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Major merge – US computer security firm’s $8 billion purchase

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US computer security firm Norton has purchased Avast for over $8 billion

Norton’s Chief Executive says the move is a “huge step forward for consumer cyber safety”.

NORTON

The deal secures a leading cyber consumer business and is expected to create a new entity with over 500 million users.

Avast is based in Prague and its offices will be retained. Meanwhile, Norton will retain its offices in Arizona.

The two companies said in the joint press release that their respective boards of directors see an opportunity to “create a new, industry-leading consumer Cyber Safety business, leveraging the established brands, technology and innovation of both groups to deliver substantial benefits to consumers, shareholders, and other stakeholders.”

The two companies said the deal will bring together product lines that are broadly complementary, while giving the combined company a user base of over half a billion customers.

“The deal will broaden the geographic market coverage of the combined company. In addition, the two expect to realise “$280 million of annual gross cost synergies.”

AVAST

NortonLifeLock CEO Vincent Pilette called the deal “a huge step forward for consumer Cyber Safety” that he said “will ultimately enable us to achieve our vision to protect and empower people to live their digital lives safely.”

 “With this combination, we can strengthen our Cyber Safety platform and make it available to more than 500 million users. We will also have the ability to further accelerate innovation to transform Cyber Safety.”

Costa is a news producer at ticker NEWS. He has previously worked as a regional journalist at the Southern Highlands Express newspaper. He also has several years' experience in the fire and emergency services sector, where he has worked with researchers, policymakers and local communities. He has also worked at the Seven Network during their Olympic Games coverage and in the ABC Melbourne newsroom. He also holds a Bachelor of Arts (Professional), with expertise in journalism, politics and international relations. His other interests include colonial legacies in the Pacific, counter-terrorism, aviation and travel.

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Ramifications of a TikTok ban to impact Open Internet

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The United States’ longstanding advocacy for an open internet faces a critical juncture as Congress considers legislation targeting TikTok.

The proposed measures, including a forced sale or outright ban of TikTok, have sparked concerns among digital rights advocates and global observers about the implications for internet freedom and international norms.

For decades, the U.S. has championed the concept of an unregulated internet, advocating for the free flow of digital data across borders.

However, the move against TikTok, a platform with 170 million U.S. users, has raised questions about the consistency of America’s stance on internet governance.

Read more – Big tech to handover misinformation data

Critics fear that actions against TikTok could set a precedent for other countries to justify their own internet censorship measures.

Russian blogger Aleksandr Gorbunov warned that Russia could use the U.S. decision to justify further restrictions on platforms like YouTube.

Similarly, Indian lawyer Mishi Choudhary expressed concerns that a U.S. ban on TikTok would embolden the Indian government to impose additional crackdowns on internet freedoms.

Moreover, the proposed legislation could complicate U.S. efforts to advocate for an internet governed by international organizations rather than individual countries.

China, in particular, has promoted a vision of internet sovereignty, advocating for greater national control over online content.

A TikTok ban could undermine America’s credibility in urging other countries to embrace a more open internet governed by global standards.

 

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BlackRock CEO Larry Fink says AI leads to higher wages

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Larry Fink, the CEO of BlackRock Inc., has outlined his vision for the impact of the firm’s investment in artificial intelligence.

During the company’s recent earnings call, Fink emphasized the connection between productivity gains driven by AI and the potential for rising wages among BlackRock’s workforce.

He explained the firm’s ambition to leverage AI technology to enhance efficiency, enabling employees to accomplish more with fewer resources.

Fink’s remarks underscore BlackRock’s strategic approach to harnessing AI as a tool for optimising operations and driving organisational growth.

Read more – Australia’s productivity gap widens

By leveraging AI-driven productivity enhancements, the company aims to empower its employees to deliver greater value, thereby paving the way for wage increases across the organisation.

The CEO’s statement reflects a broader trend in the intersection of technology and labor dynamics, where advancements in AI and automation have the potential to reshape workforce dynamics and compensation structures.

Fink’s optimism about the transformative impact of AI investment on employee wages highlights BlackRock’s commitment to embracing technological innovation as a catalyst for sustainable business growth and employee prosperity.

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How Udio could threaten the entire music industry

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The music industry faces a formidable challenger in the form of AI technology application Udio.

With the emergence of a groundbreaking new app, concerns are mounting over its potential to revolutionise music creation and consumption.

The app, powered by advanced algorithms and machine learning, promises to streamline the music production process, allowing users to generate high-quality tracks with minimal effort.

Tom Finnigan from Talkingbrands.ai joins to discuss Udio, along with the goods and bads of AI integration in the music industry.

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