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EU clamps down on social media hate speech

Facebook, YouTube, Twitter and other social media will now be subject to EU rules on hate speech and harmful content under new European Commission guidelines.
Read time 11min 10sec

The coronavirus pandemic continues to dominate most things, including the technology industry, and has had a significant effect on quarterly results. However, the IPO market is very active and acquisitions continue apace.

South African highlights

  • EOH has been fined R7.5 million for falsifying previous financial results.
  • MyChargeBack, a global fund recovery service provider, has opened an office in SA, and has named former Absa dispute resolution veteran Dawn Minnaar as its country manager.
  • TeleMasters has acquired Contineo Virtual Communications (R1.15 million), a provider of wholesale cloud communications solutions, and PerfectWorx Consulting (R1.35 million), a networking systems integrator specialising in next-generation IP voice technologies.
  • Tellumat, a 49% investee company of Stellar Capital, has disposed of its Air Traffic Management and Defence & Security business units to Hensoldt South Africa.
  • The announcement of a new CEO at AEEI.

African highlights

  • UAE-based Network International has acquired Direct Pay Online, an African payment service provider.
  • MFS Africa, a Pan-African cross-border payments leader, has acquired Beyonic, a digital payments management provider of business services for SMEs, fintechs and social impact entities across Africa.
  • Private Infrastructure Development Group (PIDG) company, the Emerging Africa Infrastructure Fund, plans to invest up to 50 million in a bond issue with the objective to raise $170 million for investment in Senegal-based telecommunications services provider Sonatel SA.
  • The Uganda Communications Commission has given MTN Uganda two years to list a minimum of 20% shares on the country’s stock exchange or face sanctions.
  • The announcement of new CEOs/MDs at Experian Africa, IBM North, East and West Africa, MTN Benin, MTN Cameroon, SAP EMEA South Region, and ServiceNow EMEA.

International highlights

  • ABC Financial, a Thoma Bravo-owned company and a provider of payment software for the fitness industry, has acquired fellow fitness software company GymSales, which specialises in sales management.
  • Switzerland-based Acronis has acquired DeviceLock to enforce privacy at the device level and prevent threat actors from accessing data on an organisation’s system.
  • Advent International has agreed to acquire ForeScout Technologies for roughly $1.4 billion.
  • Alphabet has agreed to acquire North, a Canadian start-up that has developed Focals smart glasses; and buy a 7.7% stake, for $4.5 billion, in Jio Platforms, taking a seat on its board alongside another big name backer, Facebook, to help the digital arm of Reliance Industries realise its lofty ambitions.

Apple scored a major win, as Europe's second-highest court rejected an EU order for the iPhone maker to pay €13 billion in Irish back taxes.

  • Altair has acquired S&WISE, a South Korean provider of polyurethane foaming simulation.
  • Amdocs has agreed to acquire Openet, a digital BSS company ($180 million).
  • Analog Devices has agreed to buy rival Maxim Integrated Products in a deal worth about $21 billion and has acquired the High Definition Multimedia Interface business of INVECAS, a company specialising in embedded software and system level solutions.
  • Apple has scored a major win, as Europe's second-highest court rejected an EU order for the iPhone maker to pay €13 billion in Irish back taxes; and has acquired Mobeewave, a start-up with technology that could transform iPhones into mobile payment terminals.
  • ARM, the UK-based chip designer, is transferring its two IOT Services Group businesses, IOT Platform and Treasure Data, to new entities under its Japanese owner, SoftBank Group.
  • ASML has agreed to acquire Berliner Glas, a privately held manufacturer of ceramic and optical modules.
  • Astute has bought iPerceptions, a Canada-based company that also specialises in customer feedback software.
  • Atlassian has acquired Sweden-based Mindville, a Jira-centric enterprise asset management firm.
  • Atos has agreed to buy EcoAct, an internationally recognised carbon reduction strategy consulting firm; and has entered into exclusive negotiations with shareholders from digital.security with a view to acquiring the company, a subsidiary of the Econocom group, a leading independent player in cyber security in France and the Benelux countries.
  • Australia will force Facebook and Google to pay Australian media outlets for news content.
  • Autodesk has signed a definitive agreement to acquire Pype, a provider of cloud-based solutions for automating construction project management workflows.
  • Britain has joined forces with India's Bharti Global to buy the collapsed satellite operator OneWeb, with the two sides pledging $1 billion between them to develop a fleet of low earth orbit satellites to boost broadband and other services.
  • The Carlyle Group has purchased Unison (formerly Compusearch), a provider of procurement, supply chain and contract management software for government agencies; and will acquire a 25% stake in Airtel's Data Centre business, Nxtra, for $235 million.
  • Cisco has acquired Swedish video analytics specialist Modcam.
  • Cognizant has entered into an agreement to acquire New Signature, one of the world's largest independent Microsoft public cloud transformation specialists.
  • Computer Design & Integration, a solution provider, has acquired Plan B Technologies, one of its peers.
  • South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang is buying the software of Hooq Digital, the Southeast Asian video streaming service owned by Singtel, Sony and Warner Bros that has filed for liquidation.
  • Dish has acquired Boost Mobile, Sprint’s prepaid mobile business, from the newly formed T-Mobile.
  • DocuSign has bought Liveoak Technologies, a start-up that uses Web-based video-conferencing, collaboration features, identity verification and other tools to help complete an auditable transaction remotely.
  • DXC Technology is selling its healthcare providers software business to the Dedalus Group, an Italian healthcare technology company ($525 million).
  • eBay has agreed to sell its classified ads business to Norwegian group Adevinta in a deal worth $9.2 billion, thus creating the world's largest classifieds group.
  • Entegris has acquired Global Measurement Technologies, an analytical instrument provider for critical processes in semiconductor production.
  • EQT Funds will acquire IFS, the leading global enterprise software provider that enables business to digitalise their core operations, for a transaction value of more than €3 billion.
  • Equifax has bought Ansonia Credit Data, a major supplier of information on receivables from the trucking and transportation industry.
  • A European monitoring body has fined Telenor €112 million for anti-competitive practices, and EU competition regulators are seeking information from 400 companies to establish if there are problems in the market for voice assistants such as Alexa and Siri and other Internet-connected devices that could lead to anti-trust cases.
  • Facebook, Alphabet-owned YouTube, Twitter and other social media will, for the first time, be subject to EU broadcasting rules on hate speech and harmful content under new European Commission guidelines.
  • Fortinet has purchased Opaq Networks, a cloud security and networking innovator.
  • Garmin has bought Finland-based Firstbeat Analytics, a privately-held provider of physiological analytics and metrics for consumer devices in the health, wellness, fitness and performance markets.
  • Google has received a record fine from Belgium's data protection authority of €600 000 for not complying with European rules on a person's "right to be forgotten" online; and that its $2.1 billion bid for Fitbit will face a full-scale EU anti-trust investigation.
  • HMD Global, the home of Nokia phones, has acquired the assets of mobile, enterprise and cyber security software firm Valona Labs.
  • HelpSystems has bought Titus and Boldon James, both leaders in data classification software that helps organisations classify and protect information; and it has signed a definitive merger agreement with GlobalSCAPE, a leader in the secure managed file transfer software industry.
  • Hewlett Packard Enterprise plans to buy software-defined WAN standout Silver Peak for approximately $925 million.
  • IBM has made a deal to buy Brazil-based WDG Automation, a provider of robotic process automation software.
  • Intel Capital is investing $253 million in the technology venture of billionaire Mukesh Ambani, ie, Jio Platforms.
  • Mimecast has purchased eTorch, a messaging security provider with solutions designed to help stop social engineering and human identity attacks with the use of machine learning technology.
  • Mobileum has acquired SIGOS, a company that offers its customers active end-to-end testing solutions to improve network security and service quality for mobile networks.
  • Morgan Stanley Infrastructure Partners has agreed to buy nearly half of Alice USA’s Lightpath fibre business ($2.3 billion).
  • Partnerize has purchased Pepperjam, the creator of a cloud-based marketing life cycle platform that helps users with recruitment, tracking, payments and other tasks.
  • Perforce Software has acquired Methodics, a creator of software for managing intellectual property life cycles.
  • Perion Network has signed an agreement to buy the assets of Pub Ocean, a rapidly growing digital publisher-focused technology company with scalable content distribution and real-time revenue analytics technology.
  • Qualcomm Ventures will invest in Jio Platforms, the 12th entity to invest in the Reliance Industries subsidiary in the past three months.
  • Qualys has acquired the software assets of Spell Security, an endpoint detection and response start-up.
  • Square has bought Stitch Labs, an operations management platform used by growing commerce brands.
  • Silver Lake has agreed to buy Silae, a French payroll software provider (€600 million).
  • Sina Group has received a $2.7 billion offer from New Wave to go private. The latter is a holding company led by Charles Chao, chairman and CEO of Sina.
  • Sirius XM Holdings will buy the E.W. Scripps podcast business, Stitcher, for up to $325 million.
  • Slack has purchased Rimeto, a business directory provider.
  • STMicroelectronics has signed two M&A agreements related to the acquisitions of the entire share capital of ultra-wideband specialist BeSpoon and of the cellular IOT connectivity assets of Riot Micro.
  • SUSE has agreed to buy Rancher Labs, an innovative container tech start-up that’s a force in the all-important Kubernetes market.
  • Synaptics has agreed on a deal to acquire DisplayLink, which provides high-performance video interface technology; and a definitive agreement to acquire certain assets and manufacturing rights for Broadcom’s wireless IOT business for about $305 million.
  • Tencent Holdings has offered to buy out and take private search engine Sogou in a $2.1 billion deal.
  • Thoma Bravo has agreed to acquire Majesco, a leader of cloud insurance software solutions for insurance business transformation ($594 million).
  • Twilio has acquired Electric Imp, an IOT platform.
  • Uber has purchased Routematch, a company that provides software to transit agencies; and agreed on a deal to buy food-delivery app Postmates in a deal valued at $2.65 billion.
  • VMware has agreed on a deal to buy Datrium in a bid to bolster its cloud-based disaster recovery capabilities; and to acquire Blue Medora’s True Visibility Suite business unit, which develops tools popular in the VMware ecosystem for automating management of applications as well as hybrid infrastructure.
  • Vodafone will list its European mobile masts business, newly named Vantage Towers, in Frankfurt in early 2021.
  • VOXX International has acquired the aftermarket vehicle remote start and security systems and connected car solutions businesses of Directed, and Directed Electronics Canada.
  • Wipro has signed an agreement to acquire Brazil-based IVIA Serviços de Informática; and a definitive agreement to acquire 4C, one of the largest Salesforce partners in the UK, Europe and the Middle East.
  • ZenBusiness has acquired Joust, the provider of a banking platform for freelancers, contractors and self-employed workers.
  • The announcement of new CEOs at CalAmp, Claroty, Color Star Technology, CyrusOne, Gilat Satellite Networks, Hitachi Vantara, Magic Leap, Netflix, Pinduoduo, Qumu and Tele2.
  • The death of Curtis Sampson, founder of CSI.
  • Planned IPOs from Ant Group, the fintech arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba; and SAP’s Qualtrics, a software platform that allows businesses to track customer and employee experiences.
  • IPO filings in the US from BigCommerce, the provider of a cloud e-commerce platform; Datto, a backup service provider; Duck Creek Technologies, a creator of software for the property and casualty insurance industry; Palantir, a data analysis company; and Rackspace Technologies, a provider of B2B cloud management services.
  • IPO filings for China’s Nasdaq-like STAR market from Cambricon Technologies, an AI chip maker; and Wuxi Chipown Micro-electronics, an integrated circuit chip maker.
  • IPOs on Nasdaq by Dun & Bradstreet; Jamf Holding, a cloud software company, which helps organisations manage their Apple products, apps and resources; NCino a provider of bank operating software; and Quhuo, a China-based workforce services software company.
  • An IPO on Shanghai’s STAR market from SMIC.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 3.9%
  • FTSE100: Down 4.2%
  • DAX: Up 1.9%
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 5.6%
  • S&P 500: Up 8.7%
  • Nasdaq: Up 10.1% (includes an all-time high)
  • Nikkei225: Down 3.6%
  • Hang Seng: Up 0.2%
  • Shanghai: Up 11.1% (includes highest weekend close since January 2018)

Research highlights

  • Worldwide IT spending is projected to total $3.5 trillion in 2020, a decline of 7.3% from 2019, according to Gartner.

Final word

Look out for Microsoft’s possible purchase of TikTok, and Nvidia buying out Softbank’s chip company ARM for over $32 billion.

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