Financial Daily Dose 12.05.2019 | Top Story: CBS and Viacom Finalize Deal to Reunite Media Empire

Robins Kaplan LLP

Robins Kaplan LLP

CBS and Viacom are back together again. The deal to reunite the former partners, which closed late yesterday, was pushed by National Amusements’ chief Shari Redstone since 2016 and hasted along recently by the precipitous fall from grace of CBS’ Les Moonves last year – NYTimes and Bloomberg

The OCC has “rebuked” Wells Fargo’s HR department over a “massive backlog of employee complaints and compensation structures that don’t do enough to prevent the kind of behavior that led to its 2016 fake-account scandal” – WSJ

Following a clash with Board Chair Barry Diller, Expedia’s CEO and COO have resigned from the travel company. Company stock has fallen some 12% in 2019 as the operation has struggled with the fallout of changed Google search functions that has dramatically altered Expedia’s number of free links on the search engine – WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Federal Trade Commission authorities are broadening their antitrust probe of Amazon, reportedly interviewing a series of software companies about “practices around Amazon’s cloud unit, known as Amazon Web Services.” AWS currently “dominates the market for foundational cloud-computing technology” – Bloomberg

Billionaire hedge funder (and accused insider trader) Steve Cohen appears poised to take a larger stake in the New York Mets. Cohen became a minority owner in 2012 after the Wilpon family faced financial difficulties in the wake of the Madoff Ponzi scheme – NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

Some thoughts from Big Tech inquisitor Kara Swisher on what Sundar Pichai’s elevation to Alphabet CEO means for the future of that company and Google – NYTimes

Beleaguered utility company PG&E is nearing a deal with victims of wildfires ignited by its powerlines that looks to be worth upwards of $13.5 billion, “a key step toward resolving the biggest utility bankruptcy in U.S. history” – Bloomberg and MarketWatch

MarketWatch hoists a huge red flag concerning the U.S. repo market citing insiders who warn that the Fed’s recent raft of injections “are not a lasting solution” to a “broken” system – MarketWatch

New analysis is revealing a correlation between value stocks and bond yields that simply didn’t exist a decade ago and that has only “become more pronounced” since 2016. In short, value stocks now “perform better when the yield curve gets steeper, meaning the difference between long- and short-term government bond yields widens” – WSJ

Italian tax authorities are accusing Fiat Chrysler of underestimating the value of its American business by $5.6 billion, “presenting the carmaker with a potentially hefty bill as it prepares to merger with French rival PSA Group.” The claims stem from an audit of Fiat’s 2014 acquisition of Chrysler and the restricting that occurred immediately after that deal – Bloomberg

I’m admittedly late to the Claire Saffitz party, so let me remedy that by lobbying for a regular Bon Appetit buddy comedy show with her and “It’s Alive” host Brad Leone. This is just a bunch of good stuff – BonAppetit

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Robins Kaplan LLP

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