Big Tech is finding little support in Washington. A House panel early Thursday approved far-reaching legislation to curb the market dominance of tech giants including Amazon and Facebook Inc. The measure, the centerpiece of a six-bill package, aims to bar the companies from favoring their own products in a range of circumstances on their platforms. The tech firms will take the battle over the proposed regulations and oversight to the House floor and Senate. Amazon shares lost 1.6% Thursday.
Apparently the Universal Music spinoff was also music to the ears of Vivendi’s shareholders. With more than 99% approval, the deal brings the world’s largest music company a step closer to becoming its own public company. The plan includes distributing 60% of Universal’s shares to existing Vivendi shareholders and listing the company on the Euronext Amsterdam stock exchange on Sept. 21. Universal, home to stars including Taylor Swift, Queen and the Beatles, commands some 40% market share in the U.S. recorded music business and operates the world’s second-largest music publishing company. American depositary shares of Vivendi added 0.2%.
Amazon’s customers aren’t the only ones taking action during the company’s annual Prime Day event, which was held Monday and Tuesday. Rivals are, too. Target held its “Deal Days” Sunday through Tuesday, while Walmart held a “Deals for Days” event that ended Wednesday. As Amazon’s price-slashing event has grown, so has its importance to competitors looking to capitalize on the shopping blitz. The summer sales are designed to create a revenue surge for retailers during a time of year when sales can slow.
Best Buy Co.
and others also promoted sales events. Target shares rose 1.5% Tuesday.
American Airlines is clipping its wings this summer. The airline rapidly increased trips to meet a surge in travel demand, but is now trimming about 1% of planned flying in the first half of July to alleviate potential strains on its operations. It is the latest sign of how tricky it has been for airlines to scale up after a year of depressed demand. Travel demand has returned more sharply than many airline executives anticipated. Cutting some flights will also alleviate pressure on maintenance and mean there will be a bigger pool of pilots on reserve, providing a buffer when needed. American Airlines shares dropped 1.5% Tuesday.
Sanderson Farms Inc.
Poultry giant Sanderson Farms is hatching plans for a sale. It tapped Centerview Partners for advice on potential buyers and has interest from suitors including agricultural investment firm Continental Grain Co., which owns a smaller chicken processor. Demand for chicken breasts, wings and other products has increased as Covid-19 restrictions lift and restaurants reopen, boosting sales and prices. Consumers have also continued spending more on groceries as many are still working from home due to the pandemic. Sanderson Farms shares jumped 10% Tuesday.
FedEx is fed up with delivery delays. The packing giant on Thursday announced plans to raise spending by 22% to add capacity to its network, after a surge in e-commerce packages caused ground delivery delays and left some freight customers without service. The pandemic has strained shipping companies of all sorts, but FedEx has lagged behind rivals in keeping deliveries on-time this year. FedEx has struggled to find enough workers, and said it would focus on improving its network over the summer to prepare for the peak shipping season at the end of the year. Earlier this month, FedEx suspended about 1,400 customers of its Freight shipping service, in an attempt to ease its congested network. FedEx shares fell 3.6% Friday.
Nike just scored a record. Nike on Thursday posted its best-ever quarterly sales, topping $12 billion for the first time in its 50-year history, thanks to pent-up U.S. consumer demand for sneakers and sportswear. Nike’s direct sales—those items ordered through its apps, websites or own stores—climbed 73% to $4.5 billion. During the pandemic, sales were depressed while many professional and youth sports were halted. Nike temporarily closed its retail stores and continued to pay its workers, and doubled down on digital sales while shoppers were confined to their homes. Nike shares jumped 16% Friday.
Write to Francesca Fontana at [email protected]
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