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Top Stories

FTC moves to block merger, Amazon implements AI, Infineon weighs stateside relocation

In today’s top stories, the Federal Trade Commission has asked a judge to block Microsoft from acquiring Activision Blizzard, while Saudi Arabia has spent some $8bn on gaming companies in the last 18 months. Elsewhere, Germany’s largest semiconductor company Infineon is weighing up whether to move manufacturing across the Atlantic. Toyota has announced it will introduce high-performance, solid-state batteries, and US-listed shares in TSMC surged 4% amid reports that the chipmaking giant has increased its capacity to meet demand for Nvidia’s AI chips. Amazon has been using AI both to summarise product reviews and to detect fake ones.

US moves to block Microsoft–Activision merger

The Federal Trade Commission has asked a judge to block Microsoft [MSFT] from acquiring Activision Blizzard [ATVI], amid concerns that the two may still close the deal regardless of the outcome of the appeal against the decision of the UK’s Competition and Markets Authority, which is due next month. Meanwhile, Saudi Arabia has splurged approximately $8bn acquiring and taking stakes in gaming companies around the world in the past 18 months, according to the Financial Times. Crown Prince Mohammed bin Salman said last September that the goal was to become “the ultimate global hub for the games and esports sector” by 2030.

UK’s AMTE could build gigafactory overseas

Germany’s largest semiconductor company Infineon [IFX.DE], a key supplier of silicon chips to the automotive industry, is weighing up whether to move manufacturing across the Atlantic, according to the Financial Times. On a related note, AMTE [AMTE.L] CEO Alan Hollis has told the paper that the UK needs to close the clean energy subsidy gap with the US and EU. If it doesn’t, the company may have to build its next gigafactory overseas, Hollis warned. AMTE’s shares were up 1.7% Tuesday morning.

Toyota shares accelerate on EV plans

Shares in Toyota [7203.T] closed up 5% on Tuesday after the Japanese automaker announced it will introduce high-performance, solid-state batteries and other technologies that will increase the range and cut costs of future electric vehicles (EVs). Takero Kato, president of BEV Factory, the automaker’s newly established battery EV unit, said that the aim is “to change the future with BEVs through the transformation of cars, manufacturing, and the way we work”.

AI chip demand drives TSMC higher

US-listed shares in TSMC [TSM] surged 4% on Monday amid reports that the chipmaking giant has increased its capacity to meet demand for Nvidia’s [NVDA] artificial intelligence (AI) chips. The recent frenzy around AI and Nvidia has seen investors pour into semiconductor stocks in recent weeks. Morgan Stanley analysts wrote in a note seen by Bloomberg that TSMC is a key enabler of future AI semiconductors thanks to its technology leadership.

Amazon uses AI in fake review crackdown

Amazon [AMZN] has been testing using ChatGPT to summarise customers’ product reviews. According to Mark Wieczorek, CTO of Fortress Brand, who was one of the first to spot it, AI will help “better guide consumers towards purchase[s] based on the subtle features they want that maybe aren’t captured in a simple search query and simple results list”. AI is also being leveraged by the ecommerce giant to identify fake reviews.

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