Roundup – Microsoft cuts almost 1,000 staff, Meta bows to UK regulator
Microsoft axes nearly 1,000 jobs worldwide
Amid fears of a recession, Microsoft has prepared itself by laying off almost 1,000 employees worldwide, marking the latest in a long list of major tech companies to do so. ABC News said the layoffs represent under half of 1% of the company’s 221,000 employees, which Microsoft announced it would axe earlier this year. According to Business Insider, the cuts have been made across the firm’s divisions, from its Xbox console gaming division to Microsoft’s Strategic Missions and Technology organisation.
“Like all companies, we evaluate our business priorities on a regular basis, and make structural adjustments accordingly,” Microsoft executives said in a statement.
Former employees are taking to Twitter to share the news.
Taiwanese tensions pose challenges for chip industry
The chairman of Taiwanese chipmaker TCMS Mark Liu said on Wednesday that the increasing tensions between Taiwan and China, and the US and China, has brought “more serious” challenges for the semiconductor industry. Whilst the chip sector is already preparing for reduced demand as inflation tightens spending, the set of export controls announced by the US this month – aimed at slowing China’s progress in advanced chip manufacturing – is expected to impact Taiwanese chipmakers.
Frank Huang, chairman of Powerchip Semiconductor Manufacturing Corp, said the sector was caught in a difficult situation: “We do business on both sides of the Strait. So we can’t listen to the US and not do any business with mainland China. Our industry’s position is to maintain our competitiveness.”
Meta bows to UK order to sell Giphy
Meta has accepted the order by The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) Britain’s competition regulator, to sell animated images platform Giphy after the CMA said that it restricted innovation in the advertising market.
“We are disappointed by the CMA’s decision but accept today’s ruling as the final word on the matter,” a Meta spokesperson said in a statement. “We will work closely with the CMA on divesting Giphy.”
The British regulator blocked the deal, valued at $400 million, in November 2021 over concerns that that Meta could deny or limit competitors’ access to Giphy’s GIFs. This is the first time Britain has blocked an acquisition by a US tech giant.
Russia issues Amazon fine over banned content
A Moscow court has fined ecommerce giant Amazon four million rubles ($65,000) for failing to remove content relating to drug use and suicide. The country has fined other foreign tech firms for not taking down content, part of what critics say is a campaign by the Kremlin to restrict the influence of western technology companies, however marks the first penalty that Amazon has received from Russia. According to the Tagansky District Court, it fined Amazon four million rubles in two separate cases, for which it did not specify, as well as Amazon’s streaming service Twitch which the country fined eight million rubles, also for not removing banned content.
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