked investment banks for as much as $60 billion in financing so it can make a cash offer on the assets Fox is selling to Disney, Reuters reports. This would likely only happen if the AT&T-Time Warner merger is allowed to proceed.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
With just two weeks until Europe's sweeping data privacy regulation, GDPR, goes into effect, small businesses have a reason to breathe a little easier.
The big picture: While the language used to describe non-compliance penalties for GDPR is rigid, U.K. Secretary for digital, culture, media and sport Matt Hancock suggests regulators (at least within the UK) are willing to be flexible with enforcement early in the process.
Details: A complaint-based system will also be used by regulators to track violations. Consumers, who are empowered by the law to better manage their own data, can file a complaint about any company, big or small, which should also have small businesses on high alert.
Threat level: Policy experts have debated for months whether GDPR makes it easy to implement uniform data standards and transparency while also helping to support innovation and fair competition.
Why it matters: Many small businesses are finding themselves unprepared, because they haven't been prioritizing compliance.
"Small businesses have two main misconceptions regarding data privacy: They feel as if they have nothing to hide, so data privacy does not apply to them. And, they don't care if companies use their data.— Francis Dinha, CEO & Co-Founder, OpenVPN
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Why it matters: There are many factors contributing to a rise in paywalled news, like tech's ad dominance, and a piqued interest in all-things Trump. But on-demand access to information and entertainment has also become a consumer trend that is likely helping news outlets get consumers cash in.
"No one except the Wall Street Journal, The New York Times and now probably the Washington Post has come up with a digital product that really in any significant way will replace the revenue that is being lost as print newspapers lose both circulation and advertising ... It is very difficult to see — with a lack of success in terms of important dollars rising from digital — it’s difficult to see how the print product survives over time.”— Warren Buffett at Berkshire Hathaway's annual meeting
Gut check: Local media executives have been saying for months that their biggest competition for subscriptions and eyeballs is large national newspapers.
Perspective: Berkshire Hathaway owns more than 30 newspapers, including Buffett's hometown paper, the Omaha World-Herald. One of Buffett's earliest jobs was delivering newspaper door-to-door, which is why he hosts an annual newspaper-throwing contest.
Quartz, the business news website owned by Atlantic Media, and Concert, the digital ad marketplace founded by Vox Media and NBCUniversal, will announce a new partnership today called "Concert C-Suite" that combines their collective ad inventory for marketers to target elite business readers.
The bigger picture: "A lot of times these advertisers are behind the shift to digital because there's nothing like this at scale with this ease of execution," says Ryan Pauley, Vice President of Revenue Operations of Concert at Vox Media.
Go deeper: More about the launch in the Axios stream.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
Facebook is defining what it considers "issue ads" via an initial list of ad topics, from abortion to guns, that will require authorization and labeling on its platform in the U.S.
Why it matters: The definition of an issue ad can be very nuanced, which is why issue ads are often more difficult to regulate than regular election ads, which simply advocate for one candidate over another.
Our thought bubble: A list of topics is a good start, but there will inevitably be instances where there are discrepancies about what is considered an "issue ad." When Facebook's appeals process is eventually established, these discrepancies would likely be taken up there.
Go deeper: The impact on political campaigning
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Google has emailed publishers an update to their ad serving platform, called "Ad Technology Provider (ATP) Controls," that allows publishers to select GDPR-compliant ad tech vendors moving forward.
Go deeper: See what it looks like
More than four in 10 Americans think the news media's coverage of President Trump is too critical, a level of dissatisfaction that has remained remarkably consistent since Trump took office, according to an Axios/SurveyMonkey poll analyzed by Axios' Kim Hart.
Why it matters: Partisan polarization about the fairness of media coverage appears to be just as locked in as it was after the 2016 election. Most Republicans (87%) say coverage is "too critical" — exactly the same as in a Feb. 2017 poll asking the same question.
Former ESPN CEO John Skipper been appointed Executive Chairman at the UK-based global sports media company Perform Group.
Skipper will be based in New York and will oversee all of Perform Group's operations and strategy and report to the Board. He resigned as ESPN president after five years on the job, citing substance abuse issues.
Photo: Ken Levine / Getty Staff
The Interactive Advertising Bureau, which hosts the annual digital "NewFront" advertising presentations in New York every year is setting up a similar series of presentations on the West Coast called "NewFronts West," Deadline reports.
Details: The event will take place Oct. 9-10 at NewHouse Hollywood. Time slots will be available for up to 16 digital video companies that want to showcase their content and capabilities to marketers on the West Cost.
PS ... Upcoming TV UpFronts schedule this week: Univision (May 14), Fox (May 14 ), NBCU (May 14), Disney/ABC (May 15), ESPN (May 15), Turner (May 16), CBS (May 16)