Top 10 Stories of Last Week! 07/02/2022

The week’s news included; SoftBank cancels $66bn sale of ARM, Meta facing £2bn lawsuit in the UK, Chanel wins trademark dispute in China, Nike and Amazon reportedly consider bidding for Peloton.

Below are our top 10 stories that you need to know about. Be sure to check our twitter page, Facebook page and Instagram Page, for regular posts of important headlines. Get all the important stories and insights straight into your inbox by subscribing to our mailing list here.

Opinion articles of the week: 

  • CNBC – Are tech giants ‘sunsetting’? Strategists warn of big tech under pressure
  • BBC News – Microsoft’s mega-deal to buy Activision Blizzard has small video game makers worried.
  • City A.M. – No time to call fin on fintech

1. SOFTBANK CANCELS ARM SALE

SoftBank has cancelled its proposed sale of UK chip maker ARM to Nvidia. The $66 billion deal was plagued by regulatory and competition issues. The deal faced backlash from regulators both in the US and the UK. The US Federal Trade Commission launched legal action to block the deal due to the potential harm to competition in the microchip sector. A merger between competitors could lead to higher prices and less choice. Due to these hurdles, SoftBank and Nvidia agreed to pull the plug on the deal. Instead, SoftBank will aim to take ARM public next year. This plan however, is also facing hurdles. The head of ARM’s Chinese joint venture, Allen Wu, is suing the organisation after he rejected the board’s vote to remove him as head. This legal battle will need to be resolved before ARM can go public. SoftBank first purchased ARM in 2016 for £24 billion.

2. META GROUP ACTION LAWSUIT

A £2.2 billion lawsuit has been filed against Meta over unfair terms and conditions on Facebook. The class action claims that Facebook abused its market dominance by imposing unfair terms on users. The claim is filed on behalf of 45 million UK Facebook users who used the site between 11th Feb 2016 and 31st December 2019, excluding only those who explicitly opt out. If successful, a minimum of £2.2 billion plus interest will paid out in damages by Meta.

3. CHANEL WINS CHINA TRADEMARK CASE

Chanel has won a trademark lawsuit in China against a local copycat product. A fragrance by Yiwu Story of Love Cosmetics was sold under the name N°9. Chanel sued the company, claiming it was too similar to its own N°5 perfume. The court in China agreed with this and held that the product was not distinctive enough. The Fashion Law looks closer at the deal.

4. AUSTRIA APPROVES META GIPHY MERGER

An competition court in Austria approved Meta’s acquisition of GIF platform Giphy. The court found no reason to block the deal as long as Meta did not limit competitors’ access for five years and helped to create an alternative platform within seven years. This ruling was in contrast to the decision by the UK’s competition regulator who said the purchase would harm competition and ordered the tech giant to unwind the deal.

5. UK ECONOMIC GROWTH

The UK economy grew by 7.5% in December 2021, the fastest rate of growth since 1946. This huge increase marks a bounce back from the huge economic decline in 2020. The UK is enjoying the fastest rate of growth in the G7 and GDP remains above pre-pandemic levels.

Despite this, there is much apprehension about the future of the economy. With rising national insurance, corporation tax and energy prices, the economic outlook is concerning. While demand for goods and services is currently high, this will likely wane as this cocktail of increasing costs hits businesses and consumers.

6. PFIZER PROFITS

US pharmaceutical giant Pfizer has announced profit and revenue increases of over 100% respectively due to vaccine sales. Revenue soared to $81.3 billion up from $41.7 billion last year. A huge chunk of this revenue derived from $36.8 billion in sales of its vaccine. Profits also soared to $22 billion up from $9 billion last year. Pfizer’s vaccine has been distributed to over 160 countries and the company has produced three billion doses.

7. SPIRIT BOUGHT BY FRONTIER

US airline Frontier has agreed to acquire rival Spirit in a $2.9 billion deal. This deal will create the fifth largest airline in the US. The combined airlines expect to bring $1 billion in consumer savings and they will expand their services across the US. This marks the first merger between US airlines since the pandemic began. The past 2 years have been a horrendous period for the airline industry. It is hoped that with the easing of travel restrictions those firms that survived the storm can return to some sense of normality.

8. NIKE AND AMAZON EXPLORE BID FOR PELOTON

Nike and Amazon are reportedly considering bidding for beleaguered fitness company Peloton. Peloton has come under fire due to safety problems with its treadmills and is facing sinking demand. The company previously received a huge boost during the pandemic as consumers kitted out their homes with fitness equipment. This demand has since waned and the company has temporarily halted production of some products. Peloton’s market value has plummeted from its 2021 high of $50 billion down to just $8 billion. Shares however, spiked 26% in response to the news of interest from Nike and Amazon. Despite the buzz, no formal talks have been confirmed.

9. BINANCE BUYS FORBES STAKE

Binance has bought a $200 million stake in business magazine Forbes. The stake will be bought via a SPAC merger. Under the deal, Forbes will remain editorially independent following completion but it is still anticipated to help boost the profile and wider understanding of cryptocurrency markets. This is a significant event as it demonstrates the meteoric rise of cryptocurrency businesses. World renowned brands are now under coming under the ownership and influence of crypto firms. Forbes was sued by Binance in November 2020 after the publisher accused Binance of deceiving regulators. Binance however dropped this lawsuit in February 2021.

10. ZOUMA LOSES SPONSORS

West Ham footballer Kurt Zouma has been at centre of controversy after a video surfaced of him kicking and slapping his cat. Last week, Adidas terminated their sponsorship of him. After the video surfaced, West Ham condemned the player and he was fined £250,000. RSCPA has also taken the cat into their care. Zouma was still however, selected for West Ham’s game against Watford, leading to backlash against the club. Insurer Vitality suspended their sponsorship of West Ham over the club’s response.

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