Techmeme
January 18, 2022, 4:30 PM

Top News

Microsoft:
Microsoft plans to acquire Activision Blizzard for $68.7B in cash, or $95/share, in FY 2023; Activision's stock, which closed last week at $65.39, jumps 25%+  —  Legendary games, immersive interactive entertainment and publishing expertise accelerate growth in Microsoft's Gaming business across mobile, PC, console and cloud.
More: Xbox Wire, Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg, The Verge, New York Times, The Information, CNBC, Bloomberg, Insider, VentureBeat, Insider, Forbes, Windows Central, Microsoft, Silicon Valley Business …, Protocol, Slate, Variety, TheStreet, Financial Times, Gizmodo, Benzinga, The Verge, TechRadar, Microsoft, Seattle Business Journal, Computerworld, Bloomberg, GeekWire, IGN, The Economic Times, Financial Times, Tom's Guide, Dexerto, The Register, PR Newswire, Neal Ungerleider's …, Ed Zitron's Where's Your Ed At, dot.LA, Polygon, Dot Esports, GameSpot, Stevivor, PC Gamer, GamingBolt, Entechtainment, Analytics, HotHardware.com News, Polygon, CNBC, BGR India, CNN, Reuters, Neowin, OnMSFT.com, MacRumors, Axios, IGN, Windows Central, TouchArcade, CNET, thegamer.com, OnMSFT.com, The Hollywood Reporter, NBC News, LinkedIn, ZDNet, Axios, Gizmodo, Android Authority, VentureBeat, Engadget, Protocol, Thurrott, Associated Press, and Washington Post
Peter Kafka / Vox:
Following several game studio acquisitions, Microsoft's Activision Blizzard deal faces a big regulatory hurdle with Lina Khan's antitrust-focused FTC  —  Microsoft-Activision is like Disney-Fox.  Maybe bigger.  —  Microsoft is buying Activision Blizzard for $69 billion.
Tom Warren / The Verge:
Andrew Asmakov / Decrypt:
Crypto.com halted withdrawals on Monday and required users to sign back in and reset 2FA; research shows it lost 4,600+ ETH, worth ~$15M, in a presumed hack  —  The crypto exchange has reportedly lost at least $15 million in Ethereum, and security experts believe the true losses could be much higher.
Jeffrey Knockel / The Citizen Lab:
China's MY2022 Olympics app, mandatory for attendees to report travel and health data, has serious encryption flaws and contains a censorship keyword list  —  Key Findings  — MY2022, an app mandated for use by all attendees of the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing, has a simple but devastating flaw …
Stephen Graves / Decrypt:
Canalys:
Apple shipped an estimated 22% of global smartphones in Q4 2021, down from 23% in Q4 2020, followed by Samsung at 20%, Xiaomi at 12%, Oppo at 9%, and Vivo at 8%  —  Shanghai (China), Bengaluru (India), Singapore, Reading (UK) and Portland (US) - Tuesday, 18 January 2022
Joanna Ossinger / Bloomberg:
Animoca Brands, which publishes NFTs and games tied to blockchain platforms, raises $359M led by Liberty City at a $5B valuation, up from $2.2B in October 2021  —  Soros Fund Management and the Winklevoss twins' venture capital firm are among investors in a funding round that's more than doubled …
Tomer Ganon / CTech:
Source: Israeli police used NSO's Pegasus to monitor citizens, mayors, political protesters, and former government employees without warrants or court oversight  —  Mayors, leaders of political protests against former Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu, and former governmental employees …
Hannah Murphy / Financial Times:
Analysis: Meta has filed dozens of patents to monetize its metaverse, including a virtual store with sponsored items, eye and face tracking in headsets, more  —  Meta hopes to use tiny human expressions to create virtual world of personalised ads  —  Pupil movements, body poses and nose scrunching …
Lucy Harley-Mckeown / The Block:
Lauren Feiner / CNBC:
The FTC and DOJ seek public comment on how to rewrite “the antitrust laws regarding mergers”, signaling a potentially tougher stance toward Big Tech deals  —  - The Federal Trade Commission and Department of Justice Antitrust Division kicked off a process to rewrite merger guidelines for businesses on Tuesday.
Cho Mu-Hyun / ZDNet:
Samsung unveils its 4nm Exynos 2200 SoC with an Xclipse GPU using AMD's RDNA 2 architecture, offering hardware-accelerated ray tracing and variable rate shading  —  The processor packs Samsung's own Xclipse GPU based on AMD RDNA 2 architecture that the South Korean company says will offer …
Ben Thompson / Stratechery:
As Intel pushes ahead with its IDM 2.0 strategy, a look at the motivations behind its TSMC partnership that is giving its competitor better scale and economics  —  Intel's earnings are not until next Wednesday, but whatever it is that CEO Pat Gelsinger plans to discuss …
Omkar Godbole / CoinDesk:
Binance conducted its first Binance Coin (BNB) auto-burn last quarter, removing over 1.6M BNB tokens, worth $750M, from circulation  —  Cryptocurrency exchange Binance implemented its first-ever binance token (BNB) auto-burn program last quarter, removing over 1.6 million BNB tokens worth $750 million from circulation.
Source: Binance BlogMore: The Block and CoinGapeTweets: @cz_binance
Stripe:
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Kenrick Cai / Forbes:
Ironclad, which helps companies create and manage business contracts, raises a $150M Series E entirely from existing investors at a $3.2B valuation  —  Jason Boehmig spent two years as a lawyer in Silicon Valley, putting together documents for startups, before he had enough of the clunkiness of the job.
Thanks:@pchalker
Ingrid Lunden / TechCrunch:
Appcues, which offers analytics and no-code tools for user onboarding, raises a $32.1M Series B led by NewSpring and says it has ~1,500 customers including Lyft  —  User onboarding has been a longstanding and persistent challenge in the world of apps.  Developers grapple with design …

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Stripe:
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Ashley Rodriguez / Insider: