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Amazon likes it shaken, not stirred

Amazon.com is buying MGM, the US movie studio home to the James Bond franchise, for $8.45 billion.
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The AT&T/Discovery and Amazon/MGM deals and a raft of antitrust investigations involving the ‘big tech boys’ dominated the international ICT market last month.

In Africa, Ethiopia awarded a new telecommunications licence.

Key local news

  • 4Sight has entered a strategic partnership with Cognius.AI, an innovative AI specialist developer based in Singapore.
  • Prosus plans to acquire up to 45.4% of shares in its parent Naspers by issuing new Prosus shares in a deal aimed at moving part of the value of their massive stake in Tencent to Europe from Africa.
  • Nigeria-based Paystack, the fintech start-up acquired last year by Stripe, is establishing a presence in South Africa as it looks to cement its position as a major player in the African online payments industry.
  • The appointments of new CEOs/MDs at Adapt IT (Interim) and SoftwareONE.

Key African news

  • Ethiopia has awarded a new telecommunications licence to a consortium that includes the Vodacom Group.
  • MTN Rwanda has listed on the Rwanda exchange.
  • Pay@, a South African payment aggregator and payment solutions provider, is preparing to establish a presence in Angola, Mozambique and Zambia.
  • ServiceNow has opened an MEA office in Dubai.
  • The appointments of new Africa/EMEA CEOs/MDs, etc, at Citrix and Veeam Software.

Key international news

  • 3D Systems acquired Allevi, a developer of bioprinting solutions.
  • Accenture bought Electro 80, a provider of operational technology for resources clients in Australia; Homburg & Partner, a strategic management consulting firm with a deep specialisation in commercial strategy, sales and pricing; Australia-based Industrie&Co, a technology consultancy that designs and creates cloud native solutions for enterprises and "born in the cloud" fast emerging companies. Accenture has also planned acquisitions of Linkbynet, a French cloud services provider and ThinkTank’s cloud-based, intelligent stakeholder engagement platform assets; and it has made an investment in Prevailion, a next-generation cyber intelligence company that provides clients with expansive visibility into malware across their organisation and supply chains with early detection of advanced threats through adversary counterintelligence.
  • Amdocs purchased Sourced Group, a global technology consultancy specialising in large-scale cloud transformations for sophisticated, high-end enterprises in industries such as financial services and communications.
  • Ansys acquired Phoenix Integration, provider of software that enables model-based engineering and model-based systems engineering.
  • Bentley Systems bought sensemetrics, a global industrial IOT and cloud technology company transforming sensor data into real-time business intelligence; and Vista Data Vision, provider of software for IOT applications used extensively in infrastructure.
  • Cordiant Digital Infrastructure purchased Ceske, a Czech telecoms and technology infrastructure group.
  • CSG acquired Ireland-based Tango Telecom, supplier of convergent policy control and messaging solutions.
  • Descartes Systems Group bought Portrix Logistics Software, provider of multimodal rate management solutions for logistics services providers.

Zscaler has agreed to buy Smokescreen Technologies, a deception technology start-up.

  • Electronic Arts purchased Metalhead Software, Canada-based video game studio and developer.
  • EPAM Systems acquired White-Hat, a cyber security firm; and Netherlands-based Just-BI, a company involved in end-to-end BI design and implementation projects in a range of major national and international companies.
  • Fidelis Cybersecurity bought CloudPassage, a cloud security vendor.
  • Forcepoint purchased Cyberinc, an emerging remote browser isolation vendor.
  • Foundation Software acquired McCormick Systems, a leading developer of estimating and digital take-off software.
  • Garmin bought AeroData, a privately held provider of aircraft performance software and services tailored to commercial and business aviation.
  • HelpSystems acquired Agari, a recognised leader in enterprise solutions protecting against advanced e-mail threats; and Beyond Security, a global leader in vulnerability assessment and management software.
  • IDC bought Metri, an independent IT benchmarking, sourcing and performance measurement firm.
  • Kaseya’s IT Glue business purchased TruMethods, an MSP coaching and mentoring firm.
  • Keysight Technologies acquired Quantum Benchmark, a leader in error diagnostics, error suppression and performance validation software for quantum computing.
  • NTT Data Services bought Nexient, a provider of cloud-native application development.
  • Twitter purchased Scroll, an ad-free news reader product.
  • VIA optronics acquired Germaneers, a hi-tech engineering company focusing on automotive system integration and user interfaces.
  • Wix.com bought Israeli start-up Rise.ai to extend its platform to include gift and loyalty cards and rewards and referrals.
  • Zynga purchased Chartboost, a mobile game ad network, for $250 million.
  • 3D Systems has signed an agreement to acquire Additive Works, which focuses on simulation-based optimisation and automation of the additive manufacturing print preparation and workflow.
  • Amazon.com is buying MGM, the US movie studio home to the James Bond franchise ($8.45 billion).
  • American Tower Corporations (ATC) has struck a deal with Canadian pension fund Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec (CDPQ) for the sale of a 30% stake in its European business, ATC Europe (€1.6 billion).
  • Atos has signed an agreement to acquire Cryptovision, a German-based leader in cryptographic products and solutions for securing digital identities.
  • AT&T will spin off its WarnerMedia business, which includes the HBO Max streaming platform, and combine it with Discovery's domestic and international assets.
  • Bill.com is buying Divvy, an expense reporting start-up ($2 billion).
  • Booz Allen Hamilton has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Liberty IT Solutions, an IT and services firm ($725 million).
  • Capgemini will acquire Multibook’s SAP services business in Japan and Southeast Asia.
  • Cisco Systems plans to acquire Kenna Security, a vulnerability management vendor; Sedona Systems, a maker of communications technologies; and Socio Labs, an events technology start-up.
  • Ericsson has reached a multi-year agreement on global patent licences with Samsung.
  • Taiwan's Foxconn has formed a joint venture with Yageo Corporation to make small integrated circuit products; and signed an MOU with Stellantis, a car maker to form Mobile Drive, a 50-50 joint venture based in the Netherlands focused on infotainment, telematics and cloud service platform development.
  • Francisco Partners and TPG Capital have entered a definitive agreement to acquire Dell’s Boomi, a cloud business ($4 billion).
  • Global Payments has agreed to acquire Zego, a provider of resident experience management software for property managers ($925 million).
  • Helios Towers has agreed a deal to buy almost 3 000 towers from Omantel ($575 million), which follows an agreement with Airtel Africa in March to acquire masts in Madagascar and Malawi.
  • Indonesian ride-hailing and payments firm Gojek and e-commerce leader Tokopedia have agreed to a merger to create a multibillion-dollar tech company called GoTo.
  • IBM will buy Waeg, a consulting partner for Salesforce.
  • Iliad aims to sell its 30% stake in On Tower France.
  • Imperva has entered into an agreement to acquire CloudVector, a leader in advanced API security.
  • Jamf has reached an agreement to acquire Wandera, a cloud and mobile security firm.
  • Long Arc Capital has acquired a majority stake in Agile Frameworks, a provider of cloud-based software for project workflows, data management and analytics that are used in the architecture, engineering and construction services sectors.
  • Mindtree will buy NxT Digital Business, a cloud-based IOT and AI platform.
  • MKS Instruments has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire Photon Control, a leader in optical sensors for temperature control used in semiconductor wafer fabrication.
  • PayPal Holdings plans to acquire Happy Returns, a company focused on improving the process for e-commerce returns.
  • Platinum Equity has agreed to purchase Game Taco, the operator of a mobile gaming platform.
  • Proof Authentication has signed a purchase agreement pursuant to acquire DSS Digital, a wholly owned subsidiary of Document Security Systems and a leader in anti-counterfeit, authentication and brand protection solutions.
  • Altice France will acquire Afone Participations, giving it a 50% stake in Reglo Mobile, an MVNO.
  • ServiceNow has signed an agreement to buy Lightstep, a next-generation observability company.
  • Slack will buy Woven, provider of a calendar app.
  • Snap will purchase WaveOptics, a British augmented reality technology company ($500 million+).
  • Splunk has signed a definitive agreement to acquire TruSTAR, a cloud-native security company providing a data-centric intelligence platform.
  • STMicroelectronics will buy Cartesiam, a software company that specialises in AI development tools enabling machine learning and inferencing on Arm-based microcontrollers.
  • Telefonica has agreed to sell four data centres to Nabiax, a telecoms infrastructure company that operates data centres in Spain and Latin America, which had already bought 11 of its centres in exchange for a 20% stake.
  • Thoma Bravo has agreed to acquire Greenphire, a provider of payment processing and logistics software for the clinical research space.
  • TiVo Corporation was selected as the successful bidder at auction to acquire the assets of MobiTV, a global leader in an application-based Pay TV video delivery solution.
  • Twilio plans to acquire ZipWhip, a business-texting platform ($850 million).
  • Verizon Communications has agreed to sell its media unit that includes Yahoo and AOL to Apollo Global Management ($5 billion).
  • VOXX International has signed a letter of intent to buy the Home Audio/Video business of Onkyo Home Entertainment, along with Sharp as its partner.
  • Zensar Technologies has entered into a definitive agreement to purchase M3bi, a data and digital engineering firm.
  • Zscaler has agreed to buy Smokescreen Technologies, a deception technology start-up.
  • Andreessen Horowitz has made a $125 million investment in SpotOn, the provider of a cloud-based tech stack for small business owners.
  • Insight Partners has made a $290 million investment in CivicPlus, a leading provider of cloud-based software for local governments.
  • Iridium Communications has invested in Scotland-based DDK Positioning, an enhanced global navigation satellite system accuracy solutions provider.
  • Softbank has made a $60 million (23%) investment in Axiata Group’s digital analytics and AI unit.
  • Thoma Bravo has invested in PDFTron Systems, provider of document technology solutions for software developers.
  • Warburg Pincus has invested in NetDocuments, provider of a productivity platform and cloud-based content services for the legal industry.
  • Advent International has led a $220 million investment in Shift Technology, a French start-up and developer of software to help insurers detect fraudsters.
  • BlackRock and HPE led an investment in Mythic, a start-up making AI chips for use in gadgets such as smart home devices or security cameras.
  • Bessemer Venture Partners has led a $100 million investment in Xanadu, a Canadian quantum technology company.
  • Insight Partners has led investments in Cycode, an innovator in securing DevOps pipelines; ParcelLab, an e-commerce start-up; and Stampli, the developer of an AI-based automation platform for accounts payable communications, documentation and payments.
  • Salesforce.com led an investment in the fast-growing Israeli cyber security start-up Wiz.
  • Investments led by SoftBank Group's Vision Fund 2 in Contentsquare, creator of a digital experience analytics platform; and Formlabs, a 3D printing company.
  • Investments led by Tiger Global Management in VAST data, a software storage company; and e-commerce fraud prevention start-up Forter.
  • Appointments of new CEOs at ByteDance, CSS Corporation, IPG Photonics, Open Systems, Parler, Partner Communications, UTStarcom and VMware.
  • IPO filings from China Mobile (Shanghai), Cloud Village (HK), Marqeta (Nasdaq), Qiniu (Nasdaq), Soulgate (Nasdaq) and Sprinklr (NYSE).
  • IPOs from Alfi (Nasdaq), Alphawave (London), Flywire (Nasdaq), Paymentus (NYSE), Procore (NYSE), SimilarWeb (NYSE), SquareSpace (NYSE) and SUSE (Frankfurt).

Research results and predictions

  • Worldwide spending on information security and risk management technology and services is forecast to grow 12.4% to reach $150.4 billion, according to Gartner. Security and risk management spending grew 6.4% in 2020.
  • Worldwide semiconductor revenue grew to $464 billion in 2020, an increase of 10.8% compared to 2019, according to IDC. It forecasts that it will reach $522 billion in 2021, a 12.5% year-over-year growth rate.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 0.9%
  • FTSE100: Up 0.8%
  • DAX: Up 2.5% (all-time high reached during this period)
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 1.9% (all-time high reached during this period)
  • S&P 500: Up 0.5% (all-time high reached during this period)
  • Nasdaq: Down 1.5%
  • Nikkei225: Up 1.2%
  • Hang Seng: Up 1.4%
  • Shanghai: Up 4.5%

Final word

Forbes has just released its ‘Global 2000’ 2021 listing of the world’s largest public companies. Since 2003, Forbes’ Global 2000 list has measured the world’s largest public companies in terms of four equally weighted metrics: assets, market value, sales and profits. Included in the top 100 are:

  • 6: Apple
  • 10: Amazon
  • 11: Samsung Electronics
  • 13: Alphabet
  • 15: Microsoft
  • 20: Verizon Communications
  • 23: Alibaba
  • 25: Comcast
  • 27: Softbank
  • 29: Tencent
  • 32: China Mobile
  • 33: Facebook
  • 35: Sony
  • 36: Intel
  • 43: NTT
  • 44: Deutsche Telekom
  • 59: IBM
  • 66: Taiwan Semiconductor
  • 71: Oracle
  • 75: Cisco
  • 90: Charter Communications
  • 92: Dell
  • 94: Hon Hai Precision Industry 
See also