The daily business briefing: July 12, 2018

Harold Maass
Papa John's pizza boxes
Joe Raedle/Getty Images
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Papa John's founder resigns as chairman over N-word use

Papa John's founder and former CEO John Schnatter resigned as chairman of the pizza chain's board on Wednesday after admitting to using a racial slur during a May conference call. Before stepping down, Schnatter acknowledged and apologized for using the N-word in a call with Laundry Service, a marketing agency he hired to bolster his image after a backlash over his criticism of National Football League protests. Forbes reported that Schnatter had noted during the call that KFC never faced fallout even though "Colonel Sanders called blacks n-----s." News of Schnatter's resignation broke shortly after Major League Baseball reportedly suspended its Papa Slam promotion. Shares of Papa John's fell by as much as 5.9 percent to a one-year low on Wednesday. [CNBC, Forbes]


Comcast raises bid for Sky to top Fox offer

Comcast on Wednesday hiked its bid for Britain's Sky pay-TV group to $34 billion, topping the latest offer from Rupert Murdoch's 21st Century Fox. The increase in Comcast's all-cash came a day after Fox raised its offer to $32.5 billion, a 12 percent premium over Comcast's previous offer. Fox has been trying to buy the 61 percent of Sky it doesn't already own since December 2016. Comcast said that Sky's independent directors had recommended its bid. The battle over Sky is part of a larger industry scrum to pair content and distribution resources to compete with streaming video giants Netflix and Amazon. [Reuters]


Twitter moves to purge suspected bot accounts

Twitter will purge tens of millions of fake or suspicious accounts starting Thursday. The move comes in the wake of a January New York Times investigation into a follower farm, which Twitter executives say inspired the company to crack down on fake accounts. Because high follower counts often beget influence in the real world, aspiring influencers would purchase followers en masse, the Times says, and advertisers who sponsored posts with these supposedly influential users soon realized not every follower was a real person and they weren't reaching the numbers they were paying for. Meanwhile, real followers' influence was watered down by bots and phony accounts. Twitter began locking millions of questionable accounts this spring. [The New York Times]


Judge approves revised plan for Weinstein Co. sale

A Delaware judge on Wednesday approved a revised plan for the sale of the Weinstein Co. assets, bringing the price for the former studio of disgraced film producer Harvey Weinstein down to $289 million from $310 million. Attorneys negotiated the price cut as more rape and other sexual misconduct allegations surfaced against Weinstein. As part of the settlement, the Dallas-based private equity firm buying the movie studio, Lantern Capital, agreed to pay $8.75 million to satisfy existing contractual claims and pay the company's operating expenses since June 29, in exchange for the price cut. The sale is expected to close this Friday. [The Associated Press]


Broadcom agrees to buy CA Technologies for $18.9 billion

Broadcom announced late Wednesday that it had agreed to buy software maker CA Technologies for $18.9 billion. The move marked the first major acquisition for the powerful semiconductor company since the Trump administration blocked its $117 billion bid for Qualcomm in March. The administration cited national security concerns, saying letting Qualcomm, a leading American maker of smartphone chips and wireless technology, be purchased by the then-Singapore-based company could bolster China's strength in a key strategic industry. Broadcom is offering CA Technologies shareholders $44.50 per share, a 20 percent premium over the stock's Wednesday closing price. [The New York Times]