Welcome to another edition of Under60 Daily - a brief rundown of the top happenings in the business world, compiled by hand to exclude the clutter and ensure you get up to speed in under a minute.
[M&A] Microsoft has agreed to acquire speech-recognition firm Nuance Communications for $19.7 billion, adding to a series of big deals the company has struck to offer an expanded range of software tools to its customers. The acquisition is Microsoft's second-largest under Chief Executive Satya Nadella after the company spent about $26 billion for professional network LinkedIn Corp. in 2016. Nuance was a pioneer in speech recognition. Artificial intelligence technology and its software formed Apple Inc.'s Siri voice assistant before the company switched to an in-house version.
[Markets] Ant Group, the financial technology giant controlled by billionaire Jack Ma, will apply to become a financial holding company overseen by China's central bank, overhauling its business to adapt to a new era of tighter regulation for internet companies. The directive follows an intense regulatory assault on Mr. Ma's business empire that began with the suspension of the company's blockbuster initial public offering in November.
[IPO] Cybersecurity firm Darktrace is set to become the latest tech startup to go public in London this year in a deal that could value the business at up to £3 billion ($4.12 billion). The Cambridge-based company, which uses a so-called "AI immune system" to detect abnormalities in a customer's network, will follow on from the likes of food delivery firm Deliveroo and online review site Trustpilot in listing on the London Stock Exchange.
[Regulation] Chinese regulators have fined Alibaba a record Rmb18.2 ($2.8) billion after finding that the eCommerce group had abused its market dominance. The penalty, which was set at 4% of Alibaba's 2019 revenues, concludes an antitrust investigation into the company founded by Jack Ma. It comes as Chinese authorities have stepped up scrutiny on dealmaking and anti-competitive practices in its once lightly regulated technology sector.
[EV] Dubai has become the first city to sign a contract with an autonomous taxi manufacturer, ordering up to 4,000 vehicles from the US driverless car group Cruise to deploy them from 2023.
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