Proposed bill would stop Apple and other tech giants from acquiring companies

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iPhone 12 Pro parts cost shockingly little
Bill would stop tech giants splashing the cash.
Photo: Cult of Mac

Sen. Josh Hawley introduced a bill Monday that would ban mergers and acquisitions by companies with market caps in excess of $100 billion. If passed, the bill could have a massive impact on technology companies, including Apple.

Apple, for the record, currently has a market cap of $2.2 trillion. Other tech giants worth upward of $100 billion include Microsoft, Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook, Uber, Airbnb and Netflix.

Apple goes on AI shopping spree to make Siri smarter

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Siri Lights
A slew of AI-related acquisitions might make Siri less of a nimrod. Which is important considering it’s built into so many products, like HomePods.
Photo: Ste Smith/Cult of Mac

Apple reportedly bought more companies developing artificial intelligence technology over the past five years than anyone else. A prime goal is to make the Siri voice assistant smarter, according to GlobalData, the market-research firm that compiled a list of AI-related acquisitions by many companies.

Apple keeps throwing money at making Siri smarter

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Siri Alexa in voice report
Apple’s latest acquisition aims to give Siri better data to work with.
Photo: Apple

Apple purchased Inductiv, a Canadian company that focused on using artificial intelligence to clean up data. They created HoloClean, which was designed to get useful predictions from “noisy, incomplete, and erroneous data.”

The employees of Inductiv joined the team developing Siri, Apple’s voice-driven AI assistant, according to Bloomberg.

Apple acquires Xnor.ai for faster, more private iPhone artificial intelligence

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Xnor.ai promises AI everywhere.
Xnor.ai’s artificial intelligence software for mobile devices is likely headed for iPhones.
Photo: Xnor.ai

Apple purchased Xnor.ai, a company that creates artificial intelligence software for mobile devices. The acquisition will apparently lead to AI applications running directly on iPhones, iPads, etc., not outsourced to the cloud. This should make these tasks more private and quicker.

Apple’s big spend on Intel modems is pocket change in Silicon Valley [Opinion]

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Samsung wants to follow Apple in building a giant services business
Samsung wants to follow Apple in building a giant services business
Photo: Mathieu Turle/Unsplash CC

The $1 billion Apple spent on Intel’s modem business is the second-largest acquisition in the company’s 42-year history.

Still, while a huge amount of money by most normal standards, rival tech giants regularly dwarf Apple’s big spend on Intel. For a variety of reasons, Apple just doesn’t roll that way.

Laserlike acquisition boosts Apple’s AI capabilities

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The Laserlike app used machine learning to find relevant news articles.
The Laserlike app used machine learning to find relevant news articles.
Photo: Laserlike

Apple bought a small startup that created an app that used machine learning to auotomically find news articles users would be interested in.

The acquisition of Laserlike is expected to  bolster Apple’s artificial intelligence efforts.

Why Apple should buy a major movie studio

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A reboot of Amazong Stories is one of the many shows coming to the Apple TV service.
A reboot of Amazing Stories is coming to Apple’s TV service, but one analyst says it needs much, much more content.
Photo: Cult of Mac

The best way for Apple’s upcoming streaming video service to compete against already established competitors like Netflix is to buy a movie studio, according to an industry analyst.

Apple is reportedly going to introduce its video service in the first half of this year, and the analyst recommends buying Sony Pictures, Lionsgate or another studio to increase its offerings.