Breakfast Briefing, 7.12.2017: Another day, another acquisition for Next 15

A day after announcing its acquisition of Velocity Partners, the holding company said it bought Circle Research for $6.7 million this morning. Plus: President Trump tweets praise for his son's appearance on 'Hannity.'

Next 15 chief Tim Dyson
Next 15 chief Tim Dyson

Another day, another acquisition for Next Fifteen. The holding company has acquired b-to-b market research consultancy Circle Research for $6.7 million. The London-based shop’s clients include Vodafone, Google, MasterCard, and Facebook, according to PRWeek UK. A day earlier, Next Fifteen said it acquired b-to-b digital agency Velocity Partners for $7.6 million.

Wednesday morning’s big story: Don Jr. and his emails. Looking for a soft landing, Donald Trump Jr. appeared on Fox News Channel’s Hannity on Tuesday night to claim the latest twist in the RussiaGate story, starring himself, is much ado about nothing. The money quote: "In retrospect, I probably would have done things a little differently." The appearance made President Donald Trump a proud papa, with the commander-in-chief tweeting on Wednesday morning that his son is "open, transparent, and innocent." However, Trump Jr.’s decision to tweet the email conversations at the center of the story after he was asked for comment will only further erode trust with the media, according to The New York Times (whose reporting drove him to disclose the emails). The episode has also put the White House communications staff in a bind, leaving it unable to defend Trump Jr. because he is not an administration employee, according to Politico.

You’ll be seeing unusual massages around the web today. Companies including Consumer Reports, Facebook, Google, Netflix, and Amazon are teaming up with industry bodies for the Day of Action to Save Net Neutrality. Their goal is to prompt users to call the Federal Communications Commission and urge it to leave Net Neutrality rules as they are. The groups say pulling back the regulations would result in slower loading times and more costly high-speed internet.

Google has been running an under-the-radar program paying academics for research supporting its business practices that face regulatory scrutiny, according to a Tuesday night scoop in The Wall Street Journal. With the goal of changing opinion and public policy, Google is paying $5,000 to $400,000 for research papers, according to the report.

Uber is telling investors to get ready for good news after months of scandal. The ride-hailing company told backers on Tuesday that last quarter’s bookings were up 10% from the previous period, according to Bloomberg. It also teased a narrower second-quarter loss and a possible legal settlement with Alphabet over its high-profile driverless car technology suit.

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