Plus: Disney+ subscribers will need more moolah to watch 'Mulan'
|Paul Sweeting||Aug 5|
One week after Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg was raked over the coals by a Congressional committee for stifling competition by buying or copying potential rivals, Facebook-owned Instagram on Wednesday launched its TikTok clone Reels in over 50 countries, including the U.S. Facebook even moved up the planned launch date in the U.S., apparently looking to capitalize on TikTok’s current political woes. That could be viewed either as opportunistic hustle on its part, or an example of precisely the sort of predatory behavior of which it stands accused.
As I referenced in a previous post, Zuckerberg, along with his counterparts from Apple, Amazon and Alphabet (Google), seemed taken aback by the amount of evidence the committee has collected on their possibly anti-competitive behavior and unprepared for the direct and detailed questions from Democrats on the committee (the CEOs were on much more comfortable terrain parrying the idiotic questions from Republicans about baseless conspiracy theories). It’s too early to tell where the antitrust committee’s investigation will lead (or the related DOJ probe). But throwing it back in members’ faces so soon after you were put on notice is unlikely to prove helpful to Facebook’s cause.
More moolah for ‘Mulan’
The streaming dam has begun to burst in Hollywood. But the flood is taking divergent paths. Disney announced this week that planned theatrical tent pole Mulan will actually debut on Disney+ instead. Unlike the streaming-first release of Hamilton, however, Mulan won’t come as part of your existing Disney+ subscription. Instead, subscribers will have to fork over an additional $29.99 to watch the live-action fantasy when it becomes available.
Elsewhere, layoffs have begun at NBCUniversal as the studio tries to restructure itself for its streaming future.
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