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BRUSSELS—A top European official warned Elon Musk that Twitter Inc. would need to make significant changes to comply with a new European Union law governing social-media platforms and content moderation. Thierry Breton, the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, held a video call with Mr. Musk on Wednesday to discuss the new legislation, called the Digital Services Act. He said Mr. Musk—who completed his purchase of Twitter in October—stated he planned to get the service ready for the new rules, but Mr. Breton added that more work would be needed.
Elon Musk has made several changes to Twitter, including broad layoffs, sparking questions about its ability to comply with a new EU law. BRUSSELS—A top European official warned Elon Musk that Twitter Inc. would need to make significant changes to comply with a new European Union law governing social-media platforms and content moderation. Thierry Breton , the EU’s commissioner for the internal market, held a video call with Mr. Musk on Wednesday to discuss the new legislation, called the Digital Services Act. He said Mr. Musk—who completed his purchase of Twitter in October—stated he planned to get the service ready for the new rules, but Mr. Breton added that more work would be needed.
A top European regulator fined Facebook owner Meta Platforms Inc. 265 million euros, equivalent to about $276 million, for not better safeguarding more than half a billion users’ phone numbers and other information from so-called data scrapers. The fine issued Monday by Ireland’s Data Protection Commission, Meta’s main privacy regulator in the European Union, is the latest indication of how authorities in the region are becoming more aggressive in applying the bloc’s privacy law to large technology companies.
The European headquarters of Twitter in Dublin, one of the company’s hubs from where staff have left since Elon Musk took over. Elon Musk‘s move to purge Twitter Inc. employees who don’t embrace his vision has led to a wave of departures among policy and safety-issue staffers around the globe, sparking questions from regulators in key jurisdictions about the site’s continued compliance efforts. Scrutiny has been particularly close in Europe, where officials have in recent years assumed a greater role in regulating big tech companies. Staff departures in recent days include dozens of people spread across units such as government policy, legal affairs and Twitter’s “trust and safety” division, responsible for functions like drafting content-moderation rules, according to current and former employees, postings on social media and emails sent to work addresses of people who had worked at Twitter that recently bounced back. They have left from hubs including Dublin, Singapore and San Francisco.
The U.K.’s competition regulator is deepening its investigation into the market power it says Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google exert over some mobile-device software, ramping up global scrutiny of big U.S.-based technology companies. The Competition and Markets Authority said Tuesday that, after receiving support in a public consultation, that it is moving forward with a market investigation it proposed in June into how the companies control web browsers for mobile devices, as well as complaints that Apple restricts cloud gaming on its devices.
Facebook Parent Meta to Cut 11,000 Staff
  + stars: | 2022-11-09 | by ( Sam Schechner | Newley Purnell | ) www.wsj.com   time to read: 1 min
Meta Platforms Inc. said it would cut more than 11,000 workers, or 13% of staff, embarking on the company’s first broad restructuring to cope with a slumping digital-ad market and falling stock price. In a message to staff on Wednesday morning, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said the company, the parent of Facebook and Instagram, would cut staff across all of its businesses, with its recruiting and business teams disproportionately affected. The company is also tightening its belt by reducing its office space, moving to desk sharing for some workers, and extending a hiring freeze through the first quarter of 2023.
Meta Platforms Inc. said it would cut more than 11,000 workers, or 13% of staff, embarking on the company’s first broad restructuring as it copes with a slumping digital-ad market and plunging stock price. The layoffs add to a wave of job cuts that are roiling Silicon Valley, where tech giants that added employees by the tens of thousands through the pandemic are now retrenching.
Meta Platforms Inc. will begin laying off employees on Wednesday morning, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg told hundreds of executives on Tuesday. The coming cuts are expected to total many thousands of employees and will likely be the largest of the year to date in the tech sector, The Wall Street Journal previously reported.
Google has for years faced regulatory scrutiny over whether it has abused its market power in ad tech. Google Chief Executive Sundar Pichai met in Washington several months ago with Sen. Mike Lee , a Utah Republican who sponsored legislation that would require a breakup of the tech giant’s advertising-technology business. Mr. Pichai’s message in opposing the bill was one that has been a common refrain for the company in the face of concerns about its dominance in the sector: Ad technology is a small part of what Google does, he said, and doesn’t make up a significant share of the company’s revenue, according to people familiar with the meeting.
Giphy allows its users to search for, create and share short animated videos on social media. The U.K.’s top competition authority said that Facebook owner Meta Platforms must sell social-media animated-images company Giphy, affirming an earlier ruling that its 2020 acquisition of the company could limit competition. The ruling all but ends a yearslong saga in which a foreign regulator made a rare intervention in an already-consummated deal between two American companies. British regulators had ordered Meta to operate Giphy separately while the deal was under review.
The U.K.’s Office of Communications is probing the market positions of Amazon Inc., Microsoft and Alphabet Google in the coming weeks as part of a study into the country’s cloud-infrastructure-services sector. The regulator said the three firms account for around 81% of the revenue generated in the U.K.’s public cloud-infrastructure market, and that its study would formally assess how well the market is working. Ofcom said it would examine the strength of competition in cloud services generally and the position the three companies hold in the market, as well as consider any features that might limit innovation, growth or new players.
A demonstration in Tehran on Monday. Protests spread across Iran after the death of a young woman in police custody. Elon Musk said his satellite-internet system Starlink would seek an exception to sanctions to make its service available in Iran, an apparent attempt to boost access to outside information in the country as protests spread. Mr. Musk, founder of Space Exploration Technologies Corp., known as SpaceX, made the proposal on Twitter in response to a request from Erfan Kasraie, who describes himself as a Persian-language journalist and doctoral researcher. Mr. Kasraie tweeted that such access would be “a game changer for the future.”
TEHRAN—Iranian protesters clashed with police on Tuesday in a fourth straight day of protests over the death of a young woman in police custody, prompting a harsh response from a conservative Islamic government challenged by discontent over its enforcement of morality laws. Authorities have moved to suppress the outpouring of fury on the streets since Mahsa Amini , 22-years-old, died after being detained for allegedly violating Iran’s strict Islamic dress code. Riot police showed up in force Tuesday to confront a group of protesters in Tehran that was smaller in size than previous days but just as intense, holding up traffic in the city center and shouting slogans that challenged Supreme Leader Ayatollah Ali Khamenei.
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