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12/17/20: What’s Going On

Google, Amazon and more from around the business world.
(VDB Photos)
(VDB Photos)
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“Ten states sued Google Wednesday, accusing the search giant of running an illegal digital-advertising monopoly and enlisting rival Facebook Inc. in an alleged deal to rig ad auctions that was code-named after “Star Wars” characters. The complaint, filed in U.S. District Court in Texas, alleges that Facebook emerged in 2017 as a powerful new rival to Google, challenging the Alphabet Inc. unit’s established dominance in online advertising. Google responded by initiating an agreement in which Facebook would curtail its competitive moves, in return for guaranteed special treatment in Google-run ad auctions, the lawsuit claims.”

“Amazon.com Inc. has asked the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention to give priority to its workers as vaccinations for Covid-19 begin to roll out. In a letter to a CDC vaccine-advisory panel Wednesday, the retail company requested that its front-line workers at its warehouses, data centers and Whole Foods Market grocery stores receive the vaccine ‘at the earliest appropriate time.’ Amazon wrote that it employs more than 800,000 people in the U.S., making it the nation’s second-largest employer behind Walmart Inc.”

“Facebook Inc. said it would assist the company behind the popular videogame “Fortnite” in its high-profile legal battle with Apple Inc., as the social-media giant ramps up its own counterattack against what it says are the iPhone maker’s self-serving measures cloaked in the interest of privacy. Facebook has been feuding with Apple for months on issues ranging from prices for paid apps to privacy-rule changes.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
GoCardless$95 MillionLondon-based FinTech Payments Company
Lydia$86 MillionBuilding A European Financial Super App
Brainly$80 MillionCrowdsourced Homework Help Platform
Aceable$50 MillionOnline Training Tool For Drivers And Real Estate Agents
Better Dairy£1.6 MillionDesigning Products “Molecularly Identical” To Traditional Dairy

“Roku Inc. reached a deal on Wednesday with AT&T Inc.’s WarnerMedia to carry the HBO Max streaming service, ending an eight-month standoff between the companies and ensuring that Roku customers will be able to watch content such as the upcoming “Wonder Woman” movie.”

“BarkBox Inc., a startup best known for its monthly subscription service for dogs, is merging with a blank-check company in a $1.6 billion deal, including debt.”

“Didi Chuxing Inc.’s foray into China’s on-demand trucking services market is seeking a debut funding round. The logistics unit, known as Didi Freight, is looking to raise $300 million to $400 million.”

“The IPO boom isn’t lifting all boats. Shares of mobile e-commerce firm Wish started trading on Wednesday, only to fall 13% from its IPO price of $24 early on.”

“StockX, an app that helps connects consumers who want to buy and sell specialty sneakers, apparel and consumer electronics, said Wednesday it had raised $275 million from Tiger Global and other investors, valuing the company at $2.8 billion post-money.”

“Qatar’s BeIN Sports has agreed to pay about $500 million for the right to broadcast live Premier League soccer games across the Middle East.”

“The National Aeronautics and Space Administration on Wednesday named Blue Origin Federation LLC’s New Glenn rocket—a 310-foot reusable booster that isn’t expected to make its first flight until 2021—as one of its potential launch providers for scientific missions later in the decade.”

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