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Archivo del Autor: Belen De Leon

AT&T completes its acquisition of Time Warner

AT&T has sealed the deal to buy Time Warner in a major piece of media and technology consolidation.

The deal — which is $85.4 billion and a total of $108 billion with debt — was first announced in October 2016 and, having passed a court approval earlier this week, it was completed on Thursday.

That’s a long cycle to complete a transaction, but this is a complicated one that sees AT&T take control of Time Warner, as well as HBO, Warner Brother’s film studio and its Turner channels. That’s likely to create a complicated web of conflicts, as both media distribution and content creation come together under the same parent.

“The content and creative talent at Warner Bros., HBO and Turner are first-rate. Combine all that with AT&T’s strengths in direct-to-consumer distribution, and we offer customers a differentiated, high-quality, mobile-first entertainment experience,” Randall Stephenson, chairman and CEO of AT&T, said in a statement. “We’re going to bring a fresh approach to how the media and entertainment industry works for consumers, content creators, distributors and advertisers.”

The deal is vital for AT&T. The firm said it expects to save $2.5 billion in “synergies” and return to significant revenue growth within four years. For a snapshot, AT&T’s new look business — which will include Time Warner and Turner — generated some $31 billion last year alone.

This week’s court decision followed a government antitrust suit to block the deal on the grounds that the vertical merger — a term for when companies that provide different or complementary offerings join forces — could harm consumers, particularly on price. The deal was dubbed the antitrust case of the decade, and it was the first time a court has adjudicated over a vertical merger since cell phones were invented, and thus changed the media and distribution landscape.

Now done, AT&T-Time Warner has opened the gate for other mega media deals. This week, Comcast launched a $65 billion bid for Fox, setting up a battle with Disney which bid $52.4 billion in December.

Disclosure: TechCrunch is owned by Oath, a digital media subsidiary of Verizon which competes with Comcast and AT&T.


Source: TechCrunch

FIFA is going to ref the hell out of the World Cup this year – CNET

Its new video assistant referee system isn’t loved by all, but it had a quiet debut as the tournament opened.
Source: CNET

We heard you like Fortnite! (But does every game really need battle royale?) video – CNET

Battle royale is the latest gaming craze. But wait a minute, do we really need to see Yoshi Royale?
Source: CNET

Fortnite: Battle Royale copycats are falling out of the sky – CNET

The world is going crazy over battle royale games. But when we see Yoshi and Cuphead entering the thunder dome, that’s when it will have gone too far.
Source: CNET

China opened a footpath for people glued to their phones – CNET

One can finally check Instagram without being distracted by oncoming cars.
Source: CNET

China’s Didi Chuxing continues its international expansion with Australia launch

Didi Chuxing, China’s dominant ride-hailing company, is continuing its international expansion after it announced plans to launch in Australia this month.

The company — which bought Uber’s China business in 2016 — said it will begin serving customers in Melbourne from June 25 following a month-long trial period in Geelong, a neighboring city that’s 75km away. The business will be run by a Didi subsidiary in Australia and it plans to offer “a series of welcome packages to both drivers and riders” — aka discounts and promotions, no doubt. It began signing up drivers on June 1, the company added.

The Australia launch will again put Didi in direct competition with Uber, but that is becoming increasingly common, and also Ola and Didi which both count Didi as an investor — more on that below. This move follows forays into Taiwan, Mexico and Brazil this year as Didi has finally expanded beyond its China-based empire.

Didi raised $4 billion in December to develop AI, general technology and to fund international expansion and it has taken a variety of routes to doing the latter. This Australia launch is organic, with Didi developing its own team, while in Taiwan it has used a franchise model and it went into Brazil via acquisition, snapping up local Uber-rival 99 at a valuation of $1 billion.

It is also set to enter Japan where it has teamed up with investor SoftBank on a joint-venture.

“In 2018, Didi will continue to cultivate markets in Latin America, Australia and Japan. We are confident a combination of world-class transportation AI technology and deep local expertise will bring a better experience to overseas markets,” the company added in a statement.

This international expansion has also brought a new level of confusion since Didi has cultivated relationships with other ride-hailing companies across the world while also expanding its own presence internationally.

The Uber deal brought with it a stock swap — turning Didi and Uber from competitors into stakeholders — and the Chinese company has also backed Grab in Southeast Asia, Lyft in the U.S., Ola in India, Careem in the Middle East and — more recentlyTaxify, which is primarily focused on Europe and Africa.

In the case of Australia, Didi will come up against Uber, Ola — present in Melbourne, Perth and Sydney via an expansion made earlier this year — and Taxify, too. Uber vs Didi is to be expected — that’s a complicated relationship — but in taking on Ola (so soon after it came to Australia), Didi is competing directly with a company that it funded via an investment deal for the first time.

That might be a small insight into Didi’s relationship with Ola. Unlike Grab, which has seen Didi follow-on its investments, the Chinese firm sat out Ola’s most recent fundraising last year despite making an investment in the company back in 2015.

“The ride-hailing industry is still a young business, and the potential for growth is substantial. Competition exists in ride-hailing, like in any flourishing industry. But it leads to better products and services, which ultimately benefits users,” Didi told TechCrunch in a statement when asked about its new rivalry with Ola and Taxify.

Ola declined to comment. Taxify did not immediately reply to a request for comment.

The move into Australia comes at a time when Didi is under intense pressure following the death of a passenger uses its ‘Hitch’ service last month.

The company suspended the Hitch service — which allows groups people who are headed in the same direction together — and removed a number of features while limiting its operations to day-time only. This week, it said it would resume night-time rides but only for drivers picking up passengers of the same sex.


Source: TechCrunch

China's ride-sharing giant Didi Chuxing is expanding to Australia – Roadshow

The company absorbed Uber China in 2016, and is slowly going global.
Source: CNET

We asked three burning questions about E3 2018 video – CNET

Because we can’t only trust Jeff Bakalar’s opinion, he asked CBSi colleagues about what they thought of E3 2018.
Source: CNET

AT&T completes $85 billion mega-merger with Time Warner – CNET

Deal closes a day early after government said it wouldn’t seek a stay to freeze the deal.
Source: CNET

DOJ won't ask judge to delay AT&T-Time Warner merger – CNET

The government might still appeal the court’s decision though.
Source: CNET

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