Archives: Briefings

U.S. Federal Trade Commission huddles on Facebook antitrust suit

The regulator’s five commissioners met on Thursday about a possible case against the tech firm, but are not expected to make a final decision for a few weeks yet, sources told several U.S. media outlets. The FTC’s investigation has focused on Facebook’s acquisitions like Instagram and WhatsApp, both of which the agency approved at the time. (Politico, The New York Times, The Wall Street Journal, Bloomberg)

California court rules Uber and Lyft must treat drivers as employees

The appeals court ruled in favour of the state’s attorney general and the city attorneys of San Francisco, Los Angeles and San Diego. The parties sued the ride-hailing firms in May in a bid to enforce a new state law aimed at giving gig workers employee status. (Los Angeles Times)

Loblaw asks major suppliers for ‘help,’ charges more fees

Canada’s largest grocer sent letters to its larger suppliers Thursday, letting them know it will cost more to stock their products on its store shelves, starting Jan. 3, 2021. Loblaw will charge an extra 1.2 per cent on the cost of goods sold and an additional fee; small suppliers are exempt. (Financial Post)

BBTV prices IPO at $16 per share, raising enough money to potentially buy out its biggest shareholder

The holding company of media and tech firm BroadbandTV, founded by Vancouver-based entrepreneur Shahrzad Rafati, will go public on the Toronto Stock Exchange next week at an IPO price of $16 per share, raising approximately $172.4 million on the public market. The money would enable BBTV to buy out majority shareholder RTL Group—the Luxembourg-based media company owns 51 percent of BroadbandTV, a stake that is valued at roughly $159 million. (The Logic, BetaKit)

U.S. sanctions weigh on Huawei’s growth, dragging down third-quarter revenue

The Shenzhen-based tech firm’s smartphone shipments declined for the first time in the first nine months of 2020, with domestic and overseas falling 18 per cent and 29 per cent, respectively, in Q3. It reported $132 billion in revenue so far this year, up 9.9 per cent year over year, with an eight per cent net profit margin. For the same period last year, Huawei reported 24.4 per cent growth and an 8.7 per cent net profit margin. For the July–September period this year, revenue growth dropped to just 3.7 per cent. (The Logic, Financial Times)

Mark Carney says Canada’s securities regulators haven’t done enough to enforce climate-risk reporting

The former central bank governor said provincial securities regulators are positioned to require companies to report their financial risk related to climate change, and set guidelines for how to do so—but suggested they haven’t done so because of a lack of global standards. “Given how mainstream this issue is now … it’s an anomaly that there’s not consistent global policy on this,” he said in a conference call with Jim Leech, chair of Queen’s University’s Institute for Sustainable Finance Advisory Board. (The Logic)

Quantum-computer maker’s valuation falls by more than half

D-Wave Systems undertook a US$40-million financing round this year as part of a capital restructuring that saw its valuation fall from roughly US$450 million to below US$170 million before the receipt of funds, sources told The Globe and Mail. (The Globe and Mail)

Newspaper lobby calls for Australia-style content levy on Google and Facebook

News Media Canada is calling for the federal government to give publishers new IP rights for the content they produce and the data generated by users interacting with it, and to require that platforms license it at collectively bargained “fair market prices.” Its new report estimates publishers would make $620 million in revenue, and could maintain 700 journalists’ jobs. Facebook spokesperson Meg Sinclair told The Logic the report “misrepresents the way that some of our products work,” adding that news organizations voluntarily post content on the platform. Google Canada vice-president Sabrina Geremia said the report “ignores the significant value” the company has provided to publishers, citing traffic from the search engine to their websites and its global news partnerships. (Postmedia CEO Andrew MacLeod, who is involved in News Media’s talks with the federal government, is a board member of The Logic, and Postmedia is an investor.) (The Logic)