6 Most Important Things to Do in Business Today

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In a challenge to Rupert Murdoch’s plans, Comcast Corp. (NASDAQ: CMCSA) has offered to buy satellite TV provider Sky. According to Reuters:

Comcast Corp, the biggest cable operator in the United States, offered on Tuesday to pay $31 billion to buy Sky, challenging Rupert Murdoch’s Fox and Bob Iger’s Walt Disney for the European pay-TV jewel.

Comcast, a $184 billion media giant which owns NBC and Universal Pictures, said it was offering 12.50 pounds per share, significantly higher than the 10.75 pounds per share agreed by Fox. Shares in Sky soared 18 percent.

Present in 23 million homes across Europe and known for its technological innovation, Britain’s Sky has already agreed to be sold to Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox but the takeover has been delayed by concerns over the media tycoon’s influence in Britain.

The United States will become the world’s top oil producer next year, according to a forecast. Reuters reports:

The United States will overtake Russia as the world’s biggest oil producer by 2019 at the latest, the International Energy Agency (IEA) said on Tuesday, as the country’s shale oil boom continues to upend global markets.

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol said at an event in Tokyo the United States would overtake Russia as the biggest crude oil producer “definitely next year”, if not this year.

“U.S. shale growth is very strong, the pace is very strong … The United States will become the No.1 oil producer sometime very soon,” he told Reuters separately.

FedEx Corp. (NYSE: FDX) has not scuttled its relationship with the NRA, leaving it virtually alone among companies that had relationships with the nonprofit before the Parkland, Florida, shooting. According to Fortune:

FedEx Corp. is maintaining discounts for members of the National Rifle Association, even as calls for a boycott mount on social media after a deadly school shooting in Florida.

The courier said it “has never set or changed rates for any of our millions of customers around the world in response to their politics, beliefs or positions on issues.” The NRA is one of hundreds of organizations in its alliance programs, FedEx said Monday in its first public comment on the matter.

California approved broader rules for the use of self-driving cars. The State of California Department of Motor Vehicles announced:

The California Department of Motor Vehicles (DMV) announced today that the Office of Administrative Law approved regulations governing the driverless testing and public use of autonomous vehicles on California roads. Prior to these rules, autonomous vehicles could only be tested in California with an approved driver.

“This is a major step forward for autonomous technology in California,” DMV Director Jean Shiomoto said. “Safety is our top concern and we are ready to begin working with manufacturers that are prepared to test fully driverless vehicles in California.”

Apple Inc. (NASDAQ: AAPL) will release new versions of the iPhone. According to Bloomberg:

Apple Inc. is preparing to release a trio of new smartphones later this year: the largest iPhone ever, an upgraded handset the same size as the current iPhone X and a less expensive model with some of the flagship phone’s key features.

With the new lineup, Apple wants to appeal to the growing number of consumers who crave the multitasking attributes of so-called phablets while also catering to those looking for a more affordable version of the iPhone X, according to people familiar with the products.

Softbank’s huge investment fund may put money into 100 companies. According to CNBC:

SoftBank’s massive $100 billion Vision Fund will make between 70 and 100 investments in technology firms, CEO Rajeev Misra told CNBC on Monday.

Since closing the first major round of investment in May 2017, the Vision Fund has invested in 30 companies, from ride-hailing service Uber to chipmaker Nvidia to Indian e-commerce player Flipkart.