Your guide to what’s happened this week in the media, entertainment and technology industry.
EU approves Disney’s take over of Fox
European antitrust regulators have approved the Walt Disney $71.3 billion offer to acquire 21st Century Fox’s entertainment assets under the proviso it sells its stakes in TV channels across Europe. Deadline reported Disney is looking to get final approval for the merger with no impact on its US operations only the channels controlled by A+E Television Networks in Europe.
ProSieben cuts payout
German broadcaster has revised its payout ratio, announcing it would pay out half of its adjusted net profit and dividend from 2018 onwards, marking an 80-90% slump from previous years, potentially impacting earnings up to €400 million. According to Reuters, Finance Chief Jan Kemper said in a statement the financial freedom will allow for important investment in new content, platforms and technology.
AI reporter unveiled in China
China’s state news agency Xinhua has revealed a virtual newsreader using artificial intelligence (AI) technology to synthesise the presenters’ voices, lips and expressions based on real presenters. The benefits include working 24 hours a day and the ability to reduce the production costs of news, specifically for breaking stories, reported the BBC. However, the AI reporters have been criticised as “subtly unrealistic”.
Facebook doubles Dublin HQ
Facebook has taken a long-term lease in Dublin which quadruples the floor space at its international headquarters and will provide room for the social media giant to add 5,000 team members, Reuters reported. The location was selected because of its low corporate tax rates and confidence to grow one-in-ten jobs towards the economy.
Samsung’s foldable phone flawed
The smartphone manufacturers first foldable phone is set to be released “imminently” according to Forbes, however, there has been scepticism from critics on the seamless user interface and user experience that works with the format of a foldable phone. Samsung is working with Google on the software for the device.
Comcast develops broadband video streaming platform
Comcast is planning to debut a product for its broadband-only customers to enable the aggregation of streaming apps including Netflix and Amazon with a planned launch in 2019. According to CNBC, the offering is designed to be the hub of the home rather than a connected device for its broadband subscribers only, having announced last month broadband as its primary growth engine within the telecommunications business.
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