Apple eyes £300m Shazam deal
Apple is on the verge of acquiring music recognition app Shazam for “nine figures” with estimates suggesting it will be around the £300m mark, according to reports in TechCrunch.
The potential price of the deal is significantly lower than Shazam’s most recent valuation of $1bn.
Shazam enables users to identify the name of songs and other media playing around them using the app. People are then able to buy the song from the iTunes store, which earns Shazam a referral commission. The move will effectively cut out the middle man for Apple.
Shazam launched in 1999 and was originally a text service.
Uber prepares for first London court hearing
Uber’s first court hearing with Transport for London (TfL) is due to take place at Westminster Magistrates court today (11 December).
The legal battle will determine whether it is able to continue to operate in the capital. The preliminary hearing this week will lay out plans for the full case next year.
TfL said it would not renew Uber’s licence as it deemed the company not “fit and proper”. Uber lodged an appeal against the decision, and it can continue to operate until the matter is resolved.
Nissan takes on Google with ‘robotaxi’ trial
Nissan is set to starting trialling self-driving cars in Japan next year, in a move that will take on Google’s Waymo.
Nissan is teaming up with Japanese tech company DeNA Co to test ‘robotaxi’ brand Easy Ride, with a view to launch the ride-hailing service in the early 2020s, with completely driverless vehicles to be in operation by 2022.
2017 on track to be worst year for consumer spending since 2012
Consumer spending declined for a third consecutive month in November, meaning this year is likely to be the worst for spending in the UK since 2012, according to data from Visa.
It shows household spending is 0.9% down this November compared to 2016, following a 2.1% drop in October.
High street spending has also fallen for the seventh month in a row by a total of 3.5%. It follows a 5.1% last month and is one of the largest monthly declines over the past five years.
Government urged to improve digital skills for SMEs
The digital skills shortage in small businesses is at risk of stalling productivity, according to the Federation of Small Businesses (FSB), which has called on the government to step in.
More than a quarter of business owners in England apparently lack confidence in their basic digital skills, while more than a fifth (22%) believe the lack of basic digital knowledge among their employees is preventing them from increasing their online presence.
The FSB says many small businesses will be left behind as a result and has called for the National Retraining Scheme, which helps adults retrain for new jobs, to be redesigned to accommodate smaller firms too.
Mike Cherry, FSB chairman said: “[We need to] make sure that small businesses and their staff can access basic digital skills training that meets their needs through initiatives like the National Retraining Scheme.
“If we can harness the digital potential of small firms, we stand a real chance of creating more world-beating businesses and boosting growth.”
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