• Sony Takes Writedown; Entertainment Revamp Begins
    There's no need for a spoiler alert on the direction big-ticket entertainment is taking but Sony's nearly $1 billion goodwill write-down on its movie business yesterday in advance of it Q3 earnings report later this week is an indication of how predictable the plots are becoming.
  • Tech Industry Reeling, Reacting To Trump Immigration Order
    As worldwide furor over the administration's temporary ban on admitting refugees and travelers from seven Muslim-majority countries grew over the weekend, President Donald Trump blamed the media for misrepresenting the action and insisted it was "not a ban on Muslims." Meanwhile, executives at a number of prominent companies - led by the tech industry - denounced the action even as Bloomberg reports the situation may get ever tougher for companies who rely on foreign workers.
  • Azure Skies For Microsoft's Cloud
    LinkedIn lost money in its first quarter as a member of the Microsoft family but overall Q2 2017 looked good with its Azure cloud computing business performing notably well, increasing 93% from a year ago. "Commercial cloud annualized revenue run rate exceeds $14.0 billion," crows the subhed on its release for its earnings for the three months ending Dec. 31.
  • J&J Acquiring Actelion For $30 Billion; R&D Spin-Off
    After an off-and-on-again pursuit, Johnson & Johnson this morning landed Swiss biotech company Actelion in a $30 billion all-cash deal unanimously approved by both boards. The two companies will host a Webcast/conference call to discuss the acquisition at 8 a.m. ET today here.
  • Trump Pushes 'Build Plants' Theme In F2F With Auto Execs
    President Donald Trump pressed his bring-jobs-home agenda yesterday in an hour-long breakfast summit at the White House with the CEOs of the Big Three and other auto industry executives while he also "[looked] to mend fences," as the Wall Street Journal headline puts it.
  • Judge Blocks Merger Of Aetna And Humana On Antitrust Grounds
    A federal judge ruled yesterday that the proposed $37 billion merger between Aetna and Humana would be anticompetitive, particularly when it comes to seniors in the Medicare Advantage marketplace. The ruling casts doubt on the likelihood that a similar pending alliance between Anthem and Cigna, already under fire on multiple fronts, will get a green light from the courts and regulators.
  • Samsung: We Take Responsibility But It's The Batteries' Fault
    In a press conference this morning, Samsung blamed two unnamed suppliers for the batteries that overheated and exploded in its subsequently recalled Galaxy Note 7 smartphone last year while admitting that it should have done more testing before the phones went on the market. Samsung's initial reaction to the problem last fall was heavily criticized.
  • Golf World Bawls Over Scarcity Of Costco Ball
    Consumers have fallen in love with Kirkland-branded golf balls but Costco can't get enough of them made to keep them on the shelves.
  • Netflix Has Boffo Q4 2016; Content, Global Rollout Pay Off
    Beating analysts' already high expectations, Netflix yesterday announced it had added 7.05 million subscribers in its final quarter for 2016, with more than 5 million of them from overseas. As it celebrates its tenth anniversary as a streaming service - it still ships DVDs by mail to 4.1 million diehards, by the way - it generated $8.3 billion in global streaming revenue and finished the year with 93.8 million subscribers in 190 countries.
  • Google's Margo Georgiadis Takes The Controller At Mattel
    Mattel has named Google's Americas president Margaret "Margo" Georgiadis as its new CEO. Long-time board member and former PepsiCo executive Christopher Sinclair, who has reinvigorated the toymaker as interim CEO since he replaced the ousted Bryan Stockton in 2015, will become executive chairman.
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