Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
Facebook, Amazon and Google under EU fire
The technology giants are facing challenges to their business models in Europe as regulators weigh up the competition and copyright issues after Germany’s Federal Cartel office published finding from a three-year investigation. The Financial Times reported the German regulator is expected to enforce new rules on how third-party data should be processed. The plans are part of a wider overhaul from EU watchdogs to acknowledge the impact the Silicon Valley technology companies have.
GSMA calls ‘crisis’ meeting over Huawei
GSMA director general Mats Granryd has written to members of the telecom operator trade association proposing to open a debate around the exclusion of Huawei from key markets amid security concerns. There are fears that such action could delay the rollout of 5G. Reuters reported that the board meeting will take place ahead of Mobile World Congress in Barcelona at the end of the month.
UK Labour party proposes tech regulator
Labour deputy leader Tom Watson shared party plans to create a dedicated technology regulator and a Digital Bill of Rights to prevent market abuse and look to break up monopolies like Facebook, Reuters reported. Social media firms would be held accountable under the new regulations, in the “public interest” in the wake of Facebook purchasing Instagram and its ability to market users data “in a dangerous way.”
UK investigates Google in GDPR breach
The UK data watchdog ISO, in investigating complaints that Google is breaking privacy laws and breaching the global data protection regulation (GDPR) that came into force last year. According to the Telegraph, if Google is found in breach it will face fines of up to 4% of its global turn over, which could reach close to £4 billion based on its 2017 figures. It would be the second major fine after French regulator fined Google £44 million earlier this year.
Netflix viewers down to Super Bowl
The streaming service revealed on Monday its viewership statistics were down 32% compared to a normal Sunday because of the Super Bowl, Mashable reported.
MTV launches SVOD app for the UK
Viacom’s Viacom International Media Networks unit is launching MTV’s first direct-to-consumer subscription video-on-demand (SVoD) streaming app, dubbed MTV Play. According to the Hollywood Reporter, the service will initially only be available in the UK and cost £3.99 per month targetted at younger mobile-first audiences and include catch-up and box set content as well as a live feed of the MTV UK linear channel.
EE to demo 5G hologram
EE will showcase its 5G network at the British Academy Film Awards (BAFTAs), joining Vodafone as the latest operator to trial the use of hologram technology. EE will use its Shudu character in hologram form to analyse and detect each star’s outfit. Advanced Television reported its the world’s first AI stylist using Google Pixel 3 technology.
Switch Media expands into Europe
Australian content streaming service Switch Media has acquired Swedish media system integration consultancy Mediasmiths AB as part of its growth plans. IT Wire reported, the acquisition adds to its services which include consultation to delivery and on going services for broadcasters. Mark Johns chief executive said: “Europe is well and truly at the inflection point with rapid growth expected over the next few years, and Western Europe OTT TV episode and movie revenue set to hit more than US$23 billion by 2023.”