Comcast Confirms That It May Challenge Disney Over Fox: DealBook Briefing

Comcast Confirms That It May Challenge Disney Over Fox: DealBook Briefing

Republicans say it would help bolster the U.S. economy. But the rollback’s original authors, Senator Mike Crapo and the former National Economic Adviser Gary Cohn, designed a relatively restrained initiative from the beginning, according to Ryan Tracy and Andrew Ackerman of the WSJ:

Both agreed such legislation would be worth doing, even though the strategy would leave behind other GOP priorities. They didn’t, for instance, try to reorganize the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, a move backed by Republicans but opposed by Democrats.

Barney Frank himself told CNBC that Congress’ move “does not in any way weaken” the Obama-era banking rules.

Still, there is reason to worry that continued deregulation could pose problems for the financial industry down the line, Peter Eavis writes.

One other potential effect: more bank mergers.


Carlo Allegri/Reuters

What Congress’ revolt against the ZTE talks could achieve

Both Republicans and Democrats voted for legislation yesterday that could put limits on White House efforts to ease penalties on the Chinese telecom company. Senators voted for an amendment that would require the Trump administration to certify that ZTE didn’t break any laws over the past year before it let the company off the hook.

So far, the pushback appears to have prompted President Trump to slow his roll. He said yesterday that there’s no deal yet over ZTE, and that he wants to impose at least $1 billion in fines.

The current U.S. penalties are having an effect. ZTE is reportedly suffering from roughly $3 billion in losses because of the Trump sales ban.

Elsewhere in the China trade talks: Mr. Mnuchin said that Chinese steel and aluminum would still be subject to tariffs. Yet while Morgan Stanley economists think that China may buy $90 billion in additional U.S. goods in the coming years, local authorities in China are encouraging their farmers to grow more soybeans.


Mark Zuckerberg

Geert Vanden Wijngaert/Associated Press

How Mark Zuckerberg gamed his E.U. Parliament hearing

The Facebook C.E.O. faced tough questions from European lawmakers yesterday. His interrogators made it clear that they want to rein in the social network by making it more accountable to users, or even breaking up the firm.

But lawmakers were exasperated because the format of the hearing — where questions were asked one after another, all before Mr. Zuckerberg responded — left little time for detailed answers. So he wheeled out responses similar to those he gave to Congress, and the whole thing lasted less than two hours. (The C.E.O. needed to catch a flight to Paris.)

Facebook will provide many answers to officials’ questions in writing, giving the company plenty of time to carefully craft its responses.

Breaking up Facebook: Activists in the U.S. want the F.T.C. to follow in Europe’s footsteps.

The company’s new power brokers: A recent managerial reshuffle will give some senior execs more authority.

The political flyaround

• The C.E.O. of Columbus Nova, the Russia-linked investment firm tied to Michael Cohen, had hoped that the Trump associate could open up business opportunities — but was ultimately disappointed. A business partner of Mr. Cohen’s, known as the Taxi King, is cooperating with prosecutors.

• A deep dive on how the Republican donor Elliott Broidy and his business partner, George Nader, courted Middle Eastern princes by promising access to the White House. (AP)

• President Trump said that he will propose additional tax cuts before November, but didn’t give any details. (Reuters)

• The Russian bank VTB said it has cut business ties to Oleg Deripaska, one of the oligarchs affected by U.S. sanctions. The U.S. Treasury Department is urging GAZ Group to do the same.


Sergio Perez/Reuters

Why would Barclays acquire Standard Chartered?

The FT reports that Barclays has been considering such a deal — which would be big, given Standard Chartered’s £25 billion market value. But it’s not clear what the strategic benefits would be, aside from gaining entrance into new geographic markets:

“What would you put on page one of the deal announcement?” asked one City of London veteran. “I’m not sure there are many synergies.”

Elsewhere in deals

• This year could break records for deal-making, with $2 trillion of M.&.A. announced so far. (CNBC)

• G.E. is reportedly exploring a sale of its insurance business, which is a source of huge accounting write-downs. (Reuters)

• Australia’s Santos rejected a $10.9 billion takeover bid by the investment firm Harbour Energy. (FT)

• Elliott Management’s reported next target: ThyssenKrupp of Germany, and in particular its C.E.O. (Bloomberg)

• Eddie Lampert may be wreaking havoc on investors who are betting against Sears’s debt. (Bloomberg)


Reed Saxon/Associated Press

Amazon’s A.I. work with law enforcement draws criticism

The company began pushing a facial recognition system to police departments as a means of identifying suspects in photos and video shortly after the tool was launched in 2016. The American Civil Liberties Union has complained, saying that law enforcers could use the technology to follow innocent citizens, such as protesters.

The larger point: The use of facial recognition technology is largely unregulated in America. But because such systems aren’t always accurate — and can often be biased — the A.C.L.U. wants more detailed rules about the technology’s use.

Our take: Don’t expect that kind of regulation anytime soon.

The tech flyaround

• Emmanuel Macron promised to make France a haven for start-ups, but has rhetoric outstripped reality? (NYT)

• Neither companies nor regulators are really ready for the E.U.’s new data privacy rules. (Verge)

• Almost three-quarters of American drivers say they would be too scared to ride in an autonomous car. (AAA)

• Tesla says it plans to improve its Model 3’s braking performance with a software update. Separately, Elon Musk’s derision of the United Auto Workers on Twitter could land him in trouble.

• Consumers love Netflix. Cable companies? Not so much. (Ars Technica)


Marvin Ellison, the outgoing C.E.O. of J.C. Penney

Jessica A. Stewart/The St. Joseph News-Press, via Associated Press

Revolving door

• J.C. Penney’s C.E.O., Marvin Ellison, is decamping to Lowe’s, raising questions about the fate of the embattled department store chain. (DealBook)

• Univision has reportedly picked Vincent Sandusky, who spent much of his career at Telemundo, as its next C.E.O. (WSJ)

• UBS named Sam Kendall, who currently leads its global equities business, as the next head of its Americas investment banking unit. (GlobalCapital)

• Goldman Sachs has hired Max Ritter from Morgan Stanley as its head of Latin America M.&A., a newly created role. (Bloomberg)

The speed read

• Cfius, the U.S. panel that reviews deals for national security concerns, is reportedly struggling to vet all the tech know-how leaking out of America into China. (Politico)

• You might think that 10-K filings are dull. You’re wrong. (Bloomberg)

• The F.B.I. may have overstated how troublesome encryption is during its investigations. (WaPo)

• A former Valeant executive has been convicted over using a kickback arrangement to defraud the drugmaker. (NYT)

• China is trimming tariffs on imported cars to 15 percent of their wholesale value. (NYT)

• As big banks have shunned cryptocurrencies, small lenders have taken advantage. (WSJ)

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