Fifty U.S. states and territories, led by Texas, announced an investigation into Google’s “potential monopolistic behavior.” The Monday announcement closely followed one from a separate group of states Friday that disclosed an investigation into Facebook’s market dominance. The two probes widen the antitrust scrutiny of big tech companies beyond sweeping federal and congressional investigations and enforcement action by European regulators.
US toy maker Hasbro will acquire Peppa Pig owner Entertainment One for around £3.3bn ($4bn), the firms said in a statement. Hasbro said the deal would expand its entertainment and “family-oriented storytelling” portfolio. UK-listed Entertainment One owns other preschool titles including PJ Masks. The American toy giant is behind a diverse range of titles including the My Little Pony and Transformers franchises, as well as the Monopoly board game and Play-Doh.
Apple has agreed to buy the majority of Intel’s smartphone modem division, the companies announced on Thursday. Apple currently purchases Intel modems for iPhones, which allow it to connect to networks operated by carriers such as Verizon and AT&T. But in April, Intel announced that it planned to leave the smartphone modem market because Intel had “no clear path to profitability and positive returns.
The US justice department is opening a broad antitrust review into major technology firms, as criticism over the companies’ growing reach and power heats up. The investigation will focus on growing complaints that the companies are unlawfully stifling competition. “Without the discipline of meaningful market-based competition, digital platforms may act in ways that are not responsive to consumer demands,” added the assistant attorney general Makan Delrahim, of the antitrust division.
Deutsche Bank has started cutting jobs in London as part of a plan to reduce its global workforce by 18,000 to try to revive its ailing fortunes. The jobs being cut makeup 20% of Deutsche’s global workforce and will hit its investment bank hard. The chief executive, Christian Sewing, promised “tough cutbacks” to the investment bank in May as part of €1bn (£880m) of cost reductions – the latest round in a series of cuts.
Apple has joined a growing chorus of firms urging the Trump administration to drop a plan for more US tariffs on Chinese goods. The US has said it may impose duties on $300bn (£236.1bn) worth of Chinese products if the two sides can’t reach a trade deal. In a letter, Apple “urged” the White House to drop the tariff plan. The tech giant said the duties would “tilt the playing field” to its global rivals.
Adidas has been unsuccessful in an attempt to expand its trademark three-stripe design in the EU after a court ruled it was not “distinctive” enough. The three-stripe logo was first registered by Adidas’s founder, Adi Dassler, on a football boot on 18 August 1949, but the court said it was not sufficient to identify the products as originating from the brand. The ruling is part of a long-running dispute between the German sportswear manufacturer and the Belgian company Shoe Branding Europe.
Uber said Thursday it lost more than $1 billion in the first three months of 2019, in the latest sign that the company has a long and uncertain road ahead to profitability. The ride-hailing company lost $1.01 billion in the first quarter, compared to a rare profit of $3.75 billion in the same period a year ago, which was fueled by its decision to cede two of its operations abroad to rivals. For the better part of a decade, Uber raised unprecedented sums of capital from venture capitalists, celebrities and Saudi Arabia to bulldoze into markets around the world.
Uber priced its IPO at $45 per share Thursday, at the low end of its stated range. At the IPO price of $45 per share, the company will be valued on a non-diluted basis at about $75.46 billion, which will put the stock’s market cap right around the size of Caterpillar’s and make it one of the most valuable companies ever to go public. In 2018, Uber’s revenue reached $11.3 billion for the year, up 43% from 2017, while reporting adjusted losses of $1.8 billion, an improvement over losses of $2.6 billion in 2017, according to its IPO filing. The company has never turned a profit.
In the strongest market debut so far this year, Beyond Meat shares surged 163% Thursday, giving the maker of plant-based meat substitutes a market value of $3.77 billion. On Wednesday night, Beyond priced its initial public offering at $25 per share, for an implied market value of $1.46 billion. Beyond’s meat alternatives, which range from fake ground beef to burger patties, are designed to more closely mimic the texture and taste of traditional meat.