Your digest of the week’s top media, entertainment and technology news.
BBC, ITV & C4 plot streaming service?
The trio of British broadcasters have reportedly held early-stage talks to join combine forces to create a UK streaming service set to rival Netflix and Amazon SVOD services. According to The Guardian, the strategic benefits are clear however the project could be “fraught with difficulty”.
BT to cut 13,000 jobs
In a restructuring move the telecoms giant has announced it will cut 12% of its workforce over the next three years in a move to “slim-down management and back office jobs,” the BBC reported. BT said the cutbacks would help reduce costs by £1.5 billion with a third of the job reductions coming from outside the UK in its global services division.
Vodafone to buy Liberty Global EU assets
The $21.9 billion deal aims to grow Vodafone’s presence in German and Eastern European as a leader in cable TV, broadband and mobile services. Reuters reported, the companies expect the deal to be completed mid-2019 where Vodafone will become one of the few players with scale to provide a full range of entertainment and communications services.
Google launches AI assistant software
Google’s annual IO developer’s conference unveiled artificial intelligence (AI) software which is capable of booking appointments and using voice services to conduct conversations on behalf of the user. The BBC reported the software and improvements on the virtual assistant could be Google’s answer to rival its market competitors.
Bidding war for 21CF continues
Comcast is talking to investment banks about usurping Disney’s $52 billion bid for 21st Century Fox reported CNN. The offer would see Comcast make a cash offer around $60 billion for the same assets Fox has agreed to sell to Disney.
Qualcomm $10B share repurchase
Chipmaker Qualcomm announced on Wednesday its board has approved the $10 billion buyback programme replacing the March 2015 scheme, which has $1.2 billion remaining. Bloomberg reported the company shares rose 2.5 percent in extended trading following the buyback announcement.
Apple, Intel, Microsoft & Uber approved for drone testing
The US government has approved a 10 pilot programme to test the range of tasks drones could perfrom, including delivery, digital mapping and surveillance. The next testing sees a waiver of regulation which currently bans the flight of unmanned aerial vehicles in the US. The Guardian reported, the noticeable absence of Amazon, the company said their rejection from the programme was “unfortunate” but remains optimistic to be approved in the future.