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Amazon said to be gearing to acquire Landmark Theatres

Retail giant Amazon is now said to be contending for an acquisition of 56 cinema strong movie chain Landmark Theatres in a bid to make more moves and disruption in the brick-and-mortar scene.

Landmark Theatres is owned by Wagner/Cuban Cos. with the name notably referencing to its two tech entrepreneur owners Mark Cuban and Todd Wagner who reaped a good fortune selling now defunct internet broadcasting service to Yahoo for $5.7 Billion in 1999.

An acquisition would indicate the tech behemoth looking to tap into another market consisting of a good customer base for its current streaming and movie production services as Amazon which as of current hasn't made any official comments concerning acquisition reports looks to expand into larger market segments in a bid to grow its vast consumer reach.

Landmark currently counts presence in high-profile locations including LA, San Francisco, New York, Chicago, Philadelphia, Boston, Santa Cruz and Seattle with a total count of 2…

Ride-hailing company Grab defends its position concerning Uber deal to competition watchdogs

    image credit : Grab

Singaporean based ride-hailing firm Grab has criticized the Singaporean anti-monopoly watchdog over its assessment that the merger between Grab and Uber's South East Asian operations has "substantially lessened competition" with the company terming the assessment as “one-sided”.

Just this year, Uber merged its South East Asian operators with Grab which stood as a major competitor in the area in exchange for a stake in Grab, A move which saw Grab increase its market share and operations in the region as Uber stood as the No 1 contender for the SE Asian ride-hailing market with Grab before the merger.

Early this month, Singapore's Competition and Consumer Commission of Singapore (CCCS) scrutinized the deal stating it as being in violation of competition laws with the combined business controlling the lion share of the region's ride-hailing market which the organization says led to increased prices for consumers who have other limited options than Grab's ride-hailing service.

The CCCS said it would be seeking public feedback over ways of handling the merger between the two firms in a way which would not affect competition in the region's ride-hailing market.

A final decision is set to be made after “careful consideration of the involved parties’ representations, feedback on the proposed remedies as well as all available information and evidence.” as stated by CCCS.

Grab is arguing this assessment by stating that the competition watchdog allowed other ride-hailing firms to enter exclusivity agreements with drivers, private rental fleets and taxi operators without restrictions which it deems as a double standard which "goes against the spirit of increasing choices for drivers and riders,”.

Grab was already the dominant player in Singapore's ride-hailing market before the Uber merger and argues that the region's ride-hailing market counts other operators which competes with Grab for market share.

Several startups and ride-hailing services in the region have popped up in recent times also with Indonesian ride-hailing unicorn which stands as another heavily funded ride-hailing startup having plans launch its services in Singapore.

“By being open and letting competition figure out themselves is the best way to benefit the consumers and is the best way to prove Singapore as the place for innovation,” said Jixun Foo, a GGV Capital managing partner who represented the firm as an early investor in Grab.

The CCCS mentioned earlier this month of studying monopoly risks triggered by the merger and is set to release a final decision too.

We'll get to see how this would work out for both Grab and Uber as the direction of the decision to me made is still vague.

Grab stands as the major player in the South East Asian ride-hailing market having raised over $4 Billion in total from the likes of Toyota, Softbank, Didi Chuxing, Hyundai, Honda, Tiger Global, 500 Startups, Vulcan Capital and the China Investment Corporation among others while being valued at $10 Billion from its most recent $1 Billion investment from Toyota.


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Uber adds former NSA General Counsel to lead its security team

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As announced by its CEO Dara Khosrowshahi on Tuesday, Olsen will be replacing former cybersecurity chief Joe Sullivan who left the company after revelations of a massive data breach concerning tens of millions of users was outed and now heads security at web-performance and security startup CloudFlare.

Thrilled to have Matt Olsen on board as #Uber Chief Trust and Security Officer. He has more than earned the respect of our team at all levels while working with us over the last few months - — dara khosrowshahi (@dkhos) August 14, 2018Olsen has served as chief legal adviser to the NSA in addition to holding various leadership positions at government agencies and joined Uber last year as an adviser with him now …

Chinese co-working startup MyDreamplus nabs $120 million in round led by Hillhouse and General Atlantic

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This funding which brings the total raised by the 3 year old Chinese startup to nearly $190 million comes on the heels of MyDreamPlus's expansion as it aims to double its floor space within the next 12 months.

As competition in the Chinese co-working space heats up, MyDreamPlus would have to expand its presence across the region to keep up with demands from customers and would make use of this funding to boost its growth.

It's grown to 37 locations tailored for local demands across China since its inception with 25 of them located in Beijing with others across Hangzhou, Chengdu, Shanghai and Xi'an.

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Uber reportedly told by investors to sell its self-driving unit

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Uber's Advanced Technologies Group which comprises of its autonomous vehicle efforts has racked up losses between $125 million to $200 million each quarter for the past 18 months equivalent to between 15% and 30% of its quarterly losses as reported by Uber indicating the unit taken huge investments amid a not yet clear commercialization path.

Over the past 3 years, Uber has invested at least $2 Billion into the unit making efforts to boost its autonomous vehicle base amid competition with the likes of Waymo and several other major self driving startups.

Uber still needs to develop its autonomous vehicle efforts in order to gain a good stand in the long term and would have to figure out ways to court other self driving vehicle developers to its own network and find way…

Elon Musk outs more info on considered Tesla takeover

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Quoting Musk:

"I left the July 31st meeting with no question that a deal with the Saudi sovereign fund could be clo…

SoFi said to be seeking credit line of up to $1 Billion

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As per Bloomberg, The SF based company which focuses on online lending even as it makes moves to become a full fledged digital finance firm has approached several financial institutions for a potential loan citing people familiar to the matter.

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Notably founded by a team consisting of its current CEO Mario Schlosser, Kevin Nazemi and Joshua Kusher (brother of Jared), Oscar has grown to a very good position since its founding 5 years ago garnering backing from the likes of Khosla Ventures, 8VC, Fidelity, General Catalyst, Breyer Capital, Thrive Capital, Goldman Sachs, Stanley Druckenmiller and several notable names, Oscar has grown from just from offering its service to individuals to several business offerings for the healthcare industry.

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This is the first project for the 2 year old startup launched by two Google autonomous vehicle project veterans which came out of stealth mode with a $92 million funding round announced early this year.

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Tesla reportedly nabs key Volvo designer Ian Kettle to style its EVs

EV manufacturer Tesla has now made a key hire for its vehicle design, This time nabbing notable Volvo designer Ian Kettle as per reports from Auto Express and Electrek which noted of the designer who led the exterior work for its compact XC40 SUV now having a role at Tesla's Los Angeles Design Studio.

Kettle has been at Volvo for 6 years with the Royal College of Art and Coventry University student handling multiple works as a Senior Exterior Designer for the Swedish automaker.

As per reports, Kettle will now report to Tesla design director and former Mazda designer Franz von Holzhausen while he takes on currently unspecified work at the California based EV manufacturer.

He would now count as a plus to Tesla's other exterior car designers WooTak Kim who notably led interior design for Porsche's all electric Mission E vehicles and former Mazda designer Julien Bilodeau who like Kim came to Tesla a few years ago.

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