Google is facing another scrutiny by the US Department of Justice (DOJ) amid data privacy fears. This is coming after its $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit.
The controversial merger in recent days was cleared for review by the DOJ after federal law enforcement tussled with the Federal Trade Commission, which had also sought authority to investigate the deal.
Recall that Google has been under antitrust investigations by the United States Government because of its high dominance in the ad market and in the use of consumer data.
Since the announcement of the deal by Google, both the federal law enforcement and FTC have been concerned about the privacy of the users’ data as they pointed out that the deal would bring about a bigger platform for Google to disclose users privacy data and other sensitive information to the public.
[READ MORE: Google’s CEO becomes CEO of Alphabet)
Meanwhile, the U.S President, Donald Trump has criticized Google for alleged anti-conservative bias. This is because of the company’s action early this month. The search engine giant had taken down more than 300 ads from Trump’s re-election campaign for violating the search engine’s advertising policies.
In November, New York Post reported that Public Citizen and the Center for Digital Democracy urged the FTC, thinking it would get the case, to block the merger, arguing it would give Google the chance to collect more personal data including sensitive health information.
“Through its vast portfolio of internet services, Google knows more about us than any other company and it should not be allowed to add yet another way to track our every move,” the groups said in a letter to the FTC.
What you should know: Nairametrics had reported that Google acquired the wearable company in a bid to extend its market.
Fitbit had been said to be constantly upgrading its smartwatch features in line with the demands of the market. Therefore this deal would help Google add to its portfolio an overall strengthened hardware strategy in terms of the smartwatch features.
NNPC signs gas development and commercialization deal with SEEPCO
NNPC and SEEPCO have signed a gas development and commercialization deal.
The state oil giant, Nigerian National Petroleum Corporation (NNPC) has signed a gas development deal with Sterling Exploration and Energy Production Company (SEEPCO).
The agreement between the 2 oil firm is for the development and commercialization of gas from Oil Mining Lease (OML) 143 that could help reduce gas flaring in the country.
The disclosure was contained in a press statement that was issued by the Group General Manager, Group Public Affairs Division of NNPC, Dr Kennie Obateru, on Saturday, September 26, 2020, in Abuja.
According to the statement, the Group Managing Director of NNPC, Malam Mele Kyari, while speaking at the agreement-signing ceremony which held at the NNPC Towers, described the execution of the deal as a great milestone as well as a testament to NNPC’s commitment to facilitating the nation’s transformation into a gas-powered economy.
Kyari disclosed that the deal would not only help reduce gas flaring and its environmental hazards but would also promote gas production and utilization in the domestic market.
The NNPC boss also commended SEEPCO for its unwavering commitment to gas development and commercialization in the country which has led to the establishment of a Special Purpose Vehicle that will help expand gas utilization in the country as a cleaner, cheaper and more reliable alternative form of energy.
On his part, the Chairman of SEEPCO, Mr Tony Chukwueke, described the deal as an essential partnership that would help the company fulfil the pledge it made to support the efforts of the Nigerian government to eliminate gas flaring by monetizing it.
He commended NNPC and the Group Managing Director for ensuring the execution of the agreement which he described central to the achievement of the company’s cardinal objective of boosting the production of Liquefied Petroleum Gas (LPG), condensate and dry gas for the Nigerian market, adding that the company has invested about $600 million for that purpose.
This is coming at a time when the Federal Government is shifting focus to gas utilization as an alternative source of energy especially with the increase in the retail pump price of petrol. This is one of the various initiatives by the government as represented by the NNPC towards providing alternative sources of energy.
Buhari reappoints 3 Chief Executives of agencies under Federal Ministry of Petroleum
3 Chief Executive Officers of agencies under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources have been reappointed.
President Muhammadu Buhari has renewed the appointment of 3 Chief Executive Officers of parastatals under the Federal Ministry of Petroleum Resources with immediate effect.
The appointments that were renewed by the president include that of Dr Bello Aliyu Gusau as the Executive Secretary of Petroleum Technology Development Fund (PTDF), Ahmed Bobboi as the Executive Secretary/Chief Executive Officer of Petroleum Equalization Fund (PEF) and Simbi Wabote as Executive Secretary, Nigerian Content Development and Monitoring Board (NCDMB).
The disclosure was made through a series of tweet posts by the presidency on its official Twitter handle on Friday, September 25, 2020.
The statement disclosed that the renewal of the appointments followed recommendations to the President by the Minister of State Petroleum Resources, Timipre Syla.
It stated that Dr Aliyu Gusau was credited to have run the PTDF successfully in the past four years, keeping faith with the Seven Strategic Priorities he had introduced in January 2017.
These are Domestication, Cost cutting, Sustainable funding, Efficient internal processes, Linkages with the industry, Utilization of centres of excellence, and Pursuit of home-grown research.
It also stated that Bobboi got his reappointment for having run PEF in a way that made it a key and strategic player in the administration’s oil and gas reforms, especially in stabilizing the supply and distribution of petroleum products across the country, among others.
Going further, it stated that the NCDMB boss, Wabote, won his pips for managing the NCDMB and completing its headquarters building. Wabote was also credited to have initiated many landmark projects that were widely commended by industry players.
STATE HOUSE PRESS RELEASE
PRESIDENT BUHARI RENEWS APPOINTMENTS OF PTDF, PEF, NCDMB BOSSES
President @MBuhari has renewed the appointments of Chief Executive Officers of agencies under the Ministry of Petroleum Resources.
— Presidency Nigeria (@NGRPresident) September 25, 2020
UBA launches new online entertainment platform, ‘RED Radio’ with Wizkid interview
UBA’s RED Radio launches with an exclusive interview with its brand ambassador, Wizkid.
Pan- African financial institution, United Bank for Africa, (UBA Plc), continues to lead in innovation with the launch of its dynamic and creative Online Radio channel – RED Radio.
RED Radio, powered by UBA is a lifestyle web platform that has been set up to inform, educate, entertain and to bring to the fore, the best of Africa. Much like its sister platform, REDTV, RED Radio is expected to showcase the best in lifestyle, entertainment, music, news, comedy and fashion.
Speaking on the launch of RED Radio, Group Chairman of UBA, Tony O. Elumelu applauded the creative initiative, emphasising that UBA is a financial institution always ready to support creativity and entrepreneurship. The 2020 Time 100 most influential person in the world who has committed USD100 million to empowering young entrepreneurs across Africa said about RED Radio, “Creativity and innovation are a powerful combination and every detail in an art piece is important and meaningful. This applies to growing businesses and budding entrepreneurs. You will encounter challenges, like I did, but each experience is a lesson that brings you closer to your goal. That is the beauty of creativity.”
Continuing, Elumelu remarked, “There are many ways to make something beautiful, to make a sound interesting or to bring a story to life. You can define your expression, and today, as UBA’s RED Radio launches, I wish Bola Atta and her enterprising team many successes through this beautiful medium of expression.”
In appreciation of the support of UBA Group Chairman for the exciting creative initiative, UBA’s Group Head, Corporate Communications, Bola Atta, said ‘just like, REDTV which is Africa’s leading online entertainment network, RED Radio is positioned to fast become the foremost online radio platform in Africa’.
Also expressing his delight, UBA’s Brand Ambassador and star boy, Wizkid, said, “I am never too busy for my UBA family,” as he granted an exclusive interview on one of the station’s flagship shows ‘On the Street’ where he spoke extensively about his upcoming album and what his fans should expect from him in the coming weeks.
RED Radio promises to bring rich and engaging content that will keep its audience coming back constantly for vibrant and robust entertainment. Listeners can tune in to www.itsredio.com 24/7.