The European Commission has approved Microsoft’s acquisition of ZeniMax Media – the parent company of Bethesda Softworks that makes ’Doom’ and ’Fallout.’ The deal is worth $7.5 billion. The EC passed it without any condition. It said the acquisition ’does not raise serious doubts as to its compatibility with the common market.’ Microsoft initially announced its plans to buy Bethesda in September.
Following similar moves by Microstrategy, Tesla and Square, Meitu, a Chinese company who makes a beauty photo editing app, has purchased $22.1 million worth of ether and $17.9 million worth of bitcoin.
On Tuesday, Parler filed a new lawsuit against Amazon for having cut off its servers. The suit also claims that Amazon Web Services’ (AWS) decision to shift Parler offline was done so as to ’protect Twitter from facing growing rival.’ Additionally, the statement also accused AWS of selling user data to ’anyone with a certain type of Amazon account.’
American employers added 379,000 employees in February in a hopeful sign for economy. This is nearly double of the 198,000 experts predicted. The country’s unemployment rate also dipped to 6.2%. However, the country has 9.2 million employees lesser than it had before the Covid-19 pandemic. Bars and restaurants added 286,000 as Covid-19 curbs were gradually eased. Retailers added another 41,000.
Federal Reserve Chairman Powell said Thursday that he expects some inflationary pressures going ahead but they likely won’t be enough to spur the central bank to hike interest rates. Following Powell’s comments, stocks slid while the Treasury yields jumped. Powell said the outlook for the economy has improved after three months of weak job growth. He, however, advised caution on over optimism.
Sales for apparel retailer GAP came up short of estimates in the fourth quarter of 2021 due to the company being hurt after store closures because of COVID-19. Profit during the fourth quarter was achieved by GAP as the company aimed at selling more merchandise at full price. This helped the company shutter the underperforming stores. A return to sales growth has been anticipated by GAP for 2021.
The number of US workers seeking unemployment benefits rose slightly to 745,000 at the end of February, the Labor Department said. The figure has now brought the total for the Covid-19 pandemic to nearly 80.4 million. The slight rise in jobless claims in the pandemic-devastated job market is attributed to the winter storms in southern states, especially Texas, which triggered long power outages.
The IFPI(International Federation of the Phonographic Industry) announced BTS a Korean musical group, as the top artists for 2020.
Twitter boss Jack Dorsey’s fintech service Square has acquired rapper Jay Z’s music-streaming service Tidal in a deal worth around $297 million. As a part of the deal, Jay Z will also be a member of the Square board of directors. Square’s purchase of consumer-focused Cash App service had reached 36 million monthly active users in December 2020, up from 24 million in the same period one year prior.
Epic Games has bought Tonic Games, the parent company of the UK-based studio Mediatonic, which created the 2020 hit ’Fall Guys: Ultimate Knockout.’ Epic said the acquisition won’t affect the upcoming Nintendo Switch and Xbox version of ’Fall Guys,’ which is planned for this summer. Tonic Games said the deal will help developers generate new ideas. The financial terms of the deal weren’t disclosed.
A Miami-based art collector recently sold a 10-second video artwork for $6.6M. The digital asset, known as a non-fungible token (NFT), has exploded in popularity in recent months. The video, in this case, by artist Beeple was authenticated by blockchain, verifying ownership and authenticity. Examples of NFTs range from digital artworks, sports cards to pieces of land in virtual environments.
In a research note released Monday, Citi said Bitcoin was at a ’tipping point’ and could become the preferred currency for global trade. ’There are a host of risks and obstacles that stand in the way of Bitcoin progress,’ the bank noted, keeping a cautious view in the near term. These developments, it noted, could act as a decider between ’mainstream acceptance or a speculative implosion.’
Wall Street futures surged on the first day of March as bond markets steadied and investors shifted focus to near-term growth prospects. This was helped by easing of Treasury bonds, whose rapid rise unsettled the bullish mood in the markets last week. Futures for the Dow Jones Industrial Average were up 333 points (1.1%) to 31,245. The S&P 500 futures were up 40.80 points (1.1%) to reach 3,850.
Cybersecurity company PiiQ Media said bots on social media have been hyping GameStop and other ’meme stocks.’ It also suggested that organized foreign actors may have played a role in the Reddit-driven trading frenzy that resulted in GameStop stock prices to shoot up. However, Reddit CEO Steve Huffman told Congress that bots, or accounts with automated content, had not played a ’significant role.’
Warren Buffett has encouraged investors to maintain their faith in America’s economy and the businesses his Berkshire Hathaway conglomerate owns. In a letter to shareholders Saturday, Buffett said, ’In its brief 232 years of existence, however, there has been no incubator for unleashing human potential like America.’ US business will thrive over time in spite of the pandemic, he added.
Brexit, Covid-19, and global competition are chipping away Britain’s lead status in the fintech sector, and if the country wants to retain its position, it must do more, a UK government-backed report said. The report also presented Britain a strategy on how to do it. Among the suggestions given, it proposed setting up a £1 billion ($1.4 billion) startup fund and ease visa norms for hiring talent.
Toymaker Hasbro has given a new gender-neutral name to its classic children’s toy Mr Potato. Now, it will be just called Potato after dropping the ’Mr’ title. Hasbro said Mr Potato Head needed a modern makeover. The toy’s new name will start appearing on boxes from 2022. The move triggered reactions on social media. Some welcomed the change while some called it dumb to gender-label a vegetable.
US cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase has publicly filed for listing its stock on the NASDAQ exchange. Brian Armstrong, the exchange’s founder, presented cryptocurrency as an equalizing force in financial markets – and Coinbase as the company at the forefront of that change. The cryptocurrency exchange revealed that it raked in a revenue of $1.2 billion in 2020 and posted a profit of $322 million.
Around 730,000 American workers filed for unemployment benefits in the week that ended on February 20, the US Department of Labor said. It is a drop of 111,000 from the previous week. This is the lowest number of first-time unemployment since late November. Meanwhile, another 451,000 people applied for Pandemic Unemployment Assistance, which is a federal program for self-employed and gig workers.
Shares in GameStop skyrocketed 103.9 percent on Wednesday with almost all of that action bubbling up in the final hour of trading. The rally follows news about top executive reshuffling and fresh rumors on Reddit of efforts by Wall Street to short the stock. The Texas-based video game retailer saw its shares climb after it stated CFO James Bell would leave on March 26 after less than two years.
Nvidia revealed its financial results for the fourth quarter, which showed the GPU maker beat market expectations with record revenue in both its gaming and data center segments. Nvidia’s Q4 non-GAAP earnings per diluted share were $3.10 on revenue of $5 billion, which is up by 61% compared to last Q4. Market analysts were expecting Nvidia’s earnings of $2.81 per share on revenue of $4.82 billion.
Qatar-based news network Al Jazeera is launching a platform to target conservatives in the US. The new effort, called Rightly, will target Republicans who ’feel left out of mainstream media.’ Rightly will be led by Scott Norvell, a former Fox News journalist. Al Jazeera has a significant presence online in the US with its AJPlus video network. Al Jazeera English is popular in the US.
The COVID-19 vaccination campaign started on Wednesday in Ukraine. The campaign has risen hopes for the spread of the virus to be halted in the country as the health care system has already suffered significant strain. The first shots were given to medical workers and military personnel of the Oxford-AstraZeneca vaccine. 500,000 doses of the vaccine arrived in the country from India.