Google’s Fascinating Updates; Massive Pharma Deal; Comcast Preparing Fox Bid

The Water Coolest

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THE HEADLINES

Estimated Read Time: 3 minutes and 38 seconds

 

THE PHARMER IN THE DEAL

If at first you don’t succeed, slowly wear down your acquisition target until their will to live subsides and they all but give up: Takeda Pharmaceutical has agreed to purchase rare-disease drugmaker Shire Plc for $62B.

This deal isn’t without a slew of nasty side effects. Takeda is paying a steep premium (64.4%) and adding a large sum of debt to its balance sheet.

So why take the chance? Well, purchasing Shire greatly diversifies Takeda’s geographic footprint and diversifies their portfolio of drugs. Takeda hopes the high, margin rare-disease drugs will overdeliver.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Nothing reassures sick patients that their drug prices won’t increase quite like a $62B acquisition.”

 

(AI)N’T THAT SOME SH*T

Major tech firms may claim that their developer conferences aren’t just glorified d*ck measuring contests, but if they were, Google’s would win. Google I/O which runs through tomorrow is taking place at a sold out 22k seat amphitheater.

And Google has not disappointed their fanboys thus far …

Duplex: If you’ve ever said “I’ll believe in A.I. when it can hold a conversation with a non-native English speaker from an ethnic take-out joint” then the future is now. Google’s Duplex uses A.I. to solve menial first world problems, like making appointments via the telephone.

Maps: A map app hasn’t done something this exciting since Waze introduced an option for ‘Morgan Freeman’s voice.’ The new version of Google Maps, slated for this summer, will include an ‘Exploration’ feed to facilitate discovery of restaurants and other businesses (read: generate ad dollars).

But wait, there’s more! Google plans to roll out Maps AR integration that allows you to use your camera to follow directions.

News: Google News is getting a complete overhaul to share more perspectives and simplify the clusterf*ck that the current media environment has become. The app will use A.I. (because, obviously) to showcase personalized news.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Looking at the crowd assembled for this conference isn’t exactly helping Silicon Valley’s diversity case.”

 

COM-CASTING DOUBT

Comcast is looking to throw a wrench in the spokes of a proposed $50B deal between Fox and Disney. Comcast is ready to offer the one thing that every Board of Directors (and Randy Moss) wants: straight cash homie. $60B to be exact.

Fox owns cable channels that would help bolster Comcast’s sinking subscriber base. Rupert Murdoch’s cable company also holds a large stake in Hulu, which would make Comcast a majority holder of the streaming service.

Despite Comcast coming in throwing last-minute haymakers, Disney CEO Bob Iger isn’t worried about his deal with the devil. Paperwork has already been filed with the SEC and the board unanimously approved the deal.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “If Comcast can actually blow up this deal it would be a pretty savage move. Let Disney buy some drinks and apps then swoop in with tacos and an Uber. Deal. Sealed.”

 


IN OTHER NEWS

 

  • Deutsche Bank is looking into cutting its US staff by about 20%. Nothing is better for employee productivity than the looming risk of massive layoffs.
  • Everybody is typing … Slack has passed 8M daily active users, and 3M paid users, which begs the question, which one of you is still sending me emails? 
  • iZettle, the app many are calling the “European version of Square” is planning to raise $227M in an IPO, which would value the company at a whopping $1.1B.
  • Boeing could be facing massives losses after President Trump said he’d pull the US out of the Iran Nuclear Deal. Boeing currently has contracts worth around $20B with Iranian airlines.
  • US indices were mixed yesterday:
    • DOW: +0.01%
    • S&P 500: -0.03%
    • NASDAQ: +0.02%

 

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