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11/20/20: What’s Going On

General Motors, Facebook and more from around the business world.
(Twin Design)
(Twin Design)
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“General Motors Co. is raising its bet on electric cars by more than a third, as it hustles to convince a skeptical Wall Street that it too can be successful in the nascent market. The nation’s biggest automaker by sales said Thursday it would spend $27 billion through 2025 to develop electric and driverless vehicles. That is up from a $20 billion figure that GM pegged in March, days before the Covid-19 pandemic forced the industry to shut its North American factories and touched off an industrywide cash crisis.”

“State and federal investigators are preparing to bring antitrust charges against Facebook that will challenge the tech giant’s acquisition of two rivals, Instagram and WhatsApp, alleging that the deals helped create an anti-competitive social networking juggernaut that has left users with few quality alternatives. The charges form a critical part of what could be a wide-ranging legal salvo, according to three people with knowledge of the matter, ultimately threatening to saddle Facebook with its toughest regulatory challenge in its nearly 17-year history.”

“Stock exchange operator Nasdaq said on Thursday it will acquire Canadian fintech firm Verafin, which makes fraud detection and anti-money laundering software, for $2.75 billion in cash. The deal will strengthen Nasdaq’s existing suite of regulatory technologies, enabling regulatory agencies and Nasdaq’s network of almost 250 banks, broker-dealers, exchanges and buy-side organizations to take advantage of Verafin’s software, Nasdaq said.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Revolution$500 MillionGrowth Fund
FireEye$400 MillionMachine Learning Solutions
Astanor Ventures$325 MillionGlobal Impact Fund Focused on Food and Agriculture Technology
Sound Ventures$150 MillionAshton Kutcher’s “Stage-Agnostic” Fund
Transfr$12 MillionIntegrating VR With Manufacturing Plants

“BuzzFeed Inc. has agreed to acquire Verizon Media’s HuffPost in a stock deal, the companies said Thursday, uniting two of the larger players in digital media as companies across the sector search for ways to jump-start growth.”

“The Indian watchdog said on Friday it has approved the $3.4 billion deal between the nation’s two largest retail giants, Future Group and Reliance Retail, posing a new headache for American e-commerce group Amazon in the key overseas market.”

“Epic Games Inc. and other developers battling Apple Inc. over its App Store controls are getting an ally in Nvidia Corp., as the graphics-chip company said it is expanding a service that would let users play games including “Fortnite” on their iPhones.”

“The federal regulator who oversees Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac is pushing to speed up the mortgage giants’ exit from 12 years of government control but has yet to reach an agreement he needs with Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin.”

“Travelers are calling off holiday trips as Covid-19 case counts surge around the country, threatening U.S. airlines’ last hopes for bringing in more revenue this year.”

“John Malone’s Liberty Media is jumping into SPAC world. Liberty plans to launch its own special purchase acquisition company, hoping to raise $500 million, with the intention of looking for a target in the tech, telecom, media and entertainment industries.”

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