1.DAIMLER: Daimler’s Mercedes-Benz said on Friday it will take a 33% stake in battery cell manufacturer Automotive Cells Company (ACC), expanding its European sourcing of battery cells key to its EV ambitions and currently produced primarily in Asia.
ACC, founded in 2020 by France’s Stellantis and TotalEnergies, will begin supplying Mercedes-Benz with batteries from its production locations in France and Germany from the middle of the decade.
“Our focus is on Europe,” Daimler Chief Executive Ola Kallenius told a press conference. “That is where ACC wants to grow, expand, and develop technologies with us.”
Daimler, which plans on making exclusively electric vehicles in 2030 if market conditions allow, will invest up to a billion euros ($1.2 billion) in the battery venture starting with a mid-three-digit-million cash investment next year, the company said.
ACC, which had previously planned for 48 Gigawatt hours (GWh) of capacity at its two plants, now aims to reach at least 120 GWh by 2030, it said on Friday, a goal which will require seven billion euros in equity, debt and subsidies.
Daimler board member Markus Schaefer declined to specify what proportion of ACC’s desired capacity would be allocated to Daimler, stating only that it was “absolutely significant”.
The luxury carmaker, whose previous CEO deemed producing battery cells in-house too costly, has taken a strategic turn under Kallenius towards aiming for more control over its battery supply chain, announcing its goal in July of building eight gigafactories with 200 GWh of capacity.
ACC already has ties to Germany: a 2 billion euro investment in a battery cell plant in Kaiserslautern, due to start production in 2025.
The company plans on expanding its European network, but specific locations have not yet been determined, ACC told Reuters.
Daimler, which said in July that four of the eight gigafactories would be in Europe and one in the United States, is in discussion with potential partners in both regions about further investments.
2.GOOGLE:-Google accused India’s antitrust regulator in court on Friday of being a “habitual offender” by leaking confidential information of cases it was examining, an accusation the watchdog rejected.
The Times of India and Reuters reported on Saturday that an investigation by the Competition Commission of India (CCI) had found that Alphabet Inc’s Google abused the dominant position of its Android operating system in India, using its “huge financial muscle” illegally to hurt competitors.
In an unusual move on Thursday, Google sued the CCI in the Delhi High Court, saying in a statement it was “protesting against the breach of confidence” and “to prevent any further unlawful disclosures of confidential findings”.
In Friday’s near hour-long court showdown, Google’s lawyer, Abhishek Manu Singhvi, accused the CCI of leaking information repeatedly, saying it did so to “give a dog a bad name in advance and then hang him by these selective leakages”.
He asked the court to tell the CCI “leakage cannot continue for one minute more”.
CCI’s lawyer, India’s Additional Solicitor General N. Venkataraman, denied the allegations, countering that the U.S. tech giant was trying to frustrate the investigative process and was challenging a government authority without evidence.
“An accusation is made against a government body. Not a word in this whole affidavit showing how we have done it and where is the proof,” said Venkataraman, asking for Google’s filing to be dismissed. “How are we responsible for whatever has been said in this court?”
Justice Rekha Palli noted the submissions of both sides in an order and scheduled another hearing for Monday.
3.NIKE- Adidas stock and Puma stock fell sharply on Friday, as a disappointing update on Thursday by rival Nike sparked fears that the two won’t be able to get enough product to markets in North America and Europe in time for the key holiday season.
By 4:25 AM ET (0825 GMT), Adidas stock was down 3.6% and Puma stock was down 2.9%. U.K. sports retailer JD Sports Fashion also fell in sympathy, by 2.3%. By comparison, the DAX Index was down 0.8% and the FTSE 100 was down 0.3%
Nike on Thursday had cut its sales guidance for both the current quarter and the year, a reflection of prolonged factory closures in Vietnam due to Covid-19. Around half of Nike footwear is made in the southeast Asian country. Nike also warned of shipping delays that could affect its performance during the holiday season.
As with Nike, Adidas has shifted much of its production of sneakers and soccer kleets to Vietnam from China over the last decade. The German company already warned in Augusr that it would suffer 500 million euros in lost sales due to factory closures. However, that didn’t stop it raising its full-year guidance for revenue. It expects sales to be up 20% this year, riding a sustained wave of demand for leisure and athletic wear as more people adapt their wardrobes to reflect the greater time spent at home due to social distancing.
4.ALIBABA:– An investment arm of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd, targeted in a regulatory crackdown, will divest its entire stake of 5.01% in broadcaster Mango Excellent Media Co Ltd, the media firm said.
The sale comes less than a year after the investment in December last year, as Chinese authorities mount an anti-trust crackdown on large tech companies.
One major target has been Alibaba, which faced a fine of $2.75 billion over anti-competitive practices.
In Thursday’s filing to the stock exchange, the media company said Alibaba’s investment arm would seek a waiver from a one-year lockup to which it committed at the time of its investment.
Since then, shares of Mango Excellent Media have fallen roughly 40%. The firm, based in China’s western province of Hunan, produces Internet and television content besides running a shopping division.
Alibaba did not respond to a request for comment.
5. UBER: Uber Technologies said it would start rolling out its pension plan to all eligible drivers in the United Kingdom, months after the ride-hailing service granted workers’ rights to its drivers in the country.
In March, Uber had reclassified its more than 70,000 drivers in Britain as workers following a Supreme Court ruling. Uber had also said it would offer guaranteed entitlements, including holiday pay, a pension plan and limited minimum wage.
On Friday, the Silicon Valley company said it would contribute 3% of a driver’s earnings into a pension plan, while drivers can choose to contribute a minimum of 5% of their qualifying earnings.
Britain’s GMB union represents Uber’s drivers in the country, and has the right to negotiate on behalf of the workforce.
Uber and GMB also urged other ride-hailing companies like Ola, Bolt and Addison Lee to offer similar benefits to their drivers.
“I am extending an invitation to work with operators such as Bolt, Addison Lee and Ola to create a cross-industry pension scheme. This will enable all drivers to save for their futures whilst working across multiple platforms,” said Jamie Heywood, an executive for Uber’s northern and eastern European region.