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Media Code update 

Seven West Media and Google strike long-term partnership 

Federal government concession sends tech giants scrambling 

After chat with Mark Zuckerberg, Treasurer thinks deals under media code are ‘very close’ 

Google, Seven strike News Showcase deal

Seven West Media strikes deal with Google, swings to net profit

  • As we round the home stretch of the media code law – with the vote expected this Friday, last minute deals are being made… 
  • Seven West Media has inked a deal to join Google Showcase, Google’s preferred way of distributing its wealth to media in Australia
  • Meanwhile, the Age reports both Google and Facebook are quote “scrambling” to make last minute deals with media companies to avoid the media code deadline of friday, though that paper provides no detail of these deals. 
  • And the ABC reports that treasurer Josh Frydenberg has chatted again with Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg, again, no new details beyond their budding friendship, but Frydenberg is also optimistic that some last minute deals will be struck. 
  • Doesn’t that sound like the federal government is somewhat undermining its own proposed law, if it hopes that deals will be struck before it’s passed? Not really – remember, the media code was only drawn up after media and tech refused to negotiate. 

What’s happening with Xinja? 

  • In December neobank Xinja handed back its banking licence and closed all of its customers’ accounts. But the startup didn’t go out of business. 
  • On the other side of the summer holidays, and The Australian has an update on what’s going on with the former bank. 
  • The company’s future will be decided at an extraordinary general meeting on Wednesday, the paper reports. 
  • The options on the table are to pivot from a bank to a US share-trading platform or wind the business up. 
  • in a letter penned by chief executive Eric Wilson asks his investors if they would prefer to lock in a loss of 95c-100c in the dollar, or recapitalise and bet on the new venture. 
  • Mr Wilson, who declined to comment, writes in the letter, “I don’t wish to sugar-coat this. It will be a long and difficult journey with considerable risk. We will be starting with a small team and limited capital. It will require raising further capital”  

Facebook Meets Apple in Clash of the Tech Titans—‘We Need to Inflict Pain’

  • Forget the cold war between Facebook and Apple, as the Wall Street Journal says Facebook executives have been told to “inflict pain” on Apple 
  • There’s not much new here, but the details are wonderful 
  • The animosity between Cook and Zuck go beyond a disagreement, the two have hated each other for years. Back in 2017, both companies tried to repair the relationship with a series of face to face meetings, but they became so tense, they were called off
  • If you’ve forgotten the many times Apple and Facebook have clashed over the last decade, the Wall Street Journal has a great play by play

Should tech scalping be illegal?
https://www.kotaku.com.au/2021/02/ps5-australia-scalping-retail-stores/

  • Alex Walker of Kotaku asked should scalping technology be illegal, just as scalping tickets to concerts and sporting events are? 
  • He asks as he reveals a retailer in Brisbane is selling PS5s for $1250, a cool $500 profit over retail. On ebay, a PS5 is closer to $2k 
  • The PS5 has been sold out since launch in Australia. Every now and then a new shipment arrives in a big chain store or on Amazon, and is immediately cleared. Some are going to lucky gamers, some to these scalpers. 
  • A similar thing happened with Nvidia Graphics cards last year; https://www.kotaku.com.au/2020/09/nvidia-sorry-that-bots-bought-a-ton-of-rtx-3080s/