The Journal Gazette
 
 
Tuesday, February 23, 2021 1:00 am

Briefs

Microsoft, EU groups seek news payments

News services

LONDON – Microsoft is teaming up with European publishers to push for a system to make big tech platforms pay for news, raising the stakes in the brewing battle led by Australia to get Google and Facebook to pay for journalism.

The Seattle tech giant and four big European Union news industry groups unveiled their plan Monday to work together on a solution to “mandate payments” for use of news content from online “gatekeepers with dominant market power.”

They said they will “take inspiration” from proposed legislation in Australia to force tech platforms to share revenue with news companies and which includes an arbitration system to resolve disputes about a fair price for news.

Facebook last week blocked Australians from accessing and sharing news on its platform, in response to the government's proposals. Google, meanwhile, has cut payment deals with news organizations after backing down from its initial threat to shut off its search engine for Australians.

Facebook did not reply to a request for comment.

Google said it already has signed hundreds of partnerships with news publishers across Europe.

Jay-Z Champagne brand acquired

Moet Hennessy is acquiring a 50% stake in rapper and entrepreneur Jay-Z's Champagne brand in an effort to up its cool factor and expand distribution.

Terms of the deal, which was announced Monday, weren't released.

Armand de Brignac, known as Ace of Spades because of its distinctive label, is produced in France's Champagne region by a father and son who are 12th- and 13th-generation wine growers.

Jay-Z, whose real name is Shawn Carter, gave the brand a boost in 2006 when he featured one of their bottles in a music video after a public fallout with Cristal, a rival brand. 

Huawei's new phone for China sale only

Struggling under U.S. sanctions, Huawei unveiled a folding smartphone with an 8-inch-wide screen Monday to show off its tech prowess but said it will be sold only in China.

The Mate X2 highlights the challenges for Huawei Technologies Ltd. after the United States cut off access to U.S. processor chips and Google services. Last year, Huawei fell from the top-selling global smartphone brand to sixth place.

Huawei says the Mate X2, its third folding phone, has crisper visuals and better sound for movies and games. It runs on Huawei's most advanced processor chip, the Kirin 9000. It will start at $2,785.


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