This week in The 848 Update, we’re recapping on the biggest tech news as Google bans payday loans, 3 and O2 are torn apart and a PR stunt goes wrong.

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A deal set to merge mobile providers O2 and Three was blocked this week after concerns that it would reduce choice for consumers and drive up tariff prices. The merger would have effectively narrowed the UK mobile market into three companies – 3, EE and Vodafone – which the European Commission argued would result in higher prices and less competition in regards to upholding customer service values.

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In a significant move, Google plans to ban their hosting of any adverts from pay day lenders to limit the reach of a “harmful” industry. Controversial pay day loans use high interest rates and (often) misleading advertising to entice customers into taking out short term loans before stinging them with large fees.

The industry’s reliance on advertising suggests that the Google ban will cause more damage to companies than government legislation. Though the Online Lenders Association is dubbing Google’s move as ‘disappointing’, it will only effect short-term, high-interest loans and not effect loans such as companies offering mortgages and student loans.

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Fashion website Lyst came hugely under fire this week for a bad PR move that got everyone talking. On Monday of this week, claiming to launch a puppy-selling service, the website displayed a new ‘dogs’ category alongside ‘bags’, ‘shoes’ and ‘jewellery’. Though quite clearly fake this left a terrible taste in social media users mouths.

Since the ‘Canine Collection’ campaign, Lyst have tweeted four times and shared links and facts to the amount of dogs abandoned each and every year. They certainly got people talking about the issue but seeing as more effort went into the original ‘prank’ than the follow up awareness campaign there’s still a great deal of scepticism about whether this was the original plan or a hasty addition to a misguided joke.

Thank you for reading!