DealBook Briefing: A Favorite Trump Bank Questioned Over Kushner Credit

Maybe that’s a reason it announced measures yesterday to encourage domestic spending, including tax cuts and infrastructure bonds.

Elsewhere in trade: Some Trump supporters hurt by tariffs still back the president. But the Department of Commerce has a backlog of tariff exemption requests. And here’s how zero-tariff trading worked for Caterpillar.

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Matt Rourke/Associated Press

Google’s answer to the $5.1 billion question

Alphabet is taking last week’s E.U. antitrust penalty in its stride. Google’s parent company announced its earnings yesterday, with revenue up 26 percent to $32.7 billion. It has absorbed the cost of the fine, it said, and still made $3.2 billion in its latest quarter. (It put a 2017 E.U. fine of $2.7 billion through its books in the same quarter last year, posting a $3.5 billion profit.)

Google still has to address the Android antitrust issues behind the fine. But it gave no indication that the E.U.’s demands would hurt its business. No wonder Alphabet’s stock rose 3.5 percent in after-hours trading overnight.

Pursuing Amazon over antitrust, for the wrong reasons

There are compelling reasons to monitor Amazon — and other platform companies like Google or Facebook — for antitrust issues. (Just ask the E.U.!) Among other things, they control infrastructure that rivals depend on. Concerns about that are gaining traction in Washington.

Yesterday, President Trump tweeted about the “antitrust claims which many feel should be brought” against Amazon. He also declared that the Washington Post, owned by Amazon’s C.E.O., Jeff Bezos, had “gone crazy” against him.

The implied threat puts Amazon’s antitrust critics in a tough spot, argues Joe Nocera of Bloomberg Opinion. Their big ideas about tech competition could play into the hands of a president “who has no qualms about using the instruments of government to try to harm people he doesn’t like.”

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Mike Blake/Reuters

Qualcomm’s big deal deadline closes in

At 11:59 p.m. on Wednesday, the American chip maker will know if its 20-month struggle to acquire the Dutch semiconductor company NXP was worth it.

It has approval from eight of nine relevant markets. Only China has yet to say yes. But NXP set a deadline. If Beijing hasn’t nodded by Wednesday, the deal is off, and Qualcomm doesn’t plan to request an extension.

Many observers blame trade tensions between America and China for the painful wait. Still, investors might not worry too much either way. Mike Walkley, an analyst at Canaccord Genuity, explained to Bloomberg that “the likely outcome is Qualcomm is going to walk away next week because China won’t approve it, and they’ll do a huge buyback.”

Revolving door

Leon Cooperman will wind down the hedge funds managed by his firm, Omega Advisors, and convert the company into a family office. (NYT)

Markus Duesmann, the purchasing chief at BMW, will leave for Volkswagen’s management board, perhaps destined to lead Audi. (Bloomberg)

Timothy Mayopoulos, chief executive of Fannie Mae, is expected to step down by the end of the year. (WSJ)

Tronc fired 40 editorial employees at the New York Daily News — half its newsroom. (NYT)

The speed read

Deals

■ A fund led by Richard Schottenfeld has acquired 5.7 percent of Barnes & Noble and wants to shake things up. (WSJ)

■ Dan Loeb’s Third Point has taken a stake in PayPal. (Bloomberg)

■ The speaker maker Sonos plans to raise as much as $264.1 million in its I.P.O. (Bloomberg)

■ The Russian billionaire Alisher Usmanov may sell his stake in the soccer club Arsenal. (FT)

Politics and policy

■ The Justice Department has broken up a multinational I.R.S. phone scam operation. (NYT)

■ The Senate must examine the Supreme Court nominee Brett Kavanaugh’s partisan record, argues Senator Patrick Leahy, Democrat of Vermont. (NYT)

■ Taking a lead from the U.S., foreign takeovers of British companies could soon face more government scrutiny if they present national security concerns. (FT)

Tech

■ Google is teaming up with Digital Asset, Blythe Masters’s blockchain start-up, to help add ledger technology to its cloud services. (Verge)

■ Russian hackers have successfully targeted utilities control rooms. (WSJ)

■ Cloud computing is already big business in America. It’s about to take off in China. (WSJ)

Best of the rest

■ Companies are starting to see opportunity in North Korea. (WSJ)

■ More than 7,000 Nike employees will get raises, after a pay review prompted by claims of misconduct and discrimination. (NYT)

■ China has another vaccine scandal, rattling public confidence in the government and the pharmaceutical industry. (NYT)

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2018-07-24 11:43:26 – Source: nytimes.com