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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.

Business

Elon Musk under fire from shareholders over Twitter deal

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Elon Musk during SNL appearance

Twitter shareholders are filing a lawsuit against billionaire Elon Musk, alleging he manipulated the company’s stock for personal gain.

The complaints focus on Musk’s conduct after signing the purchase agreement with Twitter’s board in April.

It’s alleged Musk make statements and sent tweets that put the deal in doubt, and drove Twitter’s stocks down.

It comes as the Tesla CEO says the deal “cannot move forward” without more information about automated accounts on the platform.

The lawsuit is a class action proposal brought by a small group of shareholders… they are seeking damages that would be distributed to anyone holding the company’s stock.

Twitter has declined to comment on the unfolding case.

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Tech

Twitter to pay $150mil penalty for violating user privacy

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Twitter hits pause on verification requests

Twitter has agreed to pay a 150 million dollar fine for privacy violations after failing to protect user data for over 6 years

America’s Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department says Twitter allegedly deceived its users about how their private information was being used.

The regulating bodies allege that the company has been using the private phone numbers and emails of its users to assist companies to send targeted ads.

The San Francisco-based company told its users that their information was being harnessed for security purposes, failing to disclose how it would also be used to enable targeted ads.

The violation of the 2011 order allegedly led to a series of vulnerabilities that facilitated hackers to infiltrate the platform and access private user information.

Along with the settlement, Twitter will also have to meet new measures.

In November, Twitter announced that it will create a committee for data governance within the company.

Samantha Hogan contributed to this article.

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Business

WhatsApp warns users about alerts

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WhatsApp is warning all 2 billion users to watch out for new alerts

The popular messaging service is warning users over fresh app danger.

The tech giant is alerting users why unencrypted chats are so risky.

Encryption is a system of encoding and decoding messages.

Not even WhatsApp can read your messages, which makes it difficult for law enforcement.

WhatsApp is showing a fresh warning that reminds users why encryption matters.

The app shows a new footer for end-to-end encryption that shows up at the bottom of your status updates, call history, chats list and devices list.

The pop-up explains what WhatsApp encrypts.

This includes your text and voice messages, video and phone calls, sharing photos, videos, documents and your location, and status updates.

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