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Future’s deal with Reliance is getting another chance

India’s Supreme Court sent the Future Group case back to a lower court.

India's Finance Minister Nirmala Sitharaman holds up a folder with the Government of India’s logo
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India’s Supreme Court sent the Future Group case back to a lower court. Future’s proposed deal with Reliance Retail—which Amazon opposes—is getting another chance.

India announced its 2022 budget. Government spending is growing by 4.6% to nearly 40 trillion rupees ($530 billion), and focuses on clean energy and infrastructure.

GlobalWafers’ takeover of chip supplier Siltronic fell through. The German government failed to make a decision on the Taiwan company’s offer by the deal deadline, possibly for political reasons.

Japanese lawmakers called out the “serious human rights situation” in China. The resolution doesn’t explicitly blame China, simply referring to conditions in Xinjiang, Tibet, Inner Mongolia, and Hong Kong, but Beijing was still pretty upset about it.

Covid cases among those arriving for the Beijing Olympics are ticking up. An official said they are within the “expected controllable range.” Meanwhile, Taiwan’s delegation will attend the Games’ opening ceremony after all, citing pressure to do so by the IOC.

Denmark is done with covid restrictions. The country has said goodbye to indoor masking, mandatory covid pass checks, and nightclub closures. Separately, Austria’s vaccine mandate for anyone over 18 went into effect.

Alphabet is still making lots of money. Google’s parent brought in $20.6 billion in profits last quarter, driven by the continued success of its ad business.

What to watch for

Meta, the company formerly known as Facebook, is set to announce its financial results for the final quarter of 2021 today. In addition to typical indicators like monthly active users and revenue, investors will want to know how Meta is spending its money. And yes, this is all about its alleged transformation to being a “metaverse company.”

How much money is Meta investing in virtual reality through its Oculus brand, and how is its overall research and development budget changing? Meta is asking investors for a long driveway to reinvent its company, so expect Wall Street analysts to probe executives for details.

Here are some numbers we’re watching:

  • 10 million: Oculus Quest 2 devices shipped as of November 2021
  • 1: Oculus’s ranking among the most downloaded apps on Christmas Day
  • $18.45 billion: What Meta spent on R&D in 2020

WarnerMedia’s complicated past

AT&T is spinning off WarnerMedia. The company’s announcement is part of its deal to merge the subsidiary with Discovery, resulting in a new company called Warner Bros.

For Warner, it’s just the latest exchange in its long history of ownership changes. The film company traces back to one of the original Hollywood movie studios and flows through mergers, acquisitions, and spinoffs of companies and properties including Time magazine, HBO, CNN, Batman, The Flintstones, and—disastrously—AOL.

If it’s hard to visualize all the handoffs, Quartz’s Things team editor David Yanofsky has all the turns of Warner’s history mapped out for you.

A line map shows the different ownership changes Warner Brothers went through before joining with other companies.

The price of staying warm

A black puffer jacket on a green background.
Image copyright: Photo by Eric Helgas, art direction by Alex Citrin-Safadi

Puffer jackets have been worn by outdoorsmen, rappers, the military, luxury shoppers, and—eventually—everyone. Almost a century after the first puffer, the market is still heating up.

But are North Face jackets really worth their price? And does “puffiness” automatically equal warmth? Quartz editors Kira Bindrim and Alexandra Ossola unzipped these questions in the debut episode of the Quartz Obsession podcast, season two.

🎧Listen on: Apple Podcasts | Spotify | Google | Stitcher

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Tesla’s self-driving software let cars roll through stop signs. That’s definitely illegal, and now the company has to recall nearly 54,000 vehicles.

The Netherlands has an elaborate system for choosing its Olympic speed skating squad. It’s designed to maximize medals, but sometimes snubs star athletes.

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