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CORPORATE WATCH

August 09, 2018

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Samsung plans $22bn for AI, autos

SEOUL: Samsung Electronics plans to spend a whopping $22 billion over the next three years on artificial intelligence, auto components and other future businesses as the company maps out its strategy under the restored leadership of Vice Chairman Lee Jae-yong after he was freed from prison.

The announcement on Wednesday by South Korea’s biggest business group was welcome news, coming at a time of deepening unease over slowing growth in Asia’s fourth largest economy.

Samsung said it will spend the sum, amounting to 25 trillion won, on increasing the number of artificial intelligence researchers to 1,000 at its artificial intelligence centers around the world, ensuring it will be a global player in next-generation telecoms technology called 5G and on deepening its involvement in electronic components for future cars. –AP

Insys to pay $150m for opioid kickback probe

NEW YORK: Insys Therapeutics said on Wednesday it had reached a deal to pay at least $150m to resolve a US Justice Department investigation into claims that the drugmaker paid doctors kickbacks to prescribe a powerful opioid medication.

The investigation has centered on the company’s efforts to promote Subsys, an under-the-tongue spray intended for managing pain in cancer patients that contains fentanyl, an opioid 100 times stronger than morphine.

The Justice Department has accused Insys of paying kickbacks to doctors to prescribe Subsys, often with fees to participate in sham speaker programs ostensibly meant to educate medical professionals about the drug.­—Reuters

Tesla board evaluating CEO’s bid

SAN FRANCISCO: Board members at Tesla are evaluating CEO and Chairman Elon Musk’s $72 billion proposal to take the electric car and solar panel maker private.

Six of nine members said in a prepared statement on Wednesday that Musk began talking with the board about the move last week. This included discussing how being a private company could better serve Tesla’s long-term interests. Board members met several times and also addressed funding for the move, according to the statement.

The eccentric Musk announced the bombshell move Tuesday on Twitter, writing that he had secured funding to buy Tesla Inc.’s shares at $420 each.

Shares rose 11 per cent Tuesday but fell nearly 2pc at midday Wednesday to $372.38.—AP

Walmart’s $16bn acquisition for Flipkart cleared

NEW DELHI: India’s anti-trust regulator has approved US retail giant Walmart Inc’s $16 billion acquisition of online marketplace Flipkart, beefing up the competition to Amazon.com Inc in the fast growing e-commerce market.

Bentonville, Arkansas-based Walmart announced in May it was acquiring about 77 per cent of Flipkart for roughly $16bn in the biggest deal for India’s e-commerce sector, which Morgan Stanley estimates will grow close to an annual $200bn in a decade.

The Competition Commission of India (CCI) has approved the proposed acquisition of Flipkart by Walmart, the agency said in a post on Twitter on Wednesday.

Published in Dawn, August 9th, 2018