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4:15 a.m. Nov. 12, 2020 - By Tomi Kilgore
Altria to convert its non-voting JUUL shares to voting shares, but will remain a 'passive investor'Altria Group Inc. said it has chosen to convert the non-voting shares of e-cigarette company JUUL Labs Inc. it owns to voting shares. Altria said, however, that it does not intend to exercise its rights as part of the conversion to elect directors to JUUL's board, or to use its voting power other than as a "passive investor," pending the outcome of litigation with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission. In December 2018, for $12.8 billon, with conversion to voting shares contingent on antitrust clearance. In April 2020, . Altria's stock, which slipped 0.4% in premarket trading, has dropped 20.3% year to date, while the SPDR Consumer Staples Select Sector ETF has gained 6.1% and the S&P 500 has advanced 10.6%.
4:53 a.m. Oct. 17, 2020 - By Jonathan Burton
Jim Steyer: Only a breakup of Facebook and controls on social media can reduce disinformation and lies on the internet Neither Big Tech’s response nor the law have been strong enough to shield users from harm, says the founder of Common Sense MediaNeither Big Tech’s internal response nor the law have been strong enough to shield users from harm, says the founder of Common Sense Media.
10:11 a.m. Oct. 1, 2020 - Associated Press
Senate committee set to subpoena Facebook’s Zuckerberg, Twitter’s Dorsey, Google’s Pichai Hate speech, misinformation and perceived political bias on the internet platforms to be topics explored in testimony by Silicon Valley titansHate speech, misinformation and perceived political bias on the internet platforms to be topics explored in testimony by tech titans.
9:20 a.m. Aug. 4, 2020 - By Jon Swartz
Antitrust questions bruise but don’t break Big Tech CEOs in historic hearing After three hours of questions, expert calls hearing ‘a mix of antitrust ambush and political grandstanding’It was a bruising day tech’s biggest names on Capitol Hill.
4:19 a.m. July 29, 2020 - By Jon Swartz
Congress has a million-plus documents from Big Tech antitrust investigation, and are ready to grill big-name CEOs Bezos, Cook, Pichai and Zuckerberg will testify remotely Wednesday before House antitrust panelFor more than a year, the federal government has circled Big Tech and its business practices. On Wednesday, members of the House of Representatives will roll out evidence their staffs have found and put pressure directly on some of the most prominent executives in the world.
7:33 a.m. July 14, 2020 - By Jon Swartz
Big Tech’s latest reckoning is coming as it continues to rack up record valuationsThe steep ascent of Big Tech, which is fueling a resurgent stock market despite a deepening pandemic, underscores the enduring power of the industry as consumption of it escalates in a work-from-home economy.
2:30 p.m. July 1, 2020 - By Jon Swartz
CEOs of Alphabet, Amazon, Apple and Facebook to testify before Congress in late July: reportThe chief executives of Google parent Alphabet Inc. , Amazon.com Inc. , Apple Inc. , and Facebook Inc. have agreed to testify before Congress on antitrust issues in late July, Rep. David Cicilline, D-R.I., chairman of the House Judiciary Antitrust Subcommittee, told tech journalist Kara Swisher late Wednesday. The office of Rep. Jerry Nadler, D-N.Y., confirmed the hearing with NBC News. Cicilline's office was not immediately available for comment. Amazon has previously said it would make CEO Jeff Bezos available to testify this summer. Facebook declined comment. Alphabet and Apple were not immediately available for comment. The four companies are the subject of investigations by the Department of Justice and Federal Trade Commission into their business practices and the substantial clout they wield over the tech industry and the economy.
8:45 a.m. April 29, 2020 - By Ciara Linnane
Juul Labs plans to cut about a third of staff as e-cigarette sales fall: WSJE-cigarette maker Juul Labs Inc. is planning to cut about a third of its staff as sales are hurt by regulatory crackdowns and falling market share, the reported on Wednesday, citing people familiar with the matter. The San Franciso-based company is planning to cut 800 to 950 workers in a broader restructuring plan, the people said. The company already cut 650 jobs in late 2019 because if was forced to stop selling favored products that were popular with teens and blamed for a surge in teenage vaping. Tobacco giant Altria Group Inc. acquired a 35% stake in Juul in 2018 for $12.8 billion. The value of that stake has shrunk as regulators have stepped up and Altria booked in the fourth quarter. On April 1, the Federal Trade Commission sued to unwind Altria's investment, claiming it violated antitrust laws. The FTC alleges that Altria, seeing Juul as a significant competitor, agreed to wind down its e-cigarette business in exchange for a stake in Juul, and agreed to leverage its position as one of the largest tobacco companies to get Juul favorable shelf space at retailers across the U.S. "Altria and Juul turned from competitors to collaborators by eliminating competition and sharing in Juul's profits," the FTC said in a statement. Altria shares were up 1.4% Wednesday, but have fallen 17% in the year to date, while the S&P 500 has fallen 9%.
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