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AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner draws regulatory scrutiny

AT&T is set to acquire Time Warner for $85.4 billion, giving it control over the latter's massive content if the deal is approved by regulators. Time Warner owns HBO, CNN and TBS. The deal will give AT&T multiple sources of revenues including potentially subscription revenues and advertising fees. They could also earn from the data based on the content that customers consume. The deal has sparked criticism from regulators with US lawmakers calling for an antitrust hearing on the issue, reports The Washington Post. Some antitrust experts think the FCC should be involved in the deal as it can put the company's competitors at an unfair disadvantage in different ways, including favoring its content over competitors in its platforms, offering unlimited streaming of Time Warner content or overcharging competitors to gain access to its content. The acquisition could also encourage other buyouts, adding more consolidation to the industry. Other carriers Verizon and Comcast are also buying content as they can drive network revenues.

Key Takeaway: 

AT&T’s acquisition deal with Time Warner, producer of entertainment content such as HBO, CNN and TBS, for $85.4 billion received much regulatory scrutiny for antitrust concerns that the company can have massive control over the content that Time Warner creates, its revenues and distribution, which can be used to throttle competitors to favor its content and services.

Market Disruptions: 
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Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

Airbnb and SolarCity provide incentives for hosts to install solar systems

Airbnb partnered with SolarCity to offer financial incentives for hosts that install a solar system in their properties being rented. Hosts that install a solar energy system from SolarCity will receive a $1,000 cash back from the company. The offer is valid until the end of March next year, after which the incentive will drop to $750 for the rest of 2017. Homeowners with solar panels already installed and want to join Airbnb can also receive a $100 gift card from the company. The decision may appeal to travelers, particularly Millennials, interested in staying at an environment-friendly home. It could also help Airbnb establish itself as an environment-friendly company. The company published a study that says home sharing saves the environment billions of liters of water, tons of waste and large amounts of energy.

Key Takeaway: 

Airbnb and SolarCity have partnered together to offer incentives for hosts to purchase a solar system from SolarCity, which can help to position Airbnb as a sustainable company as well as attract Milennial renters that are interested in environment-friendly homes.

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Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

Reebok pioneers 3D-printed shoes with Liquid Speed

Reebok introduced a new way to produce shoes that involves 3D printing the outsoles, creating rubber shoes that perform better and respond more flexibly to movement than traditional shoes. The 3D printing process allows the shoes to be produced without creating separate molds, an expensive and time-consuming process that is an industry trademark for 30 years. The novel method is the highlight of Reebok's plans to open a Liquid Factory in Rhode Island early next year. The factory will showcase a lab that will experiment with new manufacturing techniques. The company is selling 300 of the initial Liquid Speed designs at its website. The news is a confirming trend of footwear manufacturers bringing production back to the US.

Key Takeaway: 

Reebok is innovating how it manufactures its shoes by employing 3D printing techniques; it just introduced a new footwear that has 3D printed outsoles and is planning to build a Liquid Factory dedicated to new manufacturing methods by next year.

Publication: 
Publication Date: 
October 24, 2016

Nintendo Switch is a mobile and TV console in one

Nintendo is touting a new mobile and TV console hybrid in the new Nintendo Switch, codenamed NX, which will be released in March 2017. The tablet device is powered by an Nvidia Tegra mobile processor and has detachable controls that turns it into a mobile console when locked in at both ends or becomes a joystick for multiple players when taken out. The tablet also has a stand at the back. It can also function as a home console to be played with a television and a separate controller. The company demonstrated in a video how Switch is played with on-the-go and at home, and how multiple Switch devices can connect to each other for multi-player games. Major game developers and publishers have already announced their support for Switch. Games will be sold digitally as well as in memory cards.

Key Takeaway: 

Nintendo Switch is a new mobile console and home gaming device in one; it has a modular, detachable and multi-controller design, which can be played with on-the-go, with friends, and at home.

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Publication Date: 
October 20, 2016

Tesla Model S, X and Model 3 will have self-driving hardware

Tesla Motors announced it will start adding $8,000 worth of full autonomous driving hardware to the Model S, X and Model 3 sedans in production. The new vehicles will have eight surround cameras with 360 degree visibility up to 250 meters of range and 12 updated ultrasonic sensors that can detect objects at almost twice the distance of the existing system. Its computing system will be 40 times more powerful than the initial one it introduced. However, the hardware still has to wait for advances in the company's AutoPilot software before the cars can fully drive themselves without human intervention. The system will also have to gather data from millions of miles of real-world driving before it can be commercialized.

Key Takeaway: 

Tesla will begin installing the hardware that can enable full self-driving capability in its Model S, X and Model 3 sedans but software required to run them is still being developed.

Market Disruptions: 
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Publication Date: 
October 19, 2016

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