Financial Daily Dose 5.27.2020 | Top Story: AT&T Officially Enters Streaming Wars With Its Pricey HBO Max Offering

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With HBO Max entering the fray today, we’ve got your latest dispatch from the streaming wars, including thoughts on Max’s ability to deliver on its promise to “crush” Netflix despite a very crowded playing field, a spendy monthly price tag (at the wrong time), and a late start – NYTimes and Bloomberg and Cnet

Speaking of streaming and less-than-ideal circumstances, Taco Bell and Walmart are among a growing group of large advertisers looking to change aspects of their ad deals with short-video-streaming service Quibi thanks to its lackluster performance since its April 6 launch – WSJ

Wall Street’s optimism about a reopening America helped boost stocks on Tuesday, with the Dow leading major indices thanks to a 500-point jump – WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Meanwhile, across the pond, the European Commission is out with an “unprecedented stimulus plan to tackle the worst recession in living memory” and revive a devastated Italian economy through grants and loans that could total upwards of 750 billion euros – Bloomberg

A group of Uber and Lyft drivers are suing New York State over its allegedly illegal failure to pay unemployment “benefits to drivers in a timely way.” Underlying the suit is the ongoing dispute between the drivers, their companies (who consider them independent contractors), and states like New York and California (which classify them as traditional employees) – NYTimes

Not an ideal look for Hertz, which reportedly paid out some $16 million in retention bonuses to senior managers (including it new CEO) “just days before it filed for bankruptcy Friday night” – WSJ

Boeing has begun a round of “voluntary layoffs” that will help the planemaker shed 2500 jobs “in the first phase of broader cuts triggered by the coronavirus-driven collapse of global air travel” – WSJ and MarketWatch

Google announced that it will begin reopening some of its offices “for employees who choose to return” on July 6 with a goal of returning to 30% building capacity in those locations by September – MarketWatch

Given the chance to make the ‘book a less polarized place, Zuck and other senior execs thought it over then gave it a big “nahhhh.” The Journal gives us the skinny on the internal discussions going back to 2018 that led to the decision – WSJ

Warner Music—home to artists from Cardi B to Led Zeppelin—is moving ahead with IPO plans that “would value the company at up to $13.3 billion.” The move “reflects a revitalized industry” that’s bounced back after significant stumbles as compact discs fell out of favor – NYTimes

Amazon is in “advanced talks” to add autonomous-vehicle technology to its growing portfolio with the acquisition of Zoox. The ‘zon’s been interested in driverless tech for several years, but snapping up the hardware and software-focused startup would kick its ambitions into high gear – WSJ

Texas Capital and Independent Bank Group, both Texas-based regional banks, are blaming the coronavirus for their decision to terminate a planned $3.07 billion stock merger, “marking the latest in a series of significant  transactions to be called off because of the pandemic” – Law360

A little Taika. A dash of Ryan. And plenty of Roald. Sounds like a pretty solid combo – RoaldDahlHQ

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