Is Europe closing in on an antitrust fix for surveillance technologists?

The German Federal Cartel Office’s decision to order Facebook to change how it processes users’ personal data this week is a sign the antitrust tide could at last be turning against platform power. One European Commission source we spoke to, who was commenting in a personal capacity, described it as “clearly pioneering” and “a big deal”, even without Facebook being fined a dime. The FCO’s decision instead bans the social network from linking user data across different platforms it owns, unless it gains people’s consent (nor can it make use of its services contingent on such consent). Facebook is also prohibited from gathering and linking data on users from third party websites, such as via its tracking pixels and social plugins. …

Twitter Q4 beats on sales of $909M and EPS of $0.33, but MAUs slump to just 321M

After strong results from Facebook and Snap this quarter, all eyes were on Twitter to see if the other big, publicly listed social network could deliver a hat trick of growth. If we judged the company on financials alone, Twitter did not disappoint. The company reported Q4 revenues of $909 million (up 24 percent on a year ago) and diluted earnings per share of $0.33 with a net income of $244 million. On average, analysts had been expecting revenues of $859.5 million on an EPS of $0.25. However, Twitter’s achilles heel remains user growth. It has now slumped to 321 million monthly active users, falling short even of estimates that were expecting a decline. Shares are equally slumping in pre-market trading, down …