Fujifilm and Xerox merge into an $18 billion dollar corporation, the UK government will fine companies millions of dollars for failing to protect against cyberattacks, and Suncor invests big in electric autonomous vehicles.
First up from Facebook is news that the once-iconic American office copier machine manufacturer Xerox has officially ceded control to Japan-based Fujifilm in a deal that creates an $18 billion dollar company. The merger means Fujifilm will end up owning 50.1 per cent of the combined entity and be in control of all of Xerox’s operations. Despite the company being so famous for its copiers that the name Xerox became a verb, it has fallen on hard times lately in an industry that’s also shrunk significantly. The joint venture will cut 10,000 jobs in Asia as part of the restructuring – or one fifth of Fujifilm’s global workforce, which also caused its stock to plummet by more than eight per cent.
Next from Reddit, the United Kingdom is cracking down on cybersecurity and pledging to fine companies up to £17 million if they fail to protect themselves effectively from cyberattacks. Energy, transport, water, and health companies are expected to have the most robust protections, and these sectors will also be subject to inspections by regulators under a new government directive. The new rules will kick in on May 10 and cover breaches like ransomware outbreaks. The WannaCry ransomware attack last year hit and crippled many healthcare facilities in the UK, and the government wants to avoid any further mass disruption to critical national infrastructure. Guidance for companies is available online from the UK’s National Cyber Security Centre.
And last but not least from Facebook again, Suncor Energy has announced that over the next six years, it will begin implementing and deploying more than 150 electronic autonomous haul trucks at company-operated mines, starting in the Alberta oil sands this year. The Canadian energy company specializing in synthetic crude oil from the oil sands says it has been researching autonomous haulage systems for the last four years and has concluded it’s safe, efficient, and more cost-effective than traditional truck and shovel operations. These autonomous trucks will require new skillsets for many Suncor employees, and the company has pledged to work with the union to minimize workforce impacts, although it’s already said approximately 400 positions will be eliminated as a result.
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