Elon Musk Twitter Case Deposition Delayed, FTX US Goes Shopping, Spotify's Analyst Sees Audiobooks Immaterial: Top Financial Media Stories Tuesday, Sept. 27

Zinger Key Points
  • Leading retailer Walmart is making a big bet on the growth of the metaverse with a partnership with Roblox.
  • FTX US, the cryptocurrency exchange led by Sam Bankman-Fried, has won the bid to acquire Voyager Digital.
Elon Musk Twitter Case Deposition Delayed, FTX US Goes Shopping, Spotify's Analyst Sees Audiobooks Immaterial: Top Financial Media Stories Tuesday, Sept. 27

Bloomberg

As Elon Musk, Twitter CEO Postpone Depositions, Legal Fraternity Wary Of Tesla Chief's Tendency To Insult Opposing Attorneys

  • The much-awaited deposition of Elon Musk in the Twitter Inc TWTR lawsuit has been delayed, according to several reports, citing sources.
  • Musk will now be deposed on an unspecified future date. According to court filings, the original schedule was for a two-day deposition starting on Monday, possibly extending to Wednesday.

Wall Street Journal

Ford Pitches For Fresh Trial After $1.7B Jury Verdict In Truck Rollover Mishap

  • Ford Motor Co F urged a Georgia court for a new trial after a jury reached a $1.7 billion verdict against the automaker involving a truck rollover accident that left two people dead.
  • Ford claimed unfair preclusion from providing evidence that would have demonstrated the truck involved was safe, with a more robust roof structure than many of its peers.
  • Ford filed two motions in the state court of Gwinnett County in Georgia. One sought a new trial, while the other challenged the punitive damages imposed on the company in August. 

Reuters

Stellantis, Uber Eye France's EV Market

  • Carmaker Stellantis N.V. STLA and Uber Technologies Inc UBER collaborated with Free2Move to focus on the French electric vehicles market.
  • Free2Move would help Uber to convert 50% of its fleet of vehicles in France over to electric models.
  • Producing and selling more electric and hybrid vehicles is also crucial to Stellantis chief Carlos Tavares' plan to double Stellantis' overall revenues by 2030.
  • Uber is committing to becoming a zero-emission platform in the U.S. and Canadian cities and major urban centers worldwide by 2030.

Porsche IPO To Be Priced At Top End Of Expected Range

  • Volkswagen AG VWAGY owned luxury sports car brand Porsche AG shares are expected to be priced at the top end of the range in the upcoming listing.
  • The expected range will likely value the carmaker up to €75 billion ($72 billion).
  • The luxury carmaker's books were covered multiple times before the IPO on Sept. 29.

Japan's Stanley Electric Inks Alliance Deal With Honda

  • Honda Motor Co HMC and Japanese electric light manufacturer Stanley Electric have inked a capital and business alliance.
  • The companies will work to decarbonize the supply chain, consolidate parts and improve product development efficiency.
  • Under the terms of the agreement, Stanley Electric will transfer 7.5 million of its shares to Honda for ¥2,534 ($17.57) per share.

BMW Predicts Slight Sales Growth In 2023

  • German luxury carmaker BMW (Bayerische Motoren Werke AG) BMWYY expects to reach the higher end of its 7-9% margin target for the car business.
  • BMW sees slight sales growth in 2023, said CFO Nicolas Peter.
  • Describing BMW's performance in its largest market in China as a "rollercoaster" year, the CFO added a demand recovery is underway in the region.

Benzinga

Elon Musk Spent A Night Texting Oracle Co-Founder Before Walking Away From Twitter Deal

  • Tesla Inc TSLA CEO Elon Musk texted well into the night with Oracle Corporation ORCL co-founder Larry Ellison before putting on hold a $44 billion agreement to purchase Twitter Inc TWTR.
  • A court filing made by Twitter said that Musk exchanged multiple text messages with Ellison beginning May 12 through 12:20 a.m. on May 13.
  • The messages were reportedly exchanged nearly four hours before Musk announced he was putting the Twitter deal "temporarily on hold."

Meta Focuses On Hasslefree Switching Between Facebook, Instagram Accounts

  • Meta Platforms, Inc META experimented with fresh features to help users seamlessly manage their Facebook and Instagram accounts via a single interface.
  • Users can toggle between Facebook and Instagram accounts and see notifications for both apps.
  • Meta streamlined its user-registration process for a more accessible login and creation of new Facebook and Instagram accounts.
  • The new features could help new users create accounts on both services, helping attract more people to the platforms.

Spotify Analyst Finds Risk-Reward Compelling, But Sees Audiobooks Immaterial Into Year-End And 2023

  • Spotify Technology SA SPOT launched audiobooks in the U.S. last week.
  • Commenting on the development, KeyBanc Capital Markets analyst Justin Patterson reiterated an Overweight rating and a $148 price target for Spotify shares.
  • Audiobooks could be immaterial to Spotify’s performance into the year-end and likely in 2023, too, Patterson said in a note.

Netflix Deepens Gaming Foray With Dedicated Finland Studio: What You Should Know

  • Streaming giant Netflix Inc NFLX said it is establishing an internal games studio in Helsinki, the capital city of Finland, with Marko Lastikka as the studio director.
  • Netflix said the move was in line with the company's vision to build a world-class studio that will bring a variety of original games — with no ads and no in-app purchases — to its hundreds of millions of members worldwide.

Biogen Settles For $900M In Bribe Case For Prescribing Multiple Sclerosis Drugs

  • Biogen Inc BIIB has reached a $900 million settlement with a whistleblower who accused the firm of paying doctors bribes to encourage them to prescribe its multiple sclerosis drugs.
  • The whistleblower behind the report, Michael Bawduniak, will receive about $250 million directly, according to a statement released Monday by the U.S. Justice Department.

Voyager Assets, Customer Accounts To Be Acquired By FTX In $1.4B Deal

  • FTX US, the cryptocurrency exchange led by Sam Bankman-Fried, has won the bid to acquire Voyager Digital (OTC: VYGVQ), the latter said late Monday.
  • The deal includes FTX buying all cryptocurrency held by Voyager, valued at $1.3 billion at current market prices.
  • FTX is also providing an additional consideration estimated to add $111 million of incremental value.

Rivian R1S 'Feels A Lot Bigger' Than Tesla's Model Y: Munster Weighs In After First Ride

  • Rivian Automotive Inc RIVN is among the U.S. electric vehicle startups that have built up some credibility even amid inclement macroeconomic and supply chain scenarios. Loup Funds' Gene Munster offered his thoughts on the Irvine, California-based company following his first ride in Rivian's Launch Edition R1S.
  • Munster said he is confident that the company will "survive and thrive." Secondly, he noted that the "R1S SUV feels a lot bigger" than EV leader Tesla Inc's TSLA best-selling Model Y vehicle.

Grab Expects Adjusted EBITDA Breakeven By H2 2024

  • During its first Investor Day, Grab Holdings Limited GRAB shared its plans to break even on a Group Adjusted EBITDA basis by the second half of 2024.
  • For the second half of 2022, Adjusted EBITDA will likely be $(380) million, a 27% improvement compared to the first half of 2022.
  • Grab expects revenues to grow strongly between 45% - 55% year-on-year in 2023 on a constant currency basis.
  • Grab also expects to reach breakeven for its Digibank operations by 2026.

US Agency EEOC Files Lawsuit Against Eli Lilly Over Nationwide Age Discrimination

  • The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) accused Eli Lilly And Co LLY of illegally refusing to hire older workers for sales representative jobs because of their age.
  • According to the EEOC's suit, in 2017, Lilly's senior vice president for human resources and diversity recognized at a Leadership Town Hall that Lilly's workforce was composed of older workers. 
  • The senior vice president then announced goals for "Early Career" hiring to add more millennials to Lilly's workforce. 

Walmart In The Metaverse? Coming Soon Thanks To This Gaming Company

  • Leading retailer Walmart Inc WMT is making a big bet on the growth of the metaverse with a partnership with leading metaverse and gaming company Roblox Corporation RBLX.
  • Walmart announced the launch of Walmart Land and Walmart's Universe of Play on Monday.
  • Roblox users can unlock exclusive content, check out exclusive Walmart virtual areas, and see top artists perform with the new partnership.
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