Vodafone and Three merger could lead to higher prices, Chinese robot breaks speed record


The proposed merger of Vodafone and Three could lead to “higher prices” and “reduced quality” for customers, the UK’s competition watchdog says. The proposed £15bn deal could now be subject to an in-depth investigation. The combined group would be the UK’s biggest mobile network with about 27 million customers. The firms said the deal would result in an additional investment of £11bn in the UK. But the Competition and Markets Authority’s (CMA) deputy chief economic adviser Julie Bon said she had “identified concerns which could lead to higher prices for customers and lower investment in UK mobile networks. BBC 

The US Department of Justice is suing Apple, accusing the tech giant of maintaining an illegal monopoly on smartphones. The 88-page lawsuit alleges the California-based company is making its products worse for consumers so it can block out competitors. Attorney General Merrick Garland described the firm’s behaviour as “exclusionary, anti-competitive conduct that hurts both consumers and developers”. Mr Garland said: “Monopolies like Apple’s threaten the free and fair markets upon which our economy is based. Sky News 

In a downtown Manhattan courtroom on the morning of 28 March, tech wunderkind turned fraudster Sam Bankman-Fried, unrepentant even after trial and conviction, will finally learn his fate. Bankman-Fried, who founded the cryptocurrency exchange FTX, was found guilty on 2 November 2023 of seven counts of wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money. The fallen bitcoin booster was found to have siphoned billions in customer funds into FTX’s sister hedge fund, Alameda Research, to keep it solvent  and lined his pockets with hapless clients’ money, spurring the entities’ collapse. The Guardian 

In robotics, achieving the fluidity and agility of human movement has long been a challenge for developers. While the complexities of bipedal locomotion, precision, and speed have remained a hurdle for some developers, Chinese robotic company Unitree has built a robot that has managed to break the speed records held by its mechanical counterparts. Unitree recently unveiled its H1 humanoid robot in a video showcasing its abilities. Standing at 5 feet 11 inches and weighing approximately 110 pounds, the H1 robot reached an impressive velocity of 3.3 m/s, equivalent to about 7.4 mph. GiantFreakinRobot

GTA 6‘s development has reportedly fallen so far behind, the eagerly-anticipated game may miss its 2025 release window. Anonymous sources have told Kotaku that development on GTA 6 has “fallen behind”, which is allegedly why management has asked developers to return to the office full-time as leadership is worried the game may slip to 2026. Right now, Rockstar is apparently still “aiming” for a spring (Q2) 2025 release, although the same sources suggest that an autumn (Q3) release seems more realistic. Eurogamer 

Landmarks across London will be switching their lights off for an hour on Saturday night as part of an environmental awareness campaign. The annual Earth Hour, spearheaded by the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), is observed around the world. Previous years have seen Big Ben, the Eiffel Tower, and the Sydney Opera House turn out the lights. The WWF suggests individuals use the 60 minutes, between 20:30 and 21:30, “to do something positive for the planet”. BBC 

Chris Price
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