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3/12/21: What’s Going On

News from around the business world.
(Jonathan Weiss)
(Jonathan Weiss)
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“Verizon Communications Inc. is raising $25 billion in new debt to help it settle a bill for spectrum licenses coming due this month. The cellphone carrier in February won more than half of the wireless airwaves offered in a U.S. government auction and pledged $45.5 billion for them, plus roughly $8 billion in additional clearing payments to help existing license users move to other bands. The new spectrum rights could help Verizon expand the reach and bandwidth of its fifth-generation wireless offering.”

“Newspapers, TV stations and other news outlets that have seen their revenue siphoned away by online platforms could get an assist from Congress under legislation that a House panel will begin considering on Friday. If passed, the legislation would grant news organizations a four-year exemption from antitrust laws to band together to negotiate compensation from online platforms that use their content, including Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.”

“Europe’s fight against Covid-19 is stuck in midwinter, even as spring and vaccinations spur hope of improvement in the U.S. and U.K. Contagion is rising again in much of the European Union, despite months of restrictions on daily life, as more-virulent virus strains outpace vaccinations. A mood of gloom and frustration is settling on the continent, and governments are caught between their promises of progress and the bleak epidemiological reality.”

Companies Raising Capital
NameAmountDescriptions
Assembled$16.6 MillionAn Operating System For Support Teams
Legl$7 MillionHelping Law Firms Upgrade Digital Workflows

“Canada’s labor market roared back to life in February after authorities began lifting lockdowns. The economy added 259,200 jobs, Statistics Canada reported Friday in Ottawa, well ahead of economist expectations for a 75,000 gain.”

“Instacart added Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman to its board, a move that seems likely aimed at preparing the company to go public. Slootman has taken three companies public—Snowflake last fall, and before that, ServiceNow and Data Domain.”

“President Biden pressed states to widen Covid-19 vaccine eligibility to all U.S. adults by May 1, calling for an all-hands effort to defeat the coronavirus to set the stage for small gatherings during Independence Day weekend.”

“Rakuten, Amazon’s main rival in Japan, said it will raise 242 billion yen ($2.2 billion) by selling its shares to Chinese internet giant Tencent and U.S. retailer Walmart as well as Japan Post, a postal and financial services group.”

“Larry Culp voluntarily gave up his salary after Covid-19 struck and also declined his cash bonus, yet the General Electric Co. boss last year received a special stock award that at the end of 2020 was valued at more than $100 million.”

“Simon Hu, Chief Executive of Ant Group Co., resigned on Friday, citing personal reasons, amid heightened scrutiny over the Chinese financial-technology behemoth.”

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