A Global Tipping Point for Reining In Tech Has Arrived

A wonderful summation by the New York Times of four themes we’ve expounded upon at length for tech companies, and their stakeholders: rising regulatory risk, cost of disparate domestic policies, increased lobbying focus and fragmentation of the internet.

These all have sobering ramifications for investments, returns and valuations, not just for the large tech companies, but all those in their supply chains and start-ups looking to be acquired by them through strategic exits.

UK Government Orders Investigation Into Nvidia’s $40bn Arm Takeover

Not only are governments intensifying the number of lawsuits and regulations for tech companies, but mergers are increasingly scrutinised through two lenses: that of geopolitical rivalry, as well as that of domestic competition.

This significantly amplifies the risks and costs, as uncertainty and timing are exacerbated for such takeovers. How long before the cost of capital reflects these rising risks?

Scientists Create Early Embryos That Are Part Human, Part Monkey

When one considers the following potentials: rogue scientists, how to classify (legally, as well as ethically) a resulting hybrid child, how to protect animal exploitation, spreading disease between animals and humans, and others, it’s clear that this technology requires guardrails.

The crucial question is: will regulators get ahead of, or trail these developments and how do they evolve in lightly regulated countries where ethical considerations pale in comparison to geopolitical advancement?

Just Eat to offer 1,500 Liverpool Couriers Minimum Hourly Rate and Sick Pay

Tech platforms are innovating new classes of ‘workers.’ While the industrial age model of full time employment is not viable, neither is the binary alternative of ‘contractor.’ We expect to see a continued evolution, driven by local expectations, working hours, type of work, flexibility, etc. This latest, by Just Eat ,is another data point to add to Uber’s recent capitulation.

Equally interesting is the timing of this announcement: right after the IPO flop of Deliveroo due to investor concerns about the pay and benefits of its workers. Perhaps this is a positive consequence of the Deliveroo outcome, demonstrating the power of stakeholders’ signalling.

Amazon Must ‘Do a Better Job’ For Its Workers, Says Jeff Bezos

While it’s helpful that Bezos is going to turn his considerable resources to making Amazon “Earth’s best employer and Earth’s safest place to work,” there is a much bigger issue looming on the horizon: the rate at which he is automating his operations. Amazon is now one of the world’s most advanced automation companies, purchasing and experimenting with a wide range of robotics and AI in its fulfilment centres and warehouses.

What will it do if there’s any decrease in the need for its products and services? We suspect that the robots would not be laid off. And that’s assuming the rate of replacement doesn’t accelerate as the technology is bedded down. Amazon and other large employers ought to have a serious think about their accountability in the shift to automation, and work with governments to find equitable solutions.