Morning Beat: Microsoft Corporation (MSFT), Sony Corp (ADR) (SNE), and Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (WMT)
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) says it is not ending support for Bitcoin even as a notice on its website seemed to purport otherwise. A short notice on the site yesterday suggested users could no longer redeem Bitcoin into their accounts.
The tech giant says the notice was a mistake. It has since reiterated plans to continue supporting the virtual currency. Initial reports indicated the company was not generating enough transactions on the cryptocurrency thus the unprecedented move to end its support.
Microsoft Corporation (NASDAQ:MSFT) began supporting Bitcoin payments in 2014 when the currency was highly hyped. Its popularity has since dipped even as banks continue to show interest in the underlying technology.
Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) is paying $750 million to acquire Michael Jackson’s 50% stake in Sony ATV Music Publishing. With the acquisition, the Japanese company stands to gain rights to about three million songs. The deal, however, does not include Jackson’s songs.
The Purchase should help Sony Corp (ADR) (NYSE:SNE) strengthen its US entertainment business as it stands to gain access to songs from the likes of Taylor Swift, the Beatles, and Bob Dylan. The deal should also give the late musician’s children more financial flexibility. Jackson’s estate is also expected to use part of the money to pay down a remaining $250 million debt.
Wal-Mart Stores, Inc. (NYSE:WMT) has quashed reports that it is planning to exit Japan. Head of operations in the country says they are only planning to remodel existing stores rather than open new stores or withdraw altogether. Remarks by Takeshi Kamigouchi come after world’s largest retailer continues to review its global assets.
Speculation has been rife in the recent past that the retailer could withdraw from some countries amid uncertain economic times and fierce competition. Media reports indicate that a possible withdrawal from Brazil and other Latin America markets could be in the cards.
Japan has continued to evoke attention consumer spending having hit all-time lows. A 2014 hike in national sales tax has all but resulted in an increase in the cost of food, significantly affecting spending patterns in retail stores.
Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is taking Search to another level having unveiled a live sports commentary feature in search results. A quick search of the ICC World Twenty20 related terms reveals real-time commentary from cricket greats of the likes of Akash Chopra and Boria Majumdar, at the moment.
The search giant is also displaying posts as well as match photos and videos from players as part of the new feature. The live commentary feature is undergoing tests, meaning it could take some time before it is made available in other sports and events. Alphabet Inc (NASDAQ:GOOGL) is planning to use the feature to bolster Search experience for sports fans.
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