Following last week’s sea of red, global markets continued their downward trend before finally offering some slight reprieve late this week. We’ve noticed increased buying activity from our Superheroes amidst the recent volatility. 👀
Here’s some of this week’s hot topics.
Amazon just got sued for being too powerful
Or rather, being too powerful and using that power to gain an unfair advantage.
According to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), the agency suing Amazon, the e-commerce giant has been illegally conducting “monopoly” activities. Uh-oh.
A monopoly means that a single entity has all the power within its industry.
Regulators don’t like them because they can inflate prices, lower quality and prevent innovation.
🤔 What are the charges?
The FTC believes that Amazon uses a few illegal tactics to create a monopoly in the online retail industry:
- Punishing sellers who list their goods elsewhere at lower prices by pushing them down in search results, to the point of no visibility.
- Indirectly requiring sellers to use Amazon’s costly fulfilment service to qualify for “Prime” eligibility, making it more expensive for sellers to list their products elsewhere.
- Imposing high fees on hundreds of thousands of sellers who rely solely on Amazon for business, charging them nearly half of their revenue.
- Lowering the customer experience by prioritising paid ads over relevant search results.
- Manipulating search results to push Amazon’s own products over those from third-parties that are of better quality.
📢 How did the e-commerce giant respond?
As you might expect, Amazon pretty much just disagreed, stating, “we look forward to making that case in court.”
Interestingly, the FTC has already sued the retailer three other times this year.
That might explain why investors weren’t really shaken up – Amazon’s share price remained flat despite the announcement.
Hollywood writers’ strike closes its chapter
Familiar with the Hollywood strike that’s shut down shows like Stranger Things and The Last of Us?
Well, after five long months, it might finally be ending.
✍️ It was a long journey
The strike began alllllllll the way back in May, when writers pushed for higher royalties, better benefits and job protection in light of advancements in artificial intelligence.
Actors and performers later joined in the fray, turning this year’s strike into the biggest one that Hollywood has seen in decades.
📝 The (almost) conclusion
The leaders of the Writers Guild of America (WGA) finally voted to end the strike after an acceptable deal was presented by several studios.
The 11,500 union members now have until October 9 to vote on the proposed conditions. They include higher minimum pay rates, increased health and pension benefits and better rights for writers.
Shares of Netflix, Disney, Paramount Global and Warner Bros Discovery all climbed up after the news.
🔦 Some other things we’re shining the Spotlight on:
- AUGUST DOWN UNDER: August’s key economic figures were released this week, with the YoY inflation lifting to 5.2% from July’s 4.9%. While Aussie retail sales have continued to slow, is that enough to prevent a rate hike decision next Tuesday? 👀
- FALLING STAR: The Star’s (ASX:SGR) share price plummeted 18% after news of its latest share placement. The entertainment giant raised a fresh A$565m, preventing it from having to sell its Sydney casino. The catch? Investors would only bite for a good deal – leading to the company having to issue the new shares at a 20% discount.
- CHATGPT SURFS THE NET: When ChatGPT broke the internet last year, it came with the caveat of only having info up until Sept 2021. That is, until this week. OpenAI just announced that ChatGPT can now surf the net for the latest news. While currently only available to premium members, the update will be open to all users in due time.
- PEL-LEMON OR LULU-LOTON?: Peloton (NASDAQ:PTON) and Lululemon (NASDAQ:LULU) announced a 5-year partnership that sent Peloton’s share price soaring yesterday. The apparel retailer will be bringing Peloton’s content into its exercise app.
And that’s it for this week’s Spotlight!
Don’t forget, Daylight Savings starts on Sunday ☀️
NSW is also gearing up for a delightful long weekend thanks to its Labour Day falling on Monday, but no worries, the ASX will continue to operate as usual next week.
Thanks to all of you for being here and reading!
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