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Amazon acquires movie giant MGM for $8.45 billion

San Francisco: Amazon on Wednesday announced to acquire movie giant MGM for $8.45 billion, at a time when the world’s largest telecommunication company AT&T has announced to merge WarnerMedia with Discovery to create a new media giant that will compete with leading streaming players like Netflix.

Metro Goldwyn Mayer’s or MGM which has a century of filmmaking history, has a vast library of over 4,000 film titles, including 12 Angry Men, Basic Instinct, Creed, James Bond, Legally Blonde, Moonstruck, Poltergeist, Raging Bull, Robocop, Rocky, Silence of the Lambs, Stargate, Thelma & Louise, Tomb Raider, The Magnificent Seven, The Pink Panther, The Thomas Crown Affair, and many others.

“MGM has a vast catalog with more than 4,000 films that have collectively won more than 180 Academy Awards and 100 Emmys,” said Mike Hopkins, Senior Vice President of Prime Video and Amazon Studios.

“The real financial value behind this deal is the treasure trove of IP in the deep catalog that we plan to reimagine and develop together with MGM’s talented team. It’s very exciting and provides so many opportunities for high-quality storytelling,” Hopkins said in a statement.

MGM has been up for sale since December 2020.

“I am very proud that MGM’s Lion, which has long evoked the Golden Age of Hollywood, will continue its storied history, and the idea born from the creation of United Artists lives on in a way the founders originally intended, driven by the talent and their vision,” said Kevin Ulrich, Chairman of the Board of Directors of MGM.

Last week, AT&T and Discovery announced a definitive agreement to combine WarnerMedias premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery’s leading non-fiction and international entertainment and sports businesses to create a premier, standalone global entertainment company.

Under the terms of the agreement, AT&T would receive $43 billion (subject to adjustment) in a combination of cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt.

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Bollywood Latest News

WarnerMedia, Discovery form new leader in global entertainment space

AT&T and Discovery have announced a definitive agreement to combine WarnerMedias premium entertainment, sports and news assets with Discovery’s leading nonfiction and international entertainment and sports businesses to create a premier, standalone global entertainment company.

The “pure play” content company will own one of the deepest libraries in the world with nearly 200,000 hours of iconic programming and will bring together over 100 of the most cherished, popular and trusted brands in the world under one global portfolio, including HBO, Warner Bros., Discovery, DC Comics, CNN, Cartoon Network, HGTV, Food Network, the Turner Networks, TNT, TBS, Eurosport, Magnolia, TLC, Animal Planet, ID and many more.

Under the terms of the agreement, which is structured as an all-stock, Reverse Morris Trust transaction, AT&T would receive $43 billion in a combination of cash, debt securities, and WarnerMedia’s retention of certain debt. AT&T’s shareholders would receive stock representing 71 per cent of the new company; Discovery shareholders would own 29 per cent of the new company.

A statement said companies with shared values, complementary assets and iconic brands and franchises will offer the most differentiated content portfolio in the world. Also, WarnerMedia and Discovery Inc. form one of the largest global streaming players.

The new company will compete globally in the fast-growing direct-to-consumer business — bringing compelling content to DTC subscribers across its portfolios, including HBO Max and the recently launched discovery+.

The transaction will combine WarnerMedia’s storied content library of popular and valuable IP with Discovery’s global footprint, trove of local-language content and deep regional expertise across more than 200 countries and territories.

The new company will be able to invest in more original content for its streaming services, enhance the programming options across its global linear pay TV and broadcast channels, and offer more innovative video experiences and consumer choices.

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Latest News USA

Amazon to airlift 100 ICU ventilator units from US to India

Amazon has announced that it has procured 100 ventilators and will import these to India amid the ongoing second wave of Covid pandemic in the country. The e-commerce major has made this announcement in its bid to help the country fight the devastating second wave of Coronavirus cases. Amazon has tied up with Medtronic, an American-Irish medical device company, to deliver the units to India in the next two weeks, as per a report by IANS

“Amazon has worked with the Ministry of Health and Family Welfare to ensure the ventilators are of acceptable technical specification and carried out its own compatibility checks to immediately fund 100 units of Medtronic’s PB980 model and bring them into India for urgent use,” the company shared in a blogpost.

The e-commerce giant is also working closely with the Health Ministry’s appointed agencies to finalize the hospitals for end-to-end delivery, installation, maintenance and training of personnel who will use these machines.

“We hugely appreciate the quick response from the MoHWF to help identify the most compatible models, expediting the shipment import into India and for coordination with agencies of MoHFW to allocate these where they are needed most. We are doing more and are committed to support our country in the fight against Covid-19,” said Amit Agarwal, Global SVP and Country Head, Amazon India, in the blog post.

The company had, meanwhile on Sunday, announced to donate 10,000 oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines to hospitals and public institutions to augment their capacity to help Covid-19 infected patients across multiple cities in India.

The first of these consignments was set to land in Mumbai on Sunday and a majority of the shipping is expected to be completed by April 30.

Additionally, Amazon also joined hands with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation, Pune Platform for Covid-19 Response (PPCR) and other partners to urgently airlift over 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 BiPAP machines from Singapore.

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Business Latest News

Amazon donating 10K oxygen concentrators, 100 ICU beds to India

New Delhi: Amazon has announced to donate 10,000 oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines to hospitals and public institutions to augment their capacity to help Covid-19 infected patients across multiple cities in India.

The first of these consignments was set to land in Mumbai on Sunday and a majority of the shipping is expected to be completed by April 30.

Amazon has joined hands with ACT Grants, Temasek Foundation, Pune Platform for COVID-19 Response (PPCR) and other partners to urgently airlift over 8,000 oxygen concentrators and 500 BiPAP machines from Singapore.

The e-commerce major Amazon also announced that it has procured 100 ventilators and will import these to India, in its bid to help the country fight the devastating second wave of Covid-19.

Amazon has tied up with Medtronic, an American-Irish medical device company, to deliver the units to India in the next two weeks.

Additionally, Amazon India is also procuring over 1,500 oxygen concentrators and other critical medical equipment in partnership with non-profits including Swasth, Concern India and impact organisations like ACT Grants and Sattva Consulting.

The company said that the organisations are working closely with the Indian government to expedite the entry of these oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines into the country.

Amazon will bear the cost of airlifting these oxygen concentrators and BiPAP machines, procured through multiple funders including ACT Grants and PPCR from Singapore to India through Air India and other international carriers.

 

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International Latest News

India gets global help to tackle its worsening Covid crisis

New Delhi: As India’s tally of covid-19 infections crossed three lakh for the sixth consecutive day on April 28, more countries pledged to support the world’s hardest-hit hotspot with supplies of medical equipment and oxygen required to treat thousands of critically ill patients who are desperately looking for treatment.

The US, France, Germany, Kuwait, Saudi Arabia and Russia have pledged support to India as it battles a ferocious second wave of covid-19 infections that has brought the country’s health infrastructure on the verge of collapse.

India has received 318 Oxygen Concentrators from the US, and 500 BiPAPs, 250 oxygen concentrators and other medical supplies from Singapore, that landed in the covid-battered country on an Air India flight.

Key US business groups such as the US-India Business Council and the US Chamber of Commerce, besides chief executive officers of more than 40 companies, announced the formation of a “Global Task Force on Pandemic Response: Mobilizing for India.”

Some major companies like Apple Inc., Google Inc, Microsoft Corp. and Deloitte have already announced aid for India.

Shortages of key drugs, lack of oxygen and hospital beds are among the challenges confronting health care workers.

France is sending eight oxygen generators, five containers of liquid oxygen and 28 ventilators in the first tranche of aid.

The country’s foreign ministry said that each oxygen generator can fulfill the needs of 15 critically ill patients.

“As many countries are doing, what Australia will do is we will provide an initial package…of support and to deliver this as soon as possible,” Australian Prime Minister Scott Morrison said in Canberra.

The 27-member European Union said, “Urgently needed oxygen, medicine and equipment will be delivered over the coming days by EU member states to India, following the country’s request for support through the EU Civil Protection Mechanism.”

As part of this effort, Ireland was to dispatch 700 oxygen concentrators, an oxygen generator, 365 ventilators; Belgium was to send 9,000 doses of antiviral drug remdesivir; Romania to help with 80 oxygen concentrators and 75 oxygen cylinders; Luxembourg to send 58 ventilators; Portugal to dispatch 5,503 vials of remdesivir and 20,000 litres of oxygen; while Sweden was to channel 120 ventilators.

Saudi Arabia’s aid of 80 MT of liquid oxygen is enroute via the sea route, Hong Kong is sending 800 oxygen concentrators. India will also get six Cryogenic oxygen containers from the UAE.

Sources said that Germany is sending a mobile oxygen production unit which will be made available for three months along with 120 ventilators and 80 million KN95 masks.

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Business Latest News USA

Elon Musk and Amazon vie to bring satellite internet to you

New York: For rural homesteaders and suburbanites alike, no matter where they live on the globe, fast, reliable internet connectivity is on its way—from outer space.

Take cybersecurity specialist Luke McOmie who lives entirely off-grid on the side of a mountain in Colorado, where there’s no cell service or landline broadband internet. Yet he recently gave a talk at a convention hosted in Japan on the lethality of drones. He was live via satellite—his own personal satellite internet connection, that is.

With a constellation of hundreds of satellites, and speeds comparable to U.S. broadband, the Starlink service lets Mr. McOmie do his job despite being in the middle of nowhere. He and his wife Melanie McOmie are living the sort of lifestyle that pandemic-weary, deskbound urbanites might envy: raising chickens, watching out for mountain lions, and taking in an expanse of unsullied forest.

The McOmies are part of a beta testing program for a new kind of internet service from Elon Musk’s rocket company SpaceX.

It’s not clear what kind of speeds Starlink will offer to millions of people, versus the more than 10,000 now testing in the U.S., Canada and the U.K. Depending on how many people SpaceX signs up, future users could have internet speeds that are only a fraction of what’s available during this demo period. And even if Starlink and its soon-to-deploy competitors work as advertised, there are many other potential challenges to their viability, let alone profitability. They include the headaches of shared wireless spectrum, and the threat of space debris.

But with at least three other serious, deep-pocketed contenders in the internet-from-space race—including Amazon, OneWeb and longtime operator Telesat—getting fast, reliable internet service from any place on earth with a clear view of the sky could soon seem no more miraculous than a cell signal.

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Amazon to start manufacturing in India

New Delhi: E-commerce and technology major Amazon will soon start manufacturing of its electronics products including the ‘Fire TV’ stick in India.

After a virtual conversation with Amit Agarwal, Global Senior Vice President of Amazon and Country Head for India and Chetan Krishnaswamy, Vice President, Public Policy of Amazon India, the Union Minister for Electronics and IT, Ravi Shankar Prasad took to Twitter and the homegrown social media platform Koo, to make the announcement.

“Held a very good conversation with @AmitAgarwal and @Chetankrishna of @amazonIN today. Delighted to share that soon Amazon will commence manufacturing of electronics products like FireTV stick in India,” Prasad said.

Further, Amazon also announced its plans to begin manufacturing Amazon devices in India. In a blog post, the company said that it will commence its manufacturing efforts with contract manufacturer Cloud Network Technology, a subsidiary of Foxconn in Chennai and start production later this year.

As per the blog, the device manufacturing programme will be able to produce hundreds of thousands of Fire TV Stick devices every year. Amazon will continuously evaluate scaling capacity to additional marketplaces or cities depending on the domestic demand, it added.

The minister during his conservation with the Amazon India executives also asked them to help in taking products made by India’s artisans and Ayurvedic products to global markets through e-commerce.

“@amazon is a global company but Amazon India must evolve as a truly Indian company deeply connected with Indian business community and culture,” Prasad tweeted.

Agarwal said that Amazon is committed to partner with the Indian government to advance the vision of an ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’.

“Amazon is committed to partner with the Indian government to advance the vision of an Aatmanirbhar Bharat. We have pledged to invest US $1 billion to digitize 10 million small and medium businesses, help Indian businesses sell worldwide thereby enabling US $10 billion in cumulative exports, and create an additional 1 million jobs by 2025,” he said.

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Jeff Bezos back as world’s richest man

New Delhi: Amazon Founder Jeff Bezos is back as the world’s richest person after Tesla shares fell, resulting in a slight erosion in Elon Musk’ wealth.

Tesla shares were down 2.4 per cent on Tuesday and Musk lost $4.6 billion, slipping to the second position on the Bloomberg Billionaires Index, a ranking of the world’s 500 wealthiest people.

Bezos returned as the world’s richest man with a net worth of $191.2 billion.

Last month, Musk became the world’s richest person, as his net worth crossed $185 billion after Tesla’s share price increased.

He took the top spot from Bezos, who had held it since 2017.

Tesla has surged in value this year, and hit a market value of $700 billion last month, making the electric car maker worth more than Toyota, Volkswagen, Hyundai, GM and Ford combined.

Musk’s net worth increased by more than $150 billion and Tesla’s share price surged a massive 743 per cent last year.

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Amazon founder Jeff Bezos to step down as CEO

New York: Jeff Bezos, who built an online bookstore into a $1.7 trillion technology empire reaching into space, has announced he will be stepping down as CEO at the apex of his career to focus on innovations.

Bezos, who extended the company’s reach to India with multi-billion dollar investments, said he will move away from its day-to-day operations and become the executive chairman of Amazon’s board.

Bezos said that in his new role he intends “to focus my energies and attention on new products and early initiatives”.

Andy Jassy, the head of the conglomerate’s web services, is to succeed him as Amazon’s CEO in the transition set for the third quarter.

It is estimated that about half of the company’s revenue comes from Amazon Web Services (AWS).

Bezos, who started his company reportedly with an initial investment of $10,000 in 1994 is now worth about $180 billion making him the world’s second-richest man.

From printed books, he made the leap to Kindle, the digital device to read books and do more electronically.

From his company’s data needs, he built up AWS, the hugely profitable cloud computing division that provides data storage services to about a million customers.

Independent of Amazon, Bezos bought the ailing Washington Post and with heavy investments in technology and people — he has almost doubled the number of editorial staff — is bringing it back to its former position of influence and reach.

In his personal life Besos set the gossip mills churning in 2019 when his affair with Lauren Sanchez, a helicopter pilot and a former TV journalist became public as he and his wife of 25 years, MacKenzie Bezos, were divorcing.

Bezos made a $38 billion divorce settlement with MacKenzie who has since changed her surname to Scott.

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