Social media firms summoned to U.S. Congressional hearings on Russia

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Representatives of Facebook, Twitter and Google have been asked to appear on Nov. 1 at hearings on alleged Russian interference in U.S. politics called by the U.S. Senate and House Intelligence Committees, officials said. Facebook and Twitter have already agreed to send representatives to the Senate committee hearing, a Congressional official said. An official knowledgeable about House committee plans declined to disclosed whether the companies have agreed to send representatives to its hearing. Sources said that Google had not yet notified the committees that it would send representatives to the hearings, though ultimately the company was likely Click Here to Read more

AT&T subscriber losses highlight cord-cutting threat: analysts

NEW YORK (Reuters) – AT&T Inc’s third-quarter video losses sent pay-TV industry shares down on Thursday after Wall Street analysts raised concerns about the continued threat of consumers cancelling their cable and satellite television subscriptions. The No. 2 U.S. wireless carrier, which owns satellite television service DirecTV, said in a filing on Wednesday that it lost 90,000 U.S. video subscribers in the quarter due to intense competition in traditional pay TV markets as well as the impact of the recent hurricanes. Shares were down 3 percent on Thursday morning. “It should be clear that DirecTV, like all of its Cable Click Here to Read more

Drug chains tumble on reports Amazon eyeing their pie

(Reuters) – Shares of drug retailers Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O), CVS Health Corp (CVS.N) and Rite Aid Corp (RAD.N) tumbled on Friday after reports that Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) was looking to make a move into selling drugs online. Amazon is reported to be in discussions with mid-market pharmacy benefit managers and has been hiring talent to assess the drug retailing market for its entry, brokerage firm Leerink analyst Ana Gupte wrote in a note to clients. “We are convinced that AMZN will almost certainly enter the drug distribution value chain within 2 years, evolving into a more disruptive offering Click Here to Read more

Chinese state media report bloated battery in Apple’s iPhone 8

BEIJING (Reuters) – A fresh case of Apple Inc’s new iPhone popping open due to a swollen battery has been reported in state media in China, the world’s biggest smartphone market where the U.S. firm is seeking to revive faltering sales. The incident comes as Apple investigates similar cases reported in Taiwan and Japan of batteries in its latest iPhone 8 Plus becoming bloated, causing the device’s casing to open. On its website on Thursday, China’s state-backed ThePaper.cn cited an iPhone buyer surnamed Liu as saying his newly purchased iPhone 8 Plus arrived cracked open on Oct. 5. There was Click Here to Read more

China approves HP’s $1.1 billion buy of Samsung’s printer business with curbs

BEIJING (Reuters) – China said on Thursday it has approved HP Inc’s (HPQ.N) $1.1 billion purchase of Samsung Electronics’ (005930.KS) printer business with certain restrictions, citing concerns about the U.S. firm’s dominance of the domestic laser printer market. HP announced the deal in September 2016, hoping to disrupt the $55 billion copier market by focusing on multifunction printers and more deeply embedding mobile and cloud printing technologies to its product solutions. It hoped at the time to close the transaction within 12 months, pending regulatory review. In a statement issued late on Thursday, the Ministry of Commerce said sale of Click Here to Read more

Social media executives to testify Nov. 1 about Russia and U.S. election

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Executives from Facebook Inc (FB.O), Twitter Inc (TWTR.N) and Alphabet Inc’s (GOOGL.O) Google have been asked to testify about Russian meddling in the 2016 U.S. election before a House of Representatives panel on Nov. 1, a congressional aide said on Thursday. Executives from the companies were already due to appear the same day before the Senate Intelligence Committee, which is also investigating Moscow’s alleged role in the election. . But the aide said they had also been asked to offer testimony at a public hearing of the House Intelligence Committee. Aides to the committee’s leaders declined comment. Click Here to Read more

Netflix ups U.S. fees for first time since 2015

(Reuters) – Netflix Inc’s U.S. business (NFLX.O) announced the first rises in monthly fees in two years on Thursday, hiking costs for two of its three main subscription plans as it spends heavily on its own original content. The company’s mid-range plan, which allows streaming on two devices at the same time, was increased to $10.99 per month from $9.99. nflx.it/2kpEiJk The top-tier plan, which allows streaming on four screens in high definition, was raised to $13.99 per month from $11.99. The basic plan fee remained at $7.99. Shares in the global streaming pioneer rose as much as 4.5 percent Click Here to Read more

Netflix increases monthly subscription fees for two plans

(Reuters) – Netflix Inc (NFLX.O) has raised the monthly subscription fees for two out of its three main U.S. plans by $1 and $2 respectively, according to details published on the company’s subscription page on Thursday. The company’s midrange plan, which allows streaming on two devices at the same time, was increased to $10.99 per month from $9.99, according to the details on the page. nflx.it/2kpEiJk The top-tier plan, which allows streaming on four screens in high definition, was raised to $13.99 per month from $11.99. The basic plan fee remained at $7.99. Shares of the company rose as much Click Here to Read more

London mayor welcomes Uber boss’ humility after license loss

LONDON (Reuters) – London Mayor Sadiq Khan welcomed the humility shown by Uber’s [UBER.UL] chief executive after the city stripped the taxi app of its license to operate, but once again criticized the company’s London management on Thursday. Transport for London (TfL) shocked Uber last month by deeming it unfit to run a taxi service and refusing to renew its license, citing the firm’s approach to reporting serious criminal offences and background checks on drivers. Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi met TfL Commissioner Mike Brown on Tuesday for discussions both sides described as “constructive.” Khan said he did not have talks Click Here to Read more

Google launches new phones, speakers in hardware push

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Alphabet Inc’s Google (GOOGL.O) on Wednesday unveiled the second generation of its Pixel smartphone along with new voice-enabled home speakers, redoubling its commitment to the hardware business as it competes with a surge of devices from Apple Inc (AAPL.O) and Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O). The new devices, which include a Pixelbook laptop, wireless earbuds and a small GoPro-like camera, showcase Google-developed operating systems and services, notably the voice assistant. That means usage of those devices should stoke the company’s core ad sales business as buyers of the hardware use Google services like search and maps. The Pixel Click Here to Read more

EU takes Ireland to court for not claiming Apple tax windfall

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Wednesday it was taking Ireland to the European Court of Justice for its failure to recover up to 13 billion euros ($15.3 billion) of tax due from Apple Inc (AAPL.O), a move labeled as “regrettable” by Dublin. The Commission ordered the U.S. tech giant in August 2016 to pay the unpaid taxes as it ruled the firm had received illegal state aid, one of a number of deals the EU has targeted between multinationals and usually smaller EU states. “More than one year after the Commission adopted this decision, Ireland has still Click Here to Read more

EU takes Ireland to EU court over 13 billion euro Apple tax bill

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The European Commission said on Wednesday it was taking Ireland to the European Court of Justice for its failure to recover up to 13 billion euros ($15.3 billion) of tax due from Apple Inc (AAPL.O). The Commission ordered the U.S. tech giant in August 2016 to pay the unpaid taxes as it ruled the firm had received illegal state aid, one of a number of deals the EU has targeted between multinationals and usually smaller EU states. “More than one year after the Commission adopted this decision, Ireland has still not recovered the money, also not in Click Here to Read more

Wisconsin, Michigan were key targets of Russia-linked ads on Facebook: CNN

(Reuters) – Russia-linked Facebook ads during last year’s U.S. presidential election mainly focussed on the states of Michigan and Wisconsin, CNN reported on Tuesday. The ads targeted key demographic groups and used divisive messages including promoting anti-Muslim sentiment, the report said, citing sources. cnn.it/2klAM2y Wisconsin and Michigan were among the handful of battleground states that helped Trump win the presidency over Democratic rival Hillary Clinton. Trump carried Wisconsin by 22,748 votes and Michigan by 10,700 votes. About 10 million people in the United States saw politically divisive ads on Facebook which were purchased in Russia in the months before and Click Here to Read more

Foreign government code reviews ‘problematic’: White House cyber official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Allowing foreign governments to require reviews of software secrets of technology products built by U.S. companies is “problematic,” the top White House cyber security official said on Tuesday, adding that the increasingly common arrangements presented both security and intellectual property risks. Rob Joyce, the White House cyber security coordinator, said that letting countries inspect source code, the closely guarded internal instructions of software, as a condition for entry into foreign markets was a protectionist effort by certain regimes that threatened a “free and open internet” and could “hobble” a product’s security and privacy features. Reuters on Monday Click Here to Read more

Foreign government code reviews ‘problematic’: top White House cyber official

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Allowing foreign governments to require reviews of software secrets of technology products built by U.S. companies is “problematic,” the top White House cyber security official said on Tuesday, adding that the increasingly common arrangements presented both security and intellectual property risks. Rob Joyce, the White House cyber security coordinator, said that letting countries inspect source code, the closely guarded internal instructions of software, as a condition for entry into foreign markets was a protectionist effort by certain regimes that threatened a “free and open internet” and could “hobble” a product’s security and privacy features. Reuters on Monday Click Here to Read more