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12/16/20: What’s Going On

Periscope, Spotify and more from around the business world.
(Nattanart)
(Nattanart)
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“BP has bought a controlling stake in the largest U.S. producer of carbon offsets, doubling down on a bet that preserving forests will be key to companies meeting their carbon-reduction goals. The oil giant in late 2019 made a $5 million venture investment in Pennsylvania’s Finite Carbon, which helps landowners sell their forests as carbon sinks. With majority ownership of Finite, BP plans to take global the business of paying landowners not to cut down trees.”

“European officials want new powers to oversee internal workings at large technology companies such as Facebook Inc., backed by threats of multibillion-dollar fines, as they seek to expand their role as global tech enforcers. The European Union’s executive arm proposed two bills Tuesday—one focused on illegal content, the other on anticompetitive behavior—that would empower regulators in some cases to levy fines of up to 6% or 10% of annual worldwide revenue, or break up big tech companies to stop certain competitive abuses.”

“Following recent reports, Periscope announced today that it will end operations as a standalone app by March 2021. The Twitter-owned company referred to its current operations as ‘unsustainable’ in an open letter posted today. It also cited a decline in usage in recent years as a driving factor.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Bolt$182 MillionOn-Demand Transportation Network In Europe And Africa
ClickUp$100 MillionProductivity Software Firm
BoxCast$20 MillionCleveland-Based Live Streaming Platform

“The German government on Wednesday moved to allow the use of Huawei’s technology in 5G mobile networks in exchange for assurances by the Chinese vendor about the safety of its gear, in a rebuke to the Trump administration.”

“Bridgetown Holdings Ltd., the blank-check company backed by billionaires Richard Li and Peter Thiel, is considering a potential merger with Indonesia’s e-commerce giant PT Tokopedia.”

“Amazon has accused President Trump of creating an “environment of corruption” at the Department of Defense, resulting in the Pentagon’s decision to reject AWS’ bid for a $10 billion cloud services contract.”

“Spotify has signed an exclusive deal with Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s production company to do a podcast series, marking the latest celebrities that the music streaming service has signed on to grow its podcasting business.”

“MessageBird, the omnichannel cloud communications platform recently valued at $3 billion following a Series C round in October, has acquired London-based real-time web technologies company Pusher.”

“Mackenzie Scott, who was married to Amazon founder Jeff Bezos until last year, said she has donated more than $4.1 billion of her personal wealth split across donations to hundreds of food banks and emergency relief funds over the past four months.”

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