The daily business briefing: March 13, 2018
Trump blocks Broadcom's takeover of Qualcomm, Apple reportedly will buy the "Netflix of magazine publishing," and more
Trump blocks Broadcom's takeover of Qualcomm
President Trump on Monday night blocked Singapore-based chip-maker Broadcom's proposed $117 billion hostile takeover of U.S. rival Qualcomm. The Treasury Department's Committee on Foreign Investment in the U.S. had flagged the deal over national security concerns. Aimen Mir, a top Treasury official and member of the committee, suggested in a letter to both companies on Sunday that the panel was leaning toward recommending against a deal, saying the committee had "confirmed" the security risks. The Trump administration's wariness over the deal stemmed from fears that allowing the sale of a U.S.-based technology company as important as Qualcomm would give China a technological advantage and erode the U.S.'s edge in the semiconductor industry.
Apple to buy 'Netflix of magazine publishing'
Apple is buying the virtual newsstand Texture, known as the "Netflix of magazine publishing," Apple's senior vice president of internet software and services, Eddy Cue, said in a statement Monday. Texture gives readers access to roughly 200 magazines for a $9.99 monthly fee. Texture was formerly known as Next Issue, and is owned by Condé Nast, Hearst, Meredith, Rogers Media, and KKR. It is the latest in a series of Apple acquisitions that have included Spotify/Pandora competitor Beats for Apple Music, and BookLamp, which TechCrunch once referred to as the "Pandora for books." "We could not imagine a better home or future for the service," said John Loughlin, CEO of Next Issue Media/Texture, in a statement.
Stocks struggle for footing as investors weigh tariffs' impact
U.S. stocks were mixed on Monday, as President Trump's new tariffs on steel and aluminum weighed down industrial stocks but tech stocks gained, lifting the Nasdaq Composite index. "The big multinational, industrial companies of the world are all taking a hit on the concern that they will be the targets of reprisal sanctions," said Robert Phipps, a director at Per Stirling Capital Management in Austin. The Dow Jones Industrial Average fell by 0.6 percent, while the S&P 500 lost just 0.1 percent and the Nasdaq gained 0.4 percent. U.S. stock futures edged higher early Tuesday ahead of fresh inflation data.
Metropolitan Opera fires conductor James Levine over evidence of sexual abuse
The Metropolitan Opera in New York on Monday fired conductor James Levine after an investigation found evidence to support allegations of sexual abuse and harassment. Levine, 74, became a leading figure in classical music at the Met, where he made his debut in 1971. He served as artistic director from 1976 until two years ago, when he stepped down due to Parkinson's disease. He continued to head a young artists program, but was suspended in December after news reports of sexual misconduct allegations dating back decades. The Met said an investigation "uncovered credible evidence" supporting the allegations, so it would be "inappropriate and impossible" for him to continue working at the Met.
CNBC's Larry Kudlow leads candidates to be Trump's top economic adviser
CNBC television commentator Larry Kudlow has emerged as the latest favorite to replace the outgoing Gary Cohn as President Trump's top economic adviser, The New York Times reported Monday, citing three people close to the president. Kudlow has already served informally as an adviser to Trump on economic matters. Kudlow has not formally received an offer to head the National Economic Council, but people familiar with the discussions said he likely would be interviewed soon. Kudlow declined to comment on the report that he was the lead contender. "I can't talk to you," he said. Cohn quit after losing a battle against Trump's plan to impose steel and aluminum tariffs, which Kudlow also argued against.