Welcome to the weirdest (and legitimately scariest) Halloween week ever. Surprisingly, sweet gross sales are up this year — maybe it’s the stress consuming? Right here’s what you’ll want to know in enterprise and tech information going into Monday. — Charlotte Cowles
What’s Up? (Oct. 18-24)
The federal authorities is lastly making good on its threats to crack down on massive tech. The Division of Justice introduced a major antitrust lawsuit towards Google and accused the corporate of deploying unfair business tactics to squelch its rivals. (The one precedent for a case like this occurred practically 20 years in the past, when the federal government sued Microsoft.) Google rejected the allegations and stated the go well with would “artificially prop up lower-quality search options, elevate cellphone costs” and harm shoppers. However many shopper advocates say it’s high time to regulate big tech more aggressively. Subsequent up: The Federal Commerce Fee is planning to vote on whether to file an antitrust lawsuit against Facebook.
Purdue Pharma, the drugmaker behind the extremely addictive painkiller OxyContin, has pleaded guilty to felony charges and shall be required to pay greater than $8 billion in settlement charges. The corporate admitted to rewarding docs for pushing prescriptions for its medicine, thereby contributing to an opioid disaster that has resulted within the deaths of more than 450,000 Americans. It nonetheless faces 1000’s of lawsuits in a number of states. As for the rich Sackler household, who personal the corporate: They’re being held accountable in a separate settlement, to the tune of $225 million in penalties.
Epstein’s Lengthy Arm
It’s been over a 12 months for the reason that financier Jeffrey Epstein died by suicide after being charged with sexually abusing teenage women, however his case continues to hang-out his enterprise and private associates. His former girlfriend, Ghislaine Maxwell, stays beneath arrest and has been silent on expenses that she recruited victims for Mr. Epstein. However in a four-year-old deposition, launched this previous week, she vehemently denied any wrongdoing. Elsewhere, new revelations about monetary ties between Mr. Epstein and Leon Black, the founding father of the funding agency Apollo World Administration, prompted one pension fund to halt new investments with the firm and others to contemplate doing the identical. Apollo’s board announced that it was investigating Mr. Black’s relationship to Mr. Epstein.
What’s Subsequent? (Oct. 25-31)
Within the Scorching Seat
Social media platforms are struggling to combat the unfold of misinformation main as much as the election, notably as Russia and Iran have mounted new interference campaigns to harm the Democratic presidential candidate, Joseph R. Biden Jr. However no one’s pleased with the way it’s going, notably lawmakers. Now, the Senate has referred to as for the chief executives of Fb, Google and Twitter (Mark Zuckerberg, Sundar Pichai and Jack Dorsey,) to testify on Wednesday about how they’re dealing with hate speech, misinformation and privateness. The listening to will give attention to a legislation that shields tech firms from legal responsibility over the content material posted by their customers, whereas additionally permitting them to reasonable it. President Trump has claimed the rule is unfair, and needs an overhaul.
Promoting Artwork to Survive
Like many artwork establishments, the Brooklyn Museum is struggling to soak up the pandemic’s affect on its income. However not like lots of its friends, it has resorted to selling notable pieces from its holdings to pay its workers and look after the remainder of its assortment. This week, Sotheby’s will auction off a selection of the museum’s Impressionist and modern artworks, together with work by Henri Matisse and Claude Monet. Whereas de-accessioning is normally prohibited by the Affiliation of Artwork Museum Administrators, the affiliation has made an exception due to the pandemic, and can permit such gross sales to proceed by way of 2022.
How Are We Doing?
The primary report on the US’ third-quarter gross home product — the broadest evaluation of the financial system’s well being — shall be launched on Thursday, and is anticipated to indicate the quickest progress on report. However that’s as a result of it follows a report drop within the second quarter, when many companies have been pressured to shut beneath lockdown measures. Both method, don’t get too excited by the numbers. The nation’s financial system is predicted to gradual significantly within the fourth quarter, particularly as a wave of recent infections hampers reopenings and, in some circumstances, leads to extra shutdowns.