July 10, 2015 Last Updated 7:48 am

Greece near new vote on new deal proposals; reports say AOL interested in Millennial Media

Morning Brief: Verizon-owned AOL may be looking to acquire the Baltimore-based ad company in deal estimated to be worth around $300 million or more

The Greek parliament will be asked to vote tonight on the government’s latest proposals to creditors. The vote is not binding, though it would be hard for the Syriza government to gain the confidence of lenders without it.

alexis-tsipras-320The government earlier sent new proposals that all but capitulated on most positions, while holding out hope for debt relief down the road. The government’s proposal agrees to ten points:

  1. Budgeting a surplus equal to 3.5 percent of GDP
  2. Raising the VAT to 23 percent rate, with a reduced rate of 13 percent on food, energy, hotels, and water
  3. Fiscal reforms, including fighting income tax avoidance, raising the corporate tax rate and taxing TV advertising
  4. Pension Reform including raising the retirement age to 67
  5. Public administration, Justice and Anti Corruption measures
  6. Establishing an autonomous revenue agency in order to boost tax collections
  7. Financial sector reforms
  8. Labor market reforms
  9. Product market reforms including opening up the restricted professions of engineers, notaries, actuaries, and bailiffs and liberalize the market for tourist rentals
  10. Privatizing certain state assets including regional airports

These proposals are basically what was demanded of European negotiators, and rejected by Greek voters. (Find English translation of proposals here.)

The proposals sent European stock markets sharply higher, and the value of the Euro rose to nearly 1.4 percent to $1.1187.

Greece-streetIn the end, Greece capitulated because the most important thing was staying in the Eurozone. This end was actually non-negotiable for most Greeks of means. While those without the means to travel, emigrate or work abroad were without representation, though they gave the government a huge electoral victory that in the end may mean nothing.

(Still, a No vote in Parliament may give the government of Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras the power to withdraw his proposals and default on the country’s debt. Don’t count on them doing this, however.)

MM-logoReports say Verizon owned AOL may be working to buy the advertising network Millennial Media. The company is headquartered in Baltimore where it has 200 employees, with another 600 in offices in Boston, London, Singapore, New York City and San Francisco.

TechCrunch reports that the sales price would be between $300 and $350 million, and that any deal may take weeks to announce. TechCrunch, it should be added, is an AOL-owned website.

Nate Hoffelder over at The Digital Reader has been trying to change the name of his blog to … whatever, but has announced that it will stay The Digital Reader.

“About 6 months ago I had the bright idea of changing the name of this blog to Ink, Bits, & Pixels,” Hoffelder wrote last night.

“I like the name and I thought that it better described what I wanted to cover, but I can’t actually get anyone to use it. Instead, time and again I see people referring to my work by the old name.”

Such is the power of branding and why Talking New Media remains Talking New Media. But is is also why I most often refer to the site as TNM – at some point its just a brand name. After all, how many readers know or care what the name of GQ magazine is supposed to mean, and if they do bother to contemplate that it is not, in fact, a quarterly.

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