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Showing posts with the label Game

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

Apple Appeals Ruling Of Legal Brawl With Epic Games

Tech giant Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) has filed an appeal against the court judgment of its legal battle with Epic Games , the studio behind hit video game Fortnite . The battle stemmed from Apple's 30% fee on in-app purchases made through its App Store that Epic tried to avoid by enabling sideloading of Fortnite on iOS, but got the game blocked from the App Store in retaliation. The legal brawl between Apple and Epic is one of the landmark events of the tech industry this year. Both companies played it out in court with a three-week trial in May before the first ruling of the case was issued this September. The ruling, by Judge Yvonne Gonzalez of California, was a compromise for both Apple and Epic rather than a solid win or loss for any party. For Apple, it was ordered to allow iOS apps to direct users to payment options other than its own. At the same time, Epic was found to breach its contract with Apple by enabling sideloading and ordered to restitute Apple's 30% cut on Fortnit

Markets: Saudi Government Raises Stake In Activision Blizzard

As gaming giant Activision Blizzard is in muddy waters for allegations of “constant sexual harassment” and gender discrimination against some of its female workers, it happens that a certain investor in the company is doubling down by purchasing more shares - the Saudi government , hmm. The Saudi Public Investment Fund, the main sovereign wealth fund of the state, bought more shares in Activision Blizzard in this year's second quarter, filings show. It's strengthened its position among the gaming giant's top shareholders, now clocking in the top 5. According to the PIF's latest 13-F filing , it raised its stake in Activision by 13% in Q2, now having 37.9 million shares that sum up to a 4.9% stake in the company. The stake is worth $3.2bn at current prices. Since late July when a California state agency sued Activision alleging harassment and discrimination against female staff, the company's stock has slipped a bit, going from sub-$90 on the day of the allegatio

Earnings: Zynga Gives Caution, Shares Plunge

Gaming company Zynga has dropped its earnings report for the second quarter of this year. Though the company posted solid sales, it issued a caution that people are playing its games less as the Covid restrictions are getting eased and people turn their focus towards other activities outside gaming. The caution Zynga issued apparently didn't sit well with investors whose trading activities plunged the company's shares by 18% on Friday. That's one of the highest one-day drops by Zynga's historical trading standards. Details Zynga reported $720mn in revenue in the quarter and a small net income of $28mn . The company surpassed its own previous forecast of having $675mn in sales for the quarter, and then was profitable compared to the same quarter last year when it reported a net loss of $30mn. As usual, most of Zynga's revenue (97% in Q2) now comes from mobile. It wasn't initially so as the company began as a maker of social games on the Facebook platform, but

Earnings: Sony's Console Sales Aids In Big Profits

Japanese electronics and gaming giant Sony has released its latest quarterly earnings report . From it, it appears that the company is largely reaping spoils from its Playstation 5 console that was released last November and now has sold over 10 million units. Sony reported a record operating profit of $2.6bn in the quarter ended June 30, 2021. The record profit was helped by PS5 sales, as the company's  Game & Network Services division brought in $5.6bn in sales during the period. Last month, Sony announced that PS5 console sales have topped 10 million units, less than a year after its release. It's a good start for the $499 (MSRP) console, which is the fastest-selling of its kind in Sony's history.  Surely, many gamers out there are hungry to get their hands on the new PS5, but even the preceding PS4 is still selling to the tune of 500k in the quarter ended June, bringing its lifetime sales to 116.4 million , damn.  Of course, Sony doesn't just sell consol

Deal: Korea's Netmarble Buys Casino Game Firm SpinX For $2.2B

One of the foremost gaming companies from South Korea is acquiring one of Hong Kong's major gaming companies. It's Netmarble from Korea buying  SpinX Games , a Hong Kong games maker that specializes in social casino games. Netmarble has agreed to buy SpinX for 2.5 trillion Korean Won, an equivalent sum of $2.2bn in cash . It's a major exit for a company founded barely 7 years ago. SpinX Games was founded in 2014 to create social casino-like games to serve global users. At that, it's been very successful, with hit titles to its name such as  Cash Frenzy and Jackpot World . The company brought in over $400mn in revenue last year, $432mn to be precise. At $432mn in revenue, Netmarble is paying about 5x revenue to buy SpinX. That multiple is usual with gaming acquisitions of this caliber.  Netmarble is one of South Korea's largest gaming companies with many big titles ( Marvel: Future Fight , BTS World , et al). It's a publicly-traded company, worth the equivalen

SPAC: Game Studio Jam City Calls Off $1.2B Merger Deal

Jam City , a mobile games studio with a bevy of hits, has withdrawn its plans to go public by merging with a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC). It's called off its earlier-agreed with DPCM Capital (NYSE: XPOA), a SPAC formed by ex-Uber executive Emil Michael. The reasons for calling off the merger are uncertain and unspecific. Vaguely, both firms said in a joint statement that it is "the best path light of current market conditions." Now, DPCM Capital will have to find a new merger target. Originally, DPCM and Jam City sought to combine in a deal valuing the latter at $1.2bn . As part of their combination, Jam City was supposed to use money from DPCM to finance a $175mn purchase of Canada-based mobile game publisher Ludia . Now, it's unclear if that acquisition will go through. It may be that Jam City has sought to remain privately-held, or it's found an alternative path onto the public markets. The company could seek a traditional IPO in

Deal: Indian Gaming Startup PlaySimple Sold For $360M

One of India's low-key makers of casual mobile games has sold for a huge sum, spurring surprise in the industry. It's PlaySimple , which has been sold to  Modern Times Group (MTG) , a publicly-traded Swedish game company.  MTG is buying PlaySimple for an upfront amount of SEK 3.1 billion ($362mn) and then conditional earn-out payments worth  SEK 1.3 billion ($151mn). Making an aggregate of $513mn, it's one of the largest exits ever for a gaming startup in India. MTG's payment for PlaySimple is a mix of cash and stock. The $362mn upfront price tag is a very big one for a startup that raised barely $5mn in venture funding, with its last round in 2016. It happens that PlaySimple built a sustainable and solid business for itself that brought in $83mn in sales last year. PlaySimple has a portfolio of nine casual games, including popular ones like Word Trip , Word Jam , and Word Wars . It's one of the few cases of an Indian startup developing successful mobile games for

IPO: PUBG Maker Krafton Cuts Down Offering Size

Krafton (formerly Bluehole), the South Korean developer of the hit game PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) , has cut down the size of shares it's selling in its initial public offering on the Korean markets. It's cut down its target from the equivalent of $5bn at the top range now to $3.8bn, ending a bid for what could have been the biggest IPO in South Korea. In a revised filing to Korean regulators, Krafton indicated it had cut down its IPO size and also removed valuation comparisons to firms like Warner Music Group and Disney after it drew criticism for being over-reliant on one product, PUBG , for revenue and therefore not as diversified as those firms. PUBG, the popular 'battle royale' game, makes up the vast majority of Krafton's revenue, 96.7% in the first quarter of this year. Reading the writing on the wall that it's risky to be over-reliant on one product, Krafton has invested in other games and ventures but its efforts are yet to pay off. On its

Deal: EA Buys Warner Bros. Games' Playdemic For $1.4B

Gaming powerhouse Electronic Arts (EA) has added another digit to its string of weighty acquisitions over the past year. It's agreed to buy Playdemic , a mobile gaming unit of Warner Bros. Games' that's best known for the game Golf Clash . EA will pay $1.4bn in cash to buy Playdemic. The deal comes just months after the company paid $2.1bn for Glu Mobile , another mobile game developer. Apparently, EA is going the way of acquisitions to build up a strong mobile gaming business, outside its major expertise of console gaming. This marks the third time that Playdemic is getting acquired in a decade. It was first sold in 2011 to RockYou  and then bought back by its founders that same year, who then sold the company to Warner Bros. Games in 2017. 2017 was the year when Playdemic released Golf Clash , the game it's best known for. It's a multiplayer golf game with over 80 million downloads globally.  Playdemic is getting sold just as the parent firm of its owner, WarnerM

PUBG Maker Krafton Files For $5B IPO In South Korea

A top gaming company from South Korea has filed for an IPO that could break records in the country. That company is Krafton (formerly called Bluehole), the maker of the  PlayerUnknown's Battlegrounds (PUBG) franchise. PUBG as it's fondly called is an online multiplayer "battle royale" game that's popular around the globe. It was the preceding popular battle royale game to Epic's Fornite  in the US. Krafton has filed for an initial public offering on the South Korean markets. Its offering size is listed as between $4.1bn-$5bn, with $5bn on the higher end being a record-breaking number for the Korean markets. For context, the biggest IPO by a Korean company had an offering size of $4.6bn. It was that of e-commerce company Coupang this March that set the record. Now, just a few months later, it looks like that record may be broken. According to its filing, Krafton had 1.7 trillion won ($1.5bn) in revenue and an operating income of 774 billion won ($693mn) in 20

Alert: Roblox Faces Major Lawsuit Over Music Rights

Shortly after a very successful public listing, gaming platform Roblox now has a formidable obstacle to face. It's getting sued by a group of music publishers alleging exploitation by their music being used on the Roblox platform without permission or payment. The music group suing Roblox includes Universal Music Publishing, Big Machine Records, and popular DJ Deadmau5. They're represented by the National Music Publishers’ Association (NMPA) and seeking at least $200mn in damages. The major allegation against Roblox is that it sells its users the option to insert virtual music players into games they create and that play copyrighted music by artists without compensating writers and copyright holders.  As such, the NMPA asserts that Roblox is enabling piracy with its user base, which skews towards young kids. “Roblox actively preys on its impressionable user base and their desire for popular music, teaching children that pirating music is perfectly acceptable,” the complaint s

Games: Take-Two Buys Top Eleven Maker Nordeus For $380M

Take-Two Interactive, the gaming company behind the popular "Grand Theft Auto" and "NBA 2K" series, has bought a soccer game developer to add to its roster of games. It's bought Nordeus , the maker of the Top Eleven mobile soccer game. Take-Two's deal to buy Nordeus sums up to $378mn, of which $315mn will be paid upfront and the remaining $63mn as conditional earnouts. For the amount paid upfront, it's split into $225mn in cash and $90mn in stock. Buying Nordeus for $378mn marks a pace-setting deal for a mobile games maker based in Serbia. It's rare to hear of such a major acquisition coming from the Serbian tech and gaming industries. Nordeus's game, Top Eleven , is a top mobile soccer management game globally. Its Serbian developer claims the game has 240 million registered users. Take-Two has a reputation for expanding with acquisitions, especially in the mobile games space, and Nordeus is its latest target in that regard. Its last acquisitio

SPAC: Mobile Game Studio Jam City To Go Public In $1.2B Deal

A major mobile game developer in the US has sealed a deal to go public through a merger with a special-purpose acquisition company. That game developer is Jam City , one behind hit titles including  Cookie Jam and Panda Pop . Merger Details Jam City has agreed to merge with DPCM Capital, Inc. (NYSE: XPOA) to become a publicly traded company. DPCM is a SPAC formed by former Uber executive Emil Michael. It raised $300mn from an IPO in October 2020. As agreed, Jam City's merger values the mobile games studio at $1.2bn. The merger will see Jam City get $300mn held in trust by DPCM Capital plus a $100mn PIPE round from private investors. From that money, Jam City will pay $175mn to buy Ludia, a Canada-based mobile game developer. Also, part of Jam City's SPAC proceeds ($88mn) will provide liquidity to an early investor named Austin Ventures. All-in, Jam City will have roughly $115mn of cash at hand after the merger. Revenue Stats Jam City's  investor presentation  indicates bo

Gaming: Japan's Gree Wins $92M Verdict Against Supercell

A patent feud between two major gaming companies in Asia has resulted in a big court-ordered payment for the smaller company in the feud. That feud is between Japanese gaming company Gree and Chinese gaming giant Tencent, actually its subsidiary Supercell , that's resulted in a big monetary damages award for Gree. Although both Gree and Tencent are based in Asia, the legal feud that resulted in a verdict against Tencent was fought in the US, precisely in Texas.  Details: A federal jury in Marshall, Texas has ordered Tencent's Supercell gaming division to pay $92.2mn in damages to Gree after finding it guilty of violating Gree's patents.  Supercell is Tencent's Finland-based mobile gaming division that it acquired in a $10bn deal in 2016. It's best known for its Clash of Clans hit mobile game. The patent feud between Gree and Supercell began last year when Gree sued the Finnish game developer for allegedly infringing on its patents. The patents centered on feature

Gaming: Zynga Posts Strong Earnings, And A Major Acquisition

  Zynga is the gaming company that made its name developing those social, addictive games that you likely played back when young people were largely on Facebook. After the mania for Facebook Games died down, the company re-invented itself in the market for mobile gaming. A public company, Zynga is mandated to release quarterly earnings reports and has done so this time for the first quarter of this year 2021. The company had record quarterly revenue, driven by strong engagement with older games like  Words With Friends and Empires & Puzzles as well as newer games like  Harry Potter: Puzzles & Spells . In Q1, Zynga also made a major acquisition. By the numbers: Zynga reported $680mn in Q1' 21 revenue, up 68% year-over-year. It's a record quarterly revenue for the company in its history. Out of the $680mn, revenue from mobile made up the vast majority at $661mn. Zynga makes money primarily from ads on its games and in-app purchases, with the latter bringing in the major

Court Docs: Fortnite Maker Epic Made $15B In 2018-2020

Fortnite maker Epic Games is having a court battle with Apple over the latter's App Store practices and that battle has led to several documents coming out of the shadows with valuable information about Epic Games not publicly known before.  Among the information revealed in court proceedings between Epic and Apple is the sheer scale of Epic's revenue largely gotten from its hit game Fortnite . Official documents indicate that Epic Games made respective annual sales of $5.6bn, $4.2bn, and $5.1bn in 2018, 2019, and 2020, summing up to just shy of $15bn. Epic's revenue in 2018 and 2019 was revealed in financial documents made public as part of its court battle with Apple while its revenue for 2020 was separately revealed in a court testimony by Epic CEO Tim Sweeney. The vast majority of Epic's revenue comes from Fortnite while its other products like the Unreal Engine and the Epic Games Store bring in a minority of revenues. Specifically, Fortnite brought in $5.5bn a

Gaming: Sony Invests In And Partners With Discord

Sony Interactive Entertainment, the gaming giant famous for making the PlayStation consoles, has bought a stake in one of the current hottest gaming startups and partnered with the startup. That startup is Discord, the VoIP and chat platform popular with gamers around the globe. Details: Sony has moved to make a minority investment in Discord as part of a tie-up between both companies. The investment, of undisclosed size, is part of Discord's Series H round which opened with a $100 million raise  last December at a valuation of $7bn. The tie-up between Sony and Discord that brought about the investment entails the Discord chat and messaging app getting integrated on the PlayStation Network early next year.  The integration is beneficial to both companies, as the user base of Discord substantially overlaps with that of PlayStation console owners. Discord is the biggest gaming chat app of its kind with more than 140 million monthly users as reported by the company, and with that, a

TikTok Owner ByteDance Makes Big Gaming Purchase, Hires CFO

ByteDance Technologies, the high-flying Chinese technology startup that owns a suite of apps including the popular TikTok, has made a major gaming acquisition that is the company's biggest acquisition yet, paying a reported $4 billion to buy mobile game developer Moonton. Moonton is a Chinese mobile game studio that's best known for its multiplayer online battle arena game Mobile Legends: Bang Bang . It was founded just seven years ago and now has seen a big exit with a sale to ByteDance. Per publicly-known information, Moonton is known to have raised just a small amount of venture funding, making its reported $4 billion sale price very lucrative for its shareholders. Its sale signals ByteDance having big ambitions venturing into the gaming world. As it made a big gaming acquisition, ByteDance also announced the appointment of a new Chief Financial Officer poached from Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. Shou Zi Chew, who served as Xiaomi's CFO from 2015 to 2020 will become B

EA Buys Games Maker Glu Mobile For $2.1B

After sealing a deal to buy the UK-based game developer Codemasters in December, the American gaming giant Electronic Arts (EA) is back with another big acquisition, this time Glu Mobile , a publicly-traded mobile games developer that's behind popular titles like Covet Fashion and Design Home .  EA will pay $12.50 per share for Glu Mobile, summing up to $2.1 billion in total. Combined with Glu's current cash balance of $364 million, the deal sums up to $2.4 billion. EA's acquisition price represents a 36% premium to Glu's closing share price on Friday, the 5th of February 2020. With Glu, EA will be getting a mobile gaming powerhouse with more than 100 million monthly active players across its games. Combined, EA's and Glu's mobile games will have produced $1.3 billion in bookings over the last 12 months. Glu has a team of 800 employees that'll join EA following the completion of its acquisition. 500 of its employees are developers, a significant talent bas

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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