Pressed: The Week of Dec 11th, 2017
This week's Pressed: Dec 11 - 15th, 2017
Sound bites: Disney buys Fox for $52.4 billion USD • The FCC voted in favour of getting rid of net neutrality • MLSE buys the Toronto Argos • Alabama elected a new Democratic senator • Lyft rides into Toronto today.
DISNEY IN THE 21ST CENTURY
The Walt Disney Company reached a deal to buy most of 21st Century Fox in a transaction worth $52.4 billion USD. It's one of the biggest mergers ever seen in Hollywood. With the future of tv shows and movies clearly dominated by the digital world (hi, Netflix), Disney’s massive monetary investment is a smart and strategic one. It helps them compete in the world of Apple, Amazon, Google, and Netflix. Disney's next move is to introduce two streaming services by 2019. Fun fact: the Disney-Fox merger was predicted nearly 20 years ago by a very reliable source - The Simpsons.
The votes are in. The U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) voted 3-2 in favour of getting rid of the net neutrality rules Obama put in place in 2015.
What does that mean?
Technically speaking, it means that internet service providers (think: AT&T, Rogers, Bell) will go back to being treated like information services - aka, services that can control the information that flows through their wires, as long as they tell customers what they’re doing. Supporters of this vote say it gives freedom back to the internet. Because: no regulations. Critics think this vote hinders freedom of speech. Because: no regulations mean internet providers can speed up or slow down any website they want. Need a refresher? Start here.
How will this affect Canadians?
Canadians will feel a trickle-down effect if major global sites like Facebook or YouTube are slowed down. But Canadian internet providers follow rules set by the CRTC, which wants everyone to have access to the same content, at the same speed.
ONE BIG FAMILY
Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment now owns every major Toronto sports team except the Blue Jays. On Wednesday, MLSE bought the Toronto Argonauts (CFL) – the Grey Cup champs – from Bell Canada and Kilmer Sports. MLSE is owned by Bell Canada, Kilmer Sports, and Rogers Communications. Yea, so the Argos didn’t go far. MLSE now owns the Argos, Raptors, Maple Leafs, and TFC – MLS Cup champs. It also owns the stadiums the teams play in. Just one big happy family. Rogers owns the Blue Jays, but there have been rumours that they’re looking to sell.
Alabama voted for a new senator to represent the state. Doug Jones became the first non-Republican (he’s a Democrat) in over two decades to be sent to the U.S. Senate from Alabama, beating out controversial conservative, Roy Moore. Why is this a big deal? Alabama, a deeply conservative state has voted Republican for 25 years. Moore, a Republican former judge, was accused by nine women of sexual misconduct. One woman said she was molested by Moore when she was 14-years-old. He has denied the accusations. Moore also has a history of making bizarre remarks about women, minorities, and gays. Jones, on the other hand, helped take down members of the Ku Klux Klan who killed four girls in the 1963 bombing of a black church. Moore's loss also means Trump has one less ally at the Senate table.
THE CITY GETS A LYFT
Lyft officially arrived in Toronto on Tuesday. Marking the company’s first expansion outside of the U.S., riders are now able to catch a Lyft in cities like Toronto, Hamilton, Oshawa, and Newmarket. Toronto Blue Jays pitcher Marcus Stroman was the ride-sharing company’s first customer. Lyft took Stroman to Toronto’s Hospital for Sick Children to deliver Christmas gifts.
What’s the deal with Lyft?
The San-Francisco based service was considered the underdog when it launched four years after its biggest competitor, Uber. It defeated the odds and grew anyway, and plans to continue doing so in Canada. Lyft is offering a 25% bonus to the first 3,000 drivers who complete 20 rides. It's also working on self-driving cars with Ford Motors.
How’s Uber handling this?
They’re dealing with other things at the moment. Canada’s privacy commission is looking into the 2016 data breach that leaked the private info of 57 million people. Uber tried to cover up the breach and is now facing international investigations and class action lawsuits.
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