Hashtag Trending Feb. 8 – Amazon increases its max base pay; Microsoft building its metaverse with Activision Blizzard deal; Google is sued

Amazon more than doubles its base pay to retain corporate and tech employees, Microsoft’s CEO says the Activision Blizzard deal will help with building its metaverse, and Google is hit with more fines.

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That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now, welcome to Hashtag Trending. It’s Tuesday, February 8, and I’m your host, Tom Li.

Amazon will increase its maximum base pay to $350,000 for corporate and tech employees, up from $160,000 previously. This move will bring Amazon’s base pay to a similar level with other big tech companies such as Google, Facebook, Microsoft, and Apple. According to an article from GeekWire, Amazon has kept it’s base pay lower than its competitors, making up the difference with restricted stock units and cash compensation such as a sign-on bonus, paid over two years. Amazon announced its plan to employees on Monday morning on its internal corporate site.

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella claims that the Activision Blizzard deal will help build the company’s metaverse. According to Nadella the deal will “provide building blocks for the metaverse.” Elaborating on his thoughts, he said that a big portion of the metaverse is gaming, therefore investing in gaming technology and tools makes sense, reported Polygon. The Microsoft CEO said that the metaverse is essentially all about creating games.

Google has been hit with a $2.4 billion lawsuit in Europe. A Sweden-based price comparison service called PriceRunner announced it was suing Google after a European court ruled that Google breached EU antitrust laws. In November of 2021, the EU General Court upheld a decision to fine Google a record $2.8 billion for favouring its own comparison shopping services over rivals. PriceRunner said Google has a “Monopoly-like position” in Europe and claimed that it believes Google has yet to comply with the EU Commission’s decision and is abusing its power as a big tech company.

A new U.K. app called Smart Snout is tracking dogs based on their nose prints to locate them if they get lost or stolen. A photo of a dog’s nose can be uploaded to its database with a camera. Anyone can use the app, but pet owners who want to register their pet with a name and contact information have to pay a small yearly fee. If someone finds a dog, they can scan its nose through the app and the owner will receive an alert that their pet has been located. The owner can communicate through email with that person, as well as change their dog’s search status on the fly. After launching eight weeks ago, Smart Snout currently has about 2,000 subscribers. The founder of the app is pushing for police to get behind the technology, which could help stop dog theft.

That’s all the tech news that’s trending right now. Hashtag Trending is a part of the ITWC Podcast network. Add us to your Alexa Flash briefings or your Google Home daily briefing. Make sure to sign up for our Daily IT Wire newsletter to get all the news that matters directly in your inbox every day. Also, catch the next episode of Hashtag Tendances, our weekly Hashtag Trending episode in French, which drops every Friday at 3 pm. If you have a suggestion or a tip, drop us a line in the comments or via email. Thank you for listening, I’m Tom Li.

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Jim Love, Chief Content Officer, IT World Canada
Tom Li
Tom Li
Telecommunication and consumer hardware are Tom's main beats at IT Business. He loves to talk about Canada's network infrastructure, semiconductor products, and of course, anything hot and new in the consumer technology space. You'll also occasionally see his name appended to articles on cloud, security, and SaaS-related news. If you're ever up for a lengthy discussion about the nuances of each of the above sectors or have an upcoming product that people will love, feel free to drop him a line at [email protected].

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