Frontrunning: December 14

  • Disney Agrees to Buy Fox Assets in $52.4 Billion Deal (WSJ)
  • The Fed Isn’t the Tax Cut’s Enemy (WSJ)
  • The Republicans’ Problem Is Bigger Than Alabama (BBG)
  • ECB Leaves Rates Unchanged and Sees QE to September or Beyond (BBG)
  • A Christmastime Tax Cut for Some, a Lump of Coal for Others (WSJ)
  • Putin says U.S. gripped by fabricated spymania, praises Trump (Reuters)
  • Russia Wins in Arctic After U.S. Fails to Kill Giant Gas Project (BBG)
  • Investors call on Sanderson, Denny's, McDonald's to cut antibiotics (Reuters)
  • FCC Readies Unwinding of Net Neutrality (WSJ)
  • The National Football League Has a Woman Problem, and Vice Versa (BBG)
  • From German Faucets to Italian Chocolate, Trade Barriers Are Rising Again in Europe (WSJ)
  • FedEx, UPS Want to Steer Santa’s Packages to the Local Drugstore (BBG)
  • Business Insider Inc. Drops ‘Business’ From Its Name as Company Broadens Coverage, Distribution (WSJ)
  • How to Rebuild Puerto Rico (BBG)
  • EU regulators to clear Luxottica, Essilor deal without conditions (Reuters)
  • U.N. chief says arrest of Reuters journalists shows erosion of press freedom in Myanmar (Reuters)

Overnight Media Digest

WSJ

- Chinese online lender LexinFintech Holdings Ltd, which is planning to go public in the U.S., scaled back its fundraising ambitions after regulatory changes in China sparked a rout in shares of similar companies. on.wsj.com/2ADP8D9

- Walt Disney Co is close to a deal to acquire a large piece of 21st Century Fox Inc in a pact that could help the entertainment company accelerate its ambitions in streaming media, shore up its television business and grab hold of lucrative movie franchises. on.wsj.com/2AEjp4X

- The highest-earning Americans will get a lower tax rate and corporations will pay slightly more than in previous plans under a deal House and Senate Republicans reached on the party's competing tax-overhaul bills. on.wsj.com/2AFhuwU

- Apple Inc is awarding one of its key suppliers Finisar Corp $390 million as part of its effort to fund U.S. technology manufacturers, the tech company said Wednesday. on.wsj.com/2AEbrsq

- A former United Auto Workers bargaining official Joseph Ashton resigned from General Motors Co's board of directors amid a broad federal investigation into training-center funds jointly overseen by domestic automakers and the union. on.wsj.com/2AEd5ue

 

FT

- Deutsche Lufthansa AG abandoned plans to buy Air Berlin Plc’s subsidiary, Niki. The European Commission was concerned that the deal to would lead to higher prices and less consumer choice.

- Atos SE’s proposal to takeover Gemalto NV for 4.3 billion euros was rejected by Gemalto saying the offer significantly undervalued the company.

- Investec, the Anglo-South African lender, is teaming up with UK fintech MarketInvoice in the first move by a bank to outsource the provision of some of its client-facing banking services to a technology platform.

- Less than 5 percent of Walt Disney Co will be held by Rupert Murdoch and his family following the planned $60 billion sale of 21st Century Fox entertainment assets to Disney

 

NYT

- The United States federal investigators are pursuing at least one criminal investigation into Uber Technologies Inc, according to a court document released on Wednesday. The document, which was submitted by the United States attorney's office in the northern district of California, does not specify what the agency is investigating. (nyti.ms/2Cfv5rW)

- The United States Federal Reserve, buoyed by a steadily strengthening economy, raised interest rates on Wednesday for a fifth time since the financial crisis and predicted that a proposed tax cut moving through Congress would modestly increase economic growth for the next few years without stoking inflation. (nyti.ms/2jU5Dk7)

- Communications Workers of America, a major union, has won significant job protection and increased pay for about 20,000 AT&T Inc's AT&T Mobility employees, as well as a commitment to bring work back from overseas. (nyti.ms/2j1uxNV)

- Facebook Inc, confounding expectations, said on Wednesday that the company had found no evidence of a significant Russian effort to interfere in the British referendum last year on leaving the European Union. (nyti.ms/2ksw2or)

- Alphabet Inc's Google said on Wednesday it is opening a China-based center devoted to artificial intelligence. The move nods to the country's growing strength in A.I., thanks to substantial government funding prompted by Beijing's ambition of having a say in the technologies of the future. (nyti.ms/2j1xi1J)

 

Canada

THE GLOBE AND MAIL

** The federal government is set to unveil a new C$100 million ($78 million) program that will boost the amount it contracts out to startups, part of its attempt to stimulate Canada's domestic technology sector. tgam.ca/2AEHIzD

** The Greater Toronto Area is facing a flat year for home prices on average in 2018, although downtown Toronto and some suburban communities will see higher prices, according to a new forecast from Re/Max Integra. tgam.ca/2AEl8a5

NATIONAL POST

** A triple threat of falling consumer spending, a potential pullback in residential housing investment and anemic levels of oil and gas expenditures could cut economic growth rate in half for the next 15 years, a new Boston Consulting Group report warns. bit.ly/2AFkqcT

** Maple Leaf Sports & Entertainment will add another Toronto sports team to its roster - the Toronto Argonauts Football Club. bit.ly/2AI4MgL


Britain

The Times

- Chris Sier, the academic appointed by UK's Financial Conduct Authority to throw light on hidden costs in fund management, was forced to apologise on Wednesday following a complaint by the industry's lobbying organisation after he accused the industry of being "arrogant and complacent". bit.ly/2zb8k8X

SPONSORED

- The water regulator Ofwat claimed the regime for setting water bills from the spring of 2020 will be the hardest yet for any privatised regulated utility in UK. bit.ly/2z9J9DD

The Guardian

- Britain's long jobs boom appears to have come to an end after the Office for National Statistics figures showed the number of people in work fell by 56,000 in the three months ending in October. bit.ly/2z9RjMg

- The Feedback charity is backing the owner of a genuine farm called Woodside Farm – a name Tesco Plc has also used on its value pork range since 2016 – and is threatening legal proceedings if the retail giant does not drop the name Woodside Farms. bit.ly/2zaihmU

The Telegraph

- Britain has emerged as the first recipient of gas from a sanctioned Russian project after fears of a winter supply crisis drove prices close to five year highs. A deal has been struck to bring the debut cargo from Yamal to the Isle of Grain import terminal by the end of December. bit.ly/2zaj5rW

- Sports Direct International Plc's shareholders have voted to block an 11 million pounds ($14.75 million) payout to its founder Mike Ashley's brother John Ashley. bit.ly/2zaGjyg

Sky News

- The British Government has suffered its first defeat on key Brexit legislation after 11 Tory MPs staged a rebellion to demand a "meaningful" vote on any divorce deal with the EU. bit.ly/2zaKJ8q

- The Bank of England has set out plans to end the use of gendered language in policy documents. They include ditching "chairman" in favour of "chair" and replacing "grandfathering" - a term related to exemptions granted under new rules or contract terms - with "conversion". bit.ly/2z9U3JN

The Independent

- A new rule on gender stereotyping in advertising will be introduced next year to help tackle harmful and outdated practices, UK's regulator Advertising Standards Authority has said. ind.pn/2zaxTHb