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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 3

The U.S. government begins national security investigation into TikTok

By: Jak Connor | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Nov 2, 2019 @ 6:04 CDT

TikTok's parent company could be in a little bit of trouble as an investigation has been opened up regarding its acquisition of Musical.ly.

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According to a new report out of Reuters, the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS) has begun to open up an investigation into ByteDance's acquisition of Musical.ly back in 2017. The acquisition for Musical.ly was for a whopping $1 billion, and the reason for the investigation is over U.S. concerns the Chinese owned company might be censoring politically sensitive content.

Reuters reports that CFIUS has reviewed the company acquisition, and found that TikTok did not seek proper clearance from the CFIUS. A TikTok spokesperson said, "While we cannot comment on ongoing regulatory processes, TikTok has made clear that we have no higher priority than earning the trust of users and regulators in the U.S. Part of that effort includes working with Congress and we are committed to doing so." The CFIUS also had a spokesperson who declined to reveal any details regarding the ongoing investigation.

Google acquires Fitbit for $2.1 billion

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Nov 1, 2019 @ 21:35 CDT

Google has acquired Fitbit in a deal worth $2.1 billion, with Google SVP of devices and services Rick Osterloh explaining in a blog post that acquiring Fitbit is "an opportunity to invest even more in Wear OS as well as introduce Made by Google wearable devices into the market".

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Fitbit will be joining Google itself just like when the company acquired Nest, versus breaking it up or sending it to join Alphabet and be used in a different fashion. Fitbit also had something to say in their own press release, standing by its privacy for health and fitness data (especially now that it's joined the do-no-evil Google). Fitbit said: "Fitbit health and wellness data will not be used for Google ads".

This is a good fit for Google as it transitions into 2020 it'll need to better fight Apple and its Watch family of wearables, and Google can bring some of its smarts into Fitbit's smartwatches and future wearables. Google has its own fitness tracking software and apps, and could see Fitbit blend works with Google Fit.

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Juul accused on keeping silent on billion dollar e-cigarette recall

By: Jak Connor | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 31, 2019 @ 2:05 CDT

Juul the e-cigarette company has had a former executive stand up and speak out about the company shipping out a massive amount of contaminated products.

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Juul's former senior vice president of global finance, Siddharth Breja has gone ahead and filed a law suit against his former employer. Breja claims that the company knew about a shipment of approximately 250,000 Juul mint refill kits, which are equivalent to one million pods were contaminated by e-liquid, but still shipped out to retailers and sold to customers.

Breja claims that he learned this during a business meeting, and that he also went on to file a product recall. Unfortunately, the product recall didn't go through as it would of cost the company billions of dollars, and as a result of the recall being filed Breja was terminated from his position. Since this lawsuit has been filed Juul has replied with statement, saying that Breja's claims are baseless and that the company will "vigorously defend this lawsuit."

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NVIDIA CEO is #1 CEO, AMD CEO is #26 on HBR Top 100 CEOs

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 27, 2019 @ 19:43 CDT

NVIDIA and AMD have been releasing products one after the other for over 12 moths now with NVIDIA unleashing an entire stack of new Turing-based GeForce RTX and GeForce GTX graphics cards while AMD has been firing on all cylinders.

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In the last 12 months AMD has released its next-gen Zen 2 CPU architecture and new Ryzen 3000 series processors, EPYC Rome server chips, and the soon-to-be-released Ryzen Threadripper 3000 series. AMD also returned to graphics cards with the new Navi GPU architecture and the two new Radeon RX 5700 series cards and the impending launch of the RX 5500 series family.

Now we have Harvard Business Review naming NVIDIA CEO Jensen Huang as the #1 CEO in the world for 2019, while AMD CEO Dr. Lisa Su ranks at #26. Huang was the #2 CEO for HBR in 2018, and #3 in 2017. He has been credited with the 14x increase in the price of NVIDIA share prices from 2015-2018 which is a gigantic achievement (even better for anyone who holds NVIDIA stock).

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Tesla made $143M profit in Q3 2019, even with record car deliveries

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 25, 2019 @ 1:47 CDT

Tesla has just reported its Q3 2019 earnings, surprising Wall Street and seeing TSLA shares increasing in after-marketing trading.

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The reason? Tesla reported $143 million in net income, or 80c a share -- which when compared to the same quarter of 2018, saw the Elon Musk-led company reporting $311 million, or $1.82 per share. However, when adjusted for one-time items Tesla earned $342 million, at $1.91 a share.

Tesla reported overall revenues of $6.3 billion, lower than analysts' expectations of $6.42 billion, and 7.5% lower than Q3 2018. Tesla added that the company was "highly confident" deliveries will easily pass 360,000 this year.

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SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO Elon Musk is 'cash poor'

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 24, 2019 @ 21:11 CDT

I don't know about you, but I'd trade positions with Elon Musk in a second. The owner of SpaceX and Tesla Motors has had some financial details revealed, through a defamation lawsuit against him.

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British diver Vernon Unsworth is suing Musk for defamation against him when the SpaceX and Tesla Motors CEO called him a "pedo guy" on Twitter in 2018. If you remember back in 2018, Unsworth was involved in the huge rescue of a young soccer team and their coach who was trapped in a cave in Thailand.

At the time, Musk sent a small submarine to Thailand to help in the efforts to save the kids and their coach. But Unsworth said the submarine would've been ineffective in the rescue, and was just a publicity stunt by Musk. Unsworth said Musk and his companies "can stick his submarine where it hurts".

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TikTok removes two dozen ISIS-related accounts

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 21, 2019 @ 23:55 CDT

TikTok has just banned around two dozen ISIS-affiliated accounts from its service, with social media monitoring agency Storyful recently finding the ISIS-related accounts and TikTok swiftly removing them.

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The ISIS-connected accounts were posting videos looking to recruit followers and increase support for ISIS, with videos showing ISIS anthems and videos of corpses and ISIS fighters.

ByteDance is the parent company of TikTok based in China, with a US-based TikTok representative telling Engadget: "Content promoting terrorist organizations has absolutely no place on TikTok. We permanently ban any such accounts and associated devices as soon as identified, and we continuously develop ever-stronger controls to proactively detect suspicious activity. This is an industry-wide challenge complicated by bad actors who actively seek to circumvent protective measures, but we have a team dedicated to aggressively protecting against malicious behavior on TikTok".

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Tim Cook now serves as chairman of a Chinese business school

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 21, 2019 @ 21:48 CDT

In what feels like an extremely weird move given the on-going issues with China, Apple CEO Tim Cook has just been appointed the chairman of the advisory board of Tsinghua University School of Economics and Management in Beijing, an influential Beijing university.

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Cook's new role will see him replace Jim Breyer, founder and chief executive of Breyer Capital, with the Apple CEO sitting in his new chairman position for three years. Cook isn't the first prominent member of silicon valley to join the Beijing university's board, with Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg and Tesla CEO Elon Musk both involved with the school.

This position gives them access to the upper echelon of Chinese leaders in both business, and politics. Cook's official role with the board, like its other influential board members is to assist with the development of the school. Chinese business leaders in Jack Ma the founder of Alibaba, and Pony Ma the founder of Tencent.

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Amazon sellers are shipping grossly 'off' food and its not their fault

By: Jak Connor | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 21, 2019 @ 5:07 CDT

A new report out of CNBC has stated that third-party Amazon sellers are shipping out expired food to buyers much to frequently.

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According to the report, numerous Amazon customers are receiving foods and products such as baby formula, coffee creamer, beef jerky, granola bars and more well past their sell-by-date. Interviews have been conducted with the Amazon third-party sellers, consumers and consultants and majority of the formulated opinions point the finger at Amazon for having numerous system loopholes.

CNBC also states in their article that an analytics firm that specializes in the Amazon Marketplace combed over the sites 100 best-selling food products. They found that out of the 40% of sellers, more than five customer complaints were lodged about expired goods. It seems that as Amazon grows and expands its food business so does the amount of problems that arise. According to some safety advocates these issues will only increase as Amazon doesn't have accountability for its products due to the previously mentioned system "loopholes".

Netflix now has 158 million subscribers, wins streaming wars (for now)

By: Anthony Garreffa | Business, Financial & Legal | Posted: Oct 17, 2019 @ 21:46 CDT

Netflix is pretty much unstoppable, but remember... the streaming wars are only just beginning as Disney is about to unleash Disney+ into the world. However, Netflix did pretty well in Q3 2018.

The streaming giant shared the details of its Q3 2019, with Netflix expecting 7 million new subscribers but only adding 6.77 million new subscribers, but it still made for an all-time record quarter. The recent price hikes didn't help Netflix keep as many subscribers as it expected. Netflix explained the bleeding out of customers: "With more revenue, we'll continue to invest to improve our service to further strengthen our value proposition".

Amazon Prime and Hulu are Netflix competitors in the here and now, but then we have Apple TV+ coming with a third outing in the Band of Brothers franchise, Disney+ with a near unlimited library of content to add to its service, and then we have HBO Max (please release the Snyder Cut of Justice League as an exclusive, WB) as well as NBC's upcoming Peacock subscription service.

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