6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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According to The Wall Street Journal, Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) will cut staff at its ABC television operation. Like most traditional media operations, its revenue is under pressure from social media and new video outlets like Alphabet’s Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOGL) YouTube.

Microsoft Corp. (NASDAQ: MSFT) and Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) set a deal so that their two voice activated consumer electronics devices can work together. Amazon’s product is Alexa and Microsoft’s is Cortana. The two companies are in fierce competition in the sector, so the agreement is unusual and almost certainly consumer driven.

A lawsuit brought by VC giant Benchmark, one of Uber’s largest investors, against former CEO Travis Kalanick will move to arbitration. The action means that many of the details of the complaint will be hidden from investors and the public.

New Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi predicted that company will go public sometime in the next one and a half to three years. In the meantime, he has a great deal to fix, which includes, in particular, Uber’s cavalier style in dealing with employees and local laws in markets where it does business. He also will have to tame a contentious board.

According to Bloomberg, a number of Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) autonomous car engineers have left to join a new company. The news service reports:

A group of automotive engineers has left Apple Inc. for self-driving car startup Zoox Inc. after the world’s most valuable technology company backed off plans to build its own vehicle, according to people familiar with the situation.

The 17 engineers specialize in designing elements present in both traditional and autonomous vehicles, such as braking and suspension systems, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the moves aren’t public. Many of them originally joined Apple from Detroit carmakers and suppliers.

According to the Financial Times, a few large banks have set an accord to create a digital currency. The paper reports:

 Six of the world’s biggest banks have joined a project to create a new form of digital cash that they hope to launch next year for clearing and settling financial transactions over blockchain, the technology underpinning bitcoin.

Barclays, Credit Suisse, Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce, HSBC, MUFG and State Street have teamed up to work on the “utility settlement coin” which was created by Switzerland’s UBS to make financial markets more efficient.

The move comes as the project shifts into a new phase of development, in which its members aim to deepen discussions with central banks and to work on tightening up its data privacy and cyber security protections.