BUSINESS January 14, 2014 | 3:48 PM
IBM is set to put $1 billion into developing a new department—complete with a brand new office in New York City’s East Village (‘Silicone Alley’)— around Watson, its cognitive supercomputer that beat human competitors to win Jeopardy in 2011. The company plans to set aside $100 million to promote Watson-related developer apps.
Watson, which gets its name from IBM’s former president Thomas Watson, is geared to imitate humans’ thinking, employing natural language analytics and skills. The company stated that Watson is intended to feed the rising demand for cognitive computing, a more natural, human-like type of artificial intelligence capable of learning from experience.Read more »
BUSINESS January 13, 2014 | 3:35 PM
Philip Morris International Inc., the world’s second-largest cigarette seller, plans to invest around $680 million to build two plants near Bologna, Italy, to produce new products.
The first plant, which is nearing completion, will produce products for market launches and testing. The second larger plant will begin construction immediately, and will last until early 2016. Up to 600 people will be employed in the second plant.Read more »
BUSINESS January 10, 2014 | 2:55 PM
General Electric Co. (GE) will purchase assets - including magnetic beads businesses and gene modulation, HyClone (TM) cell culture media and sera - from Thermo Fisher Scientific for $1.06 billion. The acquisition represents the expansion of the company’s health unit into the rising life sciences market, and is expected to close in the first quarter of this year, pending regulatory approvals.
GE Healthcare’s present mandate is to offer customers the medical services and technologies needed to meet increasing demand for easy-access, high-quality, economical healthcare globally. With this deal, GE will also have access to equipment used for purifying DNA and growing cell culture, as well as to a business that can help produce significant new vaccines and medications. Cell culture is used in the creation of medicines that fight rheumatoid arthritis, cancer and other diseases, the company said.Read more »
BUSINESS January 9, 2014 | 2:30 PM
Apple iPhone, iPad and iPad Touch users spent $10 billion on apps from the Apple App Store in 2013, according to the company.
Sales figures include $1 billion in December alone, the most successful month in the store’s history, and downloads grew 50% to 3 billion.Read more »
BUSINESS January 7, 2014 | 4:28 PM
American automaker Ford Motor Co. saw sales in China jump 49% in 2013, surpassing Toyota to become China’s fifth-largest foreign automaker. In 2013, Ford delivered a total of 935,813 automobiles in China.
Ford had a later start in China, the world’s largest auto market, than other automakers, and has trailed behind Japanese manufacturers for the past decade. This is the first time, based on company records dating back to 2001, that Ford has surpassed Toyota.Read more »
BUSINESS January 6, 2014 | 5:09 PM
Hong Kong-based international carrier Cathay Pacific Airways is the first buyer in the Asia region for the new Boeing 777X jet. Attempting to modernize its fleet, Cathay has ordered 21 777X-9Xs at a list price of $7.5 billion.
Cathay is replacing its aging a fleet of 747-400 jets; it has a fleet of 134 planes and will use the 777Xs for flights to Europe and North America.Read more »
BUSINESS December 24, 2013 | 5:53 PM
Oracle, the world’s largest seller of database software, has agreed to purchase enterprise software company Responsys for about $1.5 billion to further expand into online marketing.
Responsys manufactures software that lets companies provide social advertising across the internet and coordinate their display, email and mobile efforts. Its customers include United Healthcare, Southwest Airlines and LinkedIn.Read more »
BUSINESS December 23, 2013 | 5:50 PM
Pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca is purchasing Bristol-Myers Squibb’s half of the diabetes business the companies formed in 2007 for up to $4.3 billion.
To take control of the franchise, $2.7 billion will be paid up front with $1.4 billion paid in future payments, with an additional $225 million following the completion of asset transfers. Sales-related royalties also will be paid until 2025.Read more »
BUSINESS December 18, 2013 | 1:54 PM
Social media network Facebook has purchased sports data startup SportStream for an undisclosed amount.
SportStream’s app searches social networks and news websites for references to sports teams and sporting events.Read more »
BUSINESS December 13, 2013 | 6:23 PM
US retail sales grew 0.7% in November, beating economists’ forecast of 0.6%. The gain was the largest in five months and defied expectations for a slow holiday season.
The November figure includes one of the biggest days of the holiday shopping season, Black Friday, but excludes Cyber Monday.Read more »
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