🌍 A healthcare megadeal

Plus: Twitter keeps squawking up the Apple tree

Good morning, Quartz readers!


Here’s what you need to know

Amgen is buying Horizon Therapeutics. The US pharmaceutical giant will purchase Ireland-based Horizon for $27.8 billion in one of the biggest healthcare buyouts this year.

Japan and the Netherlands will join US chip sanctions against China. The two countries have agreed to limit the export of advanced semiconductor machinery to China, Bloomberg reports.

Tata Group plans to open 100 Apple stores in India. The iPhone maker has partnered with Tata’s Infiniti Retail to exclusively sell its products, according to an Economic Times report.

Microsoft bought a 4% stake in the London Stock Exchange Group. The deal, which includes a 10-year partnership to work on data analytics and cloud computing, is likely to attract regulators’ scrutiny.

China scrapped its covid tracking app. The nationwide location app has been dropped after three years in another symbolic shift away from Beijing’s zero-covid policy.

Rivian suspended its electric van partnership with Mercedes-Benz. The US EV maker reportedly decided to focus on its existing vehicles on the market.

Maersk picked its next CEO. Company veteran Vincent Clerc will head the Danish logistics giant beginning Jan. 1 as a shipping boom wanes and recession looms.


What to watch for

FTX’s founder and former chief executive Sam Bankman-Fried is due to testify today (Dec. 13) in front of a US House committee investigating the collapse of the crypto exchange.

For weeks, SBF’s participation in the hearing had been in doubt—he even missed the deadline to RSVP. He finally confirmed his attendance on Friday (Dec. 9), but anticipated that a lack of access to personal and professional data will limit what he’ll be able to say.

SBF is not the only testimony the committee is expecting to hear. FTX’s new CEO, John Jay Ray III, is also listed as a panelist. Ray, tasked with a complex restructuring, has described the FTX debacle as one of the worst he’s seen in his career as he seeks to recover money for customers and investors. No doubt he’d like to level a few questions at SBF himself.

👀 Read live coverage of the hearing later today on qz.com.


Twitter keeps squawking up the Apple tree

As Twitter Blue plans its relaunch, Elon Musk is making Apple users pay for his fight with the tech giant. iOS users will have to dole out $11 per month for the controversial subscription service, while web and Android users can get it for $8 per month.

Although Twitter didn’t specify why Apple users are being treated differently, it’s not hard to guess. Elon Musk has been waging a war against the 30% fee Apple charges developers for in-app purchases, and the upcharge is basically a 30% price increase.

Apple spent a whopping $48 million on Twitter ads in the first quarter of 2022, accounting for more than 4% of total revenue for the period. That made Apple a top advertiser on Twitter that Musk can’t really afford to lose. At the end of November, Musk claimed Apple had “mostly stopped” its Twitter ads but on Dec. 4, the self-appointed chief twit said the iPhone-maker had “fully resumed” advertising on Twitter.


A breakthrough in nuclear fusion energy

Image for article titled 🌍 A healthcare megadeal
Photo: Leon Neal (Getty Images)

Scientists in California may have reached a turning point when it comes to creating energy from nuclear fusion. In a recent experiment using this method, 2.1 megajoules of input produced 2.5 megajoules of output, accounting for a 120% net energy gain.

The shift from net-negative energy generation to net-positive is a result that has eluded scientists for decades. While the excess energy generated isn’t much—underscoring that it could take decades more before nuclear fusion begins to fuel power plants—it comes at the convergence of the climate and fuel crises, and offers hope for an alternative, clean energy source.

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Surprising discoveries

An 11,000-year-old carving, possibly the earliest to tell a story, depicts a guy taking matters into his own hands. And by “matters” we mean penis.

Disney is bringing back a character after nearly 100 years. Oswald the Lucky Rabbit is getting a new animated short.

Wave-like clouds formed over Wyoming’s Bighorn Mountains. The 🌊🌊🌊 shape was due to what’s called Kelvin-Helmholtz instability.  

Scientists made an adhesive breakthrough. So-called cellular glue could help in regenerating damaged organs and tissues.

Fur seals have nails. Don’t flip out, but they’ve been there all along, emerging mid-flipper.


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