Financial Daily Dose 9.22.2021 | Top Story: DOJ Files Antitrust Suit Against American Airlines and Jet Blue Over Growing Alliance

September 22, 2021

Justice Department officials have filed a federal antitrust action against American Airlines and JetBlue, asserting that the “growing alliance between the two carriers had created a ‘de facto merger’ in the New York and Boston markets, reducing competition and hurting consumers.” The DOJ announced that attorneys general in six states and D.C. are signing on to the lawsuit - NYTimes and WSJ and Law360

Zoom appears likely to face a federal investigation into possible national security concerns wrapped up in its plans to purchase Five9, “an American company that makes call center software,” for $15 billion based on purported “foreign participation” in the deal - NYTimes and WSJ and MarketWatch and Law360

The SEC’s Gary Gensler invoked the mid-1800s “wildcat banking era” (when thousands of banks issued their own currencies in the era before Lincoln created the OCC to standardize U.S. currency) to describe the flood of cryptocurrencies currently on the market and to explain his view that none appears destined for long-term viability - WSJ and Bloomberg and Law360

The Times reveals Facebook’s new “Project Amplify” initiative—a plan to use its own News Feed feature to roll out “positive stories about the social network” in an effort to “improve its image in the eyes of its users.” The move was among the most visible of “a series of decisions that Facebook has made this year to aggressively reshape its image” - NYTimes and HuffPost

Elsewhere at the ‘Book, Zuck & Co.’s Oversight Board is reportedly launching a review of the company’s “practice of holding high-profile users to separate sets of rules, citing apparent inconsistencies in the way the social-media giant makes decisions.” The announcement comes after the Journal’s blockbuster reporting on Facebook last week, including the company’s special XCheck program - WSJ and Bloomberg

This week’s Evergrande crisis in China (and resulting global economic fallout) are prompting some analysts to express deep concerns that “China’s residential and commercial property market, which drives up to a third of the world’s second-largest economy, could crumble” - NYTimes and WSJ and Bloomberg

WFH be damned, it seems, as Google made a big NYC real estate play on Tuesday by plunking down $2.1 billion for a new building on Manhattan’s West Side - WSJ and Law360 and NYTimes

The Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development is warning that a widely uneven vaccination rollout between advanced and developing economies will slow the global recovery and further exacerbate the existing “economic fracturing between wealthy nations and the developing world” - NYTimes

As we’ve always said, if one insists on fire-sprinkler accuracy in entertainment, one must insist on “Die Hard” - WSJ

Stay safe, and get vaxxed,