Meta Criticized For Providing Extra Protection To Certain Users, Twitter HQ Bedrooms Under Regulatory Scrutiny, Juul Settles Over 5,000 Lawsuits: Top Stories Wednesday, Dec. 07


Microsoft Announces '10-Year Commitment' To Bring 'Call Of Duty' To Nintendo Consoles

  • Microsoft Corporation MSFT has announced a 10-year deal to bring 'Call of Duty' to Nintendo NTDOY consoles following the acquisition of Activision Blizzard ATVI.
  • Xbox chief Phil Spencer took to Twitter to share the news about Microsoft's new deal.
  • In a subsequent tweet, Spencer said that "Microsoft has committed to continue to offer Call of Duty on Steam simultaneously to Xbox after we have closed the merger with Activision Blizzard King."

Facebook Parent Criticized By Oversight Board For 'Providing Extra Protection To Certain Users'

  • Meta Platforms Inc META faced the heat from the company-appointed oversight board for policies that treat users unequally.
  • The oversight board published its policy advisory opinion on Meta's 'cross-check' program, saying they found "several shortcomings."
  • The board stated that Meta's cross-check program is structured to satisfy business concerns. "By providing extra protection to certain users," the cross-check program allows violating content on Facebook and Instagram to remain, which would otherwise be removed quickly.

Relief To Pfizer, Sanofi As US Dismisses Several Lawsuits Associated With Zantac

  • U.S. District Judge Robin Rosenberg in Florida has dismissed about 50,000 claims associated with GSK Plc GSK, Pfizer Inc PFE, Sanofi SA SNY, and Boehringer Ingelheim, claiming that the heartburn drug Zantac caused cancer, as a judge found the claims were not backed by solid science.
  • The move does not directly affect tens of thousands of similar cases pending in state courts around the country.
  • The first state trial is currently scheduled to begin in February in California.


Elon Musk Conceived Twitter HQ Bedrooms Draw Regulatory Scrutiny

  • Elon Musk blasted San Francisco Mayor London Breed for investigating Twitter Inc for setting up bedrooms at its headquarters.
  • Musk called the attack unfair as it was "providing beds for tired employees."
  • Twitter recently turned several conference rooms at the office into makeshift bedrooms, complete with furniture like bedside tables and armchairs.

Apple Chief Deepens Collaboration With TSMC's US Plants

  • Apple Inc AAPL CEO Tim Cook eyed building chips in the U.S. for the first time in nearly a decade to reduce dependence on international territories.
  • Cook said Apple would expand its relationship with crucial supplier Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd TSM at a TSMC facility under construction in Phoenix.
  • Cook voiced his plans to deepen relations with its existing supplier when the U.S. factory opens in 2024 and as TSMC forms new and deeper roots in America.

Key Apple Supplier From Japan Sees Demand Correction, Fears Migrating Production To China Over Security Concerns

  • Murata Manufacturing Inc MRAAF MRAAY expects Apple Inc to curtail iPhone 14 production further in the coming months because of weak demand.
  • "Judging by handset availability in stores, I see a downward revision happening," Murata President Norio Nakajima said in an interview. "I hope that it won't be too deep."
  • Nakajima's comments reflect slowing consumer spending due to rising interest rates, elevated inflation, and sputtering economic growth.


Taiwan Semiconductor Projects $10B In Revenue From Arizona Plant

  • Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Company Ltd TSM expects $10 billion in annual revenue from Arizona chip plants.
  • TSMC eyed a second chip plant in Arizona and tripled its initial investment to $40 billion.
  • The first chip fabrication facility, or fab, will be operational by 2024. The second facility nearby will make the most advanced chips currently in production, called "3-nm," by 2026.
  • Liu said the two plants would create 13,000 high-paying tech jobs, including 4,500 under TSMC.

US Lawmakers Decide Fate Of Boeing's 737 Max 7, Max 10 Regulatory Exemption

  • U.S. lawmakers refused to add an extension to an annual defense bill to exempt Boeing Co BA from a year-end regulatory change for 737 Max 7 and Max 10 versions of aircraft.
  • There is a slim chance the defense bill could be changed before final passage, and Boeing is still attempting to convince lawmakers. Reuters sources reported that the issue may slip into 2023.

BlackRock Freezes Hiring, Puts Check On Expenses Citing Performance Challenges

  • BlackRock Inc's BLK Chief Financial Officer Gary Shedlin said the company is putting a stop to hiring and reducing expenses during a financial conference hosted by Goldman Sachs.
  • "We're trying to be a little more prudent," he said, adding that these measures will put BlackRock in a better position next year, Reuters reported.
  • Shedlin added that BlackRock witnessed some weakness in retail mutual funds, with some short-term performance challenges.

Toyota Offers To Cut Prius Cost For Customers Opting For Software Updates

  • Toyota Motor Corp's TM leasing unit KINTO will offer software updates for safety on its new car, Prius.
  • The customers will be required to choose a service through the program, slashing the monthly lease payments by 10%.
  • Through this initiative, Toyota plans to cut lease prices and conserve used-car values in Japan.

Wall Street Journal

Macro Conditions Engulf BuzzFeed, To Downsize 12% Workforce

  • BuzzFeed Inc BZFD disclosed plans to downsize 12% of its workforce as worsening economic conditions and challenges in the digital-media business weighed on its business.
  • The cuts will impact just under 180 employees, primarily across sales, tech, studio production,, and Complex Networks.
  • "In order for BuzzFeed to weather an economic downturn that I believe will extend well into 2023, we must adapt, invest in our strategy to serve our audience best, and readjust our cost structure," CEO Jonah Peretti wrote.

Juul Announces Settlement Of Over 5,000 Lawsuits, Resolving Much Of Legal Uncertainty

  • Partly owned by Altria Group Inc MO, Juul Labs reached settlements with about 10,000 plaintiffs covering more than 5,000 cases in California. Juul did not disclose the settlement amount.
  • The company has obtained equity investment to fund it.
  • Juul's CEO's letter said the settlement "addresses the vast majority of outstanding litigation facing our company."


Morgan Stanley Layoff 2% Of Its Employees Due To Slowing Business

  • Morgan Stanley MS has trimmed its workforce by about 2%, affecting around 1,600 positions.
  • CNBC first reported the job cuts. The move follows workforce reductions at Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS and Citigroup Inc C.
  • According to a quarterly filing, the bank had more than 81,000 employees worldwide as of Sept. 30.
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