Financial Daily Dose 2.12.2020 | Top Story: Big Tech Antitrust Update

group of executives meeting in office

Big-Tech/Antitrust Update: the FTC has demanded information from Inc., Apple Inc., Facebook Inc., Microsoft Corp., and Alphabet Inc. regarding acquisitions of small firms over the past 10 years that may have been too small to trigger antitrust review. This analysis of Big Tech’s “kill zones” may lead to future changes in how the FTC reviews acquisitions by big companies. – WSJ and Bloomberg

Mobile World Congress (MWC) Barcelona 2020, the wireless industry’s top annual event, faces potential cancellation due to the coronavirus outbreak. – Bloomberg and WSJ

The UK has hired a watchdog to oversee and fine social media companies like Facebook and Twitter should they fail to take down “harmful content such as images of child abuse and material inciting violence.” – Bloomberg

U.S. officials announce that Huawei Technologies Co. can access mobile-phone networks through “back doors” used by law enforcement. This announcement provides further support for the U.S. to fight Huawei’s continued effort to take market share in both the U.S. and Europe. – WSJ

Germany’s Chancellor, Angela Merkel, recognizing the importance of Chinese business to the European economy, has refused to completely ban Huawei’s business. – Bloomberg

The coronavirus could cost the American tourism industry $5.8 billion in airfare and domestic spending this year. – WSJ

The coronavirus has led to lower demand for oil from China, the world’s largest importer of oil. Futures were up on Wednesday, however, on hopes that the spread of the virus was slowing. – WSJ and Bloomberg

The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) admitted to violating its own rules when it failed to ensure that Southwest Airlines Co. “complied with mandatory maintenance standards while incorporating 88 used jets into its fleet.” The same FAA office routinely failed to oversee the verified takeoff weights of Southwest jets. – WSJ and Bloomberg

Vice Media Group faces issues paying back the private-equity firm, TPG, that invested $450 million in 2017. Vice’s new CEO inherited the company’s financial troubles and “has tried to remedy the problems by diversifying the company away from relying on advertising sales.” The company still has potential, shoring up some of its losses in 2019. WSJ

Nissan Motor Co. sued Carlos Ghosn in a Japanese court this week, seeking $90 million in damages for Mr. Ghosn’s alleged wrongdoing. Nissan’s most recent claim looks to recover costs related to the company’s investigation into Mr. Ghosn. You may remember a Daily Dose mentioning Mr. Ghosn fleeing to Lebanon from Japan in December of last year. – WSJ and Bloomberg

Robo-analysts may soon take Wall Street jobs, while making you a bit of money. – Bloomberg

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