Financial Daily Dose 2.18.2021 | Top Story: Google Caves to New Aussie Law, Will Pay for Shared News Content Down Under

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Robins Kaplan LLP

Your Big Tech vs. Australia update: after raising a “well, then, no search engine for you” fuss in response to the country’s proposed law requiring tech giants to “pay news organizations for the news articles that are shared on their networks,” Google has folded—“unveiling a three-year global agreement with Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp to pay for the publisher’s news content, one of several such deals it has announced recently where it appears to be effectively capitulating to publishers’ demands.” Facebook, on the other hand, announced on Wednesday that it would “restrict people and publishers from sharing or viewing links in Australia” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and TechCrunch

Sooooo . . . . What about everywhere else? - NYTimes and WSJ

U.S. retail sales rose 5.3% in January—“far higher than analysts and economists expected”—likely fueled by additional $600 stimulus checks mailed out at the end of 2020 - NYTimes and WSJ and Marketplace

A bit of speculation about what the SEC and Congress may do to address the “fallout from frenetic trading in GameStop” shares and what to expect at the House Committee on Financial Services’ hearing on the matter later today – WSJ and NYTimes and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360

Oh, and keep an eye out for Citadel’s Ken Griffin at that hearing, taking particular note of the “two distinct roles his companies played” in the “two-week trading frenzy that created and destroyed billions in wealth.” Namely, there’s the Citadel hedge fund, which nominally lost money on its GameStop hedge. And then there’s Citadel Securities, the “wholesale broker that says it handles more than a quarter of all stock trading in the United States” and did “brisk business” amidst the GameStop furor - NYTimes

The Times on the Biden administration’s “short leash” when it comes to China and the tariffs, national security blacklisting, and technology export bans that have marked the past 4 years of Sino-American relations - NYTimes

The latest from the coming Theranos fraud trial of founder Elizabeth Holmes, including the expected testimony from the company’s former lab director that “the failed blood-testing startup’s leaders pushed back against his assessment that its technology wasn’t accurate enough to use” - WSJ

Fabric and craft store Joann Inc. is poised to return to public markets, filing paperwork for a coming IPO “a decade after being taken private by buyout firm Leonard Green & Partners” - Bloomberg

The Epstein-tainted Apollo Global firm has named former SEC chief Jay Clayton “to the newly created role of lead independent director on its board, the latest step in a sweeping overhaul of corporate governance at the investment firm” - WSJ

After nearly a full year of the Covid workplace, most of us are Zoomed out. Enter a “new crop of start-ups” looking to “fix virtual meetings” - NYTimes

I question the over-the-top anchovy love in some of these, but otherwise, I’m all in on this collection of end-of-the-day recipes for the chef in your house who’s “(almost) too tired to cook” - NYTimes

Stay safe.

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