Donald vs. Jeff. Amazon.com accuses the White House of lobbying against its services, particularly in connection with the negotiation of the Pentagon's cloud contract, won by Microsoft. The group led by Jeff Bezos has taken legal action for this $10 billion contract, called "JEDI" (Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure). Bezos, who owns the Washington Post, himself believes that his group is a victim of Donald Trump's crusade against his enemies. In other news, the company announced today that it has won the broadcasting rights for the German Champions League for the 2021-2022 season.
Estimated to be worth $16 billion, NortonLifeLock is coveted by a handful of companies, including its major rival McAfee, according to the Wall Street Journal. Ongoing discussions reportedly include a combination with the consumer business of McAfee, an antivirus software company owned by Intel Corp, and the private equity firms TPG and Thoma Bravo LLC. But other companies also covet NorthonLifeLock, such as Permira or Advent International Corp.
Dieselgate, continued. Canada is suing Volkswagen for manipulating the polluting emissions of its imported vehicles. Some 60 charges have been laid against the manufacturer for the period from 2008 to 2015, representing the importation of approximately 128,000 vehicles that do not comply with the pollutant emissions regulations. A first appearance is scheduled for Friday in the Ontario Court of Justice.
Merry Christmas. The Sanctions Commission of the French Financial Markets Authority (AMF) has imposed a penalty of €20 million on Morgan Stanley for manipulating the price of sovereign bonds and a sovereign bond futures contract. Meanwhile, Morgan Stanley is expected to cut about 1500 jobs, CNBC learned. This represents some 2% of the bank's global workforce, particularly in technology, support functions and even analysis.
Call for a buyer. HSBC will start discussions with the contenders of its retail bank in France, with the latest rumors, which confirm what had already been revealed in recent weeks. In the absence of a buyer, the institution could launch a restructuring of its subsidiary, which has 8,500 employees, about half of whom are in retail banking and SMEs. Recently, KBW had estimated the division between €1 billion and €1.5 billion.
In other news. Bill Ackman's Pershing Square fund has gained a foothold in Agilent Technologies. In France, Anses will have more than 30 glyphosate-based products (Bayer) withdrawn from sale by the end of 2022. Fitch abandons Sunrise's negative debt watch, confirmed at "BB+". Nike employees criticize the treatment of women in the company. Comcast plans to spend about $2 billion over the next two years to promote Peacock, its new streaming service. Sika opens a third factory in Indonesia. Ted Baker's CEO resigns after sales and a dividend waiver. Computacenter exceeds its objectives. Just Eat rejects the offer raised to 740 GBp from Prosus. Partners Group has just completed a wind farm in the North Sea.