Financial Daily Dose 9.13.2021 | Top Story: Federal Judge Sides Largely with Epic Games in App Store Dispute

September 13, 2021

On Friday, N.D. Cal. Federal Judge Yvonne Gonzalez issued an order in the high-profile Epic Games v. Apple App Store tilt, finding that Apple “violated California’s laws against unfair competition by barring app developers from directing customers to other ways to pay for their services” and ordering the company to “start letting developers include links in their apps to other payment methods within 90 days.” She also, however, found that Epic had breached its contract with Apple to the tune of some $4 million - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Law360

Some thoughts on what the decision—which Apple is likely to ask to be stayed pending appeal—means in the broader context of the massive app developer scene and Apple’s near-monopoly power in the App Store - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch

Bank of America shook up its company leadership late last week, promoting several in-house execs to c-suite positions while “all but guarantee[ing] that Brian Moynihan, chief executive, would remain at the helm of the nation’s second-largest bank for years to come” - NYTimes and WSJ and Law360

The rise of online auto sales is forcing American car dealerships to reckon with a rapidly changing business landscape—all part of a shift “that started before the pandemic but accelerated over the last 18 months as Covid-19 spurred people to do more of their shopping from home and demand for cars unexpectedly surged” - WSJ

While Covid has hastened the move online across many sectors, it has also pushed global companies to spend big bucks “on new plants and machinery in ways they haven’t done for years.” Indeed, globally, “corporate capital expenditure, or capex, will jump by 13% this year . . . with growth in all regions and broad sectors—especially in semiconductors, retail, software and transportation” - Bloomberg

Your Daily Dose word of the week: “Bezosism”—the Amazon-embraced management style that combines “surveillance, measurement, psychological tricks, targets, incentives, sloganeering, Jeff Bezos’ trademark hard-charging attitude toward work, and an ever-growing array of clever and often proprietary technologies” - WSJ

KC Southern said yesterday that “it had deemed an offer from Canadian Pacific superior to a bid from Canadian National, in the latest turn in a monthslong battle to become the first railroad to connect North America.” Canadian National outbid CanPac’s offer last spring, but a recent regulatory ruling questioning the business structure CN had planned to use for the merger prompted KC Southern to return to talks with CanPac - NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch

Hertz has emerged leaner and in high-demand (from investors and users alike) from bankruptcy. Next step: find the CEO who can execute on the rental car company’s new owners’ vision for a transformed business, with “new software to accurately forecast customer demand and optimize inventory management, and also to transition the fleet to include more electric vehicles” - WSJ and Bloomberg

The U.S. Open Women’s Final was something of a coming-out party for two teenage superstars in the making, with 18-year-old Brit Emma Raducanu defeating 19-year-old Canadian Leylah Fernandez in straight sets. Raducanu was the first qualifier to even make the finals in the Open era - NewYorker

Stay safe, and get vaxxed,