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Recode Daily: Apple’s $30 billion spending plan

Apple CEO Tim Cook prepares to greet customers that will purchase a new iPhone X at an Apple Store on November 3, 2017 in Palo Alto, California. Justin Sullivan / Getty Images

Apple says it will bring hundreds of billions of dollars back to the U.S. from overseas. The company also announced plans to spend $30 billion in the U.S. over the next five years, funding an additional technical support campus, data centers and 20,000 new employees. Apple will also hand out bonuses in the form of $2,500 in restricted stock to most of its employees. Here’s a look at Apple’s cash reserves ($268,895,000,000 as of September 2017), how it uses them, and why it’s repatriating most of its cash and paying a one-time tax bill of $38 billion on it. [Alex Webb and Mark Gurman / Bloomberg]

Apple is also boosting the bank account of actresses like Reese Witherspoon and Nicole Kidman — by getting HBO to pay them more for its own programming. Apple, the newest tech entrant into the original content game, is spending very freely on new projects, and “that inflates the whole ecosystem of TV actor salaries”. [Lesley Goldberg / The Hollywood Reporter]

SurveyMonkey is expected to go public later this year, in what would be one of the most closely-watched IPOs of 2018. Last valued at $2 billion, SurveyMonkey is approaching its third decade as a private company; it would be at least the third major tech IPO of 2018: Spotify and Dropbox have already confidentially filed to list their stock publicly, probably in the first half of the year. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

Viacom vice chairman Shari Redstone has renewed her push to merge CBS with Viacom. Earlier this month, she reached out to CBS CEO Leslie Moonves to jump-start talks about the merger—potentially as soon as this quarter. Redstone and her father, Sumner Redstone, 94, control CBS and Viacom with a roughly 80 percent voting stake in each; she also wants to replace several members of the CBS board. [Keach Hagey and Joe Flint / The Wall Street Journal]

Facebook wants more people watching videos together at the same time, so it’s testing a new feature called “Watch Party” to encourage more user interaction, not just passive consumption. Meanwhile, CEO Mark Zuckerberg is fighting for changes to U.S. immigration policy, using his Facebook page to urge people to call their local congressperson in support of undocumented Dreamers. [Kurt Wagner / Recode]

Secondary market SharesPost is creating a program that will route cash from 10 big banks to startup executives and employees, who can then use their company equity as collateral for the loan. The concept makes the options more valuable to employees because they’re not going to be locked up before an IPO for 10 years. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]

Michael Wolff’s controversial Trump tell-all is coming to television.Endeavor Content purchased film and television rights to “Fire and Fury: Inside the Trump White House,” in a deal said to be in the seven-figure range. [Lesley Goldberg and Andy Lewis / The Hollywood Reporter]

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