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Apple Supplier Says Smartphone Market May Slump Into Next Year, Meta Loses Veteran Exec Behind Instagram and WhatsApp Acquisitions, Voyager Digital Seeks Creditors’ Vote For Sale To FTX: Top Stories Thursday, Oct. 20 – Bitcoin (BTC/USD), Ethereum (ETH/USD)

Bloomberg

YouTube Named Google Play Executive As New Gaming Head

  • Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL YouTube named Leo Olebe as the new head of its gaming unit after an eight-month vacancy for the position.
  • Olebe has held executive roles in Google Play’s games partnerships division and a similar position at Facebook. Before Facebook, Olebe held positions at Electronic Arts Inc EA and Zynga.

China Held Emergency Meetings With Semiconductor Companies After Biden’s Curbs

  • China’s Ministry of Industry and Information Technology has convened emergency meetings over the past week with leading semiconductor companies to assess the damage from the Biden administration’s chip restrictions and pledge support for the critical sector.
  • The technology overseer called executives from companies, including Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. and Dawning Information Industry Co., into closed-door meetings since the U.S. announced the measures.

Reuters

Boeing Wins Senator Support For Request For Waiving Deadline Extension For New 737 MAX Variants Certifications

  • A Republican senator and a significant customer came forward in support of Boeing Co’s BA, trying to convince the U.S. Congress to extend the deadline to win certification of two new 737 MAX variants.
  • The company faces a late December deadline for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) to certify the MAX 7 and MAX 10.

Vaccine Wastage: Switzerland Throws Away Some 9M Expired Moderna COVID-19 Vaccines

  • Switzerland will need to discard around 9 million doses of Moderna Inc’s MRNA COVID-19 vaccine that have reached their expiry date.
  • The wastage reflects the Swiss strategy of ordering more vaccines than needed to ensure its population of around 8.7 million would get sufficient supplies despite supply bottlenecks or quality issues.

Wall Street Journal

This Key Apple Supplier Explores Japan Expansion As US-China Tensions Aggravate

  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd TSM weighed expanding its production capacity in Japan to reduce geopolitical risk. The Japanese government has allowed TSMC to expand in the country beyond a factory already under construction.
  • The critical Apple Inc AAPL supplier is building its first chip-manufacturing plant in Japan, located on the southern island of Kyushu.

Financial Times

Boston University’s COVID-19 Created In Lab Research Comes Under Scrutiny

  • Boston University created an artificial form of COVID-19 in a laboratory. Now, U.S. health officials have launched an inquiry into a controversial study.
  • The National Institutes of Health told the Financial Times that its officials were investigating whether the study, partly funded by the U.S. government, should have gone through extra checks before proceeding.

Benzinga

Shiba Inu Army Clamors For Binance To List Bone ShibaSwap Token

  • At least 208 community members of Shiba Inu token (SHIB/USD) have signed a petition urging cryptocurrency exchange Binance to list the governance token of the SHIB ecosystem — Bone ShibaSwap (BONE/USD).
  • BONE allows the members of the SHIB community to vote on upcoming proposals. The more tokens the user holds, the more weight their vote carries in future endeavors. BONE has 250 million tokens, and has been listed by MEXC Global, CoinEx, BitMart, and the native ShibaSwap.

Bankrupt Voyager Seeks Creditors’ Vote For $1.42B Sale To FTX

  • Bankrupt cryptocurrency lending firm Voyager Digital Ltd VYGVQ has sought creditors’ approval for its $1.42 billion sale to cryptocurrency exchange FTX, after securing an initial court clearance.
  • U.S. Bankruptcy Judge Michael Wiles said that as long as Voyager remains open to larger and better proposals than the FTX bid, he would accept Voyager’s sale contract and creditor solicitation materials.

Amazon Faces £900M UK Antitrust Class Action For Algorithm Abuse

  • Amazon.com Inc AMZN faced a U.K. class-action lawsuit for allegedly using a “secretive and self-favoring algorithm” that breached competition law and caused millions of U.K. customers to pay higher prices.
  • The claim will seek damages from Amazon estimated in the region of £900 million.

New York Times Scraps Kids’ App Plan To Focus On Expanding Its Subscription Business

  • New York Times Co NYT ditched its plans to launch an app for children.
  • “When we launched our Kids venture three years ago, it was before we acquired The Athletic and Wordle, both of which rapidly changed the opportunity size of our subscription bundle. Ultimately, our Kids app caters to a smaller market at a time when we need to focus on scaling our subscription business,” Times chief product officer Alex Hardiman said in the email.

Nokia Registers 16% Net Sales Growth In Q3; Margins Shrink Due To Nokia Tech Decline

  • Nokia Corp NOK reported a third-quarter FY22 net sales growth of 16% year-on-year (6% in constant currency) to €6.24 billion.
  • Network Infrastructure sales grew 5% Y/Y in CC. Cloud and Network Services sales declined 3% Y/Y in CC, while Nokia Tech declined 19% Y/Y, affected by expired licenses.
  • Mobile Networks sales grew by 12% Y/Y in CC as supply chain constraints eased.

Mercedes-Benz Inks Lithium Supply Agreement With Rock Tech Lithium

  • Mercedes-Benz Group ADR MBGYY has signed a supply agreement with Rock Tech Lithium Inc to supply an average of 10,000 tonnes of battery-grade lithium hydroxide per year.
  • The deal represents an estimated sales volume of approximately C$2 billion or €1.5 billion under a five-year term of the agreement and an initial ramp-up period.
  • This represents 40% of the expected annual production from Rock Tech’s planned converter capacity in Guben, Germany.

Philip Morris Ends IQOS Commercial Partnership With Altria

  • Philip Morris International Inc PM has agreed with Altria Group Inc MO to end the companies’ commercial relationship covering IQOS in the U.S. as of April 30, 2024.
  • IQOS is a smoke-free product with heat-not-burn technology.
  • Thereafter, Philip Morris will have the full rights to commercialize IQOS in the U.S.

Apple Supplier Says Smartphone Market Slump May Last Well Into 2023

  • The smartphone market might not regain momentum in the fiscal year 2022, which ends in March, and will likely extend to the next term, Norio Nakajima, President of Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd. MRAAY told Bloomberg in an interview.
  • Murata, based out of Kyoto, provides electronic modules and components for Apple Inc’s iPhones, Samsung’s Android devices, and leading Chinese smartphone manufacturers.

Citing Ineffectiveness, FDA Panel Recommends Taking Down Famed Preterm Birth Drug From Market

  • Federal health advisers recommended pulling Covis Pharma’s preterm birth drug from the market because it is ineffective.
  • The FDA’s advisory panel voted 14-1 to withdraw Makena, citing recent results that showed it did not prevent health problems in newborns of mothers who took the drug.

Philip Morris Boosts Buyout Offer For Swedish Match

  • Philip Morris International Inc has raised its buyout offer for tobacco company Swedish Match AB SWMAF.
  • Philip Morris made an all-cash offer of SEK 106 per share for Swedish Match in May.
  • Philip Morris’ subsidiary, Philip Morris Holland Holdings B.V.(PMHH), increased the price of the offer to SEK 116 per share.

Meta Loses Veteran Exec Behind Instagram and WhatsApp Acquisitions

  • Meta Platforms Inc META corporate development Vice President Amin Zoufonoun will take a break after almost 12 years, he said in a post on Facebook.
  • Zoufonoun was instrumental in the acquisitions of Instagram, WhatsApp, and Oculus.

Ericsson Clocks 21% Sales Growth In Q3 Aided By Growing Presence In Mobile Networks; Margins Shrink Due To Footprint Expansion

  • Telefonaktiebolaget L M Ericsson ERIC reported a third-quarter FY22 sales growth of 21% year-on-year to SEK 68 billion.
  • Group organic sales grew by 3% Y/Y, driven by Networks in North America. Organic sales in Networks rose 7% Y/Y.
  • It reported an EPS of SEK 1.56 versus SEK 1.73 last year.
  • Adjusted gross margin contracted 260 basis points to 41.4% due to lower IPR revenues, supply chain costs, and a larger share of services following footprint expansion in Networks.

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