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The Lawyer’s Of Prince Harry Seek $2.5 Million In Fees After Win In British Tabloid Phone Hacking Case

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LONDON — A lawyer for Prince Harry asked a judge Monday to order the publisher of the Daily Mirror tabloid to pay nearly 2 million pounds ($2.5 million) for a portion of the legal fees incurred in proving that Mirror Group Newspapers invaded his privacy by hacking his phone and using illegal means to obtain scoops on him.

The Duke of Sussex was granted 140,000 pounds ($178,000) in damages last month after a judge determined that phone hacking was “widespread and habitual” at Mirror publications and that management covered it up.

The amount was a fraction of what he sought, but it was a significant triumph in his legal battle against the British media. It is only one of numerous claims he is pursuing against tabloid publishers after defying his family’s longstanding aversion to litigation and becoming the first senior member of the royal family to testify in court in over a century.

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The Lawyer’s Of Prince Harry Seek $2.5 Million In Fees After Win In British Tabloid Phone Hacking Case

Harry, 39, King Charles III’s estranged younger son, is expected to return to court in the next year in similar cases against The Sun and Daily Mail publishers over allegations of illegal surveillance. Following an unfavourable preliminary verdict, he recently dismissed a libel suit against the Mail publisher.

The hearing on Monday was over legal fees for a trial in which Harry was one of four claimants, including two members of Britain’s longest-running TV soap opera, “Coronation Street,” who accused Mirror of hacking their phones and hiring private investigators to unlawfully gather information about their lives.

The judge determined that all four claimants’ privacy had been infringed, but he dismissed charges brought by actor Nikki Sanderson and Fiona Wightman, the former wife of comedian Paul Whitehouse since they were submitted too late. He gave actor Michael Turner 31,000 pounds ($39,000).

Attorney David Sherborne claimed that his case was “overwhelmingly successful” and that his clients should be reimbursed for legal fees because Mirror “advanced a fundamentally dishonest case.”

Mirror Group’s attorney, Roger Mallalieu, contended that the company should only pay legal fees for the claims it lost. It stated that Sanderson and Wightman should pay MGN’s fees for losing their cases. He contended that Turner should only receive costs until Mirror offered a settlement that would have surpassed the amount he was awarded at trial and that he should pay their expenses afterwards.

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The Lawyer’s Of Prince Harry Seek $2.5 Million In Fees After Win In British Tabloid Phone Hacking Case

Justice Timothy Fancourt suggested that he would rule at a later date.

The costs requested were primarily for the general claim that all claimants made against Mirror rather than for the undetermined legal expenses associated with preparing for and presenting Harry’s specific cases.

Fancourt determined that Mirror used illegal information collecting in 15 of the 33 newspaper pieces regarding Harry that were presented at trial. These articles were chosen as a representative sampling from almost 150 publications he claimed violated his privacy.

Sherborne requested that a trial be convened to address the remaining 115 articles. Mirror suggested in court papers that it had offered a confidential settlement offer to Harry.

Once those claims are determined, Harry will be able to seek extra legal fees.

Phone hacking by British newspapers dates back more than two decades, when unethical journalists called the numbers of royals, celebrities, politicians, and sports stars and, when asked to leave a message, entered default passcodes to eavesdrop on voicemails.

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The Lawyer’s Of Prince Harry Seek $2.5 Million In Fees After Win In British Tabloid Phone Hacking Case

The practice exploded into a full-fledged controversy in 2011 when Rupert Murdoch’s News of the World was revealed to have intercepted letters from a murdered girl, relatives of fallen British servicemen and bombing victims. Murdoch closed the newspaper.

Newspapers were later shown to have utilised more intrusive methods, such as phone tapping, house bugging, and acquiring flight and medical records.

Mirror Group Newspapers stated that it has paid more than 100 million pounds ($128 million) in previous phone hacking lawsuits but denied wrongdoing in Harry’s case. It claimed to have obtained information about the prince through lawful reporting procedures.

SOURCE – (AP)

Business

Walmart To Acquire Smart TV Maker Vizio For $2.3 Billion In Bid To Boost Its Advertising Business

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Walmart is paying $2.3 billion for smart TV maker Vizio to boost its quickly growing advertising business and compete with Amazon.

If the purchase is completed, Walmart will gain access to Vizio’s SmartCast operating system, allowing the retail juggernaut to offer its suppliers the opportunity to display adverts on streaming devices.

Walmart Connect, which provides marketers with access to Walmart’s large consumer base, has helped the company grow its media and advertising business. Walmart reported on Tuesday that its global advertising business increased by nearly 28% to $3.4 billion last year.

The developments follow Amazon’s announcement last month that it will begin charging Prime members $2.99 per month to keep their films and TV series ad-free, in addition to the $14.99 per month or $139 per year Prime price.

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What does Walmart stand to gain from a television manufacturer?

Vizio’s SmartCast technology has 18 million active accounts and has increased 400% since 2018. The firms claim that Vizio’s platform has over 500 direct advertisers and that ads now account for most of the company’s gross profit.

In recent years, makers of streaming gear, such as Roku and Vizio, have moved their focus to advertising revenue. Vizio established its Vizio Ads business unit in 2019, claiming to be “one of the few connected TV companies with the device penetration, consumer opt-in, and infrastructure to deliver meaningful scale.”

Walmart saw Vizio’s growing consumer base and grabbed the opportunity to develop its Walmart Connect business.

“We believe the combination of these two businesses would be impactful as we redefine the intersection of retail and entertainment,” said Seth Dallaire, executive vice president and chief revenue officer at Walmart U.S.

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Who else is ramping up screen advertising?

Other large streamers, such as Netflix and Disney, have embraced the dual model, allowing them to generate revenue from commercials while simultaneously allowing customers to opt-out for a higher charge.

However, in the ever-changing streaming industry, whether consumers are prepared to pay more to see fewer commercials when they already pay subscription fees, frequently for numerous providers, remains to be seen. Many consumers “cut the cord” and ditched cable TV because they were frustrated with their ever-increasing fees.

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How did the companies’ shares fare?

Vizio stock rose about 15% in the afternoon, reaching $10.96 per share.

Walmart’s stock jumped 3.1% to $175.66 per share after exceeding Wall Street’s expectations with its sales and profit on Tuesday.

Roku, one of Vizio’s primary competitors, saw its stock drop 6.4% by midday.

SOURCE – (AP)

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Business

Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

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X, then known as Twitter, has finally paid out the employees it fired from its African offices more than a year ago, according to the agency that represents them.

Most had just been with the social media network in Ghana’s capital, Accra, for a few months before they were let go in November 2022.

They had threatened to sue X for failing to pay the redundancy money they said they were promised.

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Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

The corporation has yet to respond.

X previously stated that it had paid ex-employees in full.

Elon Musk, who took over the corporation in 2022, launched a large global workforce layoff, dismissing almost 6,000 individuals. He said he was losing more than $4 million (£3.5 million) daily.

The African contingent, which numbered fewer than 20, had only recently relocated to X’s new office in

Accra after eight months of working from home during the COVID-19 outbreak.

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Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

Agency Seven, the organisation providing legal representation to the workforce, stated that it had successfully obtained a redundancy settlement and repatriation fees for foreign employees but did not indicate the payout size.

“They are very pleased to finally be able to get their due, put this behind them, and look forward to the future,” Agency Seven Seven spokesperson Carla Olympio told the BBC.

Last year, terminated employees told the BBC that their treatment at X had impacted their mental health and money.

“It’s difficult when it’s the world’s richest man owing you money and closure,” one of them stated.

They claimed they were initially assured that they would be paid to work for one more month while their contracts were being terminated. However, they were instantly shut out of their emails, and no more wage payments were issued.

Since then, the crew has reported a difficult battle for compensation.

Some had migrated from adjacent nations, such as Nigeria. Their contract was terminated, leaving them and their families stuck in Ghana.

In a rare interview with the BBC last April, Mr Musk revealed that the social media powerhouse had 1,500 staff, down from just under 8,000 when he bought the company.

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Sacked Twitter Staff In Ghana Finally Get Pay-Off

When the news of Mr Musk’s extreme workforce reduction broke, he tweeted that laid-off employees received three months’ severance compensation.

However, staff members in the Africa office claim they still need this.

According to Agency Seven Seven, X only started negotiating with the terminated African staff after the BBC publicised the news.

Last year, ex-employees filed a complaint in a California court accusing X of failing to pay at least $500 million in promised severance benefits.

SOURCE – (BBC)

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TikTok Faces European Union Scrutiny For Possible Breaches Of Strict New Digital Rulebook

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Why Buying TikTok Views is the Best Way to Maximize Followers

LONDON — The European Union announced Monday that it is investigating whether TikTok violated the bloc’s harsh new digital standards for cleaning up social media and keeping internet users secure.

The European Commission, the EU’s executive department, said it has “opened formal proceedings to assess” whether TikTok violated the Digital Services Act, which went into effect last year.

The DSA is a comprehensive collection of regulations to keep internet users safe online, including measures to make it easy to flag dangerous or unlawful content such as hate speech, provide users with alternatives to algorithmic suggestions, and prohibit adverts targeting children.

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TikTok Faces European Union Scrutiny For Possible Breaches Of Strict New Digital Rulebook

The commission is looking at whether TikTok is doing enough to address “systemic risks” posed by its design, such as “algorithmic systems” that may promote “behavioural addictions.” It added measures such as age verification software to prevent children from accessing “inappropriate content” may not be “reasonable, proportionate, and effective.”

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TikTok Faces European Union Scrutiny For Possible Breaches Of Strict New Digital Rulebook

“Minor protection is the DSA’s primary enforcement priority. TikTok, as a platform that reaches millions of children and teens, must completely comply with the DSA and plays an important role in the protection of minors online,” said Thierry Breton, the EU’s internal market commissioner, in a news statement. “We are launching this formal infringement proceeding today to ensure that proportionate action is taken to protect the physical and emotional well-being of young Europeans.”

TikTok has “pioneered features and settings to protect teens and keep under 13s off the platform, issues the whole industry is grappling with,” the business stated in a statement. “We’ll continue to work with experts and industry to keep young people on TikTok safe, and look forward to now having the opportunity to explain this work in detail to the Commission.”

The commission also looks into TikTok’s minor privacy policies, ad transparency, and whether researchers can access data.

tiktok

TikTok Faces European Union Scrutiny For Possible Breaches Of Strict New Digital Rulebook

The EU has designated nearly two dozen of the largest internet and social media companies, including TikTok, deserving the most intense scrutiny under the DSA and heavy fines if they fail to comply. The bloc is already probing Elon Musk’s X, formerly known as Twitter, for breaches such as failure to control the dissemination of illicit content.

SOURCE – (AP)

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