Benzinga Before The Bell: Google's Antitrust Complaint, EV Price Hikes By Major Players, Bill Clinton's Comment On Roe V. Wade And Other Top Financial Stories Monday, June 27


Tencent Partners With BMW, SAIC, NIO To Capitalize On China’s Giant EV Market

  • Tencent Holding Ltd TCEHY aims to sell technology to help foreign automakers tap China’s enormous electric vehicle market, CNBC reports.
  • Tencent Intelligent Mobility VP Liu Shuquan claimed collaboration with 40 auto brands, including Bayerische Motoren Werke AG BMWYY, SAIC, and NIO Inc NIO, covering 120 vehicle models. He also cited discussions with German and Japanese companies.
  • Liu’s team launched a new cloud computing product for automakers called the “Tencent Intelligent Automobile Cloud” to boost its international strategy.



Google Gets Embroiled In Another Antitrust Complaint - Read To Know

  • Danish online job-search portal Jobindex has escalated antitrust allegations against Alphabet Inc GOOG GOOGL Google to European Union regulators.
  • Google had allegedly favored its job search service as per the complaint that could revive EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager’s scrutiny of the service, Google for Jobs.
  • Jobindex’s action comes four years after German media group Axel Springer’s jobs portal Stepstone filed a similar complaint.

Credit Suisse Faces Verdict In Money Laundering Trial

  • Switzerland courts will rule whether Credit Suisse Group AG CS stayed away from stopping purported money laundering linked to a cocaine trafficking gang, Reuters reported.
  • The investment and financial services provider faces charges for allowing a Bulgarian cocaine trafficking gang to launder millions of euros.
  • The alleged money laundering happened between 2004 to 2008.

Taiwan Hopes To Seal Free Trade Deal With US As Biden Administration Holds Talks

  • The United States and Taiwan will hold trade talks on Monday under a newly agreed-on framework.
  • The office of the U.S. Trade Representative said the Deputy Trade Representative Sarah Bianchi would meet Taiwan’s top trade negotiator, John Deng, to discuss an initiative on 21st-century trade; without providing more details, Reuters reported.
  • This came days after the Biden administration excluded the Chinese-claimed island from its Asia-focused economic plan, the Indo-Pacific Economic Framework, or IPEF. The IPEF is designed to counter China’s growing influence in the world trade market.


Wall Street Journal

Tesla, GM, Ford EV Price Hikes Loftier Than For Gas Cars: Here’s The Average Price Gap

  • U.S. customers had to pay 22% more last month to buy electric cars amid growing demand and supply woes for EV makers, The Wall Street Journal reported on Sunday.
  • Average EV prices grew 22% year-on-year in May at about $54,000. In comparison, prices for Gas-powered vehicles rose 14% to about $44,400, according to automotive research consultancy J.D. Power.
  • Tesla Inc TSLA, Ford Motors Co F, General Motors Co GM, Lucid Group Inc LCID, and Rivian Automotive Inc RIVN are automakers that have bumped up prices on certain EVs in the recent past, partly to offset surging costs of lithium, nickel, cobalt and other battery-making materials.

Amazon Prime Day Braces For Slowdown Like Alibaba On Pandemic Recovery, Inflation Concerns

  •, Inc’s AMZN Prime Day has hit a slowdown as consumers cut down on their order size, the Wall Street Journal reported.
  • Amazon, too, appears to have curtailed its investments in the event. Most of the deals have focused on the company’s products.
  • Data proves that the discounts on many items failed to surpass those on other days at Amazon, excluding electronics.

3M Might Face Billion-Dollar Lawsuit Over Earplugs Manufactured For Military Use

  • 3M Co’s MMM foam earplugs, which the company manufactured for the United States military and was bought by the government for ~$7.63 a pair, threaten to become a significant liability for the manufacturing giant, reported Wall Street Journal.
  • Many US military veterans have filed lawsuits against Minnesota-based 3M for hearing impairment caused by faults in the company’s military-grade earplugs.
  • The company might face billions of dollars in legal settlements or lawsuits after soldiers claimed they returned from combat with hearing damage caused by the earplugs.



Morgan Stanley’s Strategists See Some Breathing Space From Current Market Selloff

  • Morgan Stanley MS strategists led by Michael Wilson say the S&P 500 Index might rally another 5% to 7% before the selloff resumes.
  • “We think US equity markets can rally further,” they wrote in a note.
  • The decline in bond yields and oil prices have eased some concern around inflation and helped the benchmark break a three-week falling streak.

Investors Prune Stake In This Major Chinese Gaming Company After Alibaba

  • South African internet firm Naspers Ltd NPSN and its Prosus NV PROSY unit look to trim down their stake in Tencent Holding Ltd TCEHY to fund a share buyback.
  • Naspers reported FY22 revenue growth of 24% year-on-year to $36.7 billion. Ecommerce revenue grew 49% Y/Y to $10.7 billion.
  • Core Headline Earnings declined 16% Y/Y to $2.1 billion, reflecting a lower contribution from Tencent after selling 2% of its holdings in Tencent.


Financial Times

More Trouble For Semiconductor Industry’s Revival as Japanese Chipmakers See Engineers Shortage

  • Japan’s leading semiconductor makers, from Toshiba Corp TOSYY to Sony Group Corp SONY, warned against a crisis of engineers threatening the revival of its domestic chip industry.
  • The Japan Electronics and Information Technology Industries Association highlighted the correlation between the sector’s success and talent.
  • The group expected eight big producers to hire about 35,000 engineers in the next ten years to keep up with the pace of investment.

Deemed As ‘Valueless’ Ernst & Young Valued Israeli Spyware Firm At $2.3B

  • Ernst & Young Global Limited valued the troubled Israeli spyware company NSO Group at $2.3 billion just months before it came at the risk of defaulting on its debt.
  • According to the documents seen by Financial Times, the EY valuation is more than twice the valuation two years ago made by a Luxembourg-based firm.
  • The estimate of NSO’s enterprise value was made without visiting the company or verifying the information its analysts had provided.



Alibaba Said To Get China License To Test Its Self-Driving Trucks On Road

  • Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holdings BABA said it had been granted a license to test its L4 self-driving trucks.
  • Following the widespread use of its low-speed self-driving logistics vehicles, Alibaba said the Deqing county in Huzhou city of Zhejiang province had granted it a license to test its self-driving trucks, CnEVPost reported.
  • The company said the Deqing county is the first in China to issue a license allowing companies to conduct public road tests of L4 self-driving trucks without safety officers. Alibaba received one of the first two licenses issued.

Why Tesla Is Canceling Some Model Y Deliveries In Germany

  • Tesla Inc TSLA has canceled or delayed deliveries of the Model Y Performance variant for reservation holders in Germany due to defects in some vehicles, Teslarati reported on Sunday.
  • Model Y Performance reservation holders from Germany began reporting cancellations on Saturday through the Tesla Fahrer and Freunde (TFF) online forum.
  • The Elon Musk-led company is expected to inform more reservation holders of cancellations this week.

EVs For ICE: How Tesla Is Drawing More China Buyers Into Greener Side

  • Tesla Inc. TSLA has launched a trade-in campaign in China to encourage more traditional, gas-powered engine car owners to switch over to its electric cars amid growing demand and competition, CnEVpost reported on Monday citing Shanghai Securities Journal.
  • Tesla’s trade-in benefits are valid for customers who place orders between July 1 and Dec. 31 and complete a vehicle trade-in agreement before delivery.
  • The key benefit includes a free 90-day trial of Enhanced Autopilot functionality, which the Elon Musk-led company introduced in China in February last year at $4,943, half the price of its Full Self-driving (FSD) option.

Bitcoin, Ethereum Fall, Dogecoin Defies Gravity: Analyst Sees No Strong Crypto Buyers Ahead Of Fresh Week

  • Bitcoin and Ethereum traded lower, but Dogecoin spiked on Sunday evening, as the global cryptocurrency market cap declined 2.3% to $942 billion at press time.
  • Bitcoin and Ethereum slipped into the red as the S&P 500 and Nasdaq futures fell 0.5% each at press time.
  • The two largest coins saw muted volumes owing to the weekend. In contrast, Dogecoin soared with 24-hour trading volumes surging 113.1% to $908.65 million, according to CoinMarketCap data.

What Bill Clinton Has To Say About Supreme Court Ruling On Roe V. Wade

  • Former President Bill Clinton has opened up about the Supreme Court’s Roe v. Wade decision on abortion.
  • Attacking the ruling by SCOTUS, Clinton said it has put “democracy at risk.”
  • He went on Twitter to share his thoughts and said Supreme Court’s decision had put partisanship ahead of precedent and ideology ahead of the evidence.

Photo via Wikimedia Commons

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