Financial Daily Dose 6.16.2021 | Top Story: Big Tech Critic and Antitrust Scholar Khan Named New FTC Chair
June 16, 2021
Fresh off her Senate approval as newest commissioner to the Federal Trade Commission, Lina Khan—“a prominent critic of Big Tech”—has been named chair of the Commission. President Biden’s decision to make the 32-year-old Khan the agency’s chair “gives her control over its agenda, staff and proceedings” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360 and MarketWatch
U.S. retail sales dropped 1.3% in May, as consumers shifted away from “big-ticket items to goods and services related to going out amid business reopenings and higher vaccination rates.” Besides the social factors driving the reallocation of resources, “[s]upply-chain disruptions and higher prices are also crimping sales of long-lasting goods” - WSJ and Bloomberg and NYTimes and Marketplace
Speaking of supplies, lumber is finally getting closer to pre-pandemic norms, pushing futures way down and turning “hoarders into sellers” - WSJ
MacKenzie Scott, who has already given away a staggering $8 billion in less than a year, has announced a “new round of grants, worth a combined $2.74 billion.” Scott’s Amazon-based fortune has only increased in the past year (despite her giving) thanks to the company’s stock performance - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and MarketWatch and Mashable
The US and EU did, in fact, set aside their differences and end a 17-year battle over aircraft subsidies as part of a broader agreement to “work together to counter China’s global ambitions to dominate key industries.” The deal “suspends the threat of billions of dollars in punitive tariffs on each other’s economies for five years” - NYTimes and WSJ
Also across the pond, the EU’s highest court ruled this week that data protection agencies in “any EU country should be able to pursue legal action against Facebook or other technology companies—even if they are not the main privacy regulator for those entities.” The ruling was something of a defeat for Facebook, which had argued that only Ireland’s DPA could pursue it for alleged infringements of Europe’s General Data Protection Regulation – Law360
Southwest Airlines didn’t exactly overwhelm with details, but it did acknowledge on Tuesday that technology issues forced it to temporarily suspend flights yesterday afternoon—the “second major disruption to the company’s operations in less than 24 hours.” The outage prompted the carrier to cancel “nearly 500 flights” - NYTimes and WSJ
NY state judge Barbara Jaffe ordered Eastman Kodak CEO Jim Continenza and its general counsel to “publicly testify” in the NYAG’s probe of alleged insider trading by Continenza “roughly a month before [the White House] announced its plans to provide Kodak $765 million to support the creation of its own pharmaceutical manufacturing wing” – Law360
Platinum Equity has struck at $4.5 billion deal to buy McGraw Hill—the “textbook publisher and educational-technology company”—from Apollo Global Management. Apollo had bought the educational unit from the former McGraw-Hill Cos., currently S&P Global, in 2012 - WSJ
The New Yorker on current attempts to change Silicon Valley’s narrative from “disrupting” to “building,” including a few takes on just what exactly might be built (if anything really comes of it at all) - NewYorker
Stay safe and get vaxxed,
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