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12/23/20: What’s Going On

Facebook, ByteDance and more from around the business world.
(Arcansel)
(Arcansel)
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“The federal government has reached a deal with Pfizer Inc. to secure 100 million more doses of the company’s Covid-19 vaccine, an agreement that will bolster the vaccination campaign under way in the U.S., Pfizer and its German partner, BioNTech SE, said Wednesday. Under the terms of the deal, Pfizer will provide an additional 70 million doses by the end of June, with 30 million to follow by the end of July, the companies said. Pfizer and BioNTech will receive $1.95 billion for the additional doses, consistent with the pricing for the initial supply of the vaccine.”

“Facebook, under investigation by antitrust authorities, had offered to help a competitor, one of several remedies floated by the company’s top lawyers in advance of this fall’s lawsuits by the Federal Trade Commission and state attorneys general, according to The Washington Post. Citing anonymous sources, the newspaper reported Facebook suggested allowing another company or developer to license its code and its users’ web of relationships to more easily create their own version of the social network.”

“ByteDance, TikTok’s Chinese parent company, is entering the health industry as it seeks to diversify a business dependent on advertising and livestreaming sales. The company, which prides itself on content algorithms, has started seeking talent in AI drug discovery across Mountain View, Shanghai and Beijing, its recruiting page shows.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Octopus$200 MillionAI-Driven Energy Startup
WeRide$200 MillionChinese Autonomous Driving Startup
Boardable$8 MillionBoard Management Software For Nonprofits

“Instant messaging app Telegram is “approaching” 500 million users and plans to generate revenue starting next year to keep the business afloat, its founder Pavel Durov said on Wednesday.”

“Vimeo, an online-video platform that has seen a surge of revenue as businesses rely more on the internet to reach customers during the pandemic, will be spun off from IAC/InterActive Corp. as an independent public company.”

“Apple Inc. is booting thousands of video game apps from its platform in China as the government clamps down harder on such content, illustrating the tech giant’s vulnerability to state pressure on its business.”

“For more than a decade, Google assured publishers its online advertising tools were designed to help them make more money. Many were skeptical. Last week, an antitrust lawsuit by Texas and nine other states against Google gave publishers’ frustrations a legal voice, alleging that the tech giant runs a digital advertising monopoly and rigs the market in its favor.”

“Tesla, currently worth about $600 billion, could have been sold to Apple for the tame price of around $60 billion two or three years ago, Tesla CEO Elon Musk said on Tuesday.”

“U.S. filings for unemployment benefits declined for the first time in three weeks but remained elevated, while consumer spending and incomes fell in November by more than forecast, underscoring the coronavirus’s drag on the economy.”

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