Financial Daily Dose 4.12.2021 | Top Story: Chinese Regulators Hit Alibaba With $2.8B Antitrust Fine

April 12, 2021

Chinese antitrust officials hit Alibaba with a “record” $2.8 billion fine over the weekend—the “biggest move yet in the government’s campaign to tighten its supervision of Big Tech.” Regulators had opened a probe into Jack Ma’s flagship e-commerce company back in December, and the fine came with the announcement that they determined that “Alibaba’s exclusionary practices had hindered competition in online retail, affected innovation in the internet economy and harmed consumers’ interests” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg and TechCrunch

Back here in the States, documents filed in a Texas antitrust lawsuit against Google reveal that the company “for years operated a secret program”—dubbed “Project Bernanke”—“that used data from past bids in the company’s digital advertising exchange to allegedly give its own ad-buying system an advantage over competitors.” The program “wasn’t disclosed to publishers who sold ads” through Google’s system and “generated hundreds of millions of dollars in revenue for the company annually” - WSJ

Medical-supply company Medline Industries Inc. is reportedly feeling out a possible sale that could value the company at as much as $30 billion “and mark the latest in a string of large leveraged-buyout bids” - WSJ

Stewart Bainum’s latest play for Tribune Publishing got the Times thinking about the role billionaires have played in recent years as saviors of newspapers. While their “track record as owners are somewhat mixed . . . mixed in this case is better than the alternative”—namely, hedge fund ownership - NYTimes

Meanwhile, over at the Journal . . . - NYTimes

After suffering a “lopsided” loss in their bid to unionize the Amazon warehouse in Bessemer, Alabama, labor leaders revealed they planned to “step up their informal efforts to highlight and resist the company’s business and labor practices rather than seek elections at individual job sites” - NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch and Marketplace and Law360

Boeing’s got a new set of 737Max headaches, as a “potential electrical fault” has forced carriers to again pull the model from their fleet - WSJ and MarketWatch

All the notables from Chair Powell’s big 60 Minutes sit-down over the weekend - Bloomberg and NYTimes and MarketWatch

The SEC’s examination unit has issued a risk alert over compliance deficiencies in environmental, social and governance-related (ESG) investing, noting that it had observed “’some instances of potentially misleading statements’ regarding the investing, inadequate controls to ensure that ESG-related marketing was consistent with a firm’s practices, and compliance programs that didn’t ‘adequately address relevant ESG issues’” – Law360

Ameriprise has struck a deal with Bank of Montreal to buy BMO’s Europe, Middle East and Africa asset-management unit for $847 million with an agreement that will give Ameriprise “an additional $124 billion of assets under management in Europe” - Bloomberg

Inspired by his countrywoman’s win at the Augusta National Women’s Amateur a week before (and with the weight of a golf-crazed nation on his shoulders), Hideki Matsuyama became the first Japanese male to win a major yesterday, claiming a green jacket with a one-shot win over Masters rookie Will Zalatoris - NYTimes and WSJ

Stay safe,