Media Focus on Multinational Corporations






Aramco continues progress in digital transformation with SAP strategic alliance

Aramco today announced a strategic alliance with SAP Saudi Arabia to expand the digitalization of its Enterprise Resource Planning (ERP) systems. The agreement with SAP is another step in Aramcos digital transformation journey, paving the way for further integration of new technologies in a rapidly evolving technological landscape.




Volkswagen of America is launching its first set of TV commercials for its upcoming ID4 battery-electric compact crossover that aims to drive home the company's message of delivering electric mobility to the millions, instead of just the millionaires.

The spot, which uses a line of zoetropes a 19th century invention that uses a spinning disc of images to create a moving picture to illustrate advances in transportation, ends with a woman climbing into the passenger side of an ID4 and riding away. The video plays under growing orchestral music, beginning with a single piano, and contains no narration. It finishes with a written message: 'History is made, when it's made for everyone.'



Senegal Sees 2023 Start for $4.8 Billion BP-Backed Project

The Grand Tortue Ahmeyim gas field development, straddling the offshore waters of Mauritania and Senegal, is expected to produce its first gas in 2023 following delays related to the coronavirus pandemic, according to Senegals Oil Minister Sophie Gladima.

The two countries and international oil companies BP Plc and Kosmos Energy Ltd. are collaborating on the $4.8 billion project set to produce 2.5 million tons of liquefied natural gas annually and 70 million cubic feet of natural gas a day in its first phase, to be equally shared between Senegal and Mauritania, Gladima said in response to emailed questions.




Amazon suspends hosting for Parler

Amazon will suspend social media site Parler from its server hosting service on Sunday over violent content that has also prompted Google Play and Apple to remove the platform from its app stores.



Toyota, other automakers cut production as global semiconductor shortage widens

A widening global shortage of semiconductors for auto parts is forcing major auto companies to halt or slow vehicle production just as they were recovering from pandemic-related factory shutdowns.

Officials at Toyota, Volkswagen, Ford, Fiat Chrysler and Nissan all say they have been hit by the shortage and been forced to delay production of some models in order to keep other factories running.

This is absolutely an industry issue,Toyota spokesman Scott Vazin said in an email Friday. We are evaluating the supply constraint of semiconductors and developing countermeasures to minimize the impact to production.



Apple suspend Parler social network from App Store and web hosting service

(Reuters) - Apple Inc and Inc have suspended Parler from their respective App Store and web hosting service, saying the social networking service popular with many right-leaning social media users has not taken adequate measures to prevent the spread of posts inciting violence.

The action by Apple and Amazon follows a similar move by Alphabet Inc's Google on Friday. Parler is favored by many supporters of U.S. President Donald Trump, who was permanently suspended from Twitter on Friday, and it is seen as a haven for people expelled from Twitter.

'We have suspended Parler from the App Store until they resolve these issues,' Apple said in a statement Saturday.

Apple had given Parler 24 hours to submit a detailed moderation plan, pointing to participants' using the service to coordinate Wednesday's siege of the U.S. Capitol.




Haven, the Amazon-Berkshire Hathaway-JPMorgan health venture, is disbanding

Haven, Amazon's health venture with JPMorgan and Berkshire Hathaway, is shutting down.

Formed in 2018, the three companies set out to reduce healthcare costs and improve care for their employees.

But Haven had a rocky three years, running up against vague marching orders, a lack of direction, and obstacles inherent to the healthcare landscape.



UnitedHealth to Purchase Change Healthcare for $8 Billion

(Bloomberg) -- UnitedHealth Group Inc. agreed to purchase Change Healthcare Inc. in a deal that values the health technology company at about $8 billion.

UnitedHealth will pay $25.75 per share in cash, the companies said Wednesday, a 41% premium over Change Healthcare’s closing price Tuesday of $18.24. Including more than $5 billion in debt owed by Change Healthcare, the deal amounts to $13 billion.

The deal will combine Change Healthcare with UnitedHealth’s OptumInsight unit to offer software, data analytics, technology and other services to the health-care industry.

The acquisition is one of UnitedHealth’s largest and is another step in expanding the company’s health services business under its Optum division. The companies said the combination would help simplify services around medical care to improve health outcomes and lower costs.



Samsung's Neo QLED TVs are packed with futuristic-sounding tech

Samsung, the biggest TV company in the world, is following up a blockbuster year of sales with new 2021 models that tout even better picture quality and more extras aimed at people spending extra time at home. Its massive, incredibly expensive MicroLED TVs steal the headlines around CES but its lineup of QLED TVs comprise the company's bread and butter.



Daimler and Infosys Announce Strategic Partnership to Drive Hybrid Cloud-powered Innovation & IT Infrastructure Transformation in the Automotive Sector

Daimler AG and Infosys, today announced a long-term strategic partnership for a technology-driven IT infrastructure transformation. After the receipt of all regulatory approvals, Daimler AG will transform its IT operating model and infrastructure landscape across workplace services, service desk, data center, networks and SAP Basis together with Infosys. The partnership will enable the company to deepen its focus on software engineering and to establish a fully scalable on-demand digital IT infrastructure and anytime-anywhere workplace. The collaboration will empower Daimler to strengthen its IT capabilities, and Infosys, its automotive expertise.



Walgreens To Sell Distribution Unit To AmerisourceBergen For $6.5B; Shares Gain

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. has struck a $6.5 billion cash and stock deal to sell its Alliance Healthcare distribution businesses to AmerisourceBergen Corp., as the US drugstore chain seeks to focus on its core retail pharmacy business.

Walgreens (WBA) shares were up 2.3% in Thursday’s pre-market trading after closing 4.5% higher yesterday. AmerisourceBergen stock jumped 8.7% on Wednesday as the US drug wholesaler announced that the transaction will consist of $6.275 billion in cash and 2 million shares of its common stock. With a 30% holding, Walgreens Boots is the largest shareholder of AmerisourceBergen.





Google Workers Are Unionizing

Google executives received some unwelcome news on Monday morning: Over 225 employees have formed a union with the Communications Workers of America. Named for Google’s parent company, the Alphabet Workers Union is both a pivotal development in the recent history of tech-worker organizing, and a creative gambit by the CWA, which has been seeking a toehold in the notoriously anti-labor world of Silicon Valley. The new Alphabet union is what’s often called a minority, noncontract, or solidarity union: It isn’t seeking a contract with management, at least for the moment. It’s open to all Alphabet employees, including temporary contractors, and it exists to organize the tech giant from within.




Ford's Sales Slumped in Q4 Due to Model Transition

For the past few years, Ford Motor Company (NYSE: F) has been revamping its model lineup in North America. The iconic automaker has discontinued virtually all of its sedans and hatchbacks. Meanwhile, it has doubled down on crossovers, SUVs, and trucks, bringing a slew of new entries and updated versions of existing models.

This transformation holds plenty of long-term promise. However, it is causing some pain for Ford in the near term. Pandemic-related production disruptions exacerbated the challenges. As a result, Ford reported a 10% drop in U.S. deliveries for the final quarter of 2020.




Bermuda has partnered with Costco for $140 pre-travel COVID-19 tests - see how it works

Bermuda has teamed up with Costco to distribute COVID-19 tests for people looking to travel to the island.Soon-to-be Bermuda travelers need to have a negative PCR coronavirus test within five days of arriving on the island.Costco and Azova Health's $140 self-administered saliva tests have a five-day test result turnaround time.




Microsoft Teams is getting this new 'dynamic' view option to make your meetings more interesting

Microsoft Teams is gaining a new feature that should help improve the visibility of slides and key speakers during meetings and events.  

The new feature, dubbed Dynamic View, will be rolling out worldwide on Teams for the desktop in March. Spotted by Windows Latest, the controls should help boost engagement by automatically adjusting the size of shared content, such as slides, in a group meeting or an event. Participants also have the option to display slides and a key speaker in a larger frame, next to each other.

This should be an improvement to the meetings experience in the existing version of the Teams desktop app, which only displays the presenter or participant in a small frame when watching shared content.