Media: Apple’s hard bargain for publishers
Apple is planning to give publishers only 50 percent of the revenue from a planned paid-subscription news service, said Benjamin Mullin in The Wall Street Journal. The $10-a-month service, dubbed a “Netflix for news,” would let users read an unlimited amount of content from participating outlets. But Apple has run into “resistance from major publishers.” Outlets such as The New York Times and The Washington Post have proved reluctant to let Apple keep so much revenue—as well as the customer data and credit card numbers that “build their own customer databases and market their products to readers.”
China: More time to make a deal
President Trump said he’s open to extending the March 1 deadline to raise tariffs on Chinese products if he feels the two sides are close to a deal, said Saleha Mohsin in Bloomberg.com. The two countries began their latest round of talks this week, and Trump aides say they need to demonstrate “credible progress” to both the president and financial markets. But “Trump’s comments are the strongest indication that he’s willing to give the Chinese more time” to secure “binding commitments.” An extension could pave the way for a meeting between Trump and Chinese President Ji Xinping to cement an agreement.
Finance: Rolling back payday loan limits
Regulators “proposed Wednesday to significantly water down tough pending rules on payday and other short-term loans,” said Jim Puzzanghera in the Los Angeles Times. The proposal comes from the new director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, an agency whose mission the White House has viewed with distrust. The move would roll back rules passed in 2017 to limit payday lending. Some 12 million Americans take out such loans each year; the loans typically carry a 15 percent initial fee, but costs can add up, with an interest rate that’s “actually 300 percent or more,” if the loan isn’t repaid quickly.
Fast food: Burger King’s Big Mac gambit
Burger King revamped its menus in Sweden this month after McDonald’s lost the trademark on its Big Mac in the European Union, said Taylor Telford in The Washington Post. In January, the EU’s intellectual property office decided McDonald’s had not proved “genuine use” of the Big Mac name following a dispute with a small Irish fast-food chain, Supermac’s. Burger King seized the opening, filling its Swedish menus with snarky references to its competitor, such as “Kind of Like a Big Mac, but Juicier and Tastier.”