Good morning and happy Memorial Day weekend. Here are the most important business and technology stories to know for a (short) week ahead. – Charlotte Coles
How are you? (May 23-29)
Hitting big oil
Exxon Mobil suffered a surprising defeat when activist investors received at least two seats on the 12-member board of directors on Wednesday. Investors are part of a small new hedge fund called Engine No. 1 which seeks to push companies towards green initiatives and away from fossil fuels. His campaign faces a cool tough battle in the energy industry, but this recent victory could spur more Wall Street investment firms to tackle climate change. In addition, a Dutch court ruled that the largest European oil company, Royal Dutch Shell, was not working fast enough to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and should redouble your efforts…
Epic vs. Apple
For the past three weeks, Apple has vigorously (and costly) defended itself in federal court against an antitrust suit filed by Epic Games, the maker of the popular video game Fortnite. The case focused on whether Apple abused its market power by taking a 30 percent commission on sales from its iPhone app store and punishing Epic when it tried to bypass Apple and sell in-app purchases of Fortnite directly to customers. Resolution now in the hands of the judge, who said she hopes to reach a verdict by August. If Apple loses, it could lead to new antitrust lawsuits against Big Tech.
Amazon goes to Hollywood
Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer, the 97-year-old film and television studio that once epitomized Hollywood’s golden era, has sold myself to today’s epitome of modern commerce: Amazon. Many of MGM’s classics sold out years ago, but it has one well-known franchise – James Bond – that will give Amazon a new edge over streaming rivals like Netflix, HBO Max, and Apple TV +. The benefit cost Amazon $ 8.45 billion, about 40 percent more than other potential buyers, including Apple and Comcast, were willing to pay.
What’s next? (May 30 – June 5)
Paging Dr. Google
Google is merger with the HCA Healthcare hospital network develop patient care algorithms by analyzing medical records. The algorithms are designed to improve patient monitoring, physicians’ decision-making for better results, optimize surgery, and even develop new treatments. But progress comes at a price, of course: patient privacy. The HCA said there would be no identifying information in its patient records until Google data scientists had access to them. But the terms of the deal have not been publicly disclosed.
President Biden proposed $ 6 trillion budget for the 2022 financial year, which includes a map of long-term investments in economic priorities of his administration – for example, infrastructure, education and green energy – over the next decade. The proposal, which is more of a wishlist for now, will lead the United States to the highest sustained level of federal spending since World War II. Mr Biden said he will pay for his agenda with higher taxes for corporations and high-paid people, but the plan also calls for high budget deficits for at least a decade. The budget assumes that unemployment will be below 4 percent and inflation will remain stable.
On the road again
Treasury Secretary Janet Yellen will meet with G7 Treasury Ministers in London later this week to discuss the countries’ next steps to rebuild the global economy. On the dossier: supporting international access to and distribution of vaccines, improving public health to prevent future pandemics, and building a more climate-friendly economy. Miss Yellen has similar plans at home, and they are few. Before leaving, she asked more Treasury Funding oversee several key US economic recovery efforts.