Tag Archives: industry news

The future of startup cryptocurrency Ripple hangs on the SEC’s case | Instant News


Brad Garlinghouse, Ripple’s chief executive, last year publicly contemplated at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland, the initial public offering for the San Francisco startup.

The company recently raised about $ 200 million in a venture funding round led by Tetragon Financial Group, with a valuation of $ 10 billion. The value of its flagship product, a cryptocurrency called XRP, has fallen over the previous year. But Ripple is poised to rebuild the infrastructure for cross-border trade, said Garlinghouse, promising that its future is bright.

A year later, the IPO was canceled. Instead, Ripple’s future hinges on the judge’s decision in a civil suit filed in December by the Securities and Exchange Commission.

Regardless of the outcome, this case is expected to set a major precedent for how US regulators create rules and laws covering cryptocurrencies. It also highlights a broader truth about most digital currencies: Beyond the two largest, bitcoin and ether, most of the hundreds of others have struggled to find utilitarian value beyond speculation.

At the heart of the SEC’s suit is the debate about XRP, a bitcoin-like digital asset created by the founder of Ripple that will grow to become the world’s third-largest cryptocurrency. It is designed to be part of a network that will help banks cut costs in cross-border transfers. The related software, however, never gained traction, the SEC accused, leaving XRP with no apparent purpose, other than to funnel sales to Ripple.

.



image source

At the Biden-Harris Inauguration, New Fashion Designers Win Big | Instant News


FASHION at the inauguration on Wednesday Front and center American designers, including several emerging American designers – specifically looking to benefit from the attention. President Joe Biden’s Ralph Lauren suit received respectful reviews, but a suit designed by Sergio Hudson and Alexandra O’Neill, a less well-known name, was chosen to earn special praise. This level of exposure can make a big difference, said Ikram Goldman, a Chicago retailer who was drawn to the work of many undersung designers while helping to style Michelle Obama during the Obama administration. “It’s an unknown designer worn by people in the limelight,” he pointed out, “and the combination … makes an impact on many levels.”

Chief among them, sales. Batsheva Hay, who designed the high-neck burgundy dress worn by Ella Emhoff – the stepdaughter of Vice President Kamala Harris – said her e-commerce deals started hitting record highs after the inauguration: “Compared to a typical day, I do it at least five times as much lots of sales on my web site. “Miss Hay saw an unprecedented level of interest manifest in other ways too. A photo that he posted on Ms. Emhoff in her dress received more than 12,000 likes, thousands more than her usual post.

Online interest has also surged for the family team behind the bird-embellished ring worn by poet Amanda Gorman. “We had the most people we visited on our website yesterday,” said Octavia Giovannini-Torelli, who runs the Of Rare Origin jewelery line with her mother and sister. “We respond to every client who has contacted.” Since Wednesday, their website has displayed a banner that reads: “We are honored (and panicked) to see the view from above at this historic Inauguration.”

Sergio Hudson, the Los Angeles-based designer who created the plum outfit Michelle Obama wore at Wednesday’s inauguration and the black cocktail dress Vice President Harris wore that evening, said her Instagram following doubled from about 50,000 to more than 130,000 in the hours after inauguration. He said he barely had a chance to check sales and web traffic among all the resulting interviews.

This increase in attention is very welcome after a year, thanks to the impact of the pandemic, into one of the worst fashion businesses. “It means validity in the industry at a time when I feel the industry is struggling,” said Hudson. “Last year was terrifying. You want to be a designer all your life and then in one year you’re like, watching the entire industry crumble…. This shows that people still believe in fashion. ”

.



image source

Google and Fitbit say “I do,” but marriage can still be annulled | Instant News


Google and Fitbit Inc. announced last week that the merger of the two companies has ended, but Alphabet Inc.’s antitrust dilemma may make this huge transaction far from complete.

Controversial acquisition conclusion It triggered immediate opposition from a ranking member of the Senate’s Antitrust, Competition Policy and Consumer Rights Subcommittee and possible future chairperson Senator Amy Klobuchar, as well as some privacy organizations, who opposed Fitbit’s Personal information can be fed into letters
GOOGL,
+ 4.53%

Gosh,
+4.36%

Modem.

“Although Fitbit is a personal health care device in the first place, it collects information and uses it to collect highly personal information,” St. John’s University law professor Anthony Sabino told MarketWatch. “I can see that Justice is deeply concerned about Google’s ability to access this kind of caring customer information through Fitbit, at least as an issue in antitrust litigation, which does not surprise me at all.”

The Wall Street Journal stated that, for its part, the US Department of Justice believes that it has not yet formally approved the transaction and is still under review, even though the transaction allowed the deadline to be formally opposed last week. report. The next steps may depend on who elected President Biden to install in key locations.

Antitrust experts are keen to watch who will lead the antitrust efforts of the Biden Administration’s Justice Department-candidates include Terrell McSweeney, who is considered business-friendly, and Jonathan Kanter, who is progressive. The chairman of the Federal Trade Commission, Joseph Simons, will step down on January 29 and will be responsible for the antitrust investigation of Facebook Inc.
FB,
+1.85%

And Amazon.com Inc.
AMZN,
+ 3.10%
.
His successor will not only “play an important role in the investigation,” but will also face pressure from a five-member committee of two Democrats, which said Simmons was not active enough. FTC Financial Practice Department.

The federal government and state attorneys general are conducting antitrust investigations into Google, as well as the acquisitions of the White House and the Senate controlled by the Democratic Party. These are all things at stake.

Legal proceedings against other members of Big Tech are becoming more popular. last weekThe Connecticut Attorney General, William Tong, revealed that in the distribution agreements between the state and some publishers for e-books, “an antitrust investigation has been conducted on Amazon regarding potential anti-competitive provisions.”

However, the current focus is on Google, U.S. Department of Justice prosecution, A group of state AG Led by TexasAnd another group Led by Colorado and Nebraska AG In recent months.

Google and antitrust: Big Tech’s first goal is to face more and more legal actions

Google has always (as in most actions) insisted that Fitbit transactions will greatly benefit consumers and are subject to appropriate scrutiny by regulators.

“Google will continue to protect the privacy of Fitbit users, and has made a series of binding commitments with global regulators, confirming that Fitbit users’ health data will not be used for Google ads, and that this data will be stored separately from other Google ads Data,” Fitbit CEO James Park said in a letter to Fitbit users on Thursday.

However, under the leadership of the new government and the Democratic-controlled Senate, will lawsuits by the Justice Department or these two states undermine the status of the transaction? “Technically speaking, yes, although it has been very unusual since it was approved,” said Douglas Gansler, an expert on antitrust law and the former attorney general of Maryland.

According to the Hart-Scott-Rodino Antitrust Improvement Act of 1976, the transaction can proceed if there is no formal objection from the Department of Justice during the waiting period. Google has completed the waiting period and is therefore entitled to complete the transaction. Similarly, the Ministry of Justice can continue the investigation after the waiting period. Miller believes that it is unusual for regulators to withdraw transactions after the waiting period, but there are certain risks.

Bhaskar Chakravorti, Dean of the School of Global Business at Tufts University’s Fletcher School, put forward a theory that Democrats can apply a “Glass Steger Act” to the Internet . The 1933 law forced banks to separate their commercial and investment banking operations to ensure that the merger would not weaken competition. On the technical side, this could mean forcing social media companies to run their platforms separately from applications and businesses that benefit from user data.

He said: “Any transaction made by Google, especially with equipment manufacturers, has a certain inherent instability.”

Legal scholars said that despite this, the Justice Department took the opportunity to raise an objection before the transaction was completed, which made the reversal process extremely difficult.

Sabino of St. John’s University said that the Justice Department would revoke approval of the transaction as “very unlikely.” Even when an investigation led to its filing of an antitrust lawsuit in October, it encountered opposition, and the European Union approved the acquisition last month. Sabino told MarketWatch: “It’s simply unfair to go back now.”

He added that, however, the Fitbit purchase “will have an impact on the pending case. [DoJ] Antitrust litigation. After all, the key to federal lawsuits (now about a dozen or more states have joined) is Google’s ability to collect information about users through Google searches, YouTube usage, etc. “

Then there is the historical pandemic and economic chaos inherited by the Biden administration, which may put antitrust cases against big technologies into trouble.

“Technical antitrust issues will not get the necessary push and push from the White House. Therefore, even if many House Democrats and prominent senators like Amy Klobuchar are keen to pursue this goal, the entire agenda may be possible. Will be on it.” Chakravorti said.

Klobuchar seems very keen on closing deals.

Klobuchar said in a statement last week: “Google announced that it will close its acquisition of Fitbit, and the transaction is still under review by the Department of Justice, which once again shows the company’s lack of concern about compliance with antitrust laws.”

The senator opposed to the senator’s acquisition of large technology companies said: “Before Biden’s executive officers took over, the rush to complete the transaction is even more disturbing.” “Although the merger was completed prematurely, I still urge the department to comply with the law. Seek all appropriate remedies to protect competition and consumers from any anti-competitive effects caused by this transaction.”

Privacy advocates are still very willing to question mergers on antitrust issues, and they worry about the consequences of big deals like Fitbit.

The Department of Justice’s failure to prevent Google from acquiring Fitbit is not only incoherent and embarrassing, but also dangerous. This transaction poses a serious security risk to the personal data of Fitbit consumers,” said Sarah Miller, executive director of the American Economic Freedom Project. “Google uses its extensive portfolio of Internet services to monitor its users and Profit from highly personal information. There is no reason to believe that they will not do the same to Fitbit. “

“In fact, Google had previously lied about data to antitrust enforcers. Just like an antitrust lawsuit against Google last month, the company promised to the Federal Trade Commission and Congress how it would manage DoubleClick’s Acquisition, but then Google ignored the acquisition.”

“President-elect Biden should ensure that the role of his government is to reverse this transaction as quickly as possible,” Miller said.

.



image source

The impact of the Covid-19 pandemic on business travel hits local economies | Instant News



The coronavirus pandemic has inflicted a lingering, and possibly permanent, impact on business travel that is likely to weigh on jobs and economic growth in some communities for years. Beyond the blows to airlines, hotels, travel agents and car rental companies, the decline in business travel is rippling through entire ecosystems of related commerce, including airport stores, downtown bars and restaurants, construction companies building convention stages, artists, taxi drivers and aircraft parts makers. Domestic and international business travelers to the United States directly spent $ 334.2 billion in 2019, supporting 2.5 million jobs, according to the US Travel Association. But when you consider the follow-up effects, he estimates that the economic output and jobs supported by business travel were about double those before the pandemic. “When a big convention or event takes place, the whole city is involved,” said Tori Emerson Barnes, the association’s public affairs and policy manager. “The florist who supplies the flowers, the dry cleaner who prepares the linens, the cafe which serves travelers. Entire city centers have been revitalized as a result of meetings and events, and they’ve really struggled this year. When global restrictions to control the spread of Covid-19 were put in place last spring, businesses and road workers were forced to adapt, make sales calls and attend meetings of the board of directors by videoconference rather than on-site visits, and adapt to virtual training. and networking instead of seminars in conference centers. .



image source

Italian Government Prays About How to Revive the Post-Covid-19 Economy | Instant News


ROME – Amid the pandemic, one sign of normality is returning to Italy: political instability.

Prime Minister Giuseppe Conte’s government is struggling to avoid collapse after members of a small coalition threatened to withdraw vital support from parliament. The Viva Italia party, led by former Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi, has long been skeptical of Conte’s leadership and is increasing pressure on a range of issues, including how to reconstruct Italy’s economy hit after the pandemic.

If Renzi pulls out of the coalition, forcing Conte to step down, possible outcomes range from a new government with the same center-left leader to elections likely to be won by a rival center-right alliance.

Many observers expect Mr Conte to continue, albeit with a small party Mr Renzi has had more leverage. Whatever the outcome, the tussle suggests that Italy’s shocking political stability during the pandemic is coming to an end.

Mr. Conte, a little-known law professor who was elected to lead two rickety coalition governments in 2018 and 2019, has been an unexpectedly powerful prime minister since last year, when Italy became the first Western country hardest hit by Covid-19. His approval ratings rose as he worked with allies and opposition parties to arrange for the first nationwide lockdown, using stringent measures that were soon adopted around the world.

.



image source