SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - A weak Facebook penalty reflects the state of its U.S. watchdog. The social network will pay a $5 billion fine and form a privacy oversight panel to settle allegations that it mishandled user data. The Federal Trade Commission, which is expected to announce the settlement on Wednesday, doesn’t have enough powers or staff to punch harder.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - The $150 bln brewer of suds like Budweiser and Stella has scrapped its Asia unit’s Hong Kong float. CEO Carlos Brito now needs new ways to reduce the company’s debt. And as the second pulled IPO in weeks amid civil unrest, it puts the city’s financial hub under a spotlight.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - America’s World Cup soccer winners are being treated like losers when it comes to pay. The women’s team that beat the Netherlands on Sunday – for its fourth win since the 1990s – is fighting for equal wages in a lawsuit against the U.S. Soccer Federation. As in the corporate world, proving inequality is complex, but reasons to fix it are simple.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Venture capitalist Ben Lerer, whose firm backed BuzzFeed and Axios, drops by Breakingviews to discuss why startups in the news industry have been suffering. Unlike some of his peers, Lerer reckons these minnows can have mutually beneficial relationships with giants like Facebook.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Slack Technologies is onto something. The workplace-messaging service’s direct listing turned into a blowout when its shares started trading on Thursday. Airbnb could be next – and that could make the direct listing process almost mainstream.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - A star economist at the Swiss bank sparked outrage on Chinese social media after his remarks about the country’s pigs were misconstrued. UBS’s decision to put him on leave seems overdone. And: Those weighing the benefit of a Facebook cryptocurrency must ask if “In Zuck we trust.”
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Raytheon and United Technologies’ planned $114 bln tie-up raises questions about strategy, cost cuts and executive overreach. It’s prompted their shares to tank and activist Bill Ackman to oppose it. And Fiat Chrysler and Renault’s mooted merger has crashed. Can they salvage it?
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.
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.
NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Qualcomm lost a lawsuit brought by one DC overseer, even as the DOJ intervened, while $26 bln T-Mobile US-Sprint merger is getting yanked around by agencies with opposing views. Doing business is hard when agencies no longer act in unison. Plus: Is Luckin Coffee going cold?