Google Pushes to Overturn EU’s $5 Billion Antitrust Decision

BRUSSELS-Alphabet Inc.’s Google begun its appeal Monday to overturn a $5 billion antitrust fine imposed by the European Union, contending that its Android operating system for mobile devices has boosted competition rather than foreclosing it.

The tech giant presented oral arguments in Luxembourg before the EU’s second-highest court, in its appeal to overturn the 2018 decision from the bloc’s antitrust enforcer. In that case, EU authorities found Google had illegally abused the market power of Android to push companies that manufacture and distribute Android phones into agreements aimed at entrenching and expanding the dominance of the Google search engine on mobile devices.

Center-Left Wins Narrow Victory in German Elections

BERLIN-Germany faces weeks and perhaps months of uncertainty as Sunday’s narrow victory for the center-left in national elections left open the shape and agenda of its next government and offered little clarity about who would succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel.

At least initially, the world’s fourth-largest economy and the European Union’s biggest member could find itself without strong leadership, then with a weakened government in the following four years.

How France Overcame Covid-19 Vaccine Hesitancy

PARIS-When France started vaccinating its population at the start of the year, it had one of the highest rates of hesitancy in the world. Today, it has one of the highest vaccination rates among larger Western countries, after a mix of enticements and government pressure pushed millions of French to receive the shot this summer.

The success of the French campaign is such that the government has floated the idea of loosening in parts of the country some of the restrictions it put on this summer. Notably, that includes the requirement to show a health pass with the holder’s vaccine status or test results to eat out, go to nightclubs or attend sports events. On Sept. 22, France announced plans to end the requirements for children to wear masks in primary schools in some parts of the country.

Prudential to Raise $2.4 Billion From Hong Kong Offer

Prudential PLC will raise $2.4 billion by issuing new shares, proceeds of which will be used by the insurer to redeem high-coupon debt due in six months and invest for growth.

The U.K. insurer will sell 130.8 million new shares in the Hong Kong offer at a maximum price of 143.8 Hong Kong dollars per share (US$18.46), Prudential said late Sunday.

At Deutsche Bank’s DWS, Issues With Data Were at Heart of Sustainable-Investing Problems

In its latest annual report, Deutsche Bank AG’s DWS Group said, “ESG data is the cornerstone of our ESG analysis,” referring to the asset-management firm’s push to be a leader in one of the hottest segments of Wall Street: using environmental, social and governance criteria to make investments.

Inside DWS, executives questioned the data, and fund managers ignored calls to use the information to judge which investments to make, according to previously undisclosed internal emails and the company’s former sustainability chief, Desiree Fixler.

Tech Boom Floods Israel’s Silicon Valley With Cash, Exposing Divisions

TEL AVIV-Nir Zohar started at Wix.com in 2007 as office gopher. Today, he is chief operating officer at the Tel Aviv-based website designer, with a shareholding worth at least $56 million at current valuations.

The 43-year-old, who routinely wears shorts and a T-shirt to work, is one of a generation of Israelis who have become millionaires through the country’s red-hot technology industry, and who are transforming Tel Aviv.

U.S., Russia Should Deepen Military Communications, Mark Milley Says

WASHINGTON-Army Gen. Mark Milley, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, said the U.S. and Russian militaries need to expand and deepen their communication and stressed that dialogue between the two adversaries could help de-escalate a future crisis.

Gen. Milley, fresh from a meeting in Helsinki this week with his Russian counterpart, said that adding to existing communication channels already in effect would help each side understand the other’s plans and moves.

Covid-19 Vaccine Gap Between Rich and Poor Nations Keeps Widening

The central African nation of Burundi has yet to administer a single Covid-19 vaccine. In Kinshasa, a megacity of 12 million in the Democratic Republic of Congo, healthcare workers have given out fewer than 40,000 Covid-19 shots. In Uganda, people line up for hours outside hospitals only to be turned away amid dwindling vaccine supplies.

Nearly 10 months after the first Covid-19 vaccine became available to the public, the divide between nations that have shots and those that don’t is starker than ever. The U.S. and other rich countries such as Israel and the U.K. are doling out third shots, while in low-income countries-the vast majority of which are in Africa-just 2.2% of people have received even a single dose.

GLOBAL NEWS

Commodity Boom Is Too Much of a Good Thing for Many Traders

It has been a banner year for fossil-fuel, metals and agricultural markets. For many commodity traders, the boom in prices has had an unexpected effect: a credit crunch that is reshaping the industry in favor of the largest players.

Higher prices are requiring traders to borrow more money to finance the same volume of oil, copper or coffee. In some instances, extreme or unusual weather is causing gyrations in commodity prices, prompting traders to amass cash in a pinch.

After Early Investors Flee SPAC Deals, Day Traders Rush In

Day traders are targeting some companies that recently closed SPAC mergers, reinvigorating some of the meme-stock excitement that helped make such deals popular early in the year.

The latest special-purpose-acquisition-company excitement focuses on firms like cybersecurity firm IronNet Inc. that suffered significant investor withdrawals ahead of going public by closing SPAC mergers. High withdrawals leave the companies going public with less cash to put into their businesses and can make it harder for them to meet the growth projections they made as part of the deals with so-called blank-check companies.

Economy Week Ahead: Consumer Spending, Inflation, Manufacturing

The Commerce Department’s monthly report on U.S. consumer spending highlights this week’s economic data.

Cargo Piles Up as California Ports Jostle Over How to Resolve Delays

Nike Inc. doesn’t have enough sneakers to sell for the holidays. Costco Wholesale Corp. is reimposing limits on paper towel purchases. Prices for artificial Christmas trees have jumped 25% this season.

Despite mounting shipping delays and cargo backlogs, the busiest U.S. port complex shuts its gates for hours on most days and remains closed on Sundays. Meanwhile, major ports in Asia and Europe have operated round-the-clock for years.

In a Troubled U.S.-China Relationship, Moments of Pragmatism Emerge

Behind-the-scenes dealings that freed a Chinese executive from U.S. prosecution removed a stumbling block between the nations and demonstrated a little-noticed pragmatic dimension to the relationship.

The U.S. and China are at loggerheads on numerous fronts, from technology and human rights to Beijing’s territorial claims; the United Nations secretary-general this month termed the nations’ relationship as “completely dysfunctional.”

Debt-Limit Standoff Could Force Fed to Revisit Emergency Playbook

A crisis-management playbook Federal Reserve officials created years ago could guide their response this fall if the federal government can’t pay all its bills because of a political standoff over raising the federal debt limit.

The options include the Fed buying Treasury securities in default on the open market and selling Treasurys owned by the Fed to counteract potentially severe strains in financial markets, according to the transcript of an October 2013 conference call.

Bitcoin Miners Eye Nuclear Power as Environmental Criticism Mounts

Bitcoin miners, under fire for their sizable environmental footprint, are forging partnerships with owners of struggling nuclear-power plants with electricity to spare.

The matchups have the potential to solve key issues facing each industry, executives and analysts say: Electricity-hungry bitcoin miners want stable and carbon-free power, while nuclear plants facing competition from cheaper power sources need new customers.

 

U.N. Members Seek New Cyber Discussions Amid Rising Ransomware Attacks

The future of United Nations-led efforts to create rules around how nations should behave in cyberspace is unclear, researchers and experts say, even as countries respond to a growing number of ransomware attacks.

U.N. member states in a cyber discussion group struck an agreement in March on a set of so-called norms, or nonbinding principles that include a prohibition on attacking critical infrastructure in other countries. Russia and France, however, proposed two competing groups to replace that forum, which was scheduled to end this year.

Center-Left Wins Narrow Victory in German Elections

BERLIN-Germany faces weeks and perhaps months of uncertainty as Sunday’s narrow victory for the center-left in national elections left open the shape and agenda of its next government and offered little clarity about who would succeed Chancellor Angela Merkel.

At least initially, the world’s fourth-largest economy and the European Union’s biggest member could find itself without strong leadership, then with a weakened government in the following four years.

Congress Heads Into Tumultuous Week Pressured by Converging Deadlines

WASHINGTON-A slew of high-stakes deadlines will collide on Capitol Hill this week, setting up potentially chaotic negotiations against the backdrop of expiring government funding and the threat of a possible U.S. default.

(MORE TO FOLLOW) Dow Jones Newswires

September 27, 2021 06:37 ET (10:37 GMT)
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