NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Dealmaking requires a modicum of consistency to give corporate chiefs the confidence to place multibillion-dollar bets. But the latest twist in T-Mobile US’s bid to win approval for its purchase of Sprint reveals a regulatory tug-of-war that’s anything but predictable.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tariffs on all Mexican imports may lead to more bills for America. The southern neighbor hopes to avoid import taxes by doing more to stop migrant crossings. But a weak economy and lower oil revenue have already forced Mexico to cut its 2019 budget. President Donald Trump may need to stump up even more aid to help the country meet his demands.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - The manufacturing supply chain isn’t the only one upended by trade tensions between the United States and China. American venture capitalists pumped a record $19 billion into Chinese startups in 2018 while funds from the People’s Republic injected $3.6 billion into U.S. startups, also a record, according to research firm Rhodium. But tougher foreign-investment rules and rising nationalism are set to change the game for capital movement.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - At some point, antitrust investigations of Google and Amazon.com become a no-brainer. As a step in that direction, the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department, which police U.S. competition issues, have divvied up responsibility for the tech giants, according to news reports. That could create ammo for future fights. Facebook ought to worry too.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - The U.S. Federal Trade Commission may want to play its biggest, yet riskiest, hand. The U.S. regulator is working with Facebook on a pricey settlement after the social network failed to protect consumer data. But a lawsuit against Mark Zuckerberg’s firm might produce more significant sanctions.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Donald Trump’s unpredictability could yet play in Huawei Technologies’ favor. The Chinese telecommunications firm has effectively been cut off from U.S. suppliers, from chipmaker Qualcomm to Alphabet’s Google. But that happened to Huawei rival ZTE too, and the president relented. Though it’s more of a stretch, a similar reprieve for Huawei can’t be ruled out.
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Facebook is eyeing an indirect path around China’s great wall. Blocked from operating there directly, the $520 billion social network is considering alternatives that include taking minority stakes in local tech firms, people familiar with the matter have told Breakingviews. Politicians in Beijing and Washington may not like that idea. For Mark Zuckerberg's firm, though, it's probably the best option going.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Jeff Bezos’s first letter to Amazon.com shareholders in 1998 said that “it’s all about the long game.” With revenue of $60 billion over the last three months alone – roughly 100 times what it was in the year Bezos penned that missive – the challenges have changed. To ensure the e-commerce giant’s future, Bezos’s best weapons aren’t sales growth, but sprawl and usefulness.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Instagram is becoming Facebook’s sugar daddy. The $521 billion social network’s image-sharing unit is a big reason for the company’s strong first-quarter top-line growth. There’s room to wedge more revenue-earning ads into users’ feeds. The risk, though, is the distractions and dodgy content that hamper the “old” Facebook spread to Instagram.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Silicon Valley has a millennials problem. Recent surveys show young adults want to leave the San Francisco area. Of the seemingly intractable issues they cited as reasons, few are new. But they’re now threatening the region’s ability to attract and keep talent.