Tech Digest daily round up: Virgin Media and O2 merger given green light


The £31 billion mega-merger between Virgin Media and O2 has been given the green light by regulators. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) waved through the deal following an in-depth investigation, concluding that concerns customers would see price hikes from the telecoms deal were unfounded. Officials had provisionally cleared the deal last month and on Thursday confirmed the tie-up, which was first announced a year ago. At the time the deal was announced, the companies said it would create a “full converged platform” for customers, and will mean an investment of £10 billion in the UK over the next five years. A Phase 2 investigation found that the deal was unlikely to lead to any substantial lessening of competition for a number of reasons, it said. Yahoo!

The Opel Manta A, one of the defining sports coupés of the 1970s, has been reborn by its maker as a tech-rich resto-mod with an all-electric powertrain – see image below.  The rear-driven two-door, now called the Manta GSe Elektromod, has been electrified and updated to show the brand’s “commitment to emissions-free mobility for a very desirable, sustainable future,” according to CEO Michael Lohscheller. The original car’s petrol four-cylinder has been swapped out for an electric motor producing 145bhp and 188lb ft, making it not only more powerful than any original-specification Manta A, but also the most powerful battery-electric car in Opel’s stable. Autocar

Apple is paying up to $189 (£133) in compensation to customers of Apple Powerbeats 2 headphones in the US. In 2017, a class-action lawsuit claimed the headphones did not retain battery life and were not sweat or water-resistant. The firm paid $9.75m (£6.9m) to settle, but denied all allegations and said it wanted to avoid expensive legal fees. Anyone who bought Powerbeats 2 earbuds before August 2020 was eligible to receive a payout. Customers told the MacRumours news site they had now started to receive individual payments from the settlement. Those users and others on social media reported receiving between $57 and $114, but the court documents say a maximum of $189 could be paid out, with proof of purchase. BBC 

Bang & Olufsen is known for its extravagant and high-end audio products, but the company also has a solid track record with compact portable Bluetooth speakers that are much more affordable. Today, B&O is introducing its latest piece of gear that’s ready for your summer adventures: the Beosound Explore. Despite being a portable device, the company kept aluminum as its material of choice. And even with that refined exterior, the speaker is IP67 rated dust and waterproof. B&O says the aluminum is also scratch-resistant, so it can probably withstand a journey in a bag or being clipped to the side of a backpack. Engadget

Facebook failed to stop large amounts of child abuse images and videos from appearing on its website over the past six months due to a technical fault, potentially missing millions of pieces of criminal content.  The social network was unable to block the material due to two separate bugs, one of which is ongoing, it revealed on Wednesday. The social network caught 5m pieces of child nudity and exploitation content in the first three months of 2021, and 5.4m in the last three months of 2020, a huge drop on previous quarters. In the third quarter of 2020, for example, it caught 12.4m pieces of content. Facebook blamed the sudden drop on glitches in the technology used to automatically spot criminal pictures or posts. Telegraph 

Chris Price
For latest tech stories go to