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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Issue 35
Our cover feature this month focuses on the digital team at IAG Loyalty and the transformation of aviation customer loyalty programmes. Elsewhere, we ask if the age of the single cloud is over
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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.
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.
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.

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.
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.
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".