Plus, a viral reality show pieced together from Facebook comments, texts and Instagram Stories; a viewer’s guide to World Cup 2018; high-stakes raccoonaissance.
Comcast is offering $65 billion in cash for much of Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox; that’s a 19 percent premium over Disney’s bid for the Fox properties. This move comes a day after a federal judge gave the green light to AT&T’s plans to buy Time Warner. Next steps: Disney will decide if it wants to counter Comcast’s bid. Meanwhile, both Disney and Comcast are willing to walk away from Murdoch’s local sports networks if regulators insist. Which might not be a terrible thing. [Peter Kafka / Recode]
Apple is going to close the iPhone security loophole that let police unlock devices. An upcoming software update will disable an iPhone’s Lightning charging and data port if the phone isn’t used for an hour. Law enforcement officials have been opening locked iPhones by connecting another device running special software to the port, often days or even months after the smartphone was last unlocked. [Jack Nicas / The New York Times]
An addictive new online show called ”SKAM” pieces together a teen drama narrative from real-life Facebook comments, texts and Instagram stories. The concept ran for four seasons in Norway and became a worldwide phenomenon. The first American version, “SKAM-Austin,“ features a “cast” of real Austin teenagers. The post-by-post clips are packaged into compilations at the end of each week — within two-and-a-half weeks of the launch of “SKAM-Austin,” the first compilation had garnered 7.4 million views on Facebook Watch. Is this the future of TV? [D.T. Max / The New Yorker]
It takes a lot of money to run home-flipping startup Opendoor‚ which buys houses from people and flips them. The company has already taken out $1.5 billion in loans to buy homes; now it has accepted another $325 million in new financing that values it at more than $2 billion. [Theodore Schleifer / Recode]
Amazon has long used robots to help humans move merchandise around its warehouses. Now automation is transforming Amazon’s white-collar workforce, too — retail veterans who once decided what to sell on the site are being replaced by software that predicts what shoppers want and how much to charge for it. Since the debut of the first ATM on June 27, 1967, automation has changed how people shop, park and fly — reshaping architecture in the process. [Spencer Soper / Bloomberg]
The 2018 World Cup 2018 kicks off today at 11 am ET, when host team Russia plays Saudi Arabia. Benchmark VC Mitch Lasky has a useful guide to the first round. Meanwhile, FIFA voters overwhelmingly opted for North America — the U.S., Canada and Mexico — over Morocco to host the 2026 World Cup. [Mitch Lasky / Medium]
Recode Presents …
AT&T can buy Time Warner, and Comcast has put in a bid to buy Fox … what’s next? Kara Swisher and Peter Kafka will be answering your questions about media mergermania on this week’s Too Embarrassed to Ask. Tweet your Qs with the hashtag #TooEmbarrassed or email them to TooEmbarrassed@recode.net before 8 am PT / 11 am ET today.
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