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12/03/20: What’s Going On

Facebook, Amazon and more from around the business world.
(DVKi)
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“United Parcel Service Inc. imposed shipping restrictions on some large retailers such as Gap Inc. and Nike Inc. this week, an early sign that the pandemic-fueled online shopping season is stretching delivery networks to their limits…The move comes during a holiday season when retailers are increasingly dependent on delivery companies to move online orders, as store traffic has plummeted during the coronavirus pandemic—a dynamic that has shifted power significantly. UPS and rival FedEx Corp. have raised prices and promised to hold merchants to volume agreements.”

“Stockbridge Capital Group and a South Korean partner said Wednesday they have acquired a portfolio of 23 warehouses in the U.S. in one the largest commercial real estate sales of the year. The transaction, which a person familiar with the matter said amounted to about $2 billion, is the latest indication of continued strong demand for industrial properties amid the rising popularity of e-commerce. Stockbridge’s partner in the deal is the National Pension Service of Korea.”

“Virtual-reality startups are accusing Facebook Inc. of using a familiar playbook to muscle out rivals in what could be the digital platform of the future — prompting a new line of scrutiny from U.S. competition enforcers. Facebook is the world’s biggest virtual-reality hardware maker thanks to its 2014 acquisition of Oculus for $2 billion. Its practices are now drawing the attention of the Justice Department’s antitrust division, which is talking to developers about their interactions with the company.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
PhonePe$700 MillionIndian Mobile Payments App
Bizay$38.6 MillionCustomized Product Marketplace for SMBs
Pigment$25.9 MillionBusiness-Scenario Planning
ultimate.ai$20 MillionCustomer Service Automation
Versatile$20 MillionAI Construction Startup
Karakuri$8.4 MillionRobotic Systems
Neuroglee$2.3 MillionDigital Therapeutics for Neurodegenerative Diseases

“California food company Eat Just Inc. won Singapore government approval to sell chicken grown from poultry cells, a step forward for a nascent technology that aims to revolutionize meat production.”

“Amazon.com Inc. is in exclusive talks to purchase podcast startup Wondery, according to people familiar with the matter, as the tech giant pushes further into the growing audio sector.”

“PayPal co-founder Peter Thiel and Hong Kong billionaire Richard Li are preparing a $595 million blank-check company for Southeast Asia.”

“A group of U.S. states led by New York is investigating Facebook Inc for possible antitrust violations and plans to file a lawsuit against the social media giant next week.”

“Google Cloud announced on Wednesday that it has acquired the data management firm Actifio for an undisclosed amount.”

“Europe seems set to end 2020 as a weak spot for the global economy, as business surveys indicate that service providers saw another decline in activity during November, while their Asian counterparts reported a continued pickup.”

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