DealBook Briefing: A Modest Proposal on Remington for Gun Control Advocates

• Any settlements won’t limit what people can say about their experience.

“Our message to the world is that we need to turn the lights on,” Tony West, Uber’s chief legal officer, wrote in a blog post.

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Les Moonves, CBS’s C.E.O.

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Drew Angerer/Getty Images

What CBS’s declaration of war against Shari Redstone means

In suing Ms. Redstone to preserve the independence of his board, Les Moonves may have put his job as CBS’s C.E.O. on the line. If the lawsuit fails, Ms. Redstone could replace directors and installing a new chieftain. (Whether she would is another matter.)

CBS believes it can win in Delaware’s Court of Chancery, and that it has a good chance of ultimately issuing a special dividend that would dilute the Redstones’ voting stake from 79 percent to 17 percent. Ms. Redstone is equally sure that the courts won’t let that happen to a controlling shareholder with clear rights.

The context: CBS and Viacom had been making progress in merger negotiations. But they were still far apart on management of the combined company.

Of note: One of the plaintiffs in CBS’s lawsuit is Martha Minow, the former Harvard Law School dean whom Ms. Redstone placed on the board last year.

Critics’ corner: It’s a clash of egos, says Jennifer Saba of Breakingviews. Investors have reason to celebrate (unless the company’s gambit fails), argues Elizabeth Winkler of Heard on the Street. Mr. Moonves might be making a huge mistake, writes Tara Lachapelle of Bloomberg Opinion.

Elsewhere in deals: Fujifilm won’t sweeten its bid for Xerox; here’s how Carl Icahn beat it. Sears is exploring a potential sale of assets. Two Canadian medical marijuana companies agreed a $2.5 billion merger.

The political flyaround

• Moguls like Paul Singer of Elliott Management and Ken Griffin of Citadel have reportedly cut donations to Republicans because of the tax overhaul treats hedge funds. (CNN)

• How Michael Cohen shed light on the “shadow lobbying” industry. (FT)

• The Trump administration defended its revised plans to lower drug prices, which critics say would have little effect. (NYT)

• Ben Bernanke and Stanley Fischer are among the Fed alumni who support appointing Richard Clarida as No. 2 there. Another Fed nominee, Michelle Bowman, plans to criticize postcrisis banking regulations at her Senate confirmation hearing.

• Senators led by Susan Collins of Maine introduced a bill to halt tariffs on Canadian paper imports. (Bloomberg)

• The White House and the E.P.A. blocked publication of a study on the effects of water contamination. The E.P.A.’s internal watchdog said that Scott Pruitt demanded a 24-hour security detail from Day 1.

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Joe Raedle/Getty Images

ZTE shows Trump’s swing away from trade hard-liners

Now we know why President Trump offered to save the Chinese telecom company: to convince China to lift restrictions on U.S. agricultural exports. That’s counter to the approach favored by the likes of Peter Navarro, a trade adviser, and the U.S. trade representative, Bob Lighthizer.

It also reportedly reflects a loss of influence for Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross, whose department Mr. Trump directed to explore alternatives to ZTE sanctions.

Other potential winners from the move: Qualcomm, whose takeover of NXP Semiconductors will be reviewed again by Chinese regulators, and JPMorgan Chase, which hopes to expand in China.

Elsewhere in trade: Senators dropped a plan for national security reviews of outbound investments by U.S. companies.

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The sports book at the South Point hotel and casino in Las Vegas.

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John Locher/Associated Press

What’s next for sports gambling

After the Supreme Court legalized a line of business already estimated to bring in $150 billion of bets each year, a swath of industries is figuring out how to cash in.

Tom Rogers, the chairman of the mobile sports betting start-up WinView (and former TiVo C.E.O.), told Michael that broadcasters like ESPN could use online betting to bolster falling ratings:

Those players are the ones hurting and are dealing with declining metrics. This provides a possible opportunity. We’ll be talking with them.

Other potential winners: Sports leagues. States like New Jersey. And DraftKings and FanDuel, obviously. (Buy Lex recommends shorting the mafia.)

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Richard Drew/Associated Press

Interpreting the Goldman trading shake-up

At the Wall Street giant’s fabled securities division, two of the three top executives, Pablo Salame and Isabelle Ealet, are preparing to retire. It’s a sign of how the operation has struggled — and how the bank’s power center continues to tilt away from trading.

Sarah Butcher of eFinancialcareers had a more acerbic take:

For a firm which likes to clear out its bottom 5 percent of performers annually, Goldman seemed strangely wedded to its underperforming senior partners.

Elsewhere in finance: Hedge fund moguls like Dan Loeb love the Robin Hood Foundation, but it has backed nonprofits that have protested their industry. The former head of JPMorgan Chase’s blockchain team, Amber Baldet, has unveiled a blockchain start-up, Clovyr.

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Protesters in Seattle campaigning for a business tax that Amazon opposed.

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Gregory Scruggs/Reuters

The tech flyaround

• Under pressure from Amazon, Seattle scaled back its forthcoming tax on big businesses. Under pressure from employees, the company agreed to a rule to improve its board’s diversity. It’s also testing an advertising tool to challenge Google.

• WhatsApp is playing a central role in India’s elections. (NYT)

• After Cambridge Analytica and Europe’s new privacy rules, some advertisers are questioning Facebook’s value to them. And the company’s investigation into data privacy abuses has blocked some 200 apps.

• Tesla reportedly rejected a plan to give its Autopilot feature sensors to check drivers were paying attention. The company said it would “flatten” its management structure.

• New Enterprise Associates is reportedly planning to sell roughly $1 billion worth of stakes in start-ups to a new venture firm it would create. (WSJ)

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Bill O’Reilly

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Andy Kropa/Invision, via Associated Press

Revolving door

Bill O’Reilly is reportedly in advanced talks to return to TV — at Newsmax. (Page Six)

Vittorio Colao, Vodafone’s C.E.O. for a decade, plans to step down in October, after engineering its $22 billion Liberty Global deal. (Bloomberg)

Ted Eliopoulos, chief investment officer of the Calpers public pension fund and the architect of its move away from hedge funds, plans to retire at year end to move to New York for family reasons. (Institutional Investor)

• Two directors at Wynn Resorts, John Hagenbuch and Robert Miller, have resigned. (Bloomberg)

The speed read

• A U.S. federal judge looks likely to award the Justice Department a $250 million yacht. It’s owned by Low Taek Jho, a Malaysian financier caught up in the 1MDB scandal. (Bloomberg)

• The best-paid C.E.O.s don’t necessarily run the best-performing companies. (WSJ)

• Can robots help both employers and employees? In some industries, probably yes. (WSJ)

• Royal Dutch Shell’s takeover of an English energy start-up shows how oil giants are remaking themselves. (NYT)

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2018-05-15 12:32:00 – Source: nytimes.com