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British antitrust regulator orders Facebook to sell Giphy

NurPhoto/Photographer: NurPhoto/NurPhoto


British antitrust regulator orders Facebook to sell Giphy

Britain’s antitrust watchdog ordered Facebook parent Meta Platforms Inc. to sell Giphy, the first time a global regulator has forced a Big Tech firm to unwind a completed deal. A turnaround after years of being allowed to swallow up smaller rivals with virtually no push back. The Competition and Markets Authority found that last year’s $315 million tie up with the GIF search engine will reduce competition between social media platforms, according to a statement Tuesday. It’s the first time a Big Tech firm has been ordered by regulators in Europe and the United States to undo an acquisition rather than pay a hefty fine. Meta now has two choices: to appeal or divest. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Cordray in running to be Fed banking watchog

The White House is considering several candidates to serve as the Federal Reserve’s top banking watchdog including Richard Cordray, the former director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, according to people familiar with the matter. President Biden hasn’t made a decision and Cordray, a Democrat who ran for governor of Ohio in 2018 and lost, is among a few names the administration is weighing, the people said, asking not to be identified because the talks are private. President Biden has three vacancies to fill at the Fed after selecting Chair Jerome Powell for a second term and elevating Lael Brainard to vice chair last week. The supervision vice chair is Washington’s most powerful banking overseer, inspecting and setting rules for the nation’s largest banks like Citigroup and JPMorgan Chase. The watchdog supervises annual stress tests that verify the health of the big lenders and would be expected to play a leading role in the Biden administration’s financial regulatory policies, including on cryptocurrencies. Other potential candidates that have been discussed for the Fed regulator job include ex-Fed governor Sarah Bloom Raskin and Raphael Bostic, president of the Federal Reserve Bank of Atlanta. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Judge finds that Google tried to withhold documents from NLRB, lawyer says

Google improperly sought to withhold internal documents from a National Labor Relations Board trial over complaints that the company fired workers for their unionization efforts and activism, according to a judge reviewing the material. NLRB Administrative Law Judge Paul Bogas, who was named as a special master to review the documents, ruled that only nine of 80 documents he looked at as of Nov. 26 were properly characterized as privileged, Laurie Burgess, a lawyer for the fired workers, said in a statement Tuesday. That “makes it ‘impossible to believe that [Google’s] counsel’ had conducted a ‘good faith examination’ of the documents using the ‘applicable legal standards,’” the judge said in a 13-page ruling issued Friday, according to Burgess. Bogas ordered Google to “immediately” produce the documents to the workers’ lawyer, Burgess said. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Blackstone buys package of 124 properties for $2.8 billion

Blackstone bought a portfolio of 124 logistics properties from Cabot Properties Inc. for $2.8 billion, the private equity company’s latest wager on warehousing in Europe and the United States. The sales comprised 102 properties in the United States and 22 in the UK, Germany, and the Netherlands, according to a statement Tuesday. The two deals total 17.4 million square feet of space. Warehouses are among Blackstone’s biggest bets, with the firm banking on sustained demand and rising rents for properties that cut delivery times for booming e-commerce firms. Demand for the space has soared during the pandemic as more people shopped online rather than in stores. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Lululemon sues Peloton over line of leggings and sports bras

Lululemon, the athletic apparel retailer, filed a lawsuit against Peloton on Monday, accusing the fitness company of patent infringement over the designs of a new line of leggings and sports bras. The lawsuit, filed in US District Court for the Central District of California, accuses Peloton of trade dress infringement, false designation of origin, and unfair competition. Lululemon is seeking an injunction against Peloton as well as a jury trial, damages and other monetary relief. Peloton and Lululemon ended a co-branding relationship this year, a split that Peloton described as amicable, according to court documents. Peloton introduced a new apparel brand in September. — NEW YORK TIMES


Famed Hollywood movie lot sold for $1.85 billion

ViacomCBS agreed to sell a historic Los Angeles movie lot for $1.85 billion to Hackman Capital Partners and Square Mile Capital Management as demand for production space soars and the entertainment company seeks cash to compete for streaming subscribers against rivals Netflix and Disney. The CBS Studio Center property, known locally as CBS Radford, is a 55-acre site with 22 sound stages in the Studio City neighborhood, where production stretches from the silent picture era through TV classics “Gilligan’s Island” and “Seinfeld” to the current action series “SEAL Team.” — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Consumer confidence takes a dive

US consumer confidence decreased to a nine-month low in November as accelerating inflation and a pickup in COVID-19 cases weighed on Americans’ views on the economy. The Conference Board’s index declined to 109.5 from a downwardly revised 111.6 reading in October, according to the group’s report Tuesday. Economists in a Bloomberg survey called for a drop to 110.9. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Labor group says Amazon undercounted the number of COVID infections in facilities

Amazon provided “misleading or grossly incomplete” data about the number of COVID-19 infections potentially spread in its US facilities, according to a labor group calling on the federal government to investigate the company. Of the almost 20,000 employees the company said contracted the coronavirus last year, Amazon maintains only 27 potentially caught it at work, according to the Strategic Organizing Center, which reviewed Amazon’s annual workplace illness and injury disclosures to the Department of Labor. Federal authorities last year required companies to report work-related COVID-19 cases. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Home prices rose ever-so-slightly less in September

The growth in US home prices slowed down just a bit in September. A measure of home prices in 20 US cities jumped 19.1 percent, down from 19.6 percent in August and the second straight slowdown, the S&P CoreLogic Case-Shiller index showed Tuesday. Nationwide, prices climbed 19.5 percent, which was also down from a month earlier. While values are still soaring, the cool down comes more than a year after the pandemic sparked intense competition for a tight supply of listings across the country. Fewer families generally shop for homes after the start of the school year, and September’s jump in mortgage rates curbed buyers’ ability to bid up prices. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Twitter to remove private photos and videos posted without consent

Twitter says it will remove private photos and videos if they are posted without a person’s consent, according to a company blog post. The social media company already takes down posts that include certain types of personal information — such as location coordinates and cellphone numbers — when shared without the individual’s consent. But Twitter announced Tuesday that it would expand its policy to include ‘’media of private individuals without the permission of the person(s) depicted.’’ The new rules are effective immediately. — WASHINGTON POST