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Exclusive: The US is suing Google (again) to rein in its online ad dominance –



The US is suing Google (again) to rein in its online ad dominance

#suing #Google #rein #online #dominance

The Justice Department and eight states are suing Google over its digital ad business, accusing the company of using its dominance in the market to harm competitors and force ad buyers and sellers to use its products at less favorable terms for them than those another company might offer. Meanwhile, Google takes a healthy percentage off the top — at least 30 percent, the suit says.

“Website creators earn less, and advertisers pay more,” Attorney General Merrick Garland said in a press conference announcing the lawsuit.

That means, according to the DOJ, that websites that rely on digital advertising get less revenue from those ads than they otherwise would, which means less money to fund their offerings. Advertisers pay more than they should, and those costs are usually passed down to the customer.

The DOJ is seeking to force Google to sell or spin off parts of its digital ad arm so it will no longer have control over every side of the ad tech stack: the buyer side, seller side, and the exchange in the middle. Google earned about $169 billion in digital ads worldwide in 2022, but the vast majority of that revenue (as well as Google’s revenue, period) comes from search ads, which are ads that businesses place on user searches that might be relevant to them. This suit is targeting not Google’s search ad empire but rather the part of its business that places the ads on websites across the internet outside of Google’s properties. That’s a much smaller, yet still considerable, share of Google’s revenue.

In a rare move, the DOJ is also asking for monetary damages for the government, saying that Google’s anticompetitive inflated ad prices cost the government money through the $100 million of display ads it’s bought since 2019 to promote various agencies and services. Yes, the federal government is saying it, too, is a victim of Google’s bad ad behavior.

The lawsuit comes at a relatively grim time for Google, which has lost about 25 percent of its stock’s value in the last year and is in the process of laying off 12,000 people, which amounts to about 6 percent of its workforce. The DOJ suit is surely an unwelcome addition to Google’s woes. But lawsuits like this take years to make their way through the court system, and there’s no guarantee that the DOJ will win.

A more immediate threat to Google is that an additional fight with the government represents another distraction for a company that’s also pushing back against new regulations and contending with burgeoning competitive threats in some other areas. YouTube has had to introduce “Shorts” to keep up with TikTok. Microsoft is pouring billions of dollars into OpenAI, a company that rivals Google’s own AI efforts — and is threatening to use its ChatGPT chatbot to boost Microsoft’s search engine, Bing. Meanwhile, ad spending is down across the board, including for Google and its properties. Google’s ad business hasn’t been hit as hard as others, but its overall revenue is not growing by as much as it was before.

Google’s New York City office, with a red “Exit” sign prominent.

The exit at Google’s New York City office.
Eduardo Munoz Alvarez/VIEW press via Corbis/Getty Images

The DOJ has reportedly been preparing its case against Google’s digital ad business for years, even before the Biden administration. This latest suit also joins four other government antitrust lawsuits Google is already facing, including one DOJ suit from October 2020 over its search engine and search ad business and one filed by 38 state attorneys general in December of the same year, again over the search business. In July 2021, 37 state attorneys general sued Google over its Play app store, and 17 state attorneys general sued over the digital ad business in a similar case to what the DOJ is bringing now.

“Today’s lawsuit from the DOJ attempts to pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector,” Google said in a statement. Global ads vice president Dan Taylor said the lawsuit would harm the advertising industry and innovation, not help it, and that the government shouldn’t be able to force companies to unwind 15-year-old acquisitions that were once approved by regulators.

Google also pointed out that it’s in a crowded and competitive space. Google, Meta, and, increasingly, Amazon have the biggest shares of the digital advertising market in the US, with Google having the largest. The other antitrust enforcement agency, the Federal Trade Commission, has sued Meta and Microsoft, too, over acquisitions that it claims are anticompetitive.

The Chamber of Progress, a Google-funded Big Tech advocacy group, said in a statement that the case was “disconnected from economic reality” and that Google’s digital ad market share (estimated to be about 29 percent in 2022, giving it the largest share of any one company) was “at an all-time low.”

Antitrust advocates who have railed against Big Tech for years applauded the move. Kyle Morse, deputy executive director of the Tech Oversight Project, said in a statement that “Google is rightfully being held accountable for years of abuse in the online marketplace,” adding that Google’s rivals should take a lesson and rethink their own behavior. “Otherwise, you’re next,” Morse said.

The DOJ’s other antitrust lawsuit against Google — filed in October 2020 — is scheduled to go to trial in September 2023, which gives you an idea of how long it could be before the suit filed today sees the inside of a court. Google’s government troubles will likely stretch into the next decade, at which point there might be a totally new company dominating the internet.



Exclusive: Disney Plus is Taking Longer and Longer to Stream New Marvel Movies – CNET –




Disney Plus is Taking Longer and Longer to Stream New Marvel Movies     - CNET

#Disney #Longer #Longer #Stream #Marvel #Movies #CNET

After the depths of social distancing pushed a wave of big-budget movies straight to streaming, theatrical exclusives are the norm again. But for a while, it seemed like Disney and other big Hollywood movie studios might be falling into a new post-COVID rhythm for how long they kept flicks in theaters before streaming them, one that was much faster in shuttling films to a streaming service than before.

But now streaming release dates are all over the map. And for the biggest films, like Marvel’s, the waits seem to be stretching out longer and longer.

Black Panther: Wakanda Forever will take longer to start streaming on Disney Plus than any other Marvel movie in the pandemic era — and that may not bode well for how long you’ll have to wait to stream the Ant-Man and Guardians of the Galaxy sequels hitting theaters soon.

When will Black Panther: Wakanda Forever start streaming? 

Disney Plus will start streaming the Black Panther sequel early Wednesday, starting at 12:01 a.m. PT/3:01 a.m. ET. Its streaming-release date is more than three months after it hit theaters. 

How long will it take to stream Marvel’s next big movies?

It’s anybody’s guess, but it probably won’t be quick. 

Last year, Marvel released three films in theaters: Doctor Strange in the Multiverse of Madness in May, Thor: Love and Thunder in July and Wakanda Forever in mid-November. Doctor Strange took 47 days to reach Disney Plus. Thor hit Disney Plus 62 days after its theatrical release.

Now Wakanda Forever will take 82 days to start streaming. 

That’s the longest that a Marvel movie has spent in theaters before streaming on Disney Plus since the company resumed theatrical exclusives in 2021. That year, Shang-Chi and the Legend of the Ten Rings was in theaters for 70 days and Eternals for 68 days. 


(Coincidence or not, the Marvel film that Disney gave the shortest theatrical window among them also had the best overall box office performance. Doctor Strange and the Multiverse of Madness grossed more than $955 million worldwide. Wakanda Forever has generated $840 million.)

However, Wakanda Forever may have been held off Disney Plus so long because of a consideration that doesn’t apply to those other Marvel films this year: The movie, with a Black director and predominantly Black cast, is debuting on Disney Plus on the first day of Black History Month. Disney hasn’t stated any connection in the timing, but it’s possible the film’s wait to start streaming may have been drawn out to coincide.  

Still, big Hollywood companies like Disney aren’t prioritizing streaming-subscriber growth nearly as much as they did, depressing the incentive to bring big movies to a service quickly. 

Paramount, for example, kept Top Gun: Maverick off its streaming service for 209 days, nearly seven months. The strategy paid dividends at the box office, with the Top Gun sequel grossing nearly $1.5 billion.

Disney has been much more aggressive than Paramount at putting its movies onto its streaming service quickly, but Disney is starting to show that it may be holding back its big-budget films longer in theaters as well. With Ant-Man and the Wasp: Quantumania set to hit theaters next month, Guardians of the Galaxy Vol. 3 following in May and The Marvels arriving in July, you could be waiting more than three months to stream each of them if they stick to Wakanda Forever’s pace. 

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Exclusive: OnePlus 11R and OnePlus Pad set to be launched alongside OnePlus 11 on Feb 7 Cloud Event –




OnePlus 11R and OnePlus Pad set to be launched alongside OnePlus 11 on Feb 7 Cloud Event

#OnePlus #11R #OnePlus #Pad #set #launched #OnePlus #Feb #Cloud #Event

Although OnePlus has already launched its flagship device for the year, OnePlus 11 in China, they are yet to launch the device in India and the rest of the world. OnePlus has confirmed that the global launch of the OnePlus 11 will take place in India on February 7. However, it seems that OnePlus may be launching a bunch of other devices as well.

OnePlus 11R and OnePlus Pad set to be launched alongside OnePlus 11 on Feb 7 Cloud Event

OnePlus has a bunch of products lined up for its upcoming Cloud Event, including the OnePlus 11, OnePlus 11R, OnePlus Buds Pro 2, the OnePlus Keyboard, a new OnePlus TV and the OnePlus Pad.

OnePlus will also launch the OnePlus 11R along with the OnePlus 11. The OnePlus 11R hasn’t been launched anywhere else and was actually expected to be launched sometime in March or April. 

Amazon India pushed a notification prompt via its app yesterday, which said that the OnePlus 11R 5G will also launch on February 7th, 7:30 PM in India. OnePlus though is yet to make any such announcement.

OnePlus has a bunch of products to offer during its upcoming February 7th Cloud Event, including the OnePlus 11 5G, the OnePlus Buds Pro 2, its first-ever Keyboard, and the new OnePlus TV 65 Q2 Pro. It only makes sense that OnePlus, instead of just launching one of their premium smartphone devices at the event, may choose to launch the entire series on the same day.

A rumour has also surfaced which says that OnePlus may launch the OnePlus Pad as well at the event. Rumours of the OnePlus Pad have been going around since 2021 with more recent speculation suggesting a launch in 2023.

There isn’t much information out there about the OnePlus Pad. However, given the close ties that OnePlus has with Oppo, the OnePlus Pad may be a rebadged Oppo Pad or Oppo Pad Air.


Coming back the smartphones, the global version of the top tier OnePlus 11 is expected to with the latest Qualcomm Snapdragon 8 Gen2 SoC, a 6.7-inch E4 QHD+ OLED display with a 120Hz refresh rate, 50MP primary camera sensor with two additional cameras, 48MP and a 32MP unit, all of which have been tuned by Hasselblad, up to 512GB storage, and a large 5,000mAh battery which supports 100W fast charging. The OnePlus 11 is expected to be priced around the Rs 50,000 mark for the base variant.

The OnePlus 11R, on the other hand, is expected to come with a 6.7-inch FHD+ AMOLED panel with a 120Hz refresh rate and powered by a Snapdragon 8+ Gen 1 processor, which will likely be paired with up to 16GB RAM and up to 512GB storage. As for the cameras, the OnePlus 11R 5G is tipped to come with a 50MP + 12MP + 2MP triple rear camera setup and a 16MP selfie snapper. Lastly, the device will reportedly feature a 5,000mAh battery with 100W fast charging support.

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Exclusive: Tesla Cybertruck mass production won’t start until 2024 –




Tesla Cybertruck mass production won’t start until 2024

#TeslaCybertruck #mass #production #wont #start

Tesla’s long-anticipated Cybertruck won’t be seeing full volume production until 2024, Elon Musk said during the company’s fourth quarter earnings call today.

During the call, Musk was asked whether the forthcoming vehicle would meet a mid-2023 production target that was set in Q2 last year. Musk cagily confirmed that Cybertruck manufacturing would start “sometime this summer,” but concluded that mass production of the polarizing pickup won’t start until next year. “I always try to downplay the start of production,” Musk said. “It increases exponentially, but it is very slow at first.”

Cybertruck was originally announced in 2019 to widespread interest, but has seen its production delayed several times. Pre-production was originally supposed to start in late 2021, but was delayed as a result of the COVID-19 pandemic. It was then slated for sometime in 2023, a projection made a year ago. Additionally, last year Musk told investors Cybertruck’s specs and price “will be different,” (read: will be more expensive).

As a consolation prize, Tesla revealed on Wednesday that it has started installing the production equipment needed for the Cybertruck’s assembly, including the castings that will produce the electric pickup’s body. The Cybertruck is expected to be largely manufactured at the company’s Gigafactory in Austin, Texas.

Industry experts warned that the timeline needed to be sped up in order for the Cybertruck to have its desired impact. “Cybertruck will be hitting an increasingly crowded sector of the EV market amid the F-150 Lightning, GMC Hummer EV, Rivian R1T, and likely the Chevy Silverado EV and RAM 1500 EV following closely behind,” said Edmunds executive director of insights Jessica Cawell in an email to The Verge. “The downside for Tesla is that the Cybertruck almost seems like old news.”

There’s still a lot of attention on the Cybertruck after its over-the-top unveiling that introduced its aggressive, post apocalyptic design. Maybe if Tesla throws more metal balls around it can get production rolling.

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