Microsoft won a $10bn contract to create a “war-fighter” cloud-computing system for the Pentagon. The decision to award the Joint Enterprise Defence Infrastructure (JEDI) project to Microsoft was a surprise, as Amazon had been the front-runner. It might yet challenge the decision, especially given Donald Trump’s animosity towards Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s boss. Mr Trump reportedly wanted to “screw” Amazon over the contract.
Arm, a chip designer based in Britain, is to resume supplying components to Huawei, a Chinese tech firm sanctioned by the American government. Arm is now confident that its designs do not fall under American export-control rules after all. The firm is one of Huawei’s most important, and least replaceable, suppliers.
WhatsApp is to sue the NSO Group, an Israeli maker of commercial spyware. The encrypted chat service, which is owned by Facebook, alleges that NSO’s malware was used to spy on the conversations of 1,400 people in 20 countries, including lawyers, journalists and human-rights advocates.
Facebook reported a surge in revenue and profit for the third quarter. Mark Zuckerberg used the occasion to reflect on “the importance of standing for voice and free expression”, as he defended his position not to “censor” politicians. Earlier, Twitter announced a ban on all political advertising on its platform worldwide.
Apple’s quarterly earnings retold a now-familiar tale. Sales from the iPhone were down, though revenues from wearable devices and services jumped; those two segments accounted for 30% of the company’s sales in the quarter.
Murray Energy, America’s fourth-largest coal miner, filed for bankruptcy protection. It is the latest firm to go to the wall in an industry that has been squeezed by natural gas and renewable energy, despite Donald Trump’s many promises to save coal jobs.
LVMH, the world’s largest luxury-goods company, made an unsolicited bid to buy Tiffany, a jewellery firm. Tiffany valued the deal at $14.5bn. The offer is the largest acquisition yet attempted by Bernard Arnault, lvmh’s multi-billionaire boss, and another big bet on bling; in 2011 lvmh took a majority stake in Bulgari.
Virgin Galactic became the first space-tourism venture to become a publicly traded company when it floated in New York (it avoided an ipo by combining the business with an already-listed investment vehicle). Galactic thinks it can eventually turn a profit by persuading enough rich folk to pay $250,000 for a 90-minute, 50-mile trip above the Earth’s surface, part of its “mission” of “democratising space”.