The daily business briefing: April 26, 2022
Twitter accepts Elon Musk's $44 billion buyout offer, a judge holds Trump in civil contempt, and more
Twitter accepts Elon Musk's $44 billion takeover offer
Twitter announced Monday that it would accept Tesla CEO Elon Musk's $44 billion offer to buy the social media company and take it private. Musk launched his hostile takeover bid after scooping up about 9 percent of Twitter stock to become its biggest shareholder. He will pay Twitter investors $54.20 in cash for every share of their stock, a 38 percent premium over the price on the day he revealed his stake in the company. Twitter initially resisted but reexamined the offer after Musk announced he had lined up more than enough financing. He vowed to "unlock" the company's "tremendous potential" and reduce restrictions on free speech.
Judge holds Trump in civil contempt
A New York judge on Monday held former President Donald Trump in contempt of court for refusing to comply with a subpoena issued by state Attorney General Letitia James' office demanding documents for James' investigation into Trump's business practices. The judge, Arthur Engoron, imposed a $10,000-per-day fine until Trump hands over the material. James, a Democrat, has said that there is "significant evidence" that the former Republican president and his company, the Trump Organization, got economic benefits by relying "on misleading asset valuations." Lawyers for Trump and his business said they had already produced documents in response to the subpoena, and accused James of conducting a "political crusade" against Trump.
Ford CEO says automaker scaling up electric-pickup production
Ford CEO Jim Farley told CNBC on Monday that the company plans to scale up production of its electric F-150 Lightning pickup to 150,000 units in the next year or so, up from an initial 40,000-vehicle target. If Ford pulls it off, it will become the first automaker to produce a mainstream full-size electric pickup, and its output will far out-pace Rivian Automotive, General Motors, and other companies aiming for production not to exceed tens of thousands of electric pickups. "In this market, being a first mover is a very, very important move," Farley told CNBC. "We didn't know we'd be first, but we worked fast in case we were, and it's worked out that way. I think it could be one of the most important advantages we have."
SpaceX to provide Hawaiian Airlines with Starlink inflight internet service
Elon Musk's aerospace company SpaceX has reached a deal to provide Hawaiian Airlines flights with its Starlink satellite internet service, The Verge reported on Monday. SpaceX recently made a similar deal with charter carrier JSX. Both carriers said they planned to offer the Starlink-provided in-flight WiFi for free. Delta Air Lines has meanwhile begun running "exploratory" Starlink tests on its carriers in a further sign of a potential broad expansion of in-flight WiFi. The market has been dominated by slow-moving Viasat and Gogo. Starlink aims to disrupt the market with zippier download speeds up to 200 mb/s.
Stock futures edge lower ahead of tech earnings
U.S. stock futures fell slightly early Tuesday ahead of a flurry of first-quarter earnings reports from big technology companies. Futures tied to the Dow Jones Industrial Average, the S&P 500, and the Nasdaq were down just over 0.3 percent at 6:30 a.m. ET. The three main U.S. indexes bounced back from early losses to close higher on Monday as growth stocks, including several leading tech firms, gained as interest rates fell. Microsoft, Google-parent Alphabet, and Facebook-parent Meta rallied late in the trading day, as did Twitter after the social media company agreed to Tesla CEO Elon Musk's takeover offer. The Dow and the S&P 500 gained 0.7 percent and 0.6 percent, respectively, on Monday. The tech-heavy Nasdaq rose 1.3 percent.