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Taboola, Top Purveyor of Chumbox Ads, Will Go Public via SPAC

Taboola, which was started in Israel and is now based in New York, is profitable, according to Mr. Singolda, who said it collected a projected $1.2 billion in gross revenue last year — $379 million in net revenue, excluding payouts to publishers.In late 2019, Taboola saw a path to even greater growth in a merger with Outbrain, its chumbox archrival. That October, in a long-expected deal, the two announced plans to combine under the Taboola name.But within a year, both companies’ financial situations had changed. Antitrust regulators in Britain and Israel were still investigating the deal. The pandemic drew more viewers online …

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Alden Global Bids for Control of Tribune

Since Alden acquired its 32 percent stake in Tribune, the hard times have continued. The company has offered buyouts and closed several newsrooms while trying to endure the effects of the coronavirus pandemic on an already distressed industry.In August, after most newspaper employees had worked remotely for months, Tribune announced that it was permanently closing the newsroom of The Daily News. That announcement was quickly followed by the company’s shuttering of the physical newsrooms of The Morning Call in Allentown, Pa.; The Orlando Sentinel; The Carroll County Times in Westminster, Md.; and The Capital Gazette in Annapolis, Md. In …

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Why Antitrust Suits Against Facebook Face Hurdles

SAN FRANCISCO — When the Federal Trade Commission and more than 40 states sued Facebook on Wednesday for illegally killing competition and demanded that the company be split apart, lawmakers and public interest groups applauded.Senator Richard Blumenthal, Democrat of Connecticut, said, “Facebook’s reign of unaccountable, abusive practices against consumers, competitors and innovation must end.” Senator Josh Hawley, Republican of Missouri, called the lawsuits “a necessity” and said Facebook’s acquisitions of nascent rivals “were meant to be anti-competitive, and they should be broken up.”But lawmakers and consumer advocates did not address a hard-to-deny factor: The cases against Facebook are …

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Facebook Accused of Breaking Antitrust Laws

If the prosecutors succeed, the cases could remake the company, which has experienced only unfettered growth. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook’s chief executive, has described a breakup of the company as an “existential” threat. The company’s stock fell 2 percent, to $277.70 a share, after the lawsuits were announced.The case is also being widely watched as a gauge for future mergers within the technology industry, which have continued to boom during the pandemic. Last month, Facebook said it was buying Kustomer, a customer relationship management start-up, for close to $1 billion.Facebook said the regulators had ignored important history.“The most important …

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Uber Jettisons Flying Car Project

A day after Uber handed its autonomous car project to a Silicon Valley start-up, the company is doing the same with an ambitious and money-intensive effort to build flying cars.Uber is handing its flying car project, Uber Elevate, to the air taxi start-up Joby Aviation, the two companies said on Tuesday. Uber will also invest $75 million in Joby’s effort to build a flying taxi, while agreeing to become partners with the start-up when the flying car reaches the market.By taking the two technology projects off the books, Uber management, under pressure to make the company profitable, is …

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Uber Is Giving Self-Driving Car Project to a Start-Up

In 2016, Uber acquired the autonomous trucking start-up Otto, led by Anthony Levandowski, a former Google engineer. When Google first tested its self-driving car on public roads a decade ago, Mr. Levandowski and Mr. Urmson, who had played a key role in Google’s original self-driving car project before cofounding Aurora, were two of the project’s key engineers. The test was a milestone that eventually led to an investment frenzy.The acquisition, which valued Otto at $680 million, turned sour when Waymo filed a lawsuit against Uber in early 2017, claiming that Mr. Levandowski had stolen trade secrets from Google. Uber fired …

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As Deadline Lapses, Trump Administration Continues TikTok Talks

WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will allow a Friday deadline for TikTok’s Chinese parent company to sell the viral video app to lapse, said a person with knowledge of the decision. But the government will continue to work on a deal that would put a larger slice of TikTok’s ownership in American hands, the person said.The White House ordered the sale of TikTok’s U.S. assets in August over concerns that the app’s Chinese ownership posed a national security risk. ByteDance, the Chinese internet giant that owns the app, embarked on an effort to sell the …

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Marc Benioff Sets His Sights on Microsoft

SAN FRANCISCO — Five years ago, Marc Benioff negotiated to sell Salesforce, the software company he co-founded in 1999 and has run ever since, to Microsoft. If the deal had gone through, he would have been richly rewarded — but, in the end, just another employee of the tech colossus.With Tuesday’s news that Salesforce was buying Slack for $27.7 billion, Mr. Benioff did something much more difficult. He is now set to directly compete against Microsoft, one of the world’s most valuable companies, in its own favored territory.Microsoft has been slugging it out with Slack in the pandemic-fueled rush to …

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Salesforce to Acquire Slack for $27.7 Billion

Salesforce, which provides marketing and sales software, among other products, has been highly acquisitive as it looks to grow. Under Mr. Benioff, Salesforce has bought at least 60 companies, including 27 in the last five years, according to S&P Capital IQ.Salesforce stock has climbed nearly 40 percent this year, valuing the company at $220 billion. On Tuesday, it said its revenue rose 20 percent to $5.24 billion in the three months ending with October.In February, Salesforce paid $1.3 billion for Vlocity, a mobile software provider. Last year, it bought Tableau, a data analytics provider, for $15.3 billion; in 2018, it bought MuleSoft, a data integration company, …

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The Luxury E-Commerce Wars Heat Up

In 2015, the chairman and controlling shareholder of the luxury goods group Richemont, Johann Rupert, took to the stage at an industry conference in Monte Carlo and issued a rallying cry to some of his biggest rivals.“I invited the other big groups to create a singular, dominant neutral platform for the luxury goods industry in which we were shareholders,” Mr. Rupert, a blustery South African, recalled this month. “I was talking to Mr. Arnault of LVMH and Mr. Pinault of Kering,” he said, referring to the heads of two major luxury conglomerates, Bernard Arnault and François-Henri Pinault. “I told …

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