Plus, is Rupert Murdoch having his King Lear moment? Amazon, Apple and Google play nice, at least on TV; and building a life-sized gingerbread house.
Yesterday, in a 3-2 vote along party lines, the Trump administration’s Federal Communications Commission dismantled the Obama administration’s net neutrality rules meant to protect an open internet. If you thought the vote means we’re done talking about this — it’s the beginning of the fight, not the end. A wide array of opponents, including left-leaning consumer advocates and their Silicon Valley allies — starting with states like New York and Washington — are expected to sue the agency in response. Here are the Republican statements in favor of repeal, led by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai; here are the arguments against from the Democratic members of the FCC. [Tony Romm / Recode]
Disney has agreed to buy most of 21st Century for $52.4 billion in a big bet on streaming services over traditional TV. The landmark deal also unravels the Fox media empire Rupert Murdoch had built over 60 years; the New York Times says the 86-year-old billionaire, who once seemed invincible, is having his “King Lear moment.” The combined entities will dominate the box office, owning 40 percent of this year’s top hits. [Edmund Lee / Recode]
A moment of peace, or at least détente, arrived in Silicon Valley: Amazon will start selling Apple TV and Google Chromecast again, after removing the competing streaming devices two years ago; last week, Apple finally added Amazon’s Prime Video app to Apple TV. And Samsung will start selling its own smart-speaker competitor through Amazon’s Alexa early next year; it will focus on sound quality and managing connected-home appliances.
A bunch of new features were announced on various services yesterday, for better or worse:
* Apple finally turned on its long-promised podcast analytics feature; the free data will help creators — and advertisers — learn a lot more about podcast consumption on Apple’s Podcast app.
* Here come the Facebook pre-roll video ads. You don’t want them. Facebook didn’t want them. But here we are. The pre-rolls, which will run for up to six seconds, will only appear on videos in Facebook’s “Watch” hub.
* And Snapchat wants you to build its next dancing hotdog. Snap is opening up its AR platform to everyone, which means anyone with some graphic design and Photoshop skills can now create AR features for Snapchat’s camera.
There’s always room for more earnings reports: Adobe Systems said its quarterly revenue grew 25 percent to more than $2 billion in its fiscal fourth quarter; the legacy software company has been transitioning itself away from one-time software license purchases to a cloud-based subscription model in which customers pay a recurring fee. And Oracle beat Q2 estimates, with revenue coming in at $9.6 billion, up 6 percent year over year; analysts also liked data points that show Oracle effectively competing in the cloud with Amazon Web Services, Google and Microsoft on infrastructure as a service.
Top stories from Recode
This map shows big differences depending on where you live.
“I plan to focus now on the ongoing legal actions against those who are unjustly orchestrating the smear campaign against me.”
Steve Martocci’s first company was a text-messaging service. Now he’s behind the scenes of a Demi Lovato song.
Possibly both, says Seismic CEO Rich Mahoney on the latest episode of Too Embarrassed to Ask.
This is cool
To be ready by Christmas, you better start baking in August. [Anne Ewbank / Atlas Obscura]
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Author: Recode Staff
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