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Showing posts from November, 2020

Lion Electric Seals Blank-Check Merger

Lion Electric, a Canadian-based manufacturer of electric buses and vans, has announced that it's sealed a deal to go public by merging with blank-check firm Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp, whereas the merger is expected to hand over $500 million in cash to Lion Electric split into $320 million already secured by  Northern Genesis Acquisition Corp from its public debut and an additional $200 million to be raised from investors. The merger is expected to deliver a combined company with an initial pro forma market value of $1.9 billion, whereas upon completion, Lion Electric's current shareholders will hold 70% of the combined company. Lion Electric is a Canada-based manufacturer of all-electric medium and heavy-duty urban vehicles such as yellow school buses and delivery vans. Since it was founded in 2008, Lion Electric has delivered over 300 vehicles and now plans to more than double that number to 650 just in 2021 alone, whereas the company says it has over 300 purchase orde

Xavier Niel-Backed SPAC Seeks $360M

The French telecoms tycoon Xavier Niel has teamed up with two other partners to launch a new special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that's seeking to raise 300 million euros ($360 million) on the Paris Stock Exchange. The SPAC, or blank-check firm as they're called, is seeking to merge with a consumer goods company with a sustainability aspect. Named 2MX Organic, the new SPAC marks the second for Niel, who launched a previous French SPAC for media acquisitions in 2016, a time when the market for SPACs was not as hot as it became this year. For 2MX Organic, Niel has teamed up with supermarket chain owner Moez-Alexandre Zouari and investment banker Matthieu Pigasse, whereas Pigasse was also his partner in the SPAC launched in 2016.  2MX Organic is seeking to sell at least 25 million share units for 10 euros each, whereas only qualified investors from in and outside France will be able to purchase shares. The blank-check firm notes that it'll seek a merger target worth as

Airbnb Said To Target $30B+ IPO Valuation

The home rentals company Airbnb is targeting a valuation of around $30 billion to $33 billion in its imminent initial public offering, the Wall Street Journal reports , whereas such valuation would be significantly higher than the $18 billion private valuation the company got when it raised equity funding earlier this year as a Covid-19 pandemic had then hit its business hard.  Airbnb was actually once valued at over $30 billion by private investors but saw its valuation go down significantly in the early months of this year due to a pandemic that widely dwindled travel and leisure activity and, in turn, affected its business. Over the years, Airbnb has been one of the most anticipated tech IPOs and is now set to debut on the public markets this December. Its IPO will mark a major exit for a company that's raised over $4 billion in private venture funding.  Airbnb has largely recovered from the early months of the pandemic wherein its business sunk to a record low. In the third qu

Vista Buys Majority Stake In Gainsight

The tech-focused private equity firm Vista Equity Partners has reached an agreement to acquire a majority stake in sales CRM company Gainsight in a deal that reportedly values it at $1.1 billion. The exact stake take Vista is buying isn't disclosed but being disclosed as a majority stake sums up to at least 51%. With Gainsight, Vista has added yet another company to its portfolio of nearly 70 software companies. More so, Gainsight's majority acquisition is strikingly similar to another one that Vista also made this month, being the New York-based sales CRM startup Pipedrive , wherein the private equity firm reached an agreement to buy a majority stake in it at a reported $1.5 billion valuation. With Vista's majority-acquisition of Gainsight, the private equity firm will now work together with the company to guide its growth with hopes of exiting it for a higher price in the coming years. Under Vista's guidance, Gainsight will continue to be led by its current CEO Nick M

C3.ai Seeks Up To $527M From IPO

After filing for a public offering earlier this month, the enterprise AI software company C3.ai has revealed that it's seeking to sell up to 15.5 million share units each for a price between $31 and $34, summing up to an aggregate of $527 million at the higher-end $34 range. The company has been approved for a listing on the New York Stock Exchange under the ticker "AI".  Over the years, C3.ai has raised over $200 million in private venture funding and is now seeking to raise much more than that on the public markets. The company's public offering is being arranged by lead underwriters Morgan Stanley, J.P. Morgan, and BofA Securities. C3.ai provides a suite of AI software tools for enterprises, wherein most of its money is made on a recurring subscription basis. The company pulled in $157 million in revenue in its most recent fiscal year and reported a net loss of $69 million that same year. C3.ai was notably founded by Tom Siebel, a serial entrepreneur who sold his

Chinese EV Maker Kandi Accused Of Fraud

After taking on the electric carmaker Nikola this September, the short-seller Hindenburg Research is back to face another publicly-traded electric carmaker, this time the Nasdaq-listed Chinese company Kandi Technologies. Hindenburg has published a report that accuses Kandi of faking vehicle sales in order to raise money from US investors to fund its operations, wherein the company has raised $160 million in two separate direct share placements this month alone. Hindenburg accuses Kandi of colliding with subsidiaries and affiliated companies to generate bogus sales in order to entice investors to back the company. Among points noted by the short-seller include; Allegations that Kandi's stated second-largest customer was a once wholly owned subsidiary of the company Allegations that Kandi has partnered with a 'vaporware' ride-hailing firm that it claims could generate sales of up to 300,000 cars Kandi retaining a financial auditor that was handed a 3-year ban from auditing

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai To Leave Next Year

Ajit Pai, the current Chairman of the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC), has formally announced plans to leave the commission when the next US administration led by President-elect Joe Biden is inaugurated on the 20th of January. He'll leave after three years as the FCC's Chairman and eight years in total serving at the commission. “It has been the honor of a lifetime to serve at the Federal Communications Commission, including as Chairman of the FCC over the past four years,” Pai said in a statement. “To be the first Asian-American to chair the FCC has been a particular privilege. As I often say: only in America.” Pai joined the FCC under the administration of then-President Barack Obama in May 2012. He was appointed five years later as the commission's Chairman under the [now outgoing] Trump administration.  As Chairman under Trump, Pai oversaw landmark events including the merger of the two telecom giants T-Mobile and Sprint. He notably put into place new measur

Facebook Said To Buy Kustomer

The social media giant Facebook is on the cusp of a deal to acquire Kustomer, a startup that specializes in chatbots and customer service platforms for enterprises, the Wall Street Journal reports , whereas it's said that Facebook will pay a little over $1 billion for the New York-based startup. A Kustomer acquisition by Facebook doesn't sound startling, given that both companies intersect majorly in the area of chatbots. Over the years, Facebook has sought to build up new business lines after having conquered digital advertising. The social media giant could be looking to acquire and further scale up Kustomer as a new major business. A $1 billion+ price for Kustomer would also not be out of the box, given that the New York-based startup was valued at $710 million from its last funding round, according to PitchBook data.  Kustomer is backed by over $174 million in venture funding from investors including Tiger Global, Coatue, Battery Ventures, Redpoint Ventures, and Cisco Ven

ServiceNow Buys Element AI

The publicly-traded cloud software company ServiceNow has announced that it's reached an agreement to acquire Element AI, which is a Canadian startup that builds AI services for enterprises and was notably co-founded by the famous Canadian computer scientist and Turing Award winner Yoshua Bengio. Financial terms of the acquisition aren't formally disclosed, but a TechCrunch report pegs the price at around $500 million. As a privately-held company, Element AI has raised nearly $260 million in outside funding from investors including Real Ventures, McKinsey & Company, DCVC (Data Collective), and Fidelity. The reported $500 million price would mark ServiceNow's biggest acquisition ever since it was founded. With its new acquisition, ServiceNow will now establish an 'AI Innovation Hub' in Canada that'll house talent including Element AI co-founder Yoshua Bengio who will now serve as a technical advisor to ServiceNow.  The new Canadian AI Innovation Hub will j

GM Scales Down Nikola Partnership

After having announced a partnership-in-the-works this September, the automaker General Motors (GM) has today formalized a revised partnership and signed an official memorandum for a global supply agreement and integration of GM's Hydrotec fuel-cell system into the electric carmaker Nikola's commercial semi-trucks.  The newly-formed partnership is actually a scaled-down version of the previous partnership Nikola sought with GM that involved offering production services for Nikola's vehicles in exchange for an 11% stake in the company that was then valued at $2.2 billion.  Since that time, Nikola's stock has fallen hard due to issues including fraud allegations that led to the ouster of its founder Trevor Milton , whereas the value of that 11% stake now sums up to just about $900 million given its current (as of writing) $8.2 billion market cap. Even then, GM has revised its terms and is no longer taking an equity stake in Nikola under their partnership. With the scaled

DoorDash Seeks Up To $2.8B From IPO

After filing for a public offering earlier this month, the food delivery company DoorDash has submitted a new filing that indicates it's seeking to sell 33 million shares for each between $75 and $85, summing up to a targeted $2.8 billion fundraise at the higher-end price of $85.  At the $85 price, DoorDash will have a market value of about $32 billion, double its current private valuation of around $16 billion. DoorDash is seeking to go public in what would mark one of the biggest IPOs this year. Already well-funded by some $2.5 billion in private funding, the company is seeking to raise even more than that in an IPO to fund its operations.  A $32 billion exit will score big wins both for DoorDash's founders and the company's backers. Particularly, firms like Khosla Ventures and Sequoia Capital which invested in DoorDash when it was a much smaller company valued in the low-digit millions stand to reap bountiful sums from its public offering. Other investors who got in la

Moderna Seeks Approval For Covid Vaccine

The biotech firm Moderna has announced that it's finalized the initial tests for its Covid-19 candidate, reporting an efficacy rate of 94.1% against normal cases and 100% against severe cases. The freshly reported results don't deviate much from the 94.5% efficacy rate whichit posted from its ongoing tests earlier this month. Having finalized its initial tests, Moderna has said that it'll submit requests for approval to US and UK medical regulators on Monday, paving the way for the potential adoption of its vaccine. The company will also submit the data from its vaccine study for a peer-reviewed publication. Moderna will request what's known as Emergency Use Authorization (EUA) from the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA), and Conditional Marketing Authorization (CMA) from the European Medicines Agency. With its request, the company's vaccine will be subject to review from both agencies, whereas it says it expects the FDA to schedule its review for Thursday, the

Eric Schmidt, Tencent Back UK Venture Fund

Investors including the former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and the Chinese technology giant Tencent have backed the London-based venture capital firm Firstminute Capital in a $111 million fundraise which it just announced. They backed the venture capital firm along with other investors including RTI Capital Partners, the venture firm Atomico, and private equity firm Vitruvian. Firstminute is a venture firm that was founded in 2017 by  former Goldman Sachs analyst Spencer Crawley along with  Brent Hoberman, an entrepreneur who previously founded the online travel and gift business Lastminute.com. After founding and selling Lastminute.com for nearly $1.2 billion back in 2005, Hoberman saw it fit to name his new venture firm Firstminute, first being the opposite of last. Before now, Firstminute had closed a $100 million fund, entailing its new $111 million raise brings its assets under management to $211 million. Since its founding, Firstminute Capital has invested in 56 early-stage startups,

China's Meituan Posts Strong Sales

The Chinese food delivery service Meituan Dianping has reported its financial results for the three months ended September 30, 2020, wherein the company posted the equivalent of $5.4 billion in sales and a net income of $958 million. Meituan's profit for the quarter was pulled up by the equivalent of $880 million in investment gains. Meituan's quarterly revenue went up 29% compared to the past year while profit surged nearly 400%. The company has affirmed itself as the biggest food delivery service in China and the world at large, bouncing back from disruptions of the past quarters that spurred from the coronavirus pandemic. Along with its food delivery business, Meituan also maintains a strong business in travel and hotel bookings alongside on-demand shopping for consumer goods. Its revenue from that segment however grew just 4.8% compared to the past year, notably as a Covid-19 pandemic has dwindled general travel and hotel activity. Overall, Meituan is a "super app"

Luminar Poised To Go Public This Week

Luminar, a startup that's working on lidar sensors for autonomous vehicles, is expected to complete a public listing this new week by way of a blank-check merger with the firm Gores Metropoulos. It's expected to complete its merger and begin trading on the Nasdaq Stock Exchange on Thursday the 3rd of December, with an initial pro forma market value of $3.4 billion. Luminar's blank-check merger will add $570 million to its balance sheet to fund its operations, split into $400 million from Gores  Metropoulos and an additional $170 million  from other investors including Palantir Chairman Peter Thiel, GoPro founder Nick Woodman, and the automaker Volvo. With its new capital, the eight-year-old Luminar expects to fund its growth and broader plans which include the development of multiple types of lidar sensors. The company has already secured partnerships with 50 companies including the automakers Daimler, Toyota, and Volvo, whereas it'll work with these automakers to devel

Apple Fined $12M In Italy

The tech giant Apple has been fined 10 million Euros ($12 million) by the Italian Competition Authority over what it says were “aggressive and misleading” advertising practices for its iPhones.  The Italian Competition Authority said Apple advertised that several iPhone models were water-resistant but didn't clarify that it was so only under certain circumstances. It also said that Apple tricked clients with a disclaimer that said its phones were not covered by warranty in the case of damage from water or other liquids despite advertising them as 'water-resistant'. To that, the  Italian Competition Authority has levied a fine of the equivalent of $12 million on Apple, whereas such a fine is a relative pocket change for a company that pulled in over $55 billion in profit in 2019 alone. Apple as a hardware manufacturer isn't new to hassles with antitrust and regulatory agencies and isn't the only one of its kind to do so. In the past, other top hardware makers like Sa

Chinese Investors Turn Towards Indonesia

For a long time, investors from China have majorly focused their international investments on is neighboring India and bet billions of dollars on companies in the country. In recent times, however, the relationship between India and China has soured, propelled by a border dispute that has led to some dire events, including the deaths of at least 20 Indian soldiers in a clash this June. With increasing tensions between both countries, India has become more business-hostile towards China and recently banned dozens of Chinese apps, 43 just this past week , from operating within its borders. The country has also amended its foreign investment rules to now require Chinese firms looking to invest in India to first obtain permission from the country's authorities. With that, Chinese investments in India have drawn down and are now steering more towards Indonesia which happens to be a fast-growing digital economy just like India. With dwindling investment opportunities, Chinese firms have

GlobalWafers Offers To Buy Siltronic

GlobalWafers, a Taiwanese company that's the world's third-largest producer of semiconductor wafers, has said that it's in final discussions to acquire its German semiconductor wafer peer Siltronic, whereas GlobalWafers has offered 125 Euros ($149.70) per share for the publicly-traded Siltronic, summing up to a full price of 3.75 billion Euros ($4.5 billion). A combination of GlobalWafers and Siltronic will join a Taiwanese company that's known to be the world's third-largest producer of semiconductor wafers with a German peer that's known to be the fourth-largest. The merger of both companies will create the world's second-largest semiconductor wafer company by revenue, our analysis shows. GlobalWafers' offer price represents a 48% premium to the average share price of Siltronic over the last 90 days. Under the terms of their deal, GlobalWafers has agreed to not institute any site closures or layoffs of Siltronic employees in Germany for operational rea

S&P Global Nears $44B IHS Markit Buy

S&P Global, the publicly-traded financial information and analytics firm, is nearing a deal to buy out its American-British competitor IHS Markit for about $44 billion, the Wall Street Journal reports .  The reported $44 billion price marks a significant premium to IHS Markit's current market value of about $37 billion and would mark one of the biggest-ever deals in the financial information and analytics sector. S&P Global will pay the $44 billion all in shares, the Journal reports. A combination of S&P Global and IHS Markit would join one of the oldest names in the financial markets being S&P Global with a relative newcomer that was formed from a merger four years ago. Before their combination, IHS and Markit were separate companies, whereas IHS was based in the US and Markit in the UK. They formally combined in 2016 and now maintain a headquarters in the UK. US-based S&P Global has a market value of over $80 billion so won't have a problem financing its

Meet MIT's Self-Driving "Roboat"

Photo: MIT CSAIL The Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) never seems to run out of delivering cool stuff, if not a back-flipping dog-like robot  or using machine learning to identify new drugs  or the first direct image of a black hole . Now, we've spotted yet another which was unveiled recently and we'll like to show you, an autonomous boat that's aptly named "Roboat". This October, researchers from MIT's Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory (CSAIL) unveiled an autonomous boat that can ferry itself at sea. In this case, the Roboat is aimed at ferrying humans and not just goods as self-driving boats have already begun doing for some years.  The new Roboat, actually the second make hence its name 'Roboat II' is five years in the making and was tested at the canals of the city of Amsterdam for three hours wherein it collected data and returned back to its original location with an error margin of just 0.17 meters, researchers s

Winners From QuantumScape's Public Debut

  This Friday, QuantumScape, a company that's working on solid-state lithium-metal batteries for electric cars, debuted on the public markets by way of a merger with a blank-check firm. It marked one of the major blank-check mergers of this year and drew outsized demand from investors that led to its shares soaring over 50% on its very first trading day. QuantumScape was founded ten years ago and over time raised funding from a host of venture capital firms as well as individual entrepreneurs such as Microsoft founder Bill Gates and Tesla co-founder and former Chief Technology Officer (CTO) JB Straubel. QuantumScape's rise on its trading debut saw it gain a large pro forma market value of over $16 billion, an unusual one for a company that doesn't expect to begin generating revenues till 2024, and with that, the company's early backers have reaped lucrative profits from their investments or at least on paper for the time being. In this article, we examine the early inve

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Deal: Mindbody Buys Fitness Startup ClassPass

Mindbody , a leading maker of software for managing gyms and fitness studios, is buying one of the hot startups in its industry. It's buying ClassPass , a popular subscription platform for widespread gym access and online fitness classes. Mindbody will buy Classpass for an undisclosed amount . The company, owned by private equity firm Vista, also announced a strategic $500mn investment along with its ClassPass deal. The acquisition was all with privately held shares, Mindbody said. ClassPass is a celebrated startup in the fitness space. It began as a simple website to book fitness classes with registered studios but morphed into a subscription platform for access to such studios and their fitness classes, with many users paying recurring fees as a steady revenue source.  ClassPass was valued at $1bn from a funding round last year. Given the acquisition's pricing terms weren't disclosed, we can't say for sure if it was higher or lower than the $1bn mark, but for a hint,

Tether Fined $41M For Lying About Fiat Reserves

Tether Limited , the organization behind the eponymous Tether (USDT) stablecoin, has been fined a substantial sum for lying about the fiat reserves backing its stablecoin. It was fined $41mn by the US Commodity Futures Trading Commission (CFTC). According to the CFTC's press release , Tether lied to customers that it had sufficient dollar reserves to back every issued USDT token whereas it did not for a long period of time. Over a 26-month sample period from 2016 through 2018, the CFTC said Tether only had sufficient dollar reserves for all its tokens 28% of the time, whereas it lied that it was "fully-backed" all the time. Also, the CFTC said Tether failed to disclose to customers that it had unsecured receivables and non-fiat assets in its supposed cash reserves. The organization further lied to customers that it would undergo routine, professional audits of its reserves but has failed to do any, the CFTC said. For its violations, the CFTC fined ordered Tether to pay a

Deal: Scopely Buys Sony's GSN Games For $1B

Scopely , a top-ranking mobile gaming startup, is expanding its business with a new major acquisition. It's buying GSN Games , a mobile gaming division of entertainment giant Sony, for the sum of $1bn. GSN Games makes popular social casino games such as Bingo Bash and  Solitaire TriPeaks . Social casino games are a genre where gaming studios can extract much revenue if they do it right, and GSN is one of the top contenders in the genre. Scopely will pay $1bn for GSN Games, half of it with cash and the other half with its shares, making Sony a minority shareholder in the mobile gaming company. It's said that Scopely's valuation has climbed to $5.4bn taking into account the shares it'll hand over to Sony as payment. That compares to a $3.3bn valuation when the company raised funding last year.  With GSN, Scopely is stepping up its business substantially by the way of a strategic acquisition. It's a strategy the mobile gaming startup is used to, having made 5 acqui

Microsoft CEO, Other Execs Bag Annual Pay Raises

Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) has raised the annual pay package of its Chief Executive Officer, Satya Nadella , the company's latest proxy statement reveals. Nadella enjoyed a substantial pay raise along with several other Microsoft executives. For the fiscal year ended June 30, 2021, Nadella's compensation was $50mn , up 13% compared to the previous year. The lucrative pay package was split into a $2.5mn base salary, $33mn of stock awards, a $14mn cash bonus, and $110k in "other" compensation. Nadella's pay raise was in line with other Microsoft executives, including President Brad Smith and CFO Amy Hood. They each got annual pay raises in the 20% ballpark compared to 2020. The reported pay packages of Microsoft's top executives for the fiscal year is as follows; Satya Nadella (CEO) - $50mn. Amy Hood (CFO) - $23.5mn Brad Smith (President and Chief Legal Officer) - $20.5mn Jean-Philippe Courtois (Executive Vice President) - $17mn Christopher Young (Executive Vice

Deal: Instacart Pays $350M For A Smart Grocery Cart Startup

In a bid to expand, grocery delivery giant Instacart is making its biggest acquisition yet. It'll buy   Caper AI , a New York-based startup that makes smart grocery carts and cashier-less payments tech that complement them. Instacart will pay $350mn for the startup in a combination of cash and shares. Caper AI is a startup working on exciting stuff; smart shopping carts to make the grocery buying process at brick-and-mortar stores easier and faster. Its smart carts can recognize items placed in them with the help of cameras and weight sensors, then calculate their total cost without the need for barcodes as used in most grocery stores. Payment at the counter is then made quickly with Caper's own payments platform. Caper's "AI Cart". credit: Caper Also, Caper sells what's called a "Caper Counter," a checkout system for convenience stores that uses cameras and weight-based sensors instead of barcodes to sum the total cost of items. Caper Counter. cre

Apple Unveils New MacBook Pros, AirPods

Tech giant Apple has added a new set of products to its roster, including new MacBook Pro laptops and AirPods unveiled at a Tuesday online event.  Apple also unveiled new chipsets for the new MacBook Pros, the M1 Pro and M1 Max . MacBook Pros Apple unveiled two MacBook Pros, a 14-inch and 16-inch model. Both will come with the first chipsets designed by Apple specifically for a MacBook Pro, delivering high performance, expectedly.  Apple has brought back the HDMI port and SD card reader to the new MacBook Pro, in addition to three Thunderbolt 4 ports to connect peripherals. Removing the HDMI port and SD card reader in MacBooks had generated significant complaints by some Apple users, but it appears they'll be pleased again if they get the new MacBook Pros. Other shared features of the new MacBook Pros include; A 1080p front camera. MagSafe magnetic chargers. Six-speaker sound system. Fast charging - 50% charge in 30 minutes, Apple claims. Touch bar replaced by function keys. One

Deal: Australia's Aristocrat To Buy Playtech For $3.7B

The online gambling industry is hot this year, with billion-dollar deals now a frequent occurrence. The latest billion-dollar deal is Playtech , a London-listed online gambling company, selling to Aristocrat Leisure , an Australian gambling machine manufacturer. Playtech was founded in 1999 by Israeli entrepreneur Teddy Sagi . However, he sold off all his shares  in the company in 2018 and won't profit from this deal. Don't cry for him though, he made other shrewd investments that bestowed him with a net worth nearing $6bn ( Forbes estimate ). Aristocrat (ASX: ALL) has agreed to buy Playtech (LON: PTEC) in a deal worth £2.7bn ($3.7bn). The Australian firm will pay $2.9bn to buy all outstanding Playtech shares and assume $800mn of the firm's debt. It's paying 680 pence in cash per Playtech share, a 58% premium to the company's share price before the announcement. Following the announcement, Playtech's share price jerked up, expectedly. It rose 57% on Monday to

Fast Fashion E-Tailer Lulu's Files For IPO

Lulu's , an online retailer of women's apparel, is headed towards the public markets. It's filed an S-1 document for an initial public offering (IPO), showing its intent to list on the Nasdaq exchange. As expected from S-1 filings, Lulu's has provided great insights into its business, with information not publicly disclosed before. Something very noteworthy is that the online shopping boom of this year emanating from the Covid pandemic has largely favored the company. By The Numbers For its most recent fiscal quarter, the three months ended October 3, 2021, Lulu's brought in between $105mn to $106mn in revenue. Its net income for the same period was at the $3mn-$4mn mark. The estimations are because the final, audited results haven't yet been posted. For the fiscal year ended January 3, 2021, Lulu's posted $249mn in revenue and a net loss of $19mn. It shows that the company has swung from losses to profitability this year, with the net profit of between $3m

Antitrust: Facebook Fined $70M Over Giphy Takeover Probe

The UK's antitrust agency has levied a substantial fine on social media giant Facebook related to its acquisition of Giphy , the popular GIF website. It fined the company  £50.5mn ($69mn) for flouting an order requiring it to supply information related to the agency's investigation of the $400mn acquisition. The UK's  Competition and Markets Authority (CMA)  launched a  formal probe  of the Giphy deal last June. The antitrust agency challenged the deal  after probing it,  arguing that it gave Facebook an unfair advantage over rivals that also used Giphy's GIF database. It appears that Facebook failed to comply with demands from the agency's investigation and has been penalized for it. Apparently, the UK's antitrust agency required Facebook to suspend integrating its operations with Giphy's as the agency was investigating the acquisition, but Facebook had failed to indicate it did so despite multiple warnings. "This should serve as a warning to any com

Deal: Walgreens Invests $5.2B In VillageMD, Now Majority Owner

Walgreens Boots Alliance , the giant American pharmacy chain, is doubling down on its investment in one of its healthcare peers; the primary care chain VillageMD . After a previous investment last year, Walgreens is investing an additional sum in VillageMD that'll make it the primary care chain's majority owner. Walgreens has agreed to invest $5.2bn in VillageMD, upping its stake from 30% to 63%. It'll become the primary care chain's majority owner and guide it under its belt to open hundreds of primary care clinics co-located with Walgreens drugstores across the US. The investment is really strategic, giving Walgreens majority ownership in the firm that'll operate most of the primary care clinics attached to its stores. We can refer to it as "full-stack healthcare", where you visit a Walgreens-owned clinic and get prescriptions to buy drugs at a Walgreens pharmacy, though we're aware not everyone is comfortable with one company having that much cont