Disney said its Disney Plus streaming service reached nearly 29 million paid subscribers in less than three months, an impressive start for what the company has positioned as its future as more people drop cable subscriptions. But the Walt Disney Co. said profit fell 23% in its latest quarter to $2.13 billion as it absorbed expenses from starting up the new service. Disney Plus launched in November to compete with online video services like Netflix. Disney had 26.5 million Disney Plus subscribers as of Dec. 28, the end of its fiscal first quarter. That grew to 28.6 million as of Monday.
Twitter will label altered media
Twitter will begin to label and in some cases remove doctored or manipulated photos, audio and videos that are designed to mislead people. The company said Tuesday that the new rules prohibit sharing synthetic or manipulated material that’s likely to cause harm. Material that is manipulated but isn’t necessarily harmful may get a warning label. Under the new guidelines, the slowed-down video of House Speaker Nancy Pelosi in which she appeared to slur her words could get the label if someone tweets it out after the rules go into effect March 5. If it was proved that it also causes harm, Twitter could also remove it.
Wis. GOP vows to improve rural plan
Republican lawmakers in Wisconsin are considering proposals to cut property taxes and insurance costs for farmers as part of a package to help rural Wisconsin that Assembly Speaker Robin Vos on Tuesday promised would be “bigger and bolder” than what Democratic Gov. Tony Evers put forward. Evers called a special session of the Legislature to take up his $8.5 million package, which included a $1 million effort to increase dairy exports and the hiring of more people at the state agriculture department and University of Wisconsin-Madison extension division to work with farmers. Assembly Republicans don’t yet have a total for what their agriculture package would cost, but Vos said at a Capitol news conference it would be “significantly bigger” than what Evers had proposed. He hoped to announce the bills by the end of the week. Evers told reporters he was open to the Republican ideas, although he worried about the tax cuts not having an immediate positive impact.
Irish regulators investigate Google, Tinder
Irish regulators have launched separate inquiries into Google and dating app Tinder over how they process user data, in a new round of regulatory scrutiny aimed at tech companies. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said Tuesday that it decided to look into how Google handles location data after a number of consumer groups across the European Union filed complaints. The commission opened an investigation into Google’s Irish subsidiary to determine whether the U.S. search giant “has a legal basis for processing the location data of its users” and whether it meets transparency obligations under the E.U.’s strict General Data Protection Regulation, or GDPR.
Mergers and Acquisitions
Report: NYSE owner offers to buy eBay
The owner of the New York Stock Exchange has made an offer to buy online marketplace eBay Inc., the Wall Street Journal reported Tuesday. The Journal said Intercontinental Exchange Inc. is valuing eBay at more than $30 billion, compared to eBay’s value of around $28 billion before the report. The newspaper cited people familiar with the matter who were not named.