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Tech World: Net neutrality killed by US vote, Google’s potential new battle and more

Tech World

Welcome to Tech World, your quick roundup of some of the top technology news stories from across the globe.

This month, we bring you the latest on net neutrality, Google’s potential new battle in the EU and more.

For this episode’s Hot Topic interview, we spoke to Adrian Baschnonga from EY.

First though, here are your top international stories.

Net neutrality killed by US vote

The US’ top media regulator voted to put an end to rules protecting the open Internet this month, handing control over the future of the web to big cable and telecoms companies.

The vote took place in Washington, as the watchdog’s commissioners voted three to two to dismantle “net neutrality” rules that prevent internet service providers from charging websites more for delivering certain services or blocking others should they, for example, compete with services the cable company also offers.

Advocates of net neutrality argue that an open Internet has been essential to the creation of today’s web, allowing firms like Skype to compete with telecoms providers and Netflix to radically transform the media landscape.

Google’s potential new battle

US tech giant Google is facing a new fight in Brussels as its rivals gear up to challenge its “inadequate” response to the company’s £2.1bn monopoly fine.

Several of Google’s opponents have met with Europe’s competition commissioner to express their dismay at the changes made to the search giant’s results in response to last summer’s fine.

The businesses are now preparing to submit formal complaints over the coming weeks. If successful, Google could be forced to pay further multi-billion euro fines or make even more changes to its search results.

Amazon faces possible investigation

Amazon could potentially face an investigation by the Advertising Standards Authority following complaints that its premium service is failing to deliver on time in the run-up to Christmas.

Amazon Prime claims to offer unlimited one-day delivery but some users have contacted the advertising watchdog to say it is falling short of what it’s promised.

Uber’s reported covert operations

Uber allegedly set up a covert unit tasked with stealing competitor’s secrets and engaged in undercover surveillance, according to a letter published by a US court.

The letter, part of critical evidence in Uber’s battle against Waymo, was sent by lawyers representing Richard Jacobs, a former Uber employee, who left the firm in February.

In the letter, which sparked an internal investigation at Uber in May, but had not been made public until now, Jacobs alleges that tactics were employed clandestinely through a distributed architecture of anonymous servers, telecommunications architecture, and non-attributable hardware and software.

Uber has responded, saying that while they haven’t substantiated all the claims, its new leadership has made clear that going forward the firm will compete honestly and fairly, on the strength of its ideas and technology.

Delays at Samsung

Last but not least, the Samsung’s Galaxy S9 may not be unveiled in January, as initially expected.

According to a new port, the upcoming handset which had been expected to make its first official appearance at CES in Vegas, may not come to light until February 2019.

Keep watching to see this month’s Hot Topics interview.