Roundup: EU Court upholds €4bn Google fine and Bezos sees rocket missions grounded after launch failure
€4.13bnEU fine for Google over Android’s anti-competition activities
Google has been hit by a major setback after a European court broadly upheld a €4.13 billion EU fine for using its Android mobile operating system to thwart rivals.
The US search engine giant had appealed against the fine, doled out in 2018, but the decision was broadly upheld by the Europe’s second-highest court in Wednesday’s ruling and the fine was reduced only modestly from €4.34 billion.
“The General Court largely confirms the Commission’s decision that Google imposed unlawful restrictions on manufacturers of Android mobile devices and mobile network operators in order to consolidate the dominant position of its search engine,” the Luxembourg-based court said.
Twitter shareholders approve Musk deal
Twitter’s shareholders have voted to approve a deal with Elon Musk to buy the company for $44bn (£38bn), meaning the social media giant is set to face off with the Tesla owner in court.
The decision was made in a short conference call with investors from the company’s San Francisco headquarters.
Musk bid to buy Twitter earlier this year after criticising the company for its policies on freedom of speech and fake accounts. However, he tried to back out after the deal was agreed, leading to a legal battle which is now set to go ahead following the Twitter Board’s approval.
Bezos rocket grounded after failed launch
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos’s rocket company Blue Origin has postponed future launches after suffering its first launch failure last week, with US regulators now running an investigation into the aborted take-off.
Pictures from the launch showed flames shooting from the engine about a minute into flight with an escape system flinging the unmanned crew capsule to safety. No-one was on-board the rocket, nor was anyone hurt in the failed launch.
Blue Origin said the “capsule escape system functioned as designed” after the booster failed on its New Shepard rocket. The capsule contained numerous scientific experiments, but the rocket is the same technology that Blue Origin uses for crewed flights.
The FAA, America’s aviation watchdog, has grounded the rocket pending an investigation. It was Blue Origin’s 23rd mission.
Ethereum’s new blockchain set to slash environmental impact
Cryptocurrency platform Ethereum has overhauled its blockchain technology to boost energy efficiency, according to its co-founder.
The new system – which is called Merge – will use 99.95% less energy, according to the Ethereum Foundation, overcoming a key challenge for crypto firms – the high energy costs in creating tokens, known as “mining.”
“Happy merge all,” inventor Vitalik Buterin said in a tweet. “This is a big moment for the Ethereum ecosystem.”
It comes at a time when the wider cryptocurrency market is facing severe challenges after more than $2 trillion was wiped off the value of major platforms.
NHS data platform procurement delayed for second time
Britain’s NHS has delayed a procurement tender for a “Federated Data Platform” (FDP) for the second time, according to reports.
Early supplier engagement over the FDP – which will follow on from the NHS’s COVID data platforms which was ran by US tech firm Palantir – began in April, with the maximum price set at £240 million ($278 million). The tender notice estimated the formal competition for the contract would begin in June.
But that deadline came and went, along with a further deadline set for September 6.
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