Salesforce’s $27.7B Slack deal combines two Amazon allies, creates big new rival for Microsoft

Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff calls it a “match made in heaven.” (GeekWire Illustration / Photo by Kevin Lisota)

Salesforce confirmed its plan to acquire Slack and revealed the purchase price, $27.7 billion in cash and stock, perhaps not coincidentally topping Microsoft’s $26.2 billion LinkedIn acquisition in the rankings of the largest tech deals of all time.

If the deal works out as Marc Benioff and Stewart Butterfield hope, it won’t be the last time the two San Francisco companies best the Redmond tech giant.

Salesforce and Slack “will shape the future of enterprise software,” said Benioff, the Salesforce CEO, in a statement announcing the deal.

“The opportunity we see together is massive,” added Butterfield, the Slack CEO.

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EU plans to open data to sharing in bid to rival Asia and U.S.

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – In an effort to avoid EU firms and citizens relying on data from Asian and U.S rivals, the European Commission is proposing new rules to allow sharing of public and personal data with businesses and research organisations.

FILE PHOTO: European Union flags flutter outside the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium August 21, 2020. REUTERS/Yves Herman

The European Union executive hopes that this could lead to improvements ranging from personalised health treatments, to better tackling climate change or developing precision farming techniques.

“Data should be accessible and the sharing of such data should be secure,” European Commission Vice-President Margrethe Vestager told a news briefing on Wednesday.

The Commission proposed a new model based on the neutrality and transparency of so-called “data intermediaries,” which would organise data sharing or pooling, to increase trust.

“For data to circulate, we need (people) to have confidence,” EU industry chief Thierry Breton

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Even Huawei’s biggest rival is arguing against banning it

Huawei Logo Mate 30 Pro

  • The CEO of Huawei rival Ericsson has criticized a Swedish ban against Huawei.
  • Borje Ekholm reportedly claimed that the ban restricts free competition.
  • He added that the ban would result in a delay for 5G rollouts.

Huawei has been subject to US sanctions for well over a year now, affecting its mobile phone division and network infrastructure business. Washington has also been pressuring allied countries to bar the use of Huawei infrastructure for 5G networks.

Now, one of Huawei’s major rivals in the infrastructure space has come out against a recent ban in Sweden. Ericsson CEO Borje Ekholm told the Financial Times that the ban in Ericsson’s home country restricts free competition and will result in a delay for 5G.

“I belong in that category that believes competition makes us longer term a better company. It may be painful shorter term but longer term it drives us to be more

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Twitter rolls out Stories, aka ‘Fleets,’ to all users; will also test a Clubhouse rival

Twitter this morning is launching its own version of Stories — aka “Fleets” — to its global user base. The product, which allows users to post ephemeral content that disappears in 24 hours, had already rolled out to select markets including Brazil, India, Italy, South Korea, and most recently, Japan. The company, in a press briefing on Monday, also revealed its plans to test an audio-based social networking feature similar to the controversial app Clubhouse.

Like Clubhouse, Twitter’s new audio spaces will allow people to gather for live conversations with another person or a group of people.

This is an area that, so far, has faced significant moderation challenges due to the nature of live audio. Clubhouse, though still in a private, invite-only testing phase, has already seen several high-profile incidents of moderation failure, including the harassment of a New York Times reporter, and another conversation that delved into antisemitism.

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Tesla’s Chinese Rival Nio To Post Q3 Earnings Today

KEY POINTS

  • Nio’s stock has surged 57% in the last month, 245% over past three months
  • The automaker has already shared strong delivery numbers for Q3
  • Nio will expand in Europe in 2021, to take on Tesla

Wall Street is preparing for the third-quarter earnings of Tesla’s emerging Chinese competitor, Nio (NIO), scheduled on Tuesday after the closing bell, whose trajectory on the bourses this year has shocked investors and consumers alike.

China-based Nio is reporting its results after its EV rivals XPeng and Li Auto posted mixed results last week. Investors are predicting a narrower loss for the automaker, as compared to the same quarter last year, on the back of strong sales of its ES6 model, the 5-seater premium smart electric SUV, which is Nio’s most selling product.

Nio’s stock has surged 57% over the past month and about 245% over the past three months. There is an

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Uber reportedly may sell its self-driving car division to rival Aurora

Uber is in talks to sell its autonomous vehicle unit to startup competitor Aurora Innovation, TechCrunch reported. If it comes to pass, the sale of Uber Advanced Technologies Group (UberATG), would mark the end of a bumpy road for a division of Uber that was valued at $7.25 billion as recently as last July, but which has been plagued with ongoing problems.

In March of 2019, Uber avoided criminal charges in the 2018 death of Elaine Herzberg in Tempe, Arizona, the first-ever death involving an autonomous car. Federal investigators found that Uber, the safety driver behind the wheel of the car, and the state of Arizona all shared a portion of the blame for the incident. The accident ended Uber’s test program in Tempe, but the company resumed testing in Pittsburgh, where UberATG is headquartered.

And UberATG was involved in a trade secrets lawsuit with competitor Waymo, owned by Google

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ByteDance’s Chief Rival Files for $5 Billion Hong Kong IPO

(Bloomberg) — Kuaishou Technology has filed an application for a Hong Kong initial public offering, heading toward a listing that could raise as much as $5 billion and beat larger rival ByteDance Ltd. to market.



Beijing Kwai Technology Co.'s app Kuaishou, or Kwai, is arranged for a photograph on a smartphone in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Tencent-backed Chinese startup Kuaishou is seeking to raise funds at about a $17 billion valuation, people familiar with the matter said, as it expands its video-streaming service to Southeast Asia.


© Bloomberg
Beijing Kwai Technology Co.’s app Kuaishou, or Kwai, is arranged for a photograph on a smartphone in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Tencent-backed Chinese startup Kuaishou is seeking to raise funds at about a $17 billion valuation, people familiar with the matter said, as it expands its video-streaming service to Southeast Asia.

Kuaishou, or “fast hand,” reported revenue climbed 48% to 25.3 billion yuan ($3.8 billion) in 2020’s first half, underlining the scorching pace of growth of a Chinese short video market. The Tencent Holdings Ltd.-backed startup is angling for a valuation of $50 billion in an offering as soon as the end of this year, almost twice its current

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ByteDance Rival Kuaishou Technology Files for Hong Kong IPO

(Bloomberg) — Chinese video-sharing startup Kuaishou Technology filed an application for a Hong Kong initial public offering, raising hopes that the city will continue to see a wave of listings from fast-growing internet companies.



Beijing Kwai Technology Co.'s app Kuaishou, or Kwai, is arranged for a photograph on a smartphone in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Tencent-backed Chinese startup Kuaishou is seeking to raise funds at about a $17 billion valuation, people familiar with the matter said, as it expands its video-streaming service to Southeast Asia.


© Bloomberg
Beijing Kwai Technology Co.’s app Kuaishou, or Kwai, is arranged for a photograph on a smartphone in Hong Kong, China, on Tuesday, Jan. 16, 2018. Tencent-backed Chinese startup Kuaishou is seeking to raise funds at about a $17 billion valuation, people familiar with the matter said, as it expands its video-streaming service to Southeast Asia.

Morgan Stanley, Bank of America Corp. and China Renaissance Holdings Ltd. are joint sponsors of the proposed IPO, according to pre-listing documents posted on the Hong Kong stock exchange’s website Thursday. While the filing didn’t provide a fundraising target, people familiar with the matter said in September that the potential share sale could raise as much as $5 billion.

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Tesla Model Y Rival Revs Up Production

Buyers of the Ford Mustang Mach-E electric are seeing hard production dates.

Several people who placed orders for the Ford Electric crossover are receiving notifications of production dates of December 7, 2020, according to posts on the Mustang Mach E Reddit forum and the Mach E Club. Other December dates were also cited.

In an email, a Ford spokesperson told me that “production date emails” went out on Thursday.

The Mustang Mach-E is one of the most anticipated new electric cars and has one of the best chances of stealing some thunder from Tesla’s popular Model Y. Both cars are classified as crossover SUVs, aka, a compact SUV.

Ford has previously stated that the 2021 Mustang Mach-E is slated to be available by late this year though volume availability isn’t expected until 2021.

Ford recently reduced prices on some versions of the 2021 Mustang Mach-E

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Uber Is Said to Bid $1.2 Billion for Europe Rival Free Now

Uber Technologies  (UBER) – Get Report shares fell after a report that the ride-hailing giant has offered more than 1 billion euros ($1.2 billion) to purchase its European rival Free Now, which is jointly owned by BMW and Daimler.

German business publication Manager Magazin reported that Daimler is prepared to let Free Now go, while BMW is more reluctant. 

BMW is mulling the idea of offering Uber a stake in Free Now, the publication said. 

Free Now is based in Hamburg and serves more than 100 European cities with both taxi and ride-hailing service.

Gaining hold of Free Now would give Uber a commanding position in the European taxi and ride-sharing market, MarketWatch reports.

Uber received approval last month to keep operating in London, its biggest European market, for another 18 months.

Uber recently traded at $35.04, down 3.5%. The shares have climbed 18% year to date.

Earlier

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