iPhone 14 Popular In China?, Netflix May Lose Comics, Elon Musk's Starlink Slows, Byron Allen Faces $10B Lawsuit And More Top Financial Media Stories Monday, Sept. 26


Apple Analyst Finds iPhone 14 Less Popular With Chinese Customers, Initial Data Suggests

  • Chinese consumers bought fewer Apple Inc AAPL iPhone 14 handsets in the early days of its availability than the product's predecessor a year ago, Jefferies analysts, including Edison Lee, found. 
  • In the first three days of delivery, Apple's latest smartphone series sales came to 987,000 units. That's 11% lower than comparable sales of the iPhone 13 family last year.


Amazon Announced 2nd Deals Event For 2022 As Customers Face' Macroeconomic' Challenges

  • Amazon.com Inc. AMZN has a new holiday shopping event — Prime Early Access Sale — for its members.
  • This is the second deals event conducted by Amazon this year, given the "macroeconomic environment" faced by customers and an early shopping holiday, Reuters reported, citing the company's vice-president Jamil Ghani.
  • "There's a desire to save and make the dollar stretch further," he told Reuters.

European Telecoms Urge Big Techs To Share Network Costs As Energy Crisis Loom

  • Deutsche Telekom AG DTEGFOrange ORANTelefonica SA TEFVodafone Group Plc VOD, and 13 other European telecoms providers made their most vigorous push for Big Tech to share network costs, citing the energy crisis and EU climate change goals as inflation shoots up to a new all-time high of 8.9% in July.
  • Europe's telecoms operators argue that U.S. tech firms account for more than half of internet traffic and should bear some of the cost of upgrading infrastructure.
  • They voiced an urgent need for funding, highlighting rising planning and construction costs, and sought action to build strength for the metaverses.

Alibaba Affiliate Becomes Instrumental In South Korea's Digital Wallet Push

  • Alibaba Group Holding Limited BABA fintech affiliate Ant Group promised to help four Asian e-wallets expand into South Korea with its cross-border payment service Alipay+, as travel restrictions ease across Asia.
  • Now, e-wallet consumers using Alipay+ like the Philippines' GCash, Malaysia's Touch'n Go, Thailand's TrueMoney, and AlipayHK can pay at over 120,000 merchants using their local mobile payments apps when traveling in South Korea.
  • The first batch of available merchants will include taxis, duty-free shops, and convenience stores.

Intel Shortlists These Two Regions In Italy For Multi-Billion Euro Chip Plant

  • Mario Draghi's outgoing government and Intel Corp INTC zeroed on Vigasio in northeastern Veneto for a new multibillion-euro chip factory in Italy.
  • Intel's investment in Italy is part of its broader plan to invest up to €80 billion ($77.5 billion) over the next decade.

Pandemic Favorite Instacart Cuts Jobs, Expenses Ahead Of IPO

  • Grocery delivery company Instacart Inc has resorted to job cuts and imposing expense curbs ahead of its Initial Public Offering.
  • The company has fired over 3,000 workers after holding mid-year performance reviews.
  • It had previously slashed its valuation by 40% to about $24 billion, keeping in mind higher interest rates, inflation, and a potential recession.

Pfizer CEO Contracts COVID-19 Infection For Second Time

  • Pfizer Inc.'s PFE CEO Albert Bourla said he had tested positive for COVID-19.
  • "I'm feeling well and symptom-free," Bourla said in a statement. In August, he contacted COVID and received one course of paxlovid, Pfizer's oral COVID-19 antiviral treatment.
  • Bourla, 60, has received four doses of the COVID vaccine developed by Pfizer and BioNTech SE BNTX.

Wall Street Journal

This Is How Netflix Could Lose High-Profile Comics From Releasing Their New Specials With Them

  • Netflix Inc. NFLX will license new comedy specials for two years for roughly $200,000 instead of buying them outright, which Netflix has previously done for up to $1 million
  • Comedians will now have to pay for their own production costs under a new deal, as the streaming service looks to keep its content spending in the range of $17 billion over the coming years
  • As the agreement comes to an end, the artist will be able to receive full control of the rights to their material and be able to use it for future work.

Moderna Seeks FDA Approval For Updated COVID-19 Shot For Kids But Scrambles Supply Challenges

  • Last week, Moderna Inc. MRNA asked the FDA to authorize the use of its updated booster shot in children ages 6 to 17. The company expects to complete a request for the use of the booster in children six months through give years later this year.
  • But federal officials have advised state officials that there is a limited supply of updated booster shots for Moderna.
  • Vaccine sites have either canceled or stopped scheduling new appointments for people seeking a Moderna booster shot. 


Elon Musk Touts 1M Milestone For Starlink Terminals — But Report Finds Rise In Users Has Come At A Cost

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk's SpaceX-owned Starlink internet service has proved its utility in times of geopolitical tensions. As its adoption increases rapidly, a recent report found that it may be slowly losing out on the edge it has over the competition.
  • Musk recently tweeted that over a million Starlink terminals have been manufactured, less than two years after SpaceX began taking preorders for the service by taking a $99 deposit.

Apple Says 'Excited To Be Manufacturing iPhone 14' In India As It Diversifies Production Away From China

  • Apple Inc. AAPL confirmed that it would begin production of its newest iPhone series in India
  • "The new iPhone 14 lineup introduces groundbreaking new technologies and important safety capabilities. We're excited to be manufacturing iPhone 14 in India," Apple said in response to Benzinga's queries.
  • Apple will soon start selling made-in-India iPhone 14 models, according to news agency Press Trust of India. The phones manufactured in India will be both for the local market and exports.

Meta, Snap, TikTok, Pinterest, Twitter All Saw Engagement Improve In Q3 — But Analyst Says 1 Platform Stands Out

  • Engagement trends for social media platforms improved sequentially in the third quarter, KeyBanc Capital Markets said, citing its quarterly consumer survey.
  • Pinterest Inc. PINS and TikTok, however, were the only platforms to see year-over-year growth as well, the firm said.
  • Meta Platforms Inc. META KeyBanc said, has been swift with its cost reduction. Reports of at least a 10% operating expenditure reduction at Meta reflected the ongoing efforts to realign revenue and expense growth amid challenges from forex, the economy and advertiser signal loss, it added.

McDonald's Facing Byron Allen's $10B Racial Discrimination Lawsuit

  • A U.S. district judge has ordered McDonald's Corp. MCD to defend itself against a racial discrimination lawsuit filed by media baron Byron Allen
  • Allen's $10 billion lawsuit accuses McDonald's of marginalizing his company into an "African American tier," which uses a separate ad agency and a smaller budget. 
  • According to Judge Fernando Olguin, Allen could try to prove that McDonald's violated federal and California civil rights laws. 

Fire Breaks Out At Tesla's Gigafactory Berlin Within A Week Of PG&E California Incident

  • A fire broke out at Tesla Inc. TSLA Gigafactory Berlin's recycling plant in the early hours of the morning.
  • Eight hundred cubic meters of paper, cardboard, and wood reportedly caught on fire, causing significant flames at the factory.
  • It reportedly took hours and 50 firefighters, including 12 from Tesla's brigade, to get the fire under control.
  • Last week, a Tesla megapack battery installed at utility Pacific Gas & Electric Co.'s PCG California storage facility caught fire.

Switzerland To Dispose 10M Expired COVID-19 Vaccine Doses From Moderna

  • Switzerland would have to discard 10.3 million doses of Moderna Inc's MRNA COVID-19 vaccine, the health ministry said Saturday.
  • The ministry said it had no choice but to eliminate the shots after the doses expired.
  • It told the news agency that 2.5 million doses were being stored at a Swiss army logistics base and 7.8 million were in an external storage depot in Belgium.

Unilever CEO Alan Jope To Retire Next Year

  • British consumer goods giant Unilever PLC UL Chief Executive Officer Alan Jope intends to retire in 2023 end.
  • The decision comes after the CEO came under severe criticism over a failed takeover bid of drugmaker GSK Plc's GSK consumer health unit worth £50 billion ($53 billion).

Burberry Finance Chief Joins GSK As First Woman CFO

  • GSK plc GSK has appointed Julie Brown as its first-ever female chief financial officer to succeed Iain Mackay, effective May 1, 2023.
  • Mackay, 60, will retire next year after serving as GSK's finance chief for nearly four years.
  • Brown currently serves as Chief Operating and Financial Officer at the luxury fashion brand Burberry Group plc BURBY BBRYF.
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