Britain to protect tech firms after Arm and DeepMind sold overseas

first_imgBritain’s Prime Minister Boris Johnson giving a statement in Downing Street in central London on April 27, 2020 after returning to work following more than three weeks off after being hospitalized with the Covid-19 illness.DANIEL LEAL-OLIVAS While Arm sold for £24 billion ($31.6 billion), DeepMind only sold for a reported £400 million. Given DeepMind is widely perceived as one of the world leaders in AI today, the Google deal is viewed by experts as a bit of a bargain.Ian Hogarth, an entrepreneur turned tech investor, believes that DeepMind should have been nationalized by the U.K government so that it didn’t have to sell itself to an overseas tech giant.“I find it hard to believe that the U.K. would not be better off were DeepMind still an independent company,” he wrote in an essay in June 2018. “How much would Google sell DeepMind for today? $5 billion? $10 billion? $50 billion? It’s hard to imagine Google selling DeepMind to Amazon, or Tencent or Facebook at almost any price.”- Advertisement – – Advertisement – LONDON – The U.K. government introduced new rules this week that are designed to protect Britain’s best and brightest companies from being gobbled up by other, potentially hostile, nations.But some are asking if the rules, which have been in the works for several years and apply from this Wednesday this week, are too little and too late given two of Britain’s most innovative companies have already been sold overseas. Cambridge-based chipmaker Arm was sold to Japanese tech giant SoftBank in 2016 and London-based artificial intelligence lab DeepMind was sold to Google in 2014.Matt Clifford, the chief executive of start-up factory Entrepreneur First, told CNBC that the government should have “probably” intervened in these deals. “Tech is a big and growing national security issue,” he said, adding that “technological sovereignty is very important.”- Advertisement –center_img Hogarth added: “With hindsight, would it have been better for the U.K. government to block this acquisition and help keep it independent? Even now, is there a case to be made for the U.K. to reverse this acquisition and buy DeepMind out of Google and reinstate it as independent entity?”While DeepMind is a leader in AI, Arm is a leader in semiconductors, or chips. Its energy-efficient chip architectures are used in 95% of the world’s smartphones and it is widely regarded as the jewel in the crown of the British tech industry.“In Arm’s case, I can’t see why some investors here didn’t outbid the foreign folks,” said Jon Crowcroft, a computer science professor at the University of Cambridge. “Arm are a massive success and long term super viable too.”SoftBank is now in the process of trying to sell Arm to U.S. chipmaker Nvidia for $40 billion but there are a number of hurdles to overcome before the deal goes through, including regulators in China.Even though DeepMind and Arm are no longer British in some people’s eyes, there are a number of other fast-growing tech companies that very much are — and could be worth protecting. Security firm Darktrace and AI chipmaker Graphcore, for example.Beyond AI and chips, Crowcroft said that Britain has aerospace and biotech companies that are worth protecting, such as BAE Systems.Some have pointed out that the new rules could potentially make it harder for founders and their investors to sell companies. But Chris Smith, a venture capitalist at Playfair Capital in London, told CNBC he doesn’t think it will have a material impact.“The scope is likely to be fairly limited, both in terms of the number of countries on the ‘no deal’ list and the number that would meet the strategic test,” he said. “In reality, it reflects what we already know, that we have two tech universes — one in the West and one in the East.” – Advertisement –last_img read more

Paddy Power makes LGBT+ pledge for Russian World Cup

first_img Bookies Corner: Trump Presidency sinks as US 2020 enters its 100 day countdown July 29, 2020 Related Articles Submit Share Share As part of its campaign for the 2018 Russian World Cup, Paddy Power has revealed that for every Russia goal at the tournament it will donate £10,000 to causes dedicated to making football more LGBT+ inclusive.Working with Attitude magazine‘s Foundation, the operator has detailed that its funding will help numerous elements of the LGBT community by challenging LGBT+ prejudice on and off the field, supporting footballers and those in the game in coming out as well as funding educational programmes in schools and colleges.The initiative adds to Paddy Power’s strong marketing campaign for the Russian World Cup, with the firm already sponsoring the CONIFA World Cup in London and donating a five-figure sum to Polar Bears International, to fund a ground-breaking research project into Russian polar bears.A Spokesman for Paddy Power commented: “Given they invented Russian Dolls, you’d be forgiven for thinking Russia wouldn’t have an issue with women being into other women.“Likewise, their appreciation for bears is one shared around the world by the LGBT+ population, so it really is astonishing that they have not used their stewardship of this tournament to champion LGBT+ inclusivity.“As a result, we’ve stepped in to help. When Russia Put-in a goal, we’ll Put-in £10,000 to Attitude magazine’s Foundation, who will use the funds to make football more LGBT+ inclusive. I cannot wait to see the LGBT+ community get behind the Russians – or the Russians’ baffled reaction.”Furthermore, the group has detailed that to make up for the lack of quality in the Russian side, it will give away a minimum of £50,000 to LGBT+ causes. Darren Styles OBE, publisher of Attitude, said: “When Paddy Power approached us with this idea we leapt at the chance. The LGBT+ community has a long history of reclaiming and adopting behaviours, words and styles that were intended to discriminate against us, so for this tournament we’re adopting Russia.“The World Cup is meant to be about inclusivity, but thanks to the hosts – and those who chose the hosts – this tournament (and the next, in Qatar) is taking place in a nation with laws that discriminate against the LGBT+ population. “This is completely unacceptable and, therefore, we welcome the opportunity to benefit from Russia’s success and make unwitting allies of their national team. It will be hugely satisfying to see a goal from Russia send a message of equal love.” Paddy Power raises awareness of Missing People with Motherwell ‘silhouette’ stand August 7, 2020 Flutter moves to refine merger benefits against 2020 trading realities August 27, 2020 StumbleUponlast_img read more