Categories
The Verge

The DOJ is reviewing Intuit’s $7.1 billion purchase of its free competitor


Intuit’s $7.1 billion purchase of Credit Karma earlier this year is now subjected to review by the US Department of Justice. The department is concerned about possible antitrust issues if Intuit — owner of TurboTax, QuickBooks, and Mint — is allowed to take over a former rival that offered free tax preparation tools that were directly in competition with Intuit’s own offering, according to a report from ProPublica.

In a memo obtained by ProPublica, the DOJ’s lawyers are apparently concerned about “the influence that Intuit’s purchase of Credit Karma will have on consumer tax preparation platforms and [the] software market.” Currently, the DOJ has requested Intuit and Credit Karma provide more information before it rules on whether to allow the merger to go through. Read More

Categories
VentureBeat

China’s Xiao-i sues Apple for $1.43 billion over Siri AI infringement


(Reuters) — Chinese artificial intelligence company Shanghai Zhizhen Intelligent Network Technology, also known as Xiao-i, has filed a lawsuit against Apple, alleging it has infringed on Xiao-i’s patents.

Xiao-i is calling for 10 billion yuan ($1.43 billion) in damages and demands that Apple cease “manufacturing, using, promising to sell, selling, and importing” products that infringe on the patent, it said in a social media post.

Xiao-i argued that Apple’s voice-recognition technology Siri infringes on a patent it applied for in 2004 and was granted in 2009. Read More

Categories
TechCrunch

Apple’s partners and Samsung apply for India’s $6.6 billion local smartphone production program – TechCrunch


South Korean giant Samsung, Apple’s contract manufacturing partners Foxconn, Wistron and Pegatron, and Indian smartphone vendors Micromax and Lava among others have applied for India’s $6.6 billion incentive program aimed at boosting the local smartphone manufacturing, New Delhi said on Saturday.

The scheme, called Production-Linked Incentive Scheme, will offer a range of incentives to companies including a 6% financial incentive on additional sales of goods produced locally over five years, with 2019-2020 set as the base year, India’s IT Minister Ravi Shankar Prasad said in a press conference. Read More

Categories
TechCrunch

Amazon gains FCC approval for Kuiper internet satellite constellation and commits $10 billion to the project – TechCrunch


Amazon has received approval from the U.S. Federal Communications Commission (FCC) to launch and operate a planned constellation of 3,236 internet satellites. That’s the backbone of Amazon’s Project Kuiper, an initiative to create a satellite-based broadband internet service designed to provide high-speed, low latency connections to U.S.-based households that currently don’t have great access to a high-speed connection.

Alongside the key regulatory approval, Amazon also announced that it would be committing over $10 billion in Kuiper, money that it says will generate U.S. jobs and involve not only building and testing satellites for the constellation, but also building out key ground network infrastructure that’s required in order to actually make the connectivity available to consumers. Read More

Categories
VentureBeat

Amazon reports $88.9 billion in Q2 2020 revenue: AWS up 29%, subscriptions up 29%, and ‘other’ up 41%


Amazon today reported earnings for its second fiscal quarter of 2020, including revenue up 40% to $88.9 billion, net income of $5.2 billion, and earnings per share of $10.30 (compared to revenue of $63.4 billion, net income of $2.6 billion, and earnings per share of $5.22 in Q2 2019). North American sales were up 43% to $55.4 billion, while international sales grew 38% to $22.7 billion.

The results were highly anticipated since they encompass Amazon’s first full quarter during the coronavirus pandemic, not to mention the company’s leadership position in online retail and the cloud. Last quarter, Amazon’s guidance for Q2 included a note for “$4.0 billion in costs related to COVID-19.” For Q3, Amazon expects another “$2.0 billion of costs related to COVID-19.” The company does not want to be seen as benefiting too much from the pandemic. (Amazon’s $5.2 billion in quarterly profit is the largest ever in its 26-year history.) Read More

Categories
VentureBeat

EA reports strong June quarter with revenue up 21% to $1.46 billion


Electronic Arts reported financial results today that beat Wall Street’s expectations with revenue growing 21% to $1.46 billion for the first fiscal quarter ended June 30.

The big game publisher released just two games during the quarter: Command & Conquer Remastered Collection, a remake of the real-time strategy series created by Westwood Studios in the 1990s; and Burnout Paradise Remastered. But EA’s development teams put out more than 30 content updates as part of the live services it provides for its existing games, the company said. For instance, EA released Season 5 of its battle royale Apex Legends, with engagement levels reaching the highest since Season 1. And during the quarter, player acquisition for FIFA Soccer was up more than 100% from a year ago, and Madden NFL was up 140%. EA also said that The Sims 4 has more than 30 million players across all platforms, releasing on Steam as part of the publisher’s push on Valve’s PC game service. Read More

Categories
VentureBeat

Apple’s Q3 2020 revenue hits record $59.7 billion, stock will split 4:1


Three months ago, Apple missed its initial revenue target for the second quarter of 2020 due to the global coronavirus pandemic, but was still up slightly over the prior year’s quarter — a surprising feat enabled by a rapid and nearly complete shift to online sales, as well as growing demand for work and study from home devices. Today, the company announced its fiscal third quarter results, toplined by a record $59.7 billion in revenue, which was notably achieved despite avoiding advance earnings predictions for the quarter. Read More

Categories
TechCrunch

Self-driving startup Argo AI hits $7.5 billion valuation – TechCrunch


Autonomous vehicle technology startup Argo AI is valued at $7.5 billion, just a little more than three years after the company burst on the scene with a $1 billion investment from Ford.

The official valuation was confirmed Thursday nearly two months after VW Group finalized its $2.6 billion investment in Argo AI. Under that deal, Ford and VW have equal ownership stakes, which will be roughly 40% each over time. The remaining equity sits with Argo’s co-founders as well as employees. Argo’s board is comprised of two VW seats, two Ford seats and three Argo seats. Read More

Categories
VentureBeat

Facebook beats Q2 estimates with $18.69 billion in revenue and 2.7 billion monthly active users


(Reuters) — Facebook beat analysts’ estimates for quarterly revenue on Thursday, as businesses used its digital advertising tools to tap a surge in online traffic during the coronavirus pandemic even as they slashed marketing budgets elsewhere. Shares of the world’s biggest social network jumped 7% in extended trading. Revenue growth was its slowest ever as a public company, reported at 11%, although it beat analysts’ expectations that it would sink to 3%, according to IBES data from Refinitiv. Read More

Categories
VentureBeat

Google’s $2.1 billion Fitbit deal faces full EU antitrust probe


(Reuters) — Google’s $2.1 billion bid for fitness tracker maker Fitbit will face a full-scale EU antitrust investigation next week, people familiar with the matter said today.

Alphabet unit Google this month offered not to use Fitbit’s health data to help it target ads in an attempt to address EU antitrust concerns. The opening of a full-scale investigation suggests that this is not sufficient.

The deal, announced last November, would see Google compete with market leader Apple and Samsung in the fitness-tracking and smart-watch market, alongside others, including Huawei and Xiaomi. Read More