Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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☕️ FTC can't block $69B Microsoft-Activision deal

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Here's the latest tech news from the last 24 hours:


🎮 Microsoft's $69 billion Activision acquisition gets green light
🐦 Twitter blocks links to its rival Threads
🛒 Amazon challenges EU content rules, claims it isn't a 'Very Large Online Platform'
🧠 Anthropic's $4.1 billion OpenAI rival debuts Claude 2, a safer AI model
💡 Bill Gates isn't too worried about the risks of AI

🎮 Microsoft's $69 billion Activision acquisition gets green lightLINK

  • A federal judge in San Francisco denied the FTC's motion to halt Microsoft's acquisition of Activision Blizzard, arguing the FTC was unlikely to prove the merger would substantially reduce competition.
  • Judge Jacqueline Scott Corley's decision, with heavily redacted sections concerning company assets and performance, revealed key financial figures through poorly redacted earlier filings.
  • The FTC's motion, filed to disrupt the deal before its July 18 deadline, had already launched an administrative action to investigate the deal's effect on gaming markets.
  • 🐦 Twitter blocks links to its rival ThreadsLINK

  • Twitter, led by CEO Linda Yaccarino, has reportedly been blocking links to Instagram Threads, a new competitor, which amassed over 100 million users since its launch on July 5th.
  • Twitter traffic has seemingly declined since the debut of Threads, with reports citing data from web analytics firm Similarweb that shows a decrease of 5% and 11% compared to the previous week and the same days in 2022, respectively.
  • Despite the surging popularity of Threads, its long-term future is uncertain as similar spikes in user numbers have fizzled out after initial interest wanes, as seen with open-source Twitter rival Mastodon.
  • 🛒 Amazon challenges EU content rules, claims it isn't a 'Very Large Online Platform'LINK

  • Amazon has challenged its inclusion in the European Union's list of 17 "very large online platforms" (VLOPs) under the Digital Services Act (DSA), which imposes stricter regulations on online content.
  • The company argues that the VLOP designation, which requires compliance with regulations regarding hate speech, disinformation, and counterfeits, should apply to businesses with advertising as their primary revenue source, a criterion Amazon doesn't meet as a majority of their revenue comes from retail.
  • The DSA, implemented last November, imposes risk assessments, external auditing, and other compliance measures on companies with more than 45 million monthly active users; non-compliance could result in fines up to 6% of annual revenue.
  • 🧠 Anthropic's $4.1 billion OpenAI rival debuts Claude 2, a safer AI modelLINK

  • AI startup Anthropic, founded by former OpenAI research executives, is introducing its new AI chatbot, Claude 2, to consumers following successful tests with businesses like Slack, Notion, and Quora.
  • Claude 2, which has the capability to summarize up to about 75,000 words, will initially be available to users in the U.S. and U.K., with plans for broader availability in the coming months.
  • Anthropic's introduction of Claude 2 adds to the rapidly growing field of generative AI chatbots, with major players including Microsoft-backed OpenAI's ChatGPT and Google's Bard, despite ongoing concerns about bias propagation.
  • 💡 Bill Gates isn't too worried about the risks of AILINK

  • Bill Gates discusses the risks of AI in a recent blog post, highlighting concerns over AI-generated misinformation, increased cyberattack threats, job displacement, biases, and the potential for AI tools to deter learning essential skills.
  • Gates remains optimistic about managing AI risks, citing historical success in mitigating risks from new technologies, and suggests that AI might provide solutions to problems it creates, such as AI-powered deepfake detectors.
  • While addressing imminent risks, Gates avoids discussion on long-term threats, such as powerful AI systems developing conflicting goals with humanity, and ignores inequalities associated with AI development, like underpaid workers and legal issues with data usage.
  • Other news you might like

    Elizabeth Holmes, Theranos co-founder, had her prison sentence for defrauding investors reduced by two years, with a new release date in December 2032.LINK

    Senior Taliban leader Anas Haqqani lauds Twitter for its commitment to free speech, criticizes Meta's policy, amidst Twitter's increasing popularity among Taliban members.LINK

    Tucker Carlson's Twitter show sees a significant drop in viewership from 26.7m to 3.8m views amidst platform turbulence under Elon Musk.LINK

    Apple opens a store on China's dominant messaging app, WeChat, expanding retail presence in China amidst declining smartphone market yet increasing Apple market share.LINK


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