SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - There is an elegant solution to Facebook’s chronic problem with political ads: it could stop running them altogether.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - It’s premature to pop any champagne for a U.S.-China trade deal. President Donald Trump says a partial pact with Beijing includes up to $50 billion in agricultural purchases. Important issues such as intellectual property theft are up in the air, though. And many companies have already started the pricey process of upending their supply chains.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Google’s browser privacy could use more cover. Chrome’s owner lags both Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari in trying to make the web less creepy. The prospect of losing revenue may explain the Alphabet unit’s resistance to blocking certain ad trackers.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Companies are ahead of the White House when it comes to anti-corruption efforts. From withholding Ukrainian aid to making money out of lodging visiting dignitaries, the U.S. administration has muddied the waters on acceptable behavior. While there’s a risk that companies exploit the murk, it’s more likely they’ll end up defenders of the higher ground.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Apple is known for the cleanness of its smartphone designs, yet its TV plans have until now been full of static. On Tuesday, the $970 billion company made things a tad clearer, by announcing that its new Apple TV+ package will be cheaper than rivals. That doesn’t guarantee it will be a smash hit, but it’s enough to get a bunch of people trying it out, which will help Chief Executive Tim Cook with a longer-term goal.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - The door has cracked open on U.S. housing reform. Treasury Department officials want to get Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac, the two agencies that underpin the country’s home-financing market, out of their post-financial crisis limbo. Their new plan, unveiled on Thursday, has merit in that it doesn’t entirely hinge on a dithering Congress, and gives the two troubled entities a better chance of enduring the next downturn.
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Woke capitalism is a winner so far in the 2020 campaign. Democratic White House hopefuls from self-styled socialist Senator Bernie Sanders to his colleague Elizabeth Warren and former Vice President Joe Biden blame the U.S. economic system for growing inequality. Their plans target private equity firms, banks, corporations and the rich. A wealth tax may not be as effective as it looks. But some ideas could start to cut the gap between the haves and have nots.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - The hedge fund founder has already spent millions to impeach Donald Trump. He’s now trying to replace the U.S. president, joining a crowded Democratic field. The Exchange went to his campaign office to discuss why he is running and what he thinks of businessmen as politicians.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - A labor bill aimed at helping Uber Technologies drivers, under discussion in the ride-hailing giant’s own state, risks straying from the righteous road. California wants gig-economy firms to give workers paid vacation and sick time, following similar pushes in Europe. It makes sense, but other workers outside of tech could use the same protections.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - The unofficial price-war truce between Uber Technologies and Lyft may soon be a distant memory. Both ride-hailing firms say they’re being more rational with incentives while user growth was steady. But expenses are rising. And a record $5.2 billion quarterly loss and drags from freight and food delivery put Uber under more pressure. Cutting prices may be a tempting way to boost core rides.