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Big Tech in the Dock; Softbank Takes Hit; Sony Ups Profit Outlook

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Big Tech in the Dock

Apple [AAPL] could face up to $14bn in taxes, after the EU Court of Justice ruled against an earlier challenge. The EU’s highest court did, however, rule with Alphabet [GOOGL], Meta [META] and Bytedance that individual countries in the block could not subject an entity based in another country to “general and abstract obligations”.

Softbank Takes Hit over WeWork

Majority-owner SoftBank’s [SFTBF] Vision Fund lost $1.7bn following news WeWork [WE] had collapsed. WeWork hit a wall after the US commercial real estate market saw a drop in demand as employees shifted to remote work after the Covid-19 pandemic. The investment holding company posted $6.2bn in quarterly losses following the office leasing firm’s bankruptcy.

Sony Ups Profit Outlook

Sony [SONY] revised its full-year profit outlook upwards, even as the company warned it may be difficult to meet its sales target of 25 million PlayStation 5s. The firm now expects ¥12.4trn net sales, despite a 29% drop in operating profit for the second quarter. The Japanese tech giant attributed the drop to weaknesses in its chip, financial service, entertainment, tech and services lines.

Post-IPO Arm Beats Expectations

Semiconductor licensing firm Arm [ARM] released its first post-IPO earnings, beating investor expectations for sales: revenue reached $806m, above the expected $744.3m, reported CNBC Nevertheless, shares were down 7% in after-hours trading on diminished guidance that came in lower than expected. Companies including Alphabet, Meta and Nvidia [NVDA] are reportedly developing AI-related chips with the company’s technology.

New Tool to Curb Deepfakes

Amid fears of misinformation, Microsoft [MSFT] has developed a new tool to help policymakers crack down on deepfakes ahead of the 2024 US presidential elections. The technology will authenticate videos and photos and allow anyone on the internet to see if content has been digitally altered or created with artificial intelligence (AI). It will be released first to political candidates and then to other groups following the elections.

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