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Report: U.S. Companies Led AI-Tech Acquisitions 2014-18

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Report: U.S. Companies Led AI-Tech Acquisitions 2014-18

.Leading data and analytics company, GlobalData, released a report this week highlighting companies that dominated the artificial intelligence-tech space from 2014-2018. In the report, four out of five top acquirers were U.S. based: Facebook, Microsoft, Apple and Splunk. These companies represent a combined total of 30 acquisitions during the time period studied. Accenture made the list as the only non-U.S. based company, representing six acquisitions total.

“Technology companies have been the dominant deal makers in the AI space. However, with artificial intelligence making inroads into diverse sectors, the buyer universe in expanding and the space is also attracting investments from non-technology companies,” said Aurojyoti Bose, Financial Deals Analyst at GlobalData.

Top Deal Makers-Payment Tech_V2

“The high number of American firms attracting investments in the AI space is a testimony to the country’s dominance in AI technology. The recent launch of American AI Initiative program also augurs well for the development of the sector or start-ups operating in this space,” added Bose.

Additional insights in the report confirm the U.S. as a leading region for targeted acquisitions, representing 70 percent of those acquired by the top five in the list. Regions closely following include the UK, China, India, Canada and Israel due to the talent pool and innovative technology offerings.

Top Deal Makers-Payment Tech_V1 Table

“With increasing adoption of AI across sectors, this space is bound to witness growth in an already burgeoning M&A activity. Corporates are extensively evaluating options to integrate AI in their business operations and automation initiatives. Going forward, AI solutions will be an integral part of their strategies,” Bose concludes.

Source: GlobalData

FOLLOW THE BOUNCING FOXCONN DEAL

My, how things can change drastically within two months before they snap back to what they were in the first place. Sorta. We think. First, you must travel back in time to Global Trade’s January-February issue, where our Dispatches column noted that Foxconn Technology Group’s $10 billion manufacturing campus project in Wisconsin has been named the 2018 Economic Impact Deal of the Year by the Mid-America Economic Development Council.
But Taiwan-based Foxconn, which is Apple’s largest iPhone assembler, announced within days of publication that it would not build the factory in Mount Pleasant, Wisconsin, because “the global market environment that existed when the project was first announced has changed.”
This was distressing, because not only had 13,000 jobs been promised at the factory where screens for LCD television displays were to be built, but Foxconn had received $4 billion in tax breaks and incentives.
Then, President Donald Trump intervened, and on Feb. 1 Foxconn distributed another statement, this time indicating its project is back on. Here is the statement:
“After productive discussions between the White House and the company, and after a personal conversation between President Donald J. Trump and Chairman Terry Gou, Foxconn is moving forward with our planned construction of a Gen 6 fab facility, which will be at the heart of the Wisconn Valley Science and Technology Park. This campus will serve both as an advanced manufacturing facility as well as a hub of high technology innovation for the region.
“Our decision is also based on a recent comprehensive and systematic evaluation to help determine the best fit for our Wisconsin project among TFT technologies. We have undertaken the evaluation while simultaneously seeking to broaden our investment across Wisconsin far beyond our original plans to ensure the company, our workforce, the local community, and the state of Wisconsin will be positioned for long-term success.
“We look forward to continuing to expand our investment in American talent in Wisconsin and the US.”
All is well that ends well, right? Um … actually, some critical eyes are being cast at Foxconn because it remains unclear what level of work will be hosted at the plant. The company says the plant will now create smaller mobile displays as well, such as for tablets and cell phones. And it is unclear whether Trump promised Foxconn further incentives. Which means you have no choice but to pick up our May-July 2019 issue, because who knows what will happen in the next two months.

Apple “Investing Like Crazy” in Greater China

Los Angeles, CA – Tim Cook, president of global communications giant Apple, is in has said that the California-based company is planning to open 25 new Apple stores in the country over the next two years.

“We’re investing like crazy in the market and when I look at China, I see an enormous market where there are more people graduating into the middle class than any nation on earth in history,” Cook said.

Cook made his comments bout the company’s plans to Sina, a Chinese online media company, during his current tour of the country this week.

Currently, Apple earns about 15 percent of its revenue and operates 15 stores in the country in what it calls its ‘Greater China’ marketing region, which includes mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan.

Earlier this week, Cook toured Foxconn Technology Co’s iPhone factory in Zhengzhou and met with China’s Vice Minister Ma Kai to discuss the “protection of users’ information” as well as “strengthening cooperation,” according to the China’s state-run Xinhua News Agency.

Cook also has plans to attend meetings at Beijing’s Tsinghua University as a member of the School of Economics and Management’s advisory council, and meet with Alibaba Chairman, Jack Ma.

Before leaving for China, Cook said that Apple would be “cooperating” with Chinese firms including Baidu Inc. and Alibaba Group Holding Ltd.

10/30/2014

Apple Plans Broad Global iPhone 6 Distribution

Cupertino, CA – By the end of this month, technology giant Apple Inc. will make its highly popular iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus available in 36 additional countries and territories across Europe, Asia, the Middle East, Latin America and Africa.

Starting with China, India and Monaco this week, the new iPhones will be available in China and 68 other countries and territories by the end of the month, including the initial launch countries.

The distribution campaign is reportedly also on track to make the devices available in more than 115 countries by the end of the year, making this the company’s fastest iPhone rollout ever.

Apple set a new record for first weekend sales of iPhone 6 and 6 Plus, having breached the 10 million mark within just three days of its initial September 9 sales launch in Australia, Canada, France, Germany, Hong Kong, Japan, Puerto Rico, Singapore, the UK, and the US.

The new iPhones will be available in Israel from Thursday, October 23 and in Czech Republic, French West Indies, Greenland, Malta, Poland, Reunion Island and South Africa the following day. They will be available in Bahrain and Kuwait from Thursday, October 30.

It will be available in further 23 countries – Albania, Bosnia, Croatia, Estonia, Greece, Guam, Hungary, Iceland, Kosovo, Latvia, Lithuania, Macau, Macedonia, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, Serbia, South Korea, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Ukraine and Thailand – on October 31.

Cupertino, California-based Apple unveiled the two new larger screen smartphones, iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus, last month in San Francisco.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are both available in 16GB, 64GB, and 128GB versions and feature larger HD (high definition) screens than their predecessors, as well as markedly enhanced performance and power efficiency.

10/14/2014

Apple, Starbucks Targeted by EU Tax Authorities

Los Angeles, CA – European Commission (EC) competition regulators are investigating tax breaks for Apple Inc. and Starbucks Corp. in Ireland and The Netherlands, respectively, that it suspects are in violation of European Union tax codes.

The investigation comes as governments around the world are cracking down on tax-avoidance and evasion by scrutinizing the financial practices of a growing number of multi-national companies such as Hewlett-Packard, Google, Microsoft, McDonalds, and Amazon.com.

According to the EC, tax avoidance and evasion by foreign companies operating in the EU amounts to more than $1.4 trillion a year.

The EC reportedly began gathering information about accords between Apple and Ireland, and Starbucks and the Netherlands last year following reports that some companies received “significant” tax reductions.

“We need to fight against aggressive tax planning,” said Joaquin Almunia, the EU’s competition commissioner at a recent press conference in Brussels, adding that it is “still too soon to anticipate” possible recovery if the EU finds the tax rulings to be illegal.”

Apple Responds

While Starbuck’s didn’t respond to requests for a statement on the EC investigation, California-based Apple issued a response saying that the company “pays every euro of every tax that we owe. We have received no selective treatment from Irish officials. Apple is subject to the same tax laws as scores of other international companies doing business in Ireland.”

Ireland’s Finance Ministry said it is “confident that there is no state-aid-rule breach” and will “defend all aspects vigorously.”

The EC said that it is “concerned that current arrangements could underestimate the taxable profit and grant an advantage to the respective companies by allowing them to pay less tax.”

Apple, the company said in a public statement, “pays every euro of every tax that we owe. We have received no selective treatment from Irish officials. Apple is subject to the same tax laws as scores of other international companies doing business in Ireland.”

Ireland’s Finance Ministry said it is “confident that there is no state-aid-rule breach” and will “defend all aspects vigorously.” The EU probe targets “a very technical tax issue in a specific case” and covers 2004 to 2014, it said in an e-mailed statement.

 “Patent Boxes” Under the Microscope

Widening the scope of its investigation, the EC is also seeking details from Belgium, Spain, France, Hungary, Luxembourg, The Netherlands, the UK, Cyprus and Malta on so-called “patent boxes,”  a mechanism that allows tax reductions on income derived from patents.

The EC said in March it has indications that the programs mainly benefit highly mobile businesses without triggering significant additional research and development.

The UK, for example, patent box phases in a lower corporation tax on some profits from patented inventions and certain other innovations, according to the EC website.

Changes to EU tax rules require unanimous approval among the bloc’s 28-member nations,  rendering major changes to individual county’s tax regulations difficult, if not impossible as even the most enthusiastic members of the bloc cling to their right to set corporate tax rates.

The opening of an in-depth investigation by the commission allows third parties, as well as the three countries concerned, an opportunity to submit comments.

06/16/2014