(Reuters) – Japanese map platform developer Dynamic Map Platform announced on Wednesday it plans to acquire Detroit-based map startup Ushr for up to $ 200 million in a bid to widen its geographical footprint in the burgeoning self driving cars market.
Dynamic Map Platform counts Japan’s Toyota Motor, Nissan and Honda among its investors, while Ushr provides 3D mapping data to General Motors.
The move comes as the Japanese car makers seek to challenge Alphabet Inc’s Google and Chinese rivals in the mapping business.
For the acquisition, Dynamic Map Platform said it would raise a combined 22 billion yen ($ 198.9 million) from investors including two existing shareholders – the Japanese state-backed INCJ fund and Mitsubishi Electric.
“Through the combination, we will be able to offer automotive OEMs a comprehensive high-definition mapping solution for the North American and Japanese markets, with the ability to expand globally in the future,” Tsutomu Nakajima, the head of Dynamic Map Platform, said in a statement.
Reporting by Rashmi Ashok in Bengaluru and Makiko Yamazaki in Tokyo; Editing by Stephen Coates and Muralikumar Anantharaman
JERUSALEM (Reuters) – An Israeli cabinet minister called on Wednesday for a boycott of Airbnb and promoted one of its rivals, escalating the government’s response to the home-rental company’s decision to delist Israel’s settlements in the occupied West Bank.
A woman talks on the phone at the Airbnb office headquarters in the SOMA district of San Francisco, California, U.S., August 2, 2016. REUTERS/Gabrielle Lurie
“I call today on all those who support Israel and oppose discriminatory boycotts: they should cease using Airbnb and turn to other services,” Strategic Affairs Minister Gilad Erdan told a diplomatic conference hosted by the Jerusalem Post newspaper.
“By the way, Booking.com is a great service,” added Erdan, the point-man in Israeli government efforts to combat pro-Palestinian boycotts.
Airbnb said on Monday it would remove some 200 settlement listings after hearing criticism from people who “believe companies should not profit on lands where people have been displaced”.
Palestinians who want to establish an independent state taking in the West Bank have welcomed the San Francisco-based firm’s move. It does not apply to East Jerusalem or the Golan Heights, other territories Israel captured in a 1967 war but which Israel has annexed, unlike the West Bank.
“Airbnb took a decision in the right direction to stop dealings with Israeli settlements, consistent with international legitimacy,” Wasel Abu Youssef, a senior official with the umbrella Palestine Liberation Organisation, told Reuters.
“Erdan’s incitement comes in the course of continued attempts by the Israeli extremist government to intimidate companies, parties and individuals who try to try to take good decisions that agree with international resolutions.”
Human Rights Watch hailed Airbnb’s decision and, in a report on Tuesday, called on Booking.com to follow suit.
Booking.com and Airbnb did not immediately respond to Reuters emails seeking fresh comment.
Israeli Justice Minister Ayelet Shaked, addressing Wednesday’s conference separately, backed Erdan’s call to boycott Airbnb and suggested Israel also deploy its own anti-discrimination laws.
Israel has said it would turn to the Trump administration and could back lawsuits against Airbnb within U.S. states that have legislated against anti-Israel boycotts.
In Israel, one 2017 law empowers courts to award cash compensation to claimants who prove they have been denied goods or services because of where they live.
“I checked yesterday with my office, with the attorney-general, whether we can operate this law, and the answer is positive,” Shaked said. “We need to do anything we can in order to fight them back in order that they will change their decision.”
Additional reporting by Nidal al-Mughrabi; Editing by Jeffrey Heller and Peter Graff
For the second year in a row, Apple reduced prices for its expanded iCloud storage plans, putting costs in line with rivals like Google, Microsoft and Dropbox.
Apple announced changes to iCloud extra storage pricing earlier this month at the event where it unveiled new iPhones, the larger iPad Pro and a revamped Apple TV.
Although the Cupertino, Calif., company did not boost the amount of free storage space — as Computerworld speculated it might — and instead continued to provide just 5GB of iCloud space gratis, it bumped up the $ 0.99 per month plan from 20GB to 50GB, lowered the price of the 200GB plan by 25 percent to $ 2.99 monthly, and halved the 1TB plan’s price to $ 9.99.