Lawmakers grill Facebook over cryptocurrency plans
Facebook's Libra cryptocurrency has been scrutinised by the House Financial Services Committee. The project's manager David Marcus (pictured) answered questions on the safeguarding of personal data and whether Facebook could be trusted as part of the world's financial system. Marcus was grilled for over five hours. Some politicians labelled Facebook 'delusional' over its plans.
Trump could intervene over Pentagon cloud deal
President Trump looks set to have his say on the Pentagon's proposed $10 billion public cloud deal. Authorities were ready to choose either Azure or AWS for the bumper contract. The winner of 'Project JEDI' was due to be revealed next month but Trump has now asked for more information. Bloomberg reports that he has concerns over terms, conditions, requirements and procurement.
EU opens antitrust investigation into Amazon
The European Commission has opened a formal antitrust investigation to assess whether Amazon's use of sensitive data from independent retailers who sell on its marketplace is in breach of EU competition rules. It will look into standard agreements between Amazon and marketplace sellers and the role of data in the selection of the winners of the “Buy Box”.
AT&T and Microsoft unite on cloud, AI and 5G
AT&T is in the news again. The telco has penned a multi-year alliance with Microsoft just a day after a similar tie-up with IBM was announced. As part of its strategy to become a 'public cloud-first' company, AT&T's non-network applications will run on Azure. The partnership will also help accelerate efforts in AI and 5G, while they will also collaborate on solutions for 'social good'.
Ebix to buy travel booking platform Yatra for $337.8 million
The software firm Ebix is buying online travel booking company Yatra in a merger deal worth $337.8 million. In a joint statement, the companies said the deal would create the world’s leading end-to-end enterprise financial and insurance services provider. Under the terms of the agreement, Yatra will become part of Ebix’s EbixCash travel portfolio alongside Via and Mercury.
Visa takes stake in Go-Jek
Visa is the latest big hitter to invest in ride-hailing and food delivery company Go-Jek. It joined Go-Jek's current Series F funding round, the two companies reported on Wednesday. Google and Tencent are among Go-Jek's backers. It is going head to head with Grab in the fertile Asian market. The firm is valued at around $9 billion. Last month it secured finance from Mitsubishi.
Vodafone Germany launches 5G network
Vodafone has launched its 5G network in Germany, rolling out in 20 cities. The company is taking on Deutsche Teekom, which recently launched its 5G network. Dortmund, Munich and Hamberg are among the first cities where it has been installed. “We are democratising 5G,” Vodafone’s Germany chief Hannes Ametsreiter said. “With us, 5G isn’t just a technology only for high earners.”
IBM triples blockchain patents in the US
IBM has grown its blockchain patent list in the United States by 300% over the last year. According to insights from BeInCrypto, IBM now has 108 active patent families, with Bank of America (52) a distant second. It is also the top employer for blockchain-related jobs. China, however, is currently moving clear of the US in terms of the number of blockchain patents per country.
Tech giants under spotlight at antitrust hearing
The world's dominant technology companies have come under scrutiny at the House Judiciary Committee's antitrust probe. An Amazon executive was questioned about its own sellers being pushed to buy advertising. Representatives from Apple, Facebook and Google were also quizzed by the panel. The committee has concerns about the companies' business practices.
Issue 6
In our latest edition, we dive into the technology transformation making the DVLA - the UK's motoring authority - stand out in the delivery of public services. Read on for other insights from the likes of Baker Hughes, NGINX and more.
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Kenny Graham takes over as new CEO of Tomorrow Street
Kenny Graham has been announced as the new CEO of Tomorrow Street. Graham will be tasked with driving global acceleration of Tomorrow Street companies and expanding its portfolio to "include additional leading edge technologies from late stage startups". Graham joins with 20 years’ experience in Vodafone Technology and the Vodafone Procurement Company, and will replace Warrick Cramer.
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IBM and AT&T agree 'multi-billion dollar' alliance
IBM and AT&T have signed a major tie-up worth 'billions of dollars'. It will see IBM provide cloud resources for AT&T's business applications. In return, AT&T will be IBM's provider of software-defined networking, helping update its solutions with 5G, IoT and edge technology. This is IBM's first deal since its $34 billion takeover of Red Hat.
Thales and Tata building IoT connectivity solution
Thales and Tata Communications are combining forces to build a 'global' IoT connectivity solution. Tata's mobility and IoT platform and Thales’s T-Sure digital identity are set to integrate to deliver data value and security to users. The platform is at proof-of-concept stage with a handful of customers having access. The pair say IoT data will be protected at both network and device level.

IQ Capital to inject $300 million into deep tech investments
Deep-tech venture capital firm IQ Capital has launched a new $125 million Growth Opportunities Fund. The fund will provide capital to outperforming companies in its existing venture portfolio. It has also closed its third venture fund at $175 million. The raise was oversubscribed, with more than 90% of the firm’s Fund II investors doubling down on their commitment by re-investing in Fund III.
Blackstone to acquire mobile marketing platform Vungle
Investment firm Blackstone has agreed to acquire Vungle, a marketing platform for in-app video advertisements on mobile devices. Vungle is used by publishers of more than 60,000 mobile apps worldwide, including Rovio, Zynga, Pandora, Microsoft, and Scopely. In connection with the transaction, Vungle has also reached a settlement agreement with founder Zain Jaffer.
Target adds Facebook's Hari Govind to tech team
Target has appointed a new SVP of technology and infrastructure. Facebook's Hari Govind has joined the retail giant to oversee its cloud and networking capabilities. He will also manage operations for the technology that powers Target's outlets and digital channels. At Facebook, Govind was group manager of infrastructure and helped scale Messenger, Instragram and WhatsApp.
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