Good morning and have a nice weekend in June. Here’s what you need to know on the business and technology news for the week ahead. – Charlotte Cowles
What’s happening? (June 13-19)
Don’t mess around
Let the breach of trust begin! Lina Khan, who has long criticized the market dominance of Amazon, Facebook, Google and other Silicon Valley giants, is now in charge of regulating them after becoming the youngest ever chairman of the Federal Trade Commission on Tuesday. The next day, the Justice Department filed its first antitrust lawsuit since President Biden took office. The lawsuit seeks to block the merger of two of the country’s largest insurance brokers, Aon and Willis Towers Watson, arguing that their combination âwill eliminate significant head-to-head competition and likely result in higher prices and less innovation would lead “.
At the end of his first summit with Russian President Vladimir V. Putin, President Biden said, âI did what I came to do.â In fact, he told Putin to stop cyberattacks, Russian criminal organizations – and in some cases Russian ones Government – increasingly perpetrated on American companies and government agencies. (Mr Putin denied that Russia was behind the attacks, despite much evidence to the contrary.) Mr Biden drew a line in the sand by stating that the peacetime infrastructure was “illegal” for hackers, and the couple agreed to do so discuss matter further. Progress?
And so the 17-year-old trade dispute between the US and the European Union over aircraft subsidies was settled – at least temporarily. The two sides agreed to face mutual threats of punitive tariffs imposed by the Trump administration in recent years. Instead, they will work together to counter the impending dominance of China in key industries. Britain quickly followed in Europe’s footsteps with a similar agreement with the United States. In other news, the EU has lifted its travel ban on American tourists, although each member state retains the right to decide on its own restrictions.
What’s next? (June 20-26)
Higher prices ahoy
At the start of the pandemic, the Federal Reserve cut rates to near zero, suggesting they could stay this low for years. This timeline could be shifted upwards. Now, most Fed politicians expect two rate hikes by the end of 2023, a more aggressive plan that hints at recent inflation concerns. As prices of everything from houses to cars to clothing (and even boats) rise, central bankers seem to be accelerating their forecasts for the recovery of the economy and working to keep growth constant.
Daily business briefing
No more angels
After several disastrous years that resulted in the closings of hundreds of stores, a failed takeover, and the resignation of the scandal-ridden CEO, Victoria’s Secret is making an Ave Maria: a major redesign. The once ubiquitous lingerie company has given up its previous marketing strategy of addressing male fantasies of âsexyâ women, embodied by the supermodel of the âAngelsâ brand. Instead, there will be a more inclusive, diverse cast of seven women (the “VS Collective”), including Megan Rapinoe, the soccer star and advocate of gender equality, and Priyanka Chopra Jonas, the Indian actress and technology investor. But will women buy it – or, more importantly for the company, the underwear it wants to sell?
Trouble in Lordstown
Lordstown Motors, a start-up automaker that took over a closed General Motors plant in Ohio, pledged to develop electric trucks and bring back manufacturing jobs. Instead, its prototype truck burned down during testing in February, and securities regulators are investigating the company and its claims about customer interest in its vehicles. Now it seems like the company doesn’t have enough money to make the trucks it promised. This is bad news for Lordstown’s workers and its supporters, including big names like GM. belong