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Microsoft wins E.U. antitrust approval for Activision acquisition

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The European Commission says the transaction was pro-competition, due to Microsoft’s agreement to licence titles

Microsoft has won E.U. antitrust approval for its $69 billion acquisition of Activision.

The European Commission says the transaction was pro-competition, due to Microsoft’s agreement to licence popular Activision games such as “Call of Duty” to rival game streaming platforms.

After initially having concerns, the E.U. Competition Commissioner reveals their issues have been addressed.

“We had a concern about cloud gaming,” Margrethe Vestager said. “Very nascent right now, but it will grow.”

“We saw none of the Activision Blizzard games that we are talking about, being available.

“This was a concern, but we were given a remedy.”

The positive news is also shared by Microsoft’s European President, Brad Smith, who took to Twitter to share it.

“The European Commission has required Microsoft to license popular Activision Blizzard games automatically to competing cloud gaming services. This will apply globally and will empower millions of consumers worldwide to play these games on any device they choose,” he said.

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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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