News Corp and Fox Corp's Possible Consolidation, Faster Lead Times For iPhone 14 Models, Kanye West Buys Conservative Social Media Platform, Twitter Prepares Tackling Spread Of Misinformation: Top Stories Monday, Oct. 17

News Corp and Fox Corp's Possible Consolidation, Faster Lead Times For iPhone 14 Models, Kanye West Buys Conservative Social Media Platform, Twitter Prepares Tackling Spread Of Misinformation: Top Stories Monday, Oct. 17

Wall Street Journal

Rupert Murdoch Explores News Corp and Fox Corp Consolidation

  • Rupert Murdoch weighed merging his media empire, News Corp NWSA and Fox Corp FOX, nearly a decade after the companies split.
  • People familiar with Murdoch's proposal said the combined company would have more balance sheet strength to pursue acquisitions. The companies could join forces in sports betting, they added.
  • Lachlan Murdoch, co-chair of News Corp and executive chair and CEO of Fox, would likely see a significant expansion of his responsibilities.

Activist Investor Starboard Has 5% Stake In Splunk, Likely To Discuss Its Prospects In Tuesday Meeting

  • Activist investor Starboard Value LP owning a sizable stake in Splunk Inc SPLK, plans to push the software maker to take action to boost its stock price.
  • Starboard's stake is just under 5%.
  • Starboard founder and CEO Jeff Smith will appear at an activist-investing conference on October 18 and will likely detail the fund's thesis.
  • Earlier this year, when Splunk was without a CEO, and its shares had plummeted following a series of disappointing earnings reports, it attracted takeover interest from at least Cisco Systems, Inc CSCO.

Goldman Plans Combining Investment Banking, Trading In Major Organizational Overhaul

  • Goldman Sachs Group Inc GS is planning a significant reorganization to combine its biggest businesses into three divisions.
  • Goldman will combine its investment banking and trading businesses into one unit while merging asset and wealth management into another.

Reuters

Renault's EV, Hybrid Rises To 40% Of Its Total Sales In Europe

  • French carmaker Renault ADR's RNLSY electric and hybrid vehicle sales in 2022 have almost doubled as a percentage of the brand's European sales.
  • The automaker assured it is well equipped to shift to electric vehicles (EVs) by 2030.
  • In 2021, Renault's EVs constituted 25% of its European sales and around a third in the first half of 2022.

Kroger/Albertsons $25B Merger Might Face Antitrust Challenge

  • Kroger Co KR agreed to acquire Albertsons Companies Inc ACI for $34.10 per share.
  • However, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC) could challenge the deal amid intensified antitrust scrutiny under the Biden administration.
  • "There is a significant risk of a challenge," said Andre Barlow of the law firm Doyle Barlow and Mazard PLLC. "This is the type of deal that the FTC wants to discourage."

Hyundai To Break Ground On $5.5B Georgia Plant In October

  • Hyundai Motor Company GDR (OTC: HYMTF) is planning to break ground on a $5.5 billion electric vehicle and battery plant in the U.S. on October 25.
  • The automaker is expected to begin commercial production in 1H of 2025 with an annual capacity of 300,000 units.
  • The metaplant in Savannah, Georgia, is part of Hyundai's commitment of $10 billion by 2025 to foster future mobility in the U.S., including EV production.

Bloomberg

Mercedes-Benz Bets Big On Wind Amid European Energy Crisis

  • Mercedes-Benz Group ADR MBGYY is partnering with an energy company to tap wind energy off the Baltic Sea starting in 2027.
  • The move is believed to ease the automobile manufacturer's energy needs amid a European crisis.
  • Last month, Mercedes revealed plans to build a wind farm at its Papenburg test track in northern Germany.

Benzinga

Apple Buyers Are Getting iPhone 14 Models Quicker Than Previous Lineup: Here Are New Lead Times

  • Apple Inc's AAPL iPhone 14 models are seeing a dip in delivery lead times compared with the previous iPhone 13 models.
  • Lead times for the iPhone 14 Pro models moderated in the sixth week of the Apple Product Availability Tracker by JPMorgan compared with the fifth week.
  • The iPhone 14 Pro Max lead times are at par with the Pro.

Kanye West To Buy Conservative Social Media Platform Parler — After Fallouts With Instagram, Twitter

  • Rapper Kanye West has agreed to buy conservative-leaning alt-tech microblogging and social networking app Parler, which touts as a platform promoting free speech.
  • Announcing the deal, Parlement Technologies, parent of Parler, said the parties intend to enter into a definitive purchase agreement soon, with the closure expected in the fourth quarter.

Twitter Preparing To Tackle Misinformation With Birdwatch Ahead Of US Midterms — But Is It Missing A Beat Globally?

  • Jane Manchun Wong, a security researcher, highlighted how false narratives are spread on Twitter Inc TWTR, saying that the social media platform "is still a great place to spread misinformation" and target audiences outside the U.S.
  • Wong tweeted about the geographical limitations of Birdwatch, Twitter's community-driven program that was launched to reduce the spread of misinformation on the platform.
  • The feature enables users to identify information in tweets they believe are misleading and write notes that provide additional context.

Apple Pulls Brakes On Cheaper, Advanced Chinese Chips For iPhones Amid US Tech Crackdown

  • Apple Inc puts its plans to use memory chips from China's Yangtze Memory Technologies Co. (YMTC) on hold after completing an intensive monthslong process to certify the company's 128-layer 3D NAND flash memory for use in iPhones.
  • Amid tighter export controls imposed by the U.S. against the Chinese tech sector early this month, Apple has decided not to go forward with YMTC's memory chips for its products.

Trump Media Fires Whistleblower After He Shares SEC Complaint Detailing Securities Violation, Infightings

  • Trump Media & Technology Group (TMTG), which owns the Truth Social platform, lost no time in firing Will Wilkerson after he shared with the Washington Post a whistleblower complaint he filed with the SEC in August.
  • In the whistleblower complaint, the executive reportedly alleged that TMTG relied on fraudulent misrepresentations to raise money through a Special Purpose Acquisition Company, violating federal securities laws.

Nikola Founder Trevor Milton Convicted Of Fraud

  • Nikola Corp NKLA founder Trevor Milton was convicted of fraud over allegations that he lied to its investors about the company's technical achievements.
  • A federal jury convicted Milton of one count of securities fraud and two counts of wire fraud. He may now face a maximum prison sentence of 20 years.

Vodafone, Altice Forge €7B German Fibre Collaboration

  • Vodafone Group Plc VOD and Altice created a joint venture (FibreCo) to deploy fiber-to-the-home (FTTH) to up to 7 million homes over six years.
  • FibreCo looks to invest up to €7 billion, which will likely finance 70% by debt.
  • The 50-50 fiber venture with French billionaire, Patrick Drahi's Altice, will build fiber optic lines to up to 7 million homes in Germany.

There Will Increased Business Jet Deliveries Over Next 10 Years, Honeywell Forecasts

  • Honeywell International Inc HON lifted its outlook for business jet deliveries of up to 8,500 new business jet deliveries worth $274 billion from 2023 to 2032, up 15% from last year's outlook, while the usage in 2022 is expected to climb 9% higher.
  • "The business aviation industry is greatly benefitting from a wave of first-time users and buyers due in part to changing habits brought on by the COVID-19 pandemic," said Honeywell Aerospace President, Americas Aftermarket, Heath Patrick.

Credit Suisse Settles Legacy Case Related To Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities

  • Credit Suisse Group AG CS will pay $495 million as a final settlement with the New Jersey Attorney General (NJAG) related to its Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (RMBS) business, with transactions dating back to before 2008.
  • The Attorney General alleged over $3 billion in damages in a litigation case filed in 2013.

Comcast Shuts Its Television and Online Network Focused On Gaming After Massive Job Cuts

  • Comcast Corp's CMCSA Spectator division looks to shut down its video game-centric television and online network G4 after mass layoffs less than a year after its return.
  • G4 failed to gain traction despite attempts over the past several months.
  • The closure will affect a few dozen employees and contract workers. Comcast said it would assist them with outplacement and consider some for internal opportunities.
Posted In: GovernmentLarge CapM&ANewsPenny StocksSmall CapLegalTop StoriesTechMediaGeneral