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Alibaba 'roadshow' reportedly ready; Tobacco industry merger talks; Microsoft CEO's 'bold ambition'

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Alibaba is reportedly ready to begin its IPO process. Tobacco giants Reynolds America and Lorillard confirm they are in merger talks. Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella writes letter to employees outlining the company's future.

Alibaba is reportedly gearing up for its market debut. The Wall Street Journal reports China's e-commerce giant could begin the initial public offering process at the end of this month. The process typically takes two weeks from start to finish and means the IPO could happen around mid-August. Investors hope Yahoo (YHOO) will reveal how much of its 22.6% stake in Alibaba it will sell when it releases quarterly results on July 15th.

Tobacco giants Reynolds American (RAI) and Lorillard (LO) have confirmed they are in merger talks. If Reynolds goes through with the long-rumored purchase of Lorillard, it would combine the number two and number three U.S. tobacco companies. British-based Imperial Tobacco Group already announced it's in talks to buy several brands from both companies to grow its share of the U.S. cigarette market, but also to head off any anti-trust concerns if a Reynolds-Lorillard merger happens. 

The Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon (AMZN) over millions of dollars of unauthorized in-app purchases made by children and charged to their parents. The FTC said Amazon willingly allowed children to make these purchases without their parents' consent, and is seeking the money back for consumers and some kind of security measures, like password protection, in the apps to prevent further unauthorized purchases. Amazon has said that it has “effective” parental controls and gives users real-time alerts when purchases are made.

Microsoft (MSFT) CEO Satya Nadella sent a 3,100-word letter to employees titled "Bold Ambition and Our Core" outlining the future of the company. He said the company needs to "rediscover" its "soul." He also said the company needs to work faster and more efficiently. No specific organizational changes or layoffs were mentioned, but in an interview with the New York Times, he said senior management would reveal more in the coming weeks and he will discuss more changes with the company releases earnings on July 22. We want to know what you think. Does Satya Nadella have what it takes to makeover Microsoft? Vote in our poll, leave a comment below or on Twitter.