Markets: Amazon shares dive on Trump threat
Amazon shed more than $53 billion in market value on Wednesday after Axios.com reported that President Trump is “obsessed” with the e-commerce giant and wants to “go after it,” said Jacob Pramuk in CNBC.com. Trump has talked to advisers about changing Amazon’s tax treatment or pursuing it on antitrust grounds since his friends in the real estate industry told him that the company is “killing shopping malls and brick-and-mortar retailers,” Axios.com said. Trump has also repeatedly “railed against” Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and The Washington Post, which is owned by Bezos, for news coverage he deems unfair.
Retail: Grocery chains file for bankruptcy
“The new era of grocery just claimed its first victims,” said Caitlin Dewey in The Washington Post. Southeastern Grocers, the owner and operator of more than 600 Winn-Dixie, Harvey’s, and Bi-Lo stores in seven Southeastern states, has announced its intention to file for bankruptcy, weeks after Tops Markets, a 56-year-old chain with 169 stores in New York, Pennsylvania, and Vermont, filed for Chapter 11. The “back-to-back filings” have raised fears that a slew of smaller chains won’t survive the upheaval in the grocery industry, which is being squeezed by discount and online competitors, from Dollar General to Amazon.
Banking: Citigroup takes a stand on gun control
Citigroup announced last week that it will impose restrictions on firearm sales by its business partners, “becoming the first major U.S. bank to take a financial stand in the growing national debate over gun control,” said Kevin McCoy in USA Today. The New York–based bank will now insist its clients bar gun sales to people under 21 as well as to people who haven’t passed a background check. The policy applies to Citigroup’s small business, commercial, and institutional clients that “borrow funds, use banking services, or raise capital through the bank.”
Tech: Google loses appeal in Oracle case
Google has been defeated in “a major copyright case that could cost it billions of dollars and change how tech companies approach software development,” said Danielle Wiener-Bronner in CNN.com. An appeals court ruled this week that Google “violated copyright laws” when it used Oracle’s open-source Java software to build the Android platform in 2009. Oracle initially took action against Google in 2010, asserting that Android infringed two Java patents. Seven years of legal wrangling and several overturned court verdicts led to this week’s result. Another court will now determine how many billions Google owes in damages.