Opendoor to Pay $62 Million to Settle FTC Claims That It Misled Homeowners

Financial Daily Dose 8.2.2022

August 02, 2022

Online home buying platform Opendoor Labs will pay $62 million to the FTC “to settle claims that it used misleading marketing practices to persuade people to sell their homes on the site.” According to the Commission, the company “deceived customers into offering their properties to Opendoor for less than they would have made on the market” by presenting sellers with “charts that showed they would make thousands of dollars more by selling” with Opendoor vs. the market - NYTimes and Bloomberg and Law360 and TechCrunch

Rather than face increased regulatory scrutiny, crypto exchange Binance.US has delisted the Amp crypto token following the SEC’s classification of the digital currency as a “security in a recent insider-trading case.” Under “US rules, the security label carries strict investor-protection requirements for platforms and issues,” and exchanges carrying it “could be forced to register with the SEC” - Bloomberg and WSJ

After pausing a hiring practice that led “managers to interview nonwhite candidates for jobs that had already been filled,” Wells Fargo is re-launching its “diverse slate” policy—this time with “new features added to prevent abuse.” According to an internal bank memo accompanying the rollout, the “biggest changes will be increased training for managers and an easier approval process for exemptions to the diverse slate requirement” - NYTimes

Stocks closed lower to start the week after an all-over-the-map day of trading - WSJ and Bloomberg

Uber’s earnings report was a mixed bag today, with the ride-hailing company notching “record revenue” and more drivers and couriers using its platform than ever, but also losing some $2 billion “from its investments in other ride-hailing services.” Also on the good news side of the ledger: the company generated “$382 million in free cash flow—its first positive free cash flow in a quarter” - NYTimes

Estee Lauder is reportedly in talks to buy Tom Ford’s eponymous luxury brand “in what could be a $3 billion or more deal representing the cosmetics giant’s largest-ever acquisition.” Estee Lauder’s brands include “MAC, Clinique, La Mer and Aveda,” all of which contribute to its current market cap of nearly $100 billion - WSJ

John Lasseter, the former Pixar exec “topped by allegations about his behavior in the workplace,” finds himself “on the verge of professional redemption” thanks to a new animated feature destined for Apple’s subscription streaming service this week - NYTimes

The Penguin Random House/Simon & Shuster merger that would “dramatically alter the literary landscape” by “shrinking the number of major publishing houses” from five to four is the subject of an antitrust trial that kicked off in DC District Court yesterday, after the Biden administration “sued to block the $2.18 billion sale as part of its new and more aggressive stance against corporate consolidation” - NYTimes

Biotech firm Amgen is going to war against the IRS over the alleged $10.7 billion the company owes “in back taxes and penalties that the agency says it is owed.” The IRS claims that Amgen “underreported its taxable income by nearly $24 billion from 2010 to 2015 by inappropriately attributing what the agency says should have been U.S. profits to a Puerto Rico subsidiary that oversees manufacturing of the company’s drugs” - WSJ

Pepsi has dropped $550 million into a stake of the “company behind the Celsius energy drink that has generated buzz on social media, expanding the soda and snacks company’s bet on the energy drinks market.” Celsius’ pitch focuses on its sugar-free “healthy alternative” status, and it uses “influences, celebrities and fitness instructors . . . to promote the drinks on TikTok and Instagram” - WSJ

The FAA has officially signed off on Boeing resuming deliveries of its 787 Dreamliner model  after a year of groundings over “quality concerns.” The FAA “will still inspect the jets before they are handed over to Boeing customers” - NYTimes

Pickle as the flavor of Summer 2022? Make of that nugget what you will, but it still won’t be prominently featured around my kitchen table - NYTimes

Stay safe,



The Robins Kaplan Financial Daily Dose features top stories and latest news headlines in financial markets, banking, securities and technology topics.