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Disney’s price hike; STG acquires Avid; Biden’s $20m AI prize

In today’s top stories, Telefónica partners with Starlink to improve broadband access in Latin America and Spain. Disney has increased the price of its streaming services for the second time this year, while Hollywood video editing firm Avid Technologies is being acquired by STG. The Biden administration is putting $20m up for grabs in an AI cybersecurity competition, while Asian travel stocks enjoy a surge on the lifting of China’s travel restrictions. 

Disney hikes streaming prices

Disney [DIS] is increasing its streaming service prices for the second time in a year, with the ad-free Disney+ subscription increasing by 27.3% to $14 per month. The company reported third-quarter (Q3) revenue growth of 3.8% to $22.3bn on Wednesday, as falling costs — including $3bn saved as a result of Hollywood strikes — helped achieve earnings of $1.03, ahead of the $0.99 that analysts polled by Bloomberg had predicted. Disney shares gained 6% in extended trading.

STG acquires Avid

Private equity firm STG is acquiring Avid Technologies [AVID], a producer of audio and video editing tools used widely throughout Hollywood, for $1.4bn including debt, reports Bloomberg. Avid’s shareholders will receive $27.05 per share, representing a 32% premium over the stock’s 23 May price, the date prior to which rumours of the acquisition first appeared, and a 1.9% premium on Wednesday’s close. 

Asian travel stocks surge on China tour reports

Asian travel companies including tour operator Lotte Tour Development [032350.KS] and luxury hotel chain Hotel Shilla [008770.KS] saw double-digit gains on Thursday following China’s lifting of travel restrictions. Airlines such as Asiana Airlines [020560.KS] also saw significant gains, following China’s culture and tourism ministry reporting that group tours will be allowed to resume in the country.

$20m on offer in AI cybersecurity competition

Biden’s administration seeks to incentivise ethical hackers with nearly $20m in prizes offered to contestants in the AI Cyber Challenge, a competition to uncover means of using AI to defend critical US infrastructure from cybersecurity risks. Alphabet’s [GOOGL] Google and Microsoft [MSFT] will collaborate in the challenge along with their respective subsidiary AI houses, Anthropic and OpenAI, who will make their technology available for the competition.

Telefónica expands service through Starlink collaboration

Telefonica [TEF.MC] is collaborating with Elon Musk’s satellite constellation Starlink to bring improved internet access to remote and rural customers in Latin America and Europe. The service is already available in Mexico, but the collaboration will facilitate its expansion to Peru, Colombia, Chile, Brazil and Spain. Starlink’s service offers high-speed broadband connectivity and includes a special terminal for mobile access in vehicles

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