Top Financial Stories Wednesday, September 14: Multiple Antitrust Setbacks For Google, Bitcoin Crashes, Visa Finds New Gun Control System Ineffective And More…


Google And Facebook Parent Fined Millions Of Dollars By South Korea Over Privacy Law Violations

  • South Korea has imposed fines to the tune of millions of dollars on Alphabet Inc's GOOG GOOGL Google and Meta Platforms Inc META following accusations of privacy law violations.
  • The Personal Information Protection Commission said it fined Google 69.2 billion won ($50 million) and Meta 30.8 billion won ($22 million).

COVID-19 Vaccine Supply To China? Moderna CEO Says Capacity Available

  • Moderna Inc's MRNA CEO Stephane Bancel said the company has talked with the Chinese government about supplying COVID-19 vaccines, but no decision has been made.
  • "We are open. We have the capacity," Bancel said but declined to say whether Moderna had submitted its vaccine for approval in the country.

Bed Bath & Beyond's Interim CEO To Remain In The Job For At Least A Year

  • Bed Bath & Beyond Inc's BBBY interim Chief Executive Officer Sue Gove is likely to stay in the job for at least twelve months.
  • The report noted that the retailer will not pick a new leader until well into 2023, citing two sources familiar with the matter.
  • Gove was named the interim CEO in June, replacing Mark Tritton, following a sales slump.


Visa Finds New Gun Control System As Ineffective To Check Mass Shootings

  • Visa Inc V warned against the new system that gun-control proponents saw as restricting mass shootings.
  • The International Organization for Standardization approved a new merchant category code that banks will use when processing transactions for gun and ammunition stores. The MCC will likely help banks flag suspicious activity at these retailers.
  • However, Visa found that MCC lacks access to data showing what products consumers are buying.

After Investor Flak, German Healthcare Giant Bayer Starts Hunt For New CEO

  • Bayer AG BAYRY has started a hunt for CEO Werner Baumann's successor.
  • The new CEO search may portend an early departure for Baumann, whose contract with Bayer isn't set to expire until April 2024.
  • Bayer's chairman Norbert Winkeljohann is looking at prospects inside and outside the company to advance a new CEO candidate in time for Bayer's next shareholder meeting in April 2023.

Tencent Music Pushes Hong Kong Listing As Soon As Next Week

  • Tencent Music Entertainment Group TME is working with advisers on the preparations for its second listing in Hong Kong, intending to start trading as soon as next week.
  • The company said marketing activities could start as early as in the coming days.


Warner Bros Discovery Embraces More Aggression Including Price Hikes While Netflix Goes On An Austerity Drive

  • Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc WBD CFO Gunnar Wiedenfels expressed the possibility of higher streaming service prices given the strength of the content on the services.
  • Wiedenfels acknowledged that prioritizing profitability over growth allows it more "pricing power" over its streaming businesses.
  • The costliest streaming service Netflix, Inc NFLX, pared back its real-estate footprint, controlled cloud-computing costs, and hired more junior staff to beat the subscriber slowdown. Netflix also looks to restrain spending heavily on movies and TV shows.

Wall Street Journal

Brewing Competition Compels Paramount To Club Showtime Streaming Service With Paramount+

  • Paramount Global PARA weighed aborting its Showtime streaming service and shifting its content into Paramount+.
  • Showtime's $10.99-per-month service features programming from the premium channel, including "Billions" and "Yellowjackets."
  • Competition from Netflix Inc NFLX and Inc AMZN to newer entrants like NBCUniversal's Peacock and Paramount+ weighed on more minor streaming services like Showtime.

Amazon Awaits Another Union Election In October Pressing For Better Wages, Safety Measures

  • Inc AMZN prepared for another union election in October at its upstate New York facility near Albany.
  • A group of workers affiliated with the Amazon Labor Union filed for the election in August following a successful union bid in April at the Staten Island facility.
  • Union supporters at the Amazon facility named ALB1 sought higher wages and better safety measures at the facility.
  • Federal prosecutors inspected some Amazon warehouses following criticism over its treatment of warehouse and delivery employees.

Nikkei Asia

Apple To Use Latest TSMC Tech In iPhones, Macs Next Year, In Industry First

  • Apple Inc AAPL will likely be the first company to use an updated version of Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co. Ltd's TSM latest chipmaking technology next year while also planning to adopt it for some of its iPhones and Mac computers.
  • TSMC's N3E chipmaking technology will be used to mass-produce the A17 mobile processor, currently, under development, the report said. It said it will be used in the premium entry in the iPhone line-up set for the 2023 release.


Coinbase Fixes Issue Of 'Failing Trades' After Outage Amid Crypto Crash Angers Users

  • Coinbase Global Inc COIN said it has now fully resolved the issue of failing trades on its platform.
  • Several Coinbase users reported that simple trades on the crypto exchange were not being processed on Tuesday. Some users also said they could not withdraw their cryptocurrencies from the platform.
  • In a Twitter update, Coinbase Support acknowledged the issue of some trades "intermittently failing" and said their team had already implemented a fix. In a follow-up tweet, the exchange announced that the issue had been resolved.

Google Suffers Another EU Setback As Top Court Rejects Request To Topple $4.3B Dominance-Abuse Fine

  • Alphabet Inc's GOOG GOOGL Google suffered its second setback in Europe in less than a year as the European Union's top court agreed with the bloc's antitrust regulators on Wednesday.
  • Google lost its battle to topple a landmark 4.3 billion euro ($4.3 billion) fine imposed by the antitrust watchdog on the tech giant after the General Court agreed that the company had abused its dominance. However, it trimmed the fine by 5% because of a disagreement on one point.

Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin Crash After 'Scorching' Inflation Data: Analyst Says 'Writing Was On The Chart'

  • Bitcoin (BTC/USD) and Ethereum (ETH/USD) traded sharply lower Tuesday evening as the global cryptocurrency market cap plunged 7.5% to $986.4 billion at 8:26 p.m. EDT.
  • Major cryptocurrencies dropped after the U.S. Labor Department posted the inflation numbers for August, which indicated the consumer price index rose 8.3% year-over-year.
  • Even though inflation cooled off compared to the 8.5% rise in July, it came above average economist estimates of 8%.

Is Elon Musk No Longer On Twitter? No, Here's What Actually Happened

  • If you couldn't find Tesla Inc TSLA CEO on Twitter on Tuesday, that's because he had changed his handle to "Naughtius Maximus."
  • Musk seemingly made the change minutes after Twitter Inc's TWTR shareholders approved a $44 billion buyout deal.
  • Musk said Tuesday that his tweets "are being suppressed" and asked for a fix from Twitter, the Twitter Verified handle and the social media platform's CEO Parag Agrawal.

Amazon Emphasizes On Delivery Drivers' Pay After Workers' Safety

  • Inc AMZN looks to boost pay and benefits for its delivery partners as it gears up for the peak holiday season amid a persistently tight labor market.
  • Amazon will invest $450 million to fund wage increases and other benefits for delivery drivers employed by members of its Delivery Service Partners network.
  • It started the program in 2018. Amazon has invested over $7 billion in its Delivery Service Partners network since 2018.

Chrysler To End Iconic 300 Model Production - Commemorates 70-Year Legacy

  • Stellantis NV STLA brand Chrysler will end its famous 300 sedans after its limited edition version.
  • The 2023 Chrysler 300C, powered by the 6.4L HEMI engine, will commemorate the nearly 70-year legacy of the Chrysler 300.
  • Only 2,000 of 2023 Chrysler 300C vehicles will be produced for the U.S.
  • Chrysler 300 production will end following the 2023 model year.

Weyerhaeuser Union Members Go On Strike In Oregon & Washington

  • Weyerhaeuser Co WY said its operations in Oregon and Washington were affected by a work stoppage by its union members.
  • The company has 1,200 workers who are members of the International Association of Machinists and Aerospace Workers.
  • The company noted IAM walkouts impact multiple Wood Products and Timberlands sites.

Photo by Okan Caliskan from Pixabay

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