Financial Daily Dose 8.14.2020 | Top Story: Top Story: Apple Removes Fortnite from App Store; Epic Games Responds with Lawsuit

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Apple has removed spectacularly popular video game Fortnite from its App Store after accusing maker Epic Games of violating App Store Guidelines. Specifically, Epic has been encouraging users to make app payments directly to Epic rather than going through Apple or Google (where the tech giants take a 30% fee), citing Apple’s alleged “unreasonable restraints” and “unlawful[] 100% monopoly over the iOS In-App Payment Processing Market” – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Epic wasted little time in responding – NYTimes and MarketWatch

German automaker (and Mercedes-Benz parent) Daimler has agreed to pay up $2.2 billion to resolve accusations that its cars and vans sold in the U.S. were “programmed to cheat on emissions test.” Though large, the penalty is but “a fraction of the more than $20 billion that Volkswagen paid in the United States to settle” civil and criminal charges related to its own emissions cheating scandal – NYTimes and Law360

Small bit of good news (though it’s all relative these days) for the U.S. employment market, as initial jobless claims fell below 1 million for the first time since March, “suggesting the labor-market recovery is regaining steam”  – WSJ and Marketplace

Still, the Commerce Department’s retail sales figures are expected to show a tightening of US retail spending after several months of gains – WSJ

Senior Labor Department lawyer Jane Herold has filed a complaint with a federal investigative agency accusing Labor Secretary Eugene Scalia of retaliating against her after she objected to his “intervention in a pay discrimination case against Oracle, a tech giant with close White House connections” – NYTimes

SoftBank just can’t quit WeWork. An internal memo at the shared-office-space company shows that Masa Son & Co. are pumping another $1.1 billion into the venture in the form of senior secured debt financing – Bloomberg

Former Hertz CEO and Chair Mark Frissora has reached a deal with the SEC in which he’ll pay $2.1 million to settle charges “that he misrepresented the company’s financial forecast . . .  in 2013 and 2014 by pressuring staff to make the company look better during a time of financial and operational challenges” – Law360 and WSJ

Fat Brands, the owner of the Fatburger chain of restaurants, has acquired the Johnny Rockets chain for $25 million, “widening its holdings to about 700 locations across nine chains when the deal is completed next month” – WSJ

AIG appears to be positioning current president and chief exec of its General Insurance unit, Peter Zaffino, to succeed current CEO Brian Duperreault by announcing that Zaffino will had off his control of the unit to David McElroy. Zaffino has helped turn around the “long-underperforming” General Insurance unit over the past year – WSJ

This was so much of what I needed on a Friday. Priya back on video. Plenty of nods to Seth Bakes. Organizational expert Faith’s genuine tears of joy over homemade ice cream. All that AND a lazy Susan right in the fridge.  Top notch all around – NYTimes

Have a great weekend and stay safe,
MDR

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