Amazon finally wins approval from regulator to gobble up minority stake in Deliveroo


E-commerce giant Amazon
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on Tuesday won approval from the U.K.’s competition watchdog to take a stake in U.K.-based food delivery platform Deliveroo. 

The decision by the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) ends its 15-month investigation into Amazon’s investment in Deliveroo, which came as part of a $575 million fundraising that saw others invest in 2019.

Read: Amazon ends own restaurant-delivery service as Grubhub and Uber Eats competition intensifies

The investigation focused on whether Amazon’s 16% Deliveroo stake would harm competition, and whether this would reduce the chances of it entering the market as a competitor itself.

“[Amazon’s] status as a strategic investor is likely to increase the weight Amazon’s views will carry with Deliveroo’s management and other investors and, in turn, increase its ability to influence Deliveroo’s commercial strategy,” it said in a submission to the CMA.

It reviewed submissions from rivals including Just Eat Takeaway,
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which argued that the investment would make Amazon less likely to enter the U.K. fast food delivery market and that it would be able to influence Deliveroo’s strategy in a way that harms competition.

In a December note, investment bank Jefferies said the investigation “smacks of ‘not on my watch’ interventionism,” attributing the case to negative political sentiment toward large U.S. internet companies in 2019.

But Andrea Gomes da Silva, the CMA’s executive director, said at the time: “If the deal were to proceed in its current form, there’s a real risk that it could leave customers, restaurants and grocers facing higher prices and lower quality services as these markets develop.”

“This is because the significant competition which could otherwise exist between Amazon and Deliveroo would be reduced,” he added.

During the case the CMA also considered whether without the investment Deliveroo would collapse under the financial strain caused by Covid-19, provisionally clearing the investment in April.

It continued investigating and again provisionally cleared the investment in June after noting a “considerable improvement” in Deliveroo’s financial position. 

It said the investment should go ahead as it wouldn’t damage competition in either restaurant delivery or convenience grocery delivery, though it continued to ask for views and assess evidence on the provisional findings.

But Tuesday’s decision now formally clears the way for Amazon and the investment will go ahead. 

Read: Amazon targets Uber Eats with huge Deliveroo investment

Stuart McIntosh, who chaired the inquiry, said a further investigation could be triggered if Amazon sought to increase its control of Deliveroo. 



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SoftBank to maintain stake in Arm after partial sale: Nikkei By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: The logo of SoftBank Group Corp is displayed at SoftBank World 2017 conference in Tokyo

(Reuters) – SoftBank Group Corp (T:) will keep a stake in its chip company Arm Holdings Ltd, even if it sells part of it to Nvidia Corp (O:) or through an initial public offering, the Asian Review reported https://asia.nikkei.com/Business/SoftBank2/SoftBank-to-maintain-stake-in-Arm-after-partial-sale.

The Japanese conglomerate is currently negotiating terms with Nvidia after receiving an approach last month, the report said, citing an unidentified source familiar with the matter, adding that it is possible that SoftBank would take stake in Nvidia after it bought Arm.

The report did not mention how much stake the company will retain in Arm.

SoftBank did not respond to a Reuters request for comment.

The Wall Street Journal reported last month that SoftBank was exploring options including a full or partial sale or public offering of Arm.

SoftBank acquired the British chip designer for $32 billion in 2016, its largest-ever purchase, in part to expand into the internet of things, which connects everyday devices from traffic signals to refrigerators to the internet.

In March, it unveiled a 4.5 trillion yen ($42.50 billion) plan to buy back shares and reduce debt.

Under the plan the group has been selling down core assets including stakes in Chinese ecommerce giant Alibaba Group Holding (N:) and U.S. wireless carrier T-Mobile US Inc (O:).

A sale would not be part of group’s asset monetization program, Nikkei reported.

($1 = 105.8800 yen)

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Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Exclusive: TikTok’s Chinese owner offers to forego stake to clinch U.S. deal


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: TikTok logos are seen on smartphones in front of displayed ByteDance logo in this illustration

By Echo Wang and Alexandra Alper

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON (Reuters) – China’s ByteDance has agreed to divest the U.S. operations of TikTok completely in a bid to save a deal with the White House, after President Donald Trump said on Friday he had decided to ban the popular short-video app, two people familiar with the matter said on Saturday.

U.S. officials have said TikTok under its Chinese parent poses a national risk because of the personal data it handles. ByteDance’s concession will test whether Trump’s threat to ban TikTok is a negotiating tactic or whether he is intent on cracking down on a social media app that has up to 80 million daily active users in the United States.

Trump told reporters onboard Air Force One late on Friday that he would issue an order for TikTok to be banned in the United States as early as Saturday. “Not the deal that you have been hearing about, that they are going to buy and sell… We are not an M&A (mergers and acquisitions) country,” Trump said.

ByteDance was previously seeking to keep a minority stake in the U.S. business of TikTok, which the White House had rejected. Under the new proposed deal, ByteDance would exit completely and Microsoft Corp (NASDAQ:) would take over TikTok in the United States, the sources said.

Some ByteDance investors that are based in the United States may be given the opportunity to take minority stakes in the business, the sources added. About 70% of ByteDance’s outside investors come from the United States.

The White House declined to comment on whether Trump would accept ByteDance’s concession. ByteDance in Beijing did not respond to a request for comment

Under ByteDance’s new proposal, Microsoft will be in charge of protecting all U.S. user data, the sources said. The plan allows for another U.S. company other than Microsoft to take over TikTok in the United States, the sources added.

Microsoft did not respond to a request for comment.

As relations between the United States and China deteriorate over trade, Hong Kong’s autonomy, cyber security and the spread of the novel coronavirus, TikTok has emerged as a flashpoint in the dispute between the world’s two largest economies.

ByteDance has been considering a range of options for TikTok amid U.S. pressure to relinquish control of the app, which allows users to create short videos with special effects and has become wildly popular with U.S. teenagers.

ByteDance had received a proposal from some of its investors, including Sequoia and General Atlantic, to transfer majority ownership of TikTok to them, Reuters reported on Wednesday. The proposal valued TikTok at about $50 billion, but some ByteDance executives believe the app is worth more than that.

ByteDance acquired Shanghai-based video app Musical.ly in a $1 billion deal in 2017 and relaunched it as TikTok the following year. ByteDance did not seek approval for the acquisition from the Committee on Foreign Investment in the United States (CFIUS), which reviews deals for potential national security risks. Reuters reported last year that CFIUS had opened an investigation into TikTok.

APP SCRUTINY

The United States has been increasingly scrutinizing app developers over the personal data they handle, especially if some of it involves U.S. military or intelligence personnel. Ordering the divestment of TikTok would not be the first time the White House has taken action over such concerns.

Earlier this year, Chinese gaming company Beijing Kunlun Tech Co Ltd sold Grindr LLC, a popular gay dating app it bought in 2016, for $620 million after being ordered by CFIUS to divest.

In 2018, CFIUS forced China’s Ant Financial to scrap plans to buy MoneyGram International Inc over concerns about the safety of data that could identify U.S. citizens.

ByteDance was valued at as much as $140 billion earlier this year when one of its shareholders, Cheetah Mobile (NYSE:), sold a small stake in a private deal, Reuters has reported. The startup’s investors include Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp.

The bulk of ByteDance’s revenue comes from advertising on apps under its Chinese operations including Douyin – a Chinese version of TikTok – and news aggregator app Jinri Toutiao, as well as video-streaming app Xigua and Pipixia, an app for jokes and humorous videos.





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Berkshire Hathaway increased stake in Bank of America Corp By Investing.com


© Reuters. Berkshire Hathaway increased stake in Bank of America Corp

On the 23rd of July, Berkshire Hathaway (NYSE:) bought 16 million Bank of America Corp (NYSE:) shares for $398 million at an average price of $24.22 per share.
Shares of Bank of America Corp are down -0.94% since the transaction.

Berkshire Hathaway’s holding in Bank of America Corp increased to about 998 million shares with the purchase.

Berkshire Hathaway first bought Bank of America Corp stock in the third quarter of 2017.
Berkshire Hathaway also owns Wells Fargo & Co (NYSE:), JPMorgan Chase & Co (NYSE:), US Bancorp (NYSE:) and Bank of New York Mellon Corp (NYSE:).
Bank of America Corp is its number one position by number of shares and market value among banks stocks.

Other investors who also added to their Bank of America Corp shares include Bahl & Gaynor, Capital International Inc., and DF Dent & CO.
In contrast, California State Teachers Retirement System, Epoch Investment Partners, and FM Global reduced BAC shares, while Bridgewater Associates, Capital Growth Management, and Old Mutual Asset Managers UK sold all their BAC shares.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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Atlantia, CDP pick advisers as investors line up for Autostrade’s stake: sources By Reuters


© Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Toll-road operator Autostrade per l’Italia’s Rome headquarters

By Stephen Jewkes and Giuseppe Fonte

MILAN (Reuters) – Italy’s Atlantia has picked Bank of America Merrill Lynch (NYSE:), JP Morgan and Mediobanca (OTC:) to advise on the sale of a stake in its motorway unit, two sources close to the matter said, as suitors line up to invest in its Autostrade per l’Italia unit.

Atlantia (MI:), which is controlled by the Benetton family, agreed on Wednesday to reduce its stake in Autostrade to allow the government to gain control and end a dispute on the unit’s motorway licence.

Under the deal, state lender CDP and allied investors will take a majority stake in Autostrade before an eventual spin-off and listing.

The CDP’s entry into Autostrade would come through a capital increase that would dilute Atlantia’s 88% stake and hand 33% of the unit to the CDP. Another 22% would be sold directly to private investors selected by CDP, sources have said.

According to two other sources, UniCredit and Citigroup (NYSE:) will advise CDP on the deal.

Several investors are looking at the opportunity to invest in Autostrade, two sources close to the matter said. All the sources requested anonymity because they were not authorised to speak to the press.

“Among investors interested in Autostrade, there are Poste Italiane (MI:), through its insurance arm, and several Italian pension funds,” one source close to the matter said.

“The government has no bias against foreign investors,” the source said, adding Australia’s infrastructure fund Macquarie and U.S. investment firm Blackstone (NYSE:) could team up with CDP.

A third source said the interest in the motorway company shown by Italian infrastructure fund F2i had cooled.

An official memorandum of understanding on the deal agreed between the government and Atlantia is expected to be ready by the end of July, sources had said, adding Rome wanted Autostrade to be listed early next year.

Atlantia, Bank of America, Blackstone, F2i, JP Morgan, Macquarie, Mediobanca and Poste Italiane declined to comment on the issue. Citigroup, CDP and UniCredit were not immediately available for comment.

Disclaimer: Fusion Media would like to remind you that the data contained in this website is not necessarily real-time nor accurate. All CFDs (stocks, indexes, futures) and Forex prices are not provided by exchanges but rather by market makers, and so prices may not be accurate and may differ from the actual market price, meaning prices are indicative and not appropriate for trading purposes. Therefore Fusion Media doesn`t bear any responsibility for any trading losses you might incur as a result of using this data.

Fusion Media or anyone involved with Fusion Media will not accept any liability for loss or damage as a result of reliance on the information including data, quotes, charts and buy/sell signals contained within this website. Please be fully informed regarding the risks and costs associated with trading the financial markets, it is one of the riskiest investment forms possible.





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