Friday Five: Competition watchdog clears Virgin-O2 merger

Zone’s Ross Basham handpicks and shares the five best new stories on digital trends, experiences and technologies…

1. CMA gives go-ahead to Virgin-O2 merger

A merger between Virgin Media and O2 has been provisionally cleared by Britain’s competition watchdog, the Competitions and Markets Authority (CMA). The £31bn merger was first announced in May 2020 and would bring together O2’s 34 million mobile network customers with Virgin’s 5.3 million broadband, pay-TV and mobile users.

2. EU seeking to limit use of AI in society

The European Union is planning to limit the use of AI in society under new, wide-ranging proposals. The use of facial recognition for surveillance, or algorithms that manipulate human behaviour, will be banned, along with tough new rules for what is deemed ‘high-risk’ AI, including algorithms used by the police and in recruitment.

3. Netflix revamp gives more kid-friendly profiles

Netflix is giving its Kids profile a revamp that will differentiate it from the horizontal rows of recommendations that appear on adult profiles. The new Kids layout will be more visual in nature, with children greeted by their favourite titles and characters at the top of the screen when they log in to their account on a TV.

4. The mask for people with too much money

Have you ever popped on a face mask to go to the supermarket and thought “man, I wish this thing had built-in headphones, Bluetooth capabilities and made me look like an extra from a superhero movie”? You’re in luck, then, thanks to the Xupermask, which has been designed by a SpaceX spacesuit designer and, er, Will.i.am.

5. Life’s a Bitche for unfriended French town

The good old Facebook algorithm has been causing mischief again after it removed the official page of the small north-east French town of Bitche for violating site rules. The town, which has a population of 5,000, had to create a new page, the less offensive ‘Mairie 57230’, after the page was removed on 19 March.

We write about design, content, strategy & technology to share our knowledge with the wider community.

Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store