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Breakfast Briefing: A New Health Venture, Google’s Acquisition & Aramco’s IPO

Amazon, JPMorgan & Berkshire Team Up

The three titans of industry are coming together to create a healthcare company.

Editor’s Remarks: Amazon, JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway announced that they will be collaborating on an independent entity “free from profit-making incentives” that makes use of “technological solutions”. Warren Buffet, Berkshire’s CEO, said that the three companies were motivated by the exorbitant cost of US healthcare. He added that the venture does not yet have a clear-cut solution to the problem but intends to pool resources to solve the conundrum and halt the rise in healthcare costs. Over 2017 alone, the premium on a single person rose 4% to $6,690. On the news, shares in US health insurers such as UnitedHealth fell sharply.

Read more on Healthcare:

Google Buys HTC Design Teams

In a deal worth $1.1bn, Google bought 2,000 engineers from smartphone-maker HTC.

Editor’s Remarks: The Alphabet subsidiary closed the deal with the intention of bringing on board talent necessary to taking on Apple’s consumer hardware operations. In recent years, Apple has moved away from outsourcing its hardware components and in late 2017 announced that it would begin building its own special-purpose chips. Now, it seems, Google is trying to do the same: the latest Pixel smartphones even came with an image processor that rivals the iPhone’s. This shift towards vertical integration is expected to allow Google to commercialise AI software by having close integrations between its hardware and software.

Read more on Google:

Secret Report Damns Brexit

A leaked government paper on the consequences of Britain leaving the EU painted a poor picture.

Editor’s Remarks: The response to the emergence of this document has been rather muted; to an extent, however, this is expected. The UK population is growing tired of negative analysis from Westminster and various economic institutions that continuously suggest that the nation will be poorer after Brexit. The document reveals that so-called Project Fear – the name given to the establishment’s efforts to prevent a Brexit vote in 2016 – is very much alive and well. Indeed, David Cameron recently said that he accepts that his gloomy forecasts have been proved incorrect. Meanwhile, Theresa May is currently in China discussing trade arrangements with Xi Jinping.

Read more on Brexit:

Aramco IPO Looks Shaky

The Saudi government is unsure whether it will float its national oil company.

Editor’s Remarks: Previously, the Saudi Arabian government said that it wanted to float 5% of Aramco to help drive the economic reforms pursued by Prince Salman. Presently, the kingdom is looking to float the company later this year on the country’s domestic exchange. However, after talks over whether London or New York might be the better option fell through, there is widespread doubt over just how committed to the IPO the kingdom really is. A full panel of investment banks, including Moelis, Evercore, JPMorgan and Morgan Stanley are currently working on the listing, which Saudi finance minister Khalid al-Falih says is “on schedule”.

Read more on India:

Faraday Sues Former Execs

Faraday & Future, the Chinese car startup, accused former executives of stealing trade secrets. 

Editor’s Remarks: The startup, run by Chinese entrepreneur Jia Yueting, is suing its former CEO Stefan Krause and former CTO Ulrich Kranz, who have since gone on to start their own enterprise, Evelozcity. The suit alleges that the pair poached not only around 20 employees but also thousands of technical documents. Evelozcity has hit back by calling the suit “desperate” and insisted that the company had no need to steal technology from Faraday. The episode comes at a particularly trying time for Jia, who has been ordered by regulators to return to China due to unfulfilled loans, since his video streaming company, Leshi, has tanked 50% in five days in the stock market.

Read more on Carmakers:

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