Enterprise

Amazon is acquiring MGM Studios for $8.5 billion

Amazon isn’t giving up on the streaming wars

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Amazon Prime Video is going head-on against Netflix, Apple TV+, and HBO Max. And to get a headstart, the e-commerce giant is acquiring MGM Studios for a whopping US$ 8.45 billion.

The film studio is behind the Rocky, Legally Blonde, and James Bond franchises.  Also included are more than 17,000 TV shows. Once the deal closes, the short-term impact will be unfettered access for Amazon’s Prime Video platform.

Bond is the fifth most valuable movie franchise of all time, with its 24 films to date grossing more than $7bn, behind only the sprawling Marvel Cinematic Universe. MGM’s library includes unscripted TV shows like The Voice and Shark Tank and modern TV shows like The Handmaid’s Tale and Vikings.

It is the second-largest takeover deal ever struck by Amazon. In 2017 it paid US$ 13.7 billion for the upmarket US grocer Whole Foods. Amazon said it’d “preserve MGM’s heritage and catalog of films” and provide customers with greater access to existing works.

However, this transaction isn’t uncommon. Disney’s US$ 66 billion acquisition of Fox assets gave the world’s largest media company the extra content muscle to successfully join the streaming wars with the launch of Disney+. It later went onto acquire India streaming company Hotstar for an undisclosed amount. Back then, Hotstar had close to 400 million monthly active users, and many of them view the free, ad-supported content.

Amazon doesn’t report any metrics about Prime Video’s usage, for instance, and the only reference to content expense is in a footnote to its financial statements. Hence it’s unknown how many active users it has. Since the streaming service is clubbed with Amazon’s e-commerce business, it’s also a very affordable purchase for a user.

“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team,” said Mike Hopkins, senior vice president of Prime Video and Amazon Studios. “It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling.”

Enterprise

Apple has been raided in South Korea

For alleged anti-market practices

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The troubles for Apple will continue. After spending a length of time fighting investigations all over the world for alleged anti-competition practices, the company’s offices in South Korea have been raided by authorities to further the investigation in the country.

Covered by Foss Patents (via MacRumors), the Korea Fair Trade Commission conducted a raid on the offices at the break of dawn. Authorities reportedly staged the raid after a developer complained of an unfair commission rate. According to the complaint, developers are paying more than 30 percent commission for having their apps on the App Store.

For a rougher breakdown, Apple still charges 30 percent. However, the commission includes VAT, which spikes the total fees paid above 30 percent. In contrast, Google’s 30 percent commission policy does not include VAT, which makes for a lower fee for developers.

With the number of apps on the App Store, Apple is making significant bank by skimming a bit more on commissions. That is, if the allegations prove true, of course. Right now, the company is still under investigation. But, if anything, a dawn raid isn’t a good sign for the iPhone maker.

Apple isn’t the only one in hot water, though. Google is also facing a similar controversy in South Korea. However, instead of the Korea Fair Trade Commission, the Kora Communications Commission is pushing for more parity between Google and Apple.

SEE ALSO: South Korea investigating Apple and Google for app payments

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Enterprise

Nintendo faces allegations of sexual misconduct

Company is investigating

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Working at Nintendo must be a dream for every child from the 90s. However, besides the naturally steep point of entry for prospective workers in gaming, everyone has to reckon with a pervasive problem plaguing the industry: It’s just not inclusive. Like other developers, Nintendo is investigating a flurry of sexual misconduct allegations coming to light recently.

A ‘frat house’

Earlier this week, Kotaku brought a series of cases to light straight from past Nintendo of America employees. One tester, whom the report names as Hannah, reveals a litany of inappropriate sexually charged comments. While some are focused externally, like discussing which Pokémon is the best to have sex with, some comments are more targeted, like saying that it’s “a shame” that Hannah is a lesbian.

Unfortunately, the problems for women in the company only start there. Other female workers have reported cases of stalking and unwanted sexual advances, including being asked what color their panties were during company events. One called the environment a “frat house” filled with men. Pay is likewise unequal, favoring more compensation towards men than women.

Reporting inappropriate conduct isn’t welcome, either. Workers have said that they were further mistreated after they spoke to higher-ups about their issues. Perpetrators have also threatened to have their victims fired if the latter reported it. Others have also been called “overly sensitive” if they said anything against the company.

Now, Nintendo of America isn’t the only one at fault. The company outsources a chunk of its workers, including the ones reporting the issues, from a contracting company called Aerotek, which has rebranded into Aston Carter. Nintendo and Carter are currently being investigated by the National Labor Relations Board for harassment.

What they’re doing

For their part, Nintendo of America President Doug Bowser (also via Kotaku) has stated that the company is internally investigating the claims. Previous, Nintendo has come out in support for those who reported the same type of misconduct in other companies like Activision Blizzard and Ubisoft. The entire industry is now in a reckoning.

SEE ALSO: Nintendo just bought its own animation studio

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Enterprise

South Korea investigating Apple and Google for app payments

In hot water

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Both Apple and Google are endlessly circulating in a maelstrom of controversy surrounding their respective app stores. Last year, app developers went up against the two giants for enforcing unfair payment systems against smaller developers. Since then, the issue has raged on. Now, South Korea is going after the two companies for the same problem.

As reported by Reuters, South Korean authorities, specifically the Korea Communications Commission, have decided to investigate Apple and Google for reportedly forcing developers into adopting payment systems inside App Store and Play Store.

Unfortunately, the report does not indicate what the companies exactly did to warrant an investigation. While one can easily cast it off as forcing the system unto others, it can also encompass a failure to meet the requirements on time. Google, for example, has stated that it has (and is still willing to) cooperate with authorities to resolve the issue.

Apple, on the other hand, has not commented on the issue.

Back in 2020, Fortnite, one of the most controversial instances of the issue, was expelled from the App Store and the Play Store for going against the margins demanded by Apple and Google. Since then, other apps, like Tinder, have also seesawed their way in and out of the issue.

SEE ALSO: Google is potentially banning Tinder from Play Store

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