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COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 22.04.24

COMMΞЯCIΛL ΛWΛЯΞNΞSS | 22.04.24

A rundown of things that you should know about from last week 22 | 04 | 24

  • U.S. BANS TIKTOK UNLESS IT IS SOLD

The United States took one more step towards becoming the possible first country to ban the social media app TikTok over privacy concerns.

On Tuesday, April 23, Congress approved legislation which would force the Chinese owner of the app ByteDance to sell the platform within nine months or face a ban.

Many countries are concerned about TikTok’s security and the platform’s ties to China. TikTok has over 100 million US users

Lawmakers and regulators have increasingly expressed concern that TikTok may be sharing data with the Chinese government

China has laws allowing the Chinese government to secretly demand data from Chinese companies and citizens.

TikTok has denied the charges levelled against it, The Chinese government owns 1 percent stake in ByteDance and controls one of three board members in the Beijing-based company.

  • ANGLO AMERICAN REJECTS £31BN TAKEOVER OFFER FROM MINING RIVAL BHP

The board of Anglo American, the London-listed mining company, has rejected a “highly unattractive” £31bn takeover approach from its Australian rival BHP.

BHP’s all-share proposed offer for Anglo American had the potential to be one of the biggest deals in the global mining sector for a decade but has attracted criticism from Anglo’s shareholders as being too low and “highly opportunistic”.

Anglo American said in a statement that its board had unanimously rejected BHP’s approach because it “significantly undervalues” the company and its future prospects.

It also added that the structure of BHP’s proposal, which required Anglo American to complete two separate demergers, was “highly unattractive”.

  • MICROSOFT AND AMAZON FACE SCRUTINY FROM UK COMPETITION WATCHDOG OVER RECENT AI DEALS

The UK’s competition watchdog is ramping up its examination of big tech involvement in AI startups, seeking input on three deals involving Microsoft and Amazon.

The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) revealed it’s investigating Microsoft’s investment in the French company Mistral and the hiring of Mustafa Suleyman, co-founder of DeepMind, to lead Microsoft’s new AI division. Additionally, the CMA is scrutinizing Amazon’s substantial $4 billion investment in the US AI firm Anthropic.

The CMA’s move includes “invitations to comment” on these partnerships, a step toward potentially launching a formal investigation. There are concerns that these tie-ups could effectively give big tech firms indirect control over potential competitors, potentially stifling competition. The watchdog has also sought comments on Microsoft’s relationship with OpenAI, the developer behind ChatGPT.

  • SPOTIFY MAKES A RECORD PROFIT

The Swedish streaming giant said its gross profit surpassed €1bn for the first time in its 17-year history.

Spotify has seen its monthly active users shoot up by 19pc to 615m people in its latest quarterly earnings report published today (23 April) as co-founder and CEO Daniel Ek called 2024 a “year of monetisation”.

Revenue at the Stockholm-based streaming giant was also up 20pc to €3.6bn while operating income up to €168m.

This rise in profits is largely attributed to a substantial increase in paid subscribers of the app, which went up by 14pc to nearly 240m.

  • FIRST RATE CUT STILL SOME WAY OFF, BoE

Bank of England Chief Economist Huw Pill said on Tuesday 23rd April that interest rate cuts remained some way off, even if the passage of time and an absence of bad news on inflation had brought them closer.

Pill said there were greater risks from cutting the Bank Rate too quickly, rather than too late – a view that grounded his cautious approach to policy, despite signs of a reduction in inflation pressures.

Pill, seen as a centrist on the Monetary Policy Committee, declined to comment on whether markets were right to be focused on an August rate cut, and said it was right to maintain a restrictive stance for interest rates..

  • FTSE 100 HITS NEW RECORD HIGH

The FTSE 100 index, which comprises the 100 most valuable companies on the London Stock Exchange, closed on Monday 22nd April 2023 on 8,023 points following a jump of 128 points or 1.6%.

That was the highest closing sum since February last year when the 8,000 barrier was breached for the first time in its history.

The previous record stood at 8,012.

The performance on Monday was driven by a strong showing for companies across the board, particularly financial and consumer-linked stocks such as those for retailers.

The index has been gaining ground in recent weeks on growing hopes for a cut in UK interest rates as inflation eases – with strong evidence that the economy has turned a corner after the recession during the second half of last year.U

 

 

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