Auto and student loans fuel US consumer loan surge in April


Google to pay $ 270 million in antitrust settlement with French regulators

Google has agreed to pay around $ 270 million in fines and change some business practices in a deal announced Monday with French antitrust regulators who accused the company of abusing its dominance of the advertising market. online. The French competition authority said the deal was the first time an antitrust regulator has directly targeted Google’s online advertising infrastructure, a platform that many websites around the world rely on to sell advertisements. The fine is paltry compared to Google’s overall business – its parent company, Alphabet, earned $ 41 billion last year – but French authorities have hailed the concessions because they affect technology and practices at the core business activities. In the United States, Google is facing a similar antitrust review over its online advertising technology by a group of state attorneys general, as well as the UK antitrust regulator. French regulators have said Google has used its position as the world’s largest internet advertising company to harm news publishers and other internet ad sellers. Authorities said a service owned by the Silicon Valley giant and used by others to sell internet advertising was giving Google companies preferential treatment, thereby undermining competition. As part of the deal, French authorities said, Google agreed to end the practice of giving preferential treatment to its services and changing its advertising system so that it could work more easily with other services. Google has not admitted to wrongdoing, but said in a statement it will make changes to increase the transparency of its online advertising systems and make the technology more interoperable with other services. – NEW YORK TIMES


SEC says it’s watching for signs of meme stock manipulation

The United States Securities and Exchange Commission says it is scanning markets for signs of manipulation and other misconduct as AMC Entertainment Holdings Inc. and other memes stocks continue to soar . “SEC staff continue to monitor the market in light of the continued volatility of certain stocks to determine if there have been market disruptions, manipulative transactions or other improper behavior,” the agency said. in a statement emailed Monday. “In addition, we will act to protect retail investors if violations of federal securities laws are found.” AMC resumed its bullish path on Monday, ending two consecutive days of decline. The action – like GameStop Corp. before her – became the darling of retail traders. The boom in the movie theater chain comes despite questionable fundamentals, leading regulators to fear that investors could suffer substantial losses if the stock plunges. online message boards to trick other investors into joining the rally. BLOOMBERG NEWS


Scorching heat in key agricultural regions pushes up prices for canola and corn

Dry-weather cooking of key agricultural areas, from America’s breadbasket to the grain regions of Brazil, is fueling a new surge in crop prices, from corn to canola. Stifling heat in the Canadian prairies stretching to the northern plains and parts of the Midwest is raising new concerns for crops as global supplies are already well balanced. The heat propelled corn futures to their highest level since mid-May, extended the rally in canola oil to a record high and pushed soybean prices up the most in more than three weeks . The heat of the past week has further depleted soil moisture already low in some growing areas of North America, and this was made worse by equally high temperatures over the weekend, said Tobin Gorey, agricultural strategist at the Commonwealth Bank of Australia. Drought is also hampering some Russian grain regions, and worsening drought has withered Brazil’s maize crop. Good conditions are needed throughout the northern hemisphere’s growing season to replenish global stocks depleted by record Chinese demand and previous weather problems. Heightened concerns about crops precede a monthly US Department of Agriculture report on Thursday, which analysts said will show further reduction in global stocks of wheat and corn. BLOOMBERG NEWS


Trump allies acquire cable networks as part of TV campaign

A group of investors led by Hicks Equity Partners, a firm with ties to the Republican National Committee and the Trumps, are taking over cable channels in an attempt to create a family-owned television empire. The buyers, calling themselves GAC Media, announced Monday the acquisition of Great American Country from Discovery Inc. The network, which is available in about 40 million homes, has sold for about $ 90 million, according to one person. close to the file. GAC Media has also acquired Ride TV, a 24-hour channel dedicated to equestrian sports. The effort is supported by the private equity arm of the Hicks family business and will be led by cable television veteran Bill Abbott. Previously, Abbott was President and CEO of Crown Media, owner of Hallmark Channel. Thomas Hicks Jr. is co-chair of the Republican National Committee and friend of Donald Trump Jr. GAC Media should not change the programming of either channel to focus on political commentary, said the person, who has asked not to be identified because the case is private. For Discovery, the sale is part of an effort to focus on the company’s biggest cable channels and explore options for its less watched, according to the person. Discovery, which is slated to merge with WarnerMedia next year, plans to turn its DIY network into a Magnolia network. The Hallmark Channel is perhaps best known for its annual Christmas Movie Marathon. Abbott left in January 2020 after a controversy on the Hallmark Channel removing ads featuring same-sex marriage. The network then reversed its decision and apologized. BLOOMBERG NEWS

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Joan Ferguson

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