On Tuesday, AT&T was given the clear to buy Time Warner for $85 billion. The landmark deal combines a large communications network provider with a media conglomerate.
Last November, the Department of Justice filed a suit that looked to stop the merger with concerns that the deal would lead to higher prices and limited choices for consumers. The argument was rejected by US District Judge Richard J. Leon who allowed the acquisition to proceed with no conditions on the deal.
Time Warner’s portfolio of media companies includes HBO, CNN, and Warner Brothers.
Hyatt Announces Plans for Continued Global Growth
Company Press Release
Hyatt announced on Tuesday plans to further grow the Hyatt Centric brand, its millennial-focused hotel line.
The company announced new hotels in Los Angeles, Philadelphia, and Portland. The announcement comes in addition to its planned rollout of new hotels in Senegal, El Salvador, and Australia. It also just recently launched properties in Miami, Peru, and Chile.
The Hyatt Centric brand currently has 22 properties across seven countries, including the U.S., Japan, Spain, and France.
Bank of America’s Artificial Intelligence Product Surpasses 1 Million Users
Company Press Release
Bank of America stated on Tuesday that its artificial intelligence virtual assistant called Erica has surpassed 1 million users within two months of completing its roll-out.
Erica is available to mobile clients via the Bank of America mobile banking app.
The virtual assistant combines artificial intelligence, predictive analytics, and natural language technology so that users can search transactions, view balance information and bills, get their credit scores and their account numbers.
According to the bank, its digital banking platform serves 25 million active mobile users.
Uber Launches Uber Lite
Company News Release
Uber announced on Tuesday a new product called Uber Lite. The Uber Lite version looks to help the company grow its user-base and expand its product offering in emerging economies.
Uber Lite keeps the core functionality of the Uber app, is less than 5mb in size and offers fast booking times under low connectivity conditions.
The app will be available for basic Android phones and will initially be rolled out in India.
Grab announced that Toyota will invest US$1 billion as a lead investor in the company’s ongoing financing round.
The deal will help Grab and Toyota strengthen their partnership in the area of connected cars to drive the adoption of new mobility solutions across Southeast Asia. It will also help expand its other services including GrabFood and GrabPay.
The company operates in 217 cities across eight Southeast Asian countries and offers users transportation, food and package delivery, mobile payments and financial services. Last March, Uber announced that it sold its Southeast Asia operations to Grab for $1.6 billion in exchange for a 27.5% stake in the business.