Techmeme
December 31, 2020, 1:45 PM

Top News

Adi Robertson / The Verge:
Ticketmaster agrees to pay a $10M fine after admitting to hiring an ex-CrowdSurge staffer and using his credentials to access the rival ticket seller's systems  —  It used stolen login credentials at a company summit  —  Ticketmaster has agreed to pay $10 million for breaking into a competitors' network.
Amazon:
Amazon plans to acquire podcast network Wondery, which will join Amazon Music  —  We've signed an agreement to acquire Wondery, a top-rated podcast creator and producer that entertains and educates listeners.  —  We're pleased to announce that Wondery—an innovative podcast publisher …
Nicole Perlroth / New York Times:
Microsoft says SolarWinds hackers were able to view some of its source code by hacking into an employee account but were unable to modify code or access emails  —  The hackers gained more access than the company previously revealed, though the attackers were unable to modify code or access emails.
Pei Li / Reuters:
Report: Apple removed 46K+ apps, including 39K games from its China store on Thursday, as it set a year-end deadline for game publishers to obtain a license  —  HONG KONG (Reuters) - Apple removed 39,000 game apps on its China store Thursday, the biggest removal ever in a single day …
CoinDesk:
Binance says US users will not be able to deposit or trade XRP beginning January 13, joining Coinbase and several other exchanges in delisting or suspending XRP  —  Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is suspending XRP trading for its customers effective next month.
Ben Lovejoy / 9to5Mac:
Report: 10 ex-members of Apple's supplier responsibility team say it avoids or delays removing suppliers guilty of labor violations when doing so hurts business  —  A new report today claims that Apple is reluctant to ban suppliers found guilty of labor violations, and can take years to do so, even in the most serious of cases.
Nick Statt / The Verge:
Gadget trade-in site Gazelle, one of the longest running used smartphone buyers in the US, says it will end its core trade-in program on February 1, 2021  —  The company's long-running trade-in program will end on February 1st, 2021  —  Gazelle, one of the longest-running used smartphone buyers in the US …
Zack Whittaker / TechCrunch:
Researchers: NSO Group used location data from thousands of unsuspecting people while pitching its COVID-19 contact-tracing tech to governments and journalists  —  Researchers say NSO's use of real data “violated the privacy” of thousands of people.  —  Spyware maker NSO Group used real …
Todd Spangler / Variety:
ESPN+ is raising its annual fee for new subscribers from $49.99 to $59.99; renewals for existing subscribers will remain $49.99 through March 2, 2021  —  UFC fans are going to pay more to catch the promoter's premiere fights on Disney's ESPN Plus streaming sports package next year.

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Nathaniel Popper / New York Times:
Sarah Perez / TechCrunch:
Emily Birnbaum / Protocol:
Svea Herbst-Bayliss / Reuters: