1. Google Starts Trialing Its FLoC Cookie Alternative In Chrome (TechCrunch)

Google has announced that it is now implementing Federated Learning of Cohorts (FLoC), that is an essential part of its Privacy Sandbox project for Chrome. FLoC will act as an alternative to cookies, which is used by Google to remember your preferred language, among other things.

2. Vice Media In Advanced Talks To Merge With 7GC (TheInformation)

Vice Media is in advanced talks to merge with 7GC & Co Holdings, a special purpose acquisition company led by tech investor Jack Leeney. The Group Nine-backed SPAC was keen in some of Vice’s assets, such as its news division and websites, including Refinery29, a complementary to Group Nine’s existing businesses.

3. US Ad Spend To Hit $240B In 2021: Digital Captures 67% (AdExchanger)

Magna’s forecast on US ad spend anticipated a quick economic recovery, expecting revenue to increase by 6.4% YoY to $240 billion. Digital will capture two thirds (67%) of total advertising sales with 8.6% growth rate in ad spend. Industries like travel, automotive, drinks and movies likely to see the biggest increases following heavy cuts in 2020.

4. Endeavor Files For IPO And Elon Musk Joins Board (Variety)

Endeavor Group Holdings Inc, owner of the Ultimate Fighting Championship (UFC), revived its plans to go public after a botched attempt in 2019 and named Tesla Inc Chief Executive Officer Elon Musk to its board.

5. Facebook To Allow Users, Pages To Turn Off Comment (TheGuardian)

Facebook announced that it will allow users more control over what they share to News Feed by managing who can comment on their public posts. The social media giant said in a blog post that the new feature is aimed at limiting potentially unwanted interactions by giving users the option to adjust the commenting audience.

6. NBCUniversal Is Considering Pulling Its Movies From HBO Max And Netflix (Bloomberg)

Comcast’s NBCUniversal is reportedly weighing pulling its own movies from non-Peacock streaming services and bringing them home to its own platform. Such a move would likely also bring with it a guarantee that future film releases from the company would be on Peacock either exclusively or for an initial window of exclusivity.

7. Microsoft Bagged $21.88B US Army Contract Of AR Headset (CNBC)

Microsoft will deliver more than 120,000 augmented reality headsets to the US Army worth $21.88 billion over 10 years, following a contract it received to build prototype headsets for the Army. This attained significance a year and a half after Microsoft won a $10 billion cloud contract from the Pentagon.