In today’s top stories, Shell has launched its first electric ferry in Singapore and will work with the city to accelerate decarbonisation. Elsewhere, pharma titan Merck is to acquire Prometheus Biosciences for $10.8bn; Renault is reviewing its pricing policy to avoid being undercut by Tesla; and Apple’s sales in India hit $6bn in the 12 months to the end of March, up from $4.1bn. Lastly, Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai believes that “every product of every company” is going to be impacted by the rapid development of AI—for better or for worse.
Merck to bolster product pipeline
Pharma giant Merck & Co [MRK] announced over the weekend that it’s to acquire Prometheus Biosciences [RXDX] for $10.8bn. The deal will give Merck & Co access to the biotech’s experimental treatment for ulcerative colitis and Crohn's disease, bolstering its autoimmune diseases pipeline, as well as cushioning the potential blow of losing patent protection for its blockbuster cancer drug, Keytruda. The Merck share price was flat pre-market Monday.
Renault reviews pricing strategy
French automaker Renault [RNO.PA] is currently reviewing its pricing policy in light of Tesla [TSLA] price cuts in Europe. While Renault reported a 9% increase in sales for the January to March quarter, the CEO of the Renault brand, Fabrice Cambolive, told reporters on Monday that Tesla’s latest move is a “warning” to competitors. “We will analyse country by country, market by market, which level of competitiveness we need to have to stay in the game,” said Cambolive.
Shell hopes decarbonisation can fuel shares
Oil and gas major Shell [SHEL.L] has launched its first electric ferry in Singapore and announced plans to work with the city’s maritime and port authority to accelerate decarbonisation efforts in the region. The parties want to increase adoption of electric harbour technologies and to develop low- and zero-carbon fuels, according to a press release on Monday. The Shell share price was up 1.4% following the news.
Apple’s India sales rise nearly 50%
Ahead of CEO Tim Cook’s visit to India to open Apple’s [AAPL] first two flagship stores there, sales in the country hit $6bn in the 12 months to the end of March, up from $4.1bn the previous year, reported Bloomberg. The Cupertino company’s push into India comes as it looks beyond China to secure its future supply chains. “This is a monumental move for Apple as it indicates India is now a high priority,” tweeted Wedbush analyst Dan Ives last week
Alphabet boss warns on AI
Alphabet CEO Sundar Pichai believes that “every product of every company” is going to be impacted by the rapid development of AI—and not necessarily in a good way. In an interview with CBS’ 60 Minutes that aired Sunday night, Pichai argued that society needs to be able to adapt to the changes AI will bring but added that rules to govern the technology are “not for a company to decide”. Meanwhile, Elon Musk, one of the first funders of OpenAI, is seeking to launch a rival start-up.