The Bulletin
243D
OSHA to investigate Illionis Amazon warehouse collapse
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has revealed it has opened an investigation into the deadly collapse at an Amazon warehouse in Edwardsville, Illinois. The collapse was caused by a tornado Friday that devastated the area and killed six workers. “OSHA investigates all workplace fatalities and we are supporting them,” Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said.
244D
Intel to build $7bn state-of-the-art chip facility in Malaysia
Intel will spend $7bn to build a new chip packaging facility in Malaysia. The investment comes as chipmakers across the world work to address the global semiconductor shortages at a time Washington is advocating domestic production. The Malaysian Investment Development Authority has said Intel had chosen Malaysia's northern state of Penang to expand semiconductor manufacturing capabilities.
244D
China's SenseTime postpones IPO after being placed in US investment blacklist
Chinese AI start-up SenseTime has postponed its $767m Hong Kong IPO after being placed on a US investment blacklist. The Department of Treasury said the company “developed facial recognition programs that can determine a target’s ethnicity, with a particular focus on identifying ethnic Uyghurs.” US investors are therefore bared from purchasing or selling publicly traded securities of SenseTime.
247D
Meta opens up VR social platform Horizon Worlds
Meta has announced the opening of Horizon Worlds, its virtual reality world of avatars, to anyone 18 and older in the U.S. and Canada. Horizon Worlds launched in beta last year to select Oculus VR users. The launch is an important step of Meta's journey towards CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s vision of the metaverse. “Within the next decade, the metaverse will reach a billion people," Zuckerberg said.
247D
Microsoft set to obtain EU approval for the acquisition of Nuance - Reuters
U.S. software giant Microsoft Corp is expected to receive unconditional EU antitrust approval for its $16bn acquisition of artificial intelligence and speech technology firm Nuance Communications, Reuters reports. The deal comes amid heightened regulatory scrutiny of takeovers by tech giants and acquisitions where nascent start-ups and potential rivals are shut down.
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247D
US considering banning exports to Chinese chipmaker SMIC
U.S. officials are considering a Defense Department proposal this month to close the regulatory loopholes that have allowed Chinese chipmaker SMIC to buy critical U.S. technology, according to the Wall Street Journal. The proposal is facing opposition from the Commerce Department. SMIC was added to a blacklist that denies it access to advanced manufacturing equipment from U.S. suppliers.
248D
Software company HashiCorp raises $1.7bn in IPO
Infrastructure-as-a-code HashiCorp has raised $1.2bn in its initial public offering, after pricing 15m shares at $80 each, well above its initial range of $68 to $72 per share. The IPO values HashiCorp at a cool $14bn. HashiCorp sells software that’s used by enterprises to automate the management of their information technology infrastructure. Its customers include ABN AMRO and Mercedes-Benz.
248D
Amazon fined $1.28bn by Italian authorities
Amazon has been $1.28bn by Italian antitrust regulators for abusing its market dominance, in one of the biggest penalties imposed on a US tech giant in Europe. The e-commerce giant was accused of accessing exclusive benefits, including the Prime label, that help increase visibility and boost sales on Amazon.it. Amazon said it "strongly disagreed" with the decision and that it would appeal.
249D
IoT platform Afero lands $50m in new funding
Afero has raised $50m for its security-focused IoT platform. The funding has come from Crosspoint Capital Partners, with Home Depot also contributing an undisclosed amount. Security has become a key element to IoT as companies add more and more connected devices. Afero's software enables secure communication across devices. "We're excited to support Afero," said a Crosspoint Capital spokesperson.
249D
Apple set to become the first company valued at $3tn
Apple is poised to become the world’s first $3tn company as it emerged that a secret deal with China had helped fuel the iPhone maker’s growth in recent years. The deal has prompted Morgan Stanley to lift the company's rating to $200 per share, despite the fact that the company fell far short of its iPhone production targets for the year, blaming chip shortages and COVID-19-related disruptions.
249D
Visa launches new service to advise banks about cryptocurrencies
Visa is launching new consulting and advisory services to help its clients navigate the world of cryptocurrencies. The move comes after a rise in the demand for crypto services, from digital currencies to NFT investments. A new global study by Visa showed that nearly 40% of crypto owners surveyed would be likely to switch their primary bank to one that offers crypto services in the next year.
249D
UK to phase out 2G and 3G mobile networks
The UK is to phase out 2G and 3G mobile networks by 2033. The Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport said it is part of measures to increase the security of telecoms supply chains and to support the transition to faster mobile networks. The plans will free up spectrum - the radio waves used for sending and receiving information - to allow for the mass rollout of 5G.
249D
AWS outage affects Europe and North America
AWS suffered a major outage on Tuesday which affected services in Europe and North America. The downtime lasted for around two hours, with companies like Netflix and Disney+ experiencing issues. "Many services have already recovered, however we are working towards full recovery across services," AWS said. The company revealed the outage was down to network services and APIs.
250D
Twitter scoops up business messaging service Quill
Twitter has acquired a business messaging startup to improve its direct messaging service. Quill only came out of stealth in February after raising $16m in funding, but it will now close down with most of its team and tech transferring to Twitter. "We will continue to pursue our original goal — to make online communication more thoughtful, and more effective, for everyone," Quill said.
250D
Liqid Inc. raises $100m
Composable data centre infrastructure startup Liqid Inc. has announced a $100m Series C funding round. The funding was co-led by Lightrock and affiliates of DH Capital, with participation from current investors Panorama Point Partners and Iron Gate Capital. Liqid will use the funding to scale and meet demand for its Liqid Matrix composable software and solutions.
250D
Samsung merges mobile and consumer electronics units and names new CEOs
Samsung Electronics is reorganising its business. The company announced that it would merge its mobile and consumer electronics units and named two CEOs. Jong-hee Han will lead a new SET Division that includes mobile, TVs, and consumer electronics, while Kyehyun Kyung, previously CEO of Samsung Electro-Mechanics, will oversee Samsung’s highly profitable semiconductors division.
250D
Microsoft's $16bn acquisition of Nuance comes under EU microscope - report
The European Union's antitrust regulator is investigating Microsoft's $16bn acquisition deal for transcription service Nuance, says Reuters. It is asking customers and competitors to draw up a list of concerns with the deal, which was announced in April. Similar authorities in the United States and Australia have said that they have no issues with the acquisition. Both parties refused to comment.
250D
Intel to take autonomous car company Mobileye public
Intel plans to take self-driving-car unit Mobileye public in the United States in mid-2022. The deal could potentially value the Israeli unit at more than $50bn according to Reuters. Intel expects to hold on to a majority ownership in the unit. "An IPO provides the best opportunity to build on Mobileye's track record for innovation and unlock value for shareholders," Intel CEO Pat Gelsinger said
251D
Genesys closes $580m funding round, valued at $21bn
Cloud software company Genesys has announced a $580m round of funding. It says it will be used accelerate the company's position in the 'Experience as a Service' market. The oversubscribed round was led by Salesforce Ventures with participation from other investors ServiceNow Ventures and Zoom Video Communications. The offering values Genesys at $21bn.
251D
Alibaba names new CFO in company restructuring
Alibaba is reorganising its international and domestic e-commerce businesses. As part of this reshuffling, the company has announced that Toby Xu will be its new chief financial officer, replacing long-time Alibaba veteran Maggie Wu. Wu will remain as a board director. The changes come as the tech giant grapples with an onslaught of competition, a slowing economy and a regulatory crackdown.
251D
Crypto exchange BitMart hit by $150m hack
Crypto exchange BitMart has been hit by a cyberattack that has resulted in $150m being stolen. The thefts centred on an 'Ethereum hot wallet' and a 'Binance Smart Chain hot wallet'. "The affected ETH hot wallet and BSC hot wallet carry a small percentage of assets on BitMart and all of our other wallets are secure and unharmed," it said in a statement. It has temporarily suspended withdrawals.
251D
SoftBank backs HR tech company Sense
SoftBank has invested $50m in human resources tech company Sense through its Vision Fund 2. Sense says its tech helps organisations hire quickly and at scale. Companies are currently facing tough hiring conditions in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic. Sense now works with more than 600 businesses globally and has doubled its revenue in the past year. SoftBank's funding will fuel further expansion.
251D
Chinese AI firm SenseTime set for IPO
SenseTime is set to list on the Hong Kong stock exchange and wants to raise as much as $768m. The Chinese artificial intelligence company aims to sell 1.5bn primary shares. Eight "cornerstone" investors have already signalled their intentions to secure 58.6% of the shares. SenseTime's solutions are used in cities and shopping malls to deliver data from video footage and sensors.
254D
Microsoft and KPMG team up on quantum projects
Microsoft and KPMG are working together to explore and solve common business problems utilising quantum-inspired optimisation techniques available through Azure Quantum. Initial collaboration projects expect to focus on benchmarking solutions for financial services telecommunications. KPMG has built a dedicated team of professionals focused on quantum-related technologies.
254D
Nokia to build Oulu campus
Nokia is to go ahead with the build of a new campus in Oulu, Finland. The hub will offer "more collaborative" spaces and will be tailored to hybrid working. Negotiations have concluded with a finance partner, which enabled Nokia to press ahead. The campus is expected to be completed during 2025. "The new campus follows our vision of connecting people, technology and nature," said a spokesperson.
254D
Meta launches PyTorch Live to accelerate AI-based mobile apps production
Meta has launched PyTorch Live, which it says will make it easier for developers to build artificial intelligence-based apps. PyTorch Live will offer JavaScript to build apps for both Android and iPhone. Machine learning models will be able to be shared on the platform. "Our mission is to accelerate the path from research prototyping to production deployment," a spokesperson told Venture Beat.
254D
Informatica and Databricks expand partnership
Informatica and Databricks have expanded their partnership by integrating Informatica’s data management cloud software with the Databricks Lakehouse Platform. Intelligent Data Management Cloud Delivers cloud-native, no-code ELT and ETL with Databricks SQL "The cloud-native data integrations represent a new chapter in the Informatica-Databricks partnership," said Pankaj Dugar, Databricks.
254D
US FTCs sues to block Nvdia's $40bn Arm acquisition
The US Federal Trade Commission has sued to block Nvidia’s $40bn takeover of British chip company, Arm, arguing that it would stifle competition and harm consumers. The deal is also under scrutiny from UK and EU regulators. “This proposed deal would distort Arm’s incentives in chip markets and allow the combined firm to unfairly undermine Nvidia’s rivals,” said FTC's Holly Vedova.
255D
Meta to tap AWS cloud and AI services
AWS and Meta have deepened its relationship, the companies have said, with AWS becoming a strategic cloud provider. Meta will broaden its use of AWS compute, storage, databases, and security services to provide privacy, reliability, and scale in the cloud. It will also use AWS’s compute services to accelerate artificial intelligence research and development for its Meta AI group.
255D
Bank of Ireland hit with $27.8m fine for IT failings
The Bank of Ireland has been hit by a 24.5m euros ($27.8m) fine over technology failings by the country's central bank. It reported failures to have a robust framework in place to ensure continuity of service for the company and customers in the event of a significant IT disruption. IT deficiencies were repeatedly identified from 2008 but only started to be recognised and addressed in 2015.
255D
Jack Dorsey's Square changes its name to Block
Shortly after leaving Twitter, Jack Dorsey has announced that his digital payments company Square is changing its name to Block. The choice was made to underline the many "building blocks" tha form the company. Block will represent the corporate parent of Square, in a similar way to Meta and Facebook. "Block is a new name, but our purpose of economic empowerment remains the same," Dorsey said.
256D
Blue Prism backs late takeover bid from SS&C Technologies Holdings
Blue Prism has backed a bid from SS&C Technologies Holdings, worth $1.65bn (£1.24bn). It had previously given the green light to a bid of £1.22bn bid from Vista Equity Partners. "The directors of Blue Prism intend to recommend unanimously that Blue Prism shareholders approve the Acquisition and have therefore decided to withdraw their recommendation of the Vista Offer," said a statement.
256D
UK watchdog orders Meta to sell Giphy
The UK's Competition and Markets Authority has ordered Meta to sell GIF platform Giphy. An investigation by the watchdog concluded that concluded that Facebook’s acquisition of Giphy would reduce competition between social media platforms and that the deal has already removed Giphy as a potential challenger in the display advertising market. Meta bought Giphy for around $400m last May.
256D
Accenture to create 3,000 technology jobs in the UK
Accenture will expand its UK workforce by creating 3,000 new cybersecurity and technology jobs over the next three years. Half of these roles will be based outside London, expanding the company’s presence in Leeds, Manchester, Newcastle, Edinburgh, and Glasgow. The decision is a response to the increased client demand for services in cloud engineering, cyber security, and data intelligence.
256D
Bret Taylor to become Salesforce's Co-CEO
Salesforce has named Bret Taylor as Co-CEO alongside Marc Benioff. Taylor joined Salesforce in 2016, through the $412m acquisition of his software start-up Quip, and became its President and Chief Product Officer. “Bret is a phenomenal industry leader who has been instrumental in creating incredible success for our customers and driving innovation throughout our company,” Benioff said.
257D
UK launches standard for algorithmic transparency
The UK government has today launched one of the world’s first national standards for algorithmic transparency. This move delivers on commitments made in the National AI Strategy and National Data Strategy. It recommended that the UK government should place a mandatory transparency obligation on public sector organisations using algorithms to support significant decisions affecting individuals.
257D
Accenture and AWS renew joint business group
Accenture has announced the renewal of its joint business group with AWS. Building on a 13-year relationship, Accenture and AWS will make an additional joint investment over the next five years. The businesses say they will help clients spur innovation on the Cloud Continuum and accelerate business value at scale by delivering solutions through the Accenture AWS Business Group.
257D
Jack Dorsey steps down as Twitter CEO
Jack Dorsey has stepped down as chief executive of Twitter, the social media site he co-founded in 2006. He will be immediately replaced by the current chief technical officer, Parag Agrawal. "It's finally time for me to leave" Dorsey wrote in a statement, saying the company was "ready to move on." Dorsey will remain a member of the board until his term expires at the 2022 meeting of stockholders.
258D
Gazprom Neft and Schlumberger to develop digital services
Gazprom Neft and Schlumberger have signed an agreement to develop digital services to improve efficiency in oil production. The two companies have agreed to start localising Schlumberger’s technological solutions on the Russian market, and to develop software for well-design and drilling. They will also develop advanced data-analytics tools for geological prospecting and hydrodynamic simulations.
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258D
IoT security firm Armis raises $300m
Security firm Armis has raised $300m in funding led by One Equity Partners (OEP). The company specialises in IoT security but has ambitions to provide security to every asset in an organisation's environment. It will use the cash to improve its products and fund acquisitions. The round values Armis at $3.4bn. "Armis is the industry leader when it comes to asset visibility and security," said OEP.
258D
Microsoft accused of anticompetitive behaviour
A group of EU businesses and groups led by Nextcloud has filed a complaint with the European Commission over Microsoft bundling services, including OneDrive, with Windows 10 and 11. The “Coalition for a Level Playing Field” believes that Microsoft is engaging in anticompetitive behaviour in bundling services with Windows. The complaint also makes reference to Amazon and Google.
258D
UK to block Meta's acquisition of Giphy - reports
The UK competition regulator is expected to block Meta Platforms' (formerly known as Facebook) acquisition of GIF platform Giphy in the coming days, according to the Financial Times. If the decision is confirmed, it would be the first time the regulator has reversed a Big Tech acquisition. Meta acquired Giphy last May to integrate GIFs on Facebook in a deal then pegged at $400 million by Axios.
258D
European telcos want tech companies to support network funding - report
Europe's biggest telcos believe tech companies should share the burden of network building costs, reports Reuters. The leaders of Deutsche Telekom, Vodafone and 11 other providers have put together a joint statement to address their concerns. Data and cloud services from the likes of Google, Facebook and Amazon are a strain on network infrastructure, with more investment also needed for 5G.
261D
AWS increases free data transfer limits
AWS has expanded its free data transfer limits after criticism from Oracle and Cloudflare. The costs of transferring data were too high, the two companies complained. AWS customers will now be able to transfer 100GB of data per month, up from 1GB per region. In addition, aata transfer from Amazon CloudFront is now free for up to 1TB of data per month and isn't limited to the first 12 months.
261D
Tata eyes $300m semiconductor assembly unit
Indian conglomerate Tata is taking steps to help overcome the semiconductor crisis. It is in talks with the three states of Tamil Nadu, Karnataka and Telangana to build a $300m chip assembly and testing unit, and is currently looking for land to fulfil the project. Tata has previously been vague about its interest in the semiconductor market, but this is the biggest sign of its intent yet.
262D
Apple to partner with TSMC for chips - report
Apple is partnering with Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. to reduce its reliance on Qualcomm, according to a Nikkei Asia report. It said that Apple has plans to have the Taiwanese chip manufacturer make 5G iPhone modems from 2023. The report also claims that Apple is developing complementary “radio frequency and millimeter wave components".
262D
Mobile DevOps company Bitrise riases $60m
Mobile DevOps company Bitrise has raised $60m in a Series C round, taking its total funding to $100m. The round was led by New York-based global private equity and venture capital firm Insight Partners, and was joined by existing investors including Partech, Open Ocean, Zobito, Fiedler Capital, Y Combinator and H14. Bitrise works with more than 6,000 mobile firms to get apps to market faster.
263D
Nokia and Yadro team up to accelerate 5G roll-out in Russia
Nokia will set up a joint venture with Russian software firm Yadro to accelerate the roll-out of 5G networks in the region. They will team up to build 4G and 5G base stations across the country. Russia wants to promote domestic technology and IT services as much as possible as it delivers its 5G infrastructure. Yadro will hold a 51% majority share in the joint venture, reported the Kommersant.
263D
ServiceNow acquires DotWalk
ServiceNow has acquired DotWalk, which automates upgrades and testing of ServiceNow applications. ServiceNow and DotWalk will map business processes and workflows on the Now Platform to identify the tests needed for application changes. DotWalk’s tech uses automation to identify and validate error sources that can arise within application upgrade processes when analysing logs in the background.
263D
Apple sues NSO Group
Apple is suing spyware firm NSO Group. The lawsuit has been filed because NSO Group's Pegasus software has worked against Apple devices. Apple had previously played down the impact of NSO Group's technology. It now claims that NSO harms Apple users for its own commercial gains. The lawsuits aims to stop NSO from targeting Apple users, and to prevent NSO from using any Apple product or service.