Today’s top business news includes a ₹2 billion fine imposed by India’s competition regulator on India’s biggest carmaker Maruti Suzuki for anti-competitive practices related to dealer discounts, and the halting of over 40 IPOs by China amid a regulatory probe. Separately, Bitcoin jumped above $50,000 for the first time since May, while equity index Sensex ended 226 points higher.

5:05 P.M.

Branson’s Virgin Orbit to list through SPAC merger at $3.2 billion valuation

Virgin Orbit, the satellite launch service part of billionaire Richard Branson’s conglomerate, said on Monday it is going public through a merger through an SPAC vehicle, in a deal that values it at $3.2 billion, Reuters reported.

The deal with NextGen Acquisition Corp II also includes a private investment in public equity of hundred million dollars from parties such as Boeing Co and AE Industrial Partners.

4:36 P.M.

Maruti Suzuki fined ₹2 billion over dealer discount policy

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The Taliban’s takeover of Afghanistan is raising new fears for financial experts closely watching the country’s already fragile cash-based economy.

The Afghan currency, the Afghani, has fallen to record lows, according to Bloomberg. The Afghan United Bank, which had been publishing regular Afghani exchange rates on Facebook, stopped doing so on Thursday. A day earlier, Ajmal Ahmady, the acting governor of the central bank of Afghanistan, tweeted that he had fled the country.

All of that came after a rush on local cash withdrawals was reported and Western Union announced that it was suspending money transfer services to Afghanistan “until further notice.” Western Union spokesperson Rachel Rogala referred to the company’s tweet, declining further comment. MoneyGram also appears to have halted its services, and it didn’t respond to a request for comment.

A Taliban fighter stands by a kiosk selling sugarcane juice at a market area in the Kote Sangi
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Satya Nadella, CEO of Microsoft.

Charles Pertwee | Bloomberg | Getty Images

Microsoft said Thursday it will raise the prices of commercial subscriptions to its Microsoft 365 bundles of productivity apps such as Word and Excel, formerly known as Office 365.

The price hikes will boost Microsoft’s total revenue and profit, given the Office line remains the company’s top product in terms of sales, and most Office revenue is tied to business use. While Microsoft still sells licensed versions of Office for use on premises, the company has been getting the majority of commercial Office revenue from subscriptions since 2017.

This marks “the first substantive pricing update since we launched Office 365 a decade ago,” Microsoft 365 corporate vice president Jared Spataro wrote in a blog post. The bundle has expanded to include the Teams communication app, the Whiteboard collaboration app and Power Platform application-development tools for non-developers, among other

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The newest U.S. airlines are showing signs of growth while at the same time hoping that the surge in coronavirus infections is only a short-term obstacle.

On Thursday, Avelo Airlines announced that it will expand to a little-used airport in Connecticut that will serve as a jumping-off spot to destinations in Florida. It will be the Houston-based startup’s first venture east of the Rockies.

A day earlier, Utah-based Breeze Airways said it raised $200 million in funding from sources including investment manager BlackRock on top of $135 million in earlier funding.

Related: Tampa International Airport gets a new low-cost carrier, Breeze Airways

Avelo and Breeze began flying this spring and targeted leisure travelers. That looked like a smart move when vacationers flocked to airports for much of the summer. Now, however, they worry about the surge in COVID-19, which is hurting ticket sales at bigger airlines including Southwest.

“We saw

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Gaming and esports network VENN is furloughing nearly half of its 15-employee staff and scaling down content amid ongoing acquisition talks with potential suitors, VENN co-CEO Ariel Horn confirmed to Dot Esports.

Ahead of its acquisition, the company will stick to branded sponsorship content and white label production opportunities to reduce cost and increase revenues, Horn said. With those changes, VENN will cancel production of its League of Legends talk show “Facecheck” with IWillDominate, LS, and Daniel “dGon” Gonzales. 

VENN is working with dGon, who is among the employees who will be furloughed, to find a future path for “Facecheck” so the show can continue. Horn said the company will produce one more “Facecheck” show this week before it ceases production.

“We’re working with [them] to find another solution,” Horn said. “I can’t really get too deep into that as it’s an ongoing discussion for the best future home for

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In this month’s roundup of business news The Recognition Group announces office manager Mindy Linford’s final art show of the season is coming up very soon, Maranello’s is inviting guests out for a little New Year’s Eve celebrating and Orangevale Meats will be helping deliver meals to 50 families this Christmas. All of this news comes courtesy of the Fair Oaks Chamber of Commerce newsletter.

The Recognition Group: Office manager Mindy Linford will hold her last art show of the season, Saturday, Dec. 8, from 5 p.m. till 9 p.m. at the Luxe Gallery, 10020 Fair Oaks Blvd. The original photography show features landscapes and macro flower photos. Quality art is available for purchase. For more information call 916-967-0666.

Check out the group’s Facebook page here.

Blossoming Path: Kim Sullivan is offering a holiday special, one-hour Swedish massage treatment, transformative massage, reiki with crystal and color therapy and acupressure for

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Advocacy – the immediate needs of our chamber members and the business community are paramount. However, there is a lot of activity taking place at all levels of government; some of it good and some definitely not so good.  The Rancho Cordova Chamber team is monitoring and engaging with our elected representatives during this pandemic to ensure the voice of business is heard. Below are examples of the efforts made on your behalf.  

Joint Business Letter:  Workplace Regulations, Request for Suspension 

UCAN* Chambers signed onto this letter developed by the California Business Roundtable to Gov. Newsom requesting the suspension of workplace rules that may present liability to businesses during the rapid transition to working from home. 

Response to Leg Leadership re: CA Labor Federal COVID-19 proposals 

UCAN* Chambers have signed onto this letter developed by the Cal Chamber to Legislative Leaders in response to a letter sent by the California

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One Medical Employees Say Concierge Care Provider Is Putting Profits Over Patients

NPR spoke to more than a dozen current and former employees of One Medical. They say the high-end medical company has fundamentally changed its focus, with increasing revenue

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Cooperative Award

Fred C. Garber, of Mount Jackson, a farmer, businessman and longtime electric cooperative director, is the recipient of the 2021 Electric Cooperative Leadership Award from the Virginia, Maryland and Delaware Association of Electric Cooperatives.

Garber received the association’s highest award July 22 at a reception at the Rockingham office of Shenandoah Valley Electric Cooperative, where he served as a member of the board of directors from 1984 until 2019.

He was cited for his record of visionary leadership, creative problem-solving and community involvement that have enabled SVEC to better serve its 80,000 members across all or parts of eight counties and the city of Winchester.

A Harrisonburg native, Garber grew up on a dairy farm in Weyers Cave. He graduated from Middle River High School and Blue Ridge Community College, and was active in FFA for many years. He and his wife, Barbara, purchased Mount Jackson Farm Service

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