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12/15/20: What’s Going On

(JHVE)
(JHVE)
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FedEx Corp. and United Parcel Service Inc. have largely kept up with the record onslaught of packages since Thanksgiving, though that is in part because of efforts to lighten their loads. Rather than risk having their systems clogged with packages, both FedEx and UPS are holding a harder line by enforcing a preset limit on the daily number of packages they will pick up. The policy is creating backlogs in some of the shippers’ warehouses, affecting retailers as large as Costco Wholesale Corp. down to small- and medium-size companies.

“Two-and-a-half-years after going into effect, the European Union’s new privacy law has its first fine for a U.S. tech company in a cross-border case—an overdue development, critics say. Ireland’s Data Protection Commission said on Tuesday that it is fining Twitter Inc. €450,000, equivalent to about $546,000, for failing to document or properly notify the regulator within 72 hours of learning of a data breach disclosed in January 2019 that exposed some users’ private tweets.”

“The Federal Trade Commission on Monday ordered nine prominent social-media and internet companies to provide a litany of data about their operations as part of a wide-ranging study into their business practices. The orders demand the companies turn over detailed, private business information about how they track Americans’ online activities and how they use that data. Companies receiving letters included Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and its subsidiary WhatsApp Inc., Reddit Inc., Snap Inc., Twitter Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s YouTube LLC, Discord Inc. and TikTok owner ByteDance Ltd., which is based in Beijing.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescription
Zenoti$160 MillionDevelops Services For The Spa And Salon Industry
Arya$21 MillionProvide Farmers In India Finance And Post-Harvest Services
Taxdoo$21 MillionTax Compliance Platform For Cross-Border E-Commerce
eXate£2.3 millionData Privacy Startup

“Boeing Co. has expanded inspections of newly produced 787 Dreamliners after finding a previously disclosed manufacturing defect in sections of the jet where it hadn’t been initially detected, according to industry and government officials.”

“Marriott International Inc. is permanently laying off 850 employees from its hotel in Times Square, another sign that the hotel industry in New York City remains significantly hobbled by the coronavirus pandemic.”

“Pinterest Inc. agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle claims of gender discrimination and retaliation by its former Chief Operating Officer Francoise Brougher, as Silicon Valley grapples with growing pressure to address discrimination and diversity issues within its ranks.”

“More than a dozen medium-sized Internet companies including Snap, Reddit and eBay have launched a coalition to defend the broad legal immunity that protects online companies from lawsuits over user-posted content.”

“Roblox announced today that it’s buying a digital avatar startup called Loom.ai. Purchasing a company that has focused singularly on creating more realistic human avatars is an interesting play for a gaming platform that has made such an impact by building experiences that tend to cast realism to the wayside.”

“Pressure is building in Europe for quick approval of Pfizer Inc. and BioNTech SE’s Covid-19 vaccine, with German authorities saying they’re optimistic that sign-off can be pushed forward by a week amid a rising death toll on the continent.”

“China’s economic activity extended its momentum in November with an across-the-board recovery, putting the world’s second largest economy on stronger footing as it approaches the end of a tumultuous year.”

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