european-union-fine-croppedEU Regulators Hit Google with $1.69B Fine

European regulators levied a $1.69 billion fine against Google this week, claiming the search titan had blocked it online rivals. It’s the third time in two years the European Union has cracked down hard on Google and issued major penalties. In 2017, Google was fined $1.7 billion by the EU, and in 2018, it was fined $5 billion.

“Margrethe Vestager, the E.U.'s competition commissioner, announced the results of the long-running probe of Google's AdSense advertising business case at a news conference in Brussels on Wednesday,” according to NBC News. “While the fines are sizable compared to previous penalties against other companies, they are dwarfed by Google's revenues, which stood at $136.8 billion in 2018.”


movie-croppedDisney Buys 21st Century Fox for $71.3B

21st Century Fox has become part of the global Disney entertainment empire, adding a treasure chest of high quality content to Disney’s already vast collection of movies, videos, images, music and other forms of intellectual property. Disney is expected to pay $71.3 billion for the Fox assets.

“The goal of the enormous deal is to help Disney position itself for a streaming-centric future. The company has already taken a step in that direction with the ESPN+ streaming service, and it has plans to launch another service called Disney+ later this year, which will include new shows based on the Star Wars and Marvel universes, as well as Disney’s entire movie library,” writes Anthony Ha of TechCrunch.

The deal does not include Fox News, Fox Sports or the Fox Broadcast network. But Disney got what it wanted, which was a library of great entertainment content for streaming.

“With the Fox acquisition, Disney has even more films, TV shows and intellectual property to draw on,” writes Ha. “It also becomes the majority owner of Hulu, with CEO Bob Iger saying that Disney will invest in more original content for Hulu and help it expand internationally.”


airpods-croppedApple Announces 2nd Generation AirPods, But What About the AirPower Charger?

Apple’s new AirPods have been unveiled, but some are wondering what happened to the AirPower charger that was announced in 2017.

The charger, writes Chaim Gartenberg of The Verge, “was presented as an elegant, Apple-like solution to the present problem of keeping your ever-multiplying stack of Apple hardware charged. Instead of fumbling for a wire or three, AirPower promised to let you just drop your Apple Watch, your iPhone, and your AirPods on a charging pad and pick them up, fully charged, in the morning.”

But as Gartenberg notes, “AirPower never shipped, and neither did a version of Apple’s AirPods that could take advantage of any wireless charging pad — until today, when Apple announced the new AirPods without so much as a mention that AirPower might still be on the way.” 

Where is AirPower? The fate of the new charger remains a mystery – at least for now.