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EU Slaps Meta With Penalty For Data Privacy Violation, Uber's Diversity Leader Faces Heat, China Bans Some Of Micron's Product Sales: Today's Top Stories


Meta Stock Falls Premarket: EU Slaps Company With Record $1.3B Penalty For Data Privacy Violation

  • The Irish Data Protection Commission slapped Meta Platforms Inc (NASDAQ: META) with a penalty of a record €1.2 billion ($1.3 billion) for user privacy invasion.

  • Meta has a deadline of five months to "suspend any future transfer of personal data to the U.S." and six months to stop "the unlawful processing, including storage, in the U.S." of transferred personal EU data,

  • EU regulators in December launched proposals to replace the previous "Privacy Shield" pact that the EU's Court of Justice had struck down.


New York Times

Uber's Diversity Leader Faces Heat For Discussions At Company's Racism-Focused Events

  • Uber Technologies, Inc (NYSE: UBER) suspended the veteran head of diversity, equity, and inclusion Bo Young Lee following complaints of racism at a company event.

  • Uber's Slack groups for Black and Hispanic employees expressed frustration for the company minimizing racism and the harm white people can inflict on people of color by focusing on how "Karen" is a hurtful word.

  • The workers felt prioritization of difficulties experienced by white women and that Lee was dismissive of their concerns.


Financial Times

Why Micron Tech Stock Is Trading Lower Monday

  • Micron Technology Inc (NASDAQ: MU) stock is trading lower Monday after China banned some of its product sales after a seven-week investigation into Micron.

  • The Cyberspace Administration of China flagged serious cybersecurity issues posed by Micron products and potential risks to the country's key information supply chains.

  • The regulator urged domestic firms that provide "key information infrastructure" to stop buying from Micron.

Where Is Our Bonus? Credit Suisse Employees Plan Lawsuit Against Swiss Regulator Over AT1 Bonus Losses Due To UBS Rescue

  • Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE: CS) employees are reportedly preparing to sue Swiss regulator FINMA after losing $400 million in bonuses partially tied to the bank's AT1 bonds.

  • Quinn Emanuel and Pallas, law firms already suing Swiss regulator Finma on behalf of investors who owned Additional Tier-1 (AT1) bonds, have received multiple requests from senior managers at Credit Suisse to take legal action on their behalf.

  • UBS said this week that it would book a $400 million gain from the move once it completed the takeover.


Wall Street Journal

Exxon Quietly Joins Search For Lithium

  • Exxon Mobil (NYSE: XOM) has started to prepare for a future that will be significantly less reliant on gasoline.

  • Exxon recently purchased drilling rights to a sizable chunk of Arkansas land from which it aims to produce the mineral, a key ingredient in batteries for electric cars, cellphones, and laptops.

  • According to the sources, lithium is far removed from the fossil-fuel business, which has powered Exxon's profits for over a century. It signals the company's assessment that demand for internal combustion engines could soon peak.



'Pay Your Writers:' Warner Bros. CEO Zaslav Heckled During Boston University Commencement Speech

  • Warner Bros. Discovery Inc (NASDAQ: WBD) Chief Executive David Zaslav was heckled with angry chants from students at Boston University while he had taken the stage to accept his honorary degree and give the 2023 commencement speech.

  • Hundreds of seniors at Boston University attended the event, as 7,000 degrees were conferred in nearly 350 fields of study

  • During his 20-minute speech, the Warner Bros. chief was attacked with brutal comments like "Shut up, Zaslav," "We don't want you here," and "Pay your writers."

NatWest Buys Back Stock Worth £1.26B From UK Government, Reduces Latter's Stake to 38.6%

  • NatWest Group PLC (NYSE: NWG) disclosed buying back its shares worth £1.26 billion from the UK government.

  • The off-market purchase amounts to NWG's stock at 268.4 pence per share as of the close of trading on May 19, 2023.

  • NWG plans to cancel 336 million shares and expects to hold the remaining 133 million in treasury.

Volkswagen Exits Russia, Completes Sale Of Russian Operations To Local Dealer

  • Volkswagen AG (OTC: VWAGY) has completed the sale of its assembly plant and other operations in Russia Art-Finance LLC, which the Russian Dealer Avilon supports. 

  • With the registration of the transaction, ownership of the shares held by Volkswagen Group Rus LLC and its subsidiaries are transferred to the buyer.

  • The transaction includes the production facilities in Kaluga, the importer structure and the warehousing and financial services activities with all its associated employees.

Ford Reaffirms EBIT Outlook, Inks Lithium Products Supply Agreement With Nemaska Lithium

  • Ford Motor Co (NYSE: F) has reiterated FY23 adjusted EBIT guidance of $9 billion - $11 billion.

  • The auto major anticipates about $7 billion EBIT for Ford Blue, nearly $6 billion for Ford Pro, and an FY23 loss of about $3 billion for the startup Ford Model e.

  • Also, Ford has entered into a long-term agreement with Nemaska Lithium to supply lithium products, including lithium hydroxide, over 11 years.

Applied Material To Inject $4B For Chip R&D Center In Silicon Valley

  • Applied Materials Inc (NASDAQ: AMAT) disclosed an investment of around $4 billion for creating the world's largest and most highly advanced research facility, Equipment and Process Innovation and Commercialization (EPIC) Center, in Silicon Valley.

  • The company expects to invest over the next seven years in building the EPIC center at its campus and expects subsidies from the government under the CHIPS and Science Act.

  • The new innovation center is expected to finish by early 2026 and will host around $25 billion of R&D work in the first 10 years of operations.

Chevron To Acquire PDC Energy In $7.6B Deal

  • Chevron Corporation (NYSE: CVX) inked a pact to acquire PDC Energy Inc (NASDAQ; PDCE) in an all-stock deal worth $7.6 billion, including debt.

  • The acquisition provides development opportunities adjacent to Chevron's position in the Denver-Julesburg (DJ) Basin and additional acreage to Chevron's leading position in the Permian Basin.

  • The deal, valued at $72 per share, will add $1 billion to annual free cash flow. It will add new drilling inventory to Chevron's U.S. oil and gas reserves.



Mayo Clinic Study Highlights Potential of Novo Nordisk's Wegovy for Cardiac Health and Weight Loss

  • Researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that Novo Nordisk A/S's (NYSE: NVO) Wegovy (semaglutide) reduced the risk of heart disease and boosted weight loss.

  • After a year of taking semaglutide, the risk of a heart attack or a stroke over the next ten years dropped to 6.3% from 7.6%.

  • The study included 93 patients, and the researchers said that more extensive studies were needed to see if the risk reduction score meant less illness and death long-term.

Morgan Stanley May Get New CEO Succeeding James Gorman Within 12 Months

  • Morgan Stanley (NYSE: MS) will appoint its next chief executive officer within 12 months, succeeding the company's current CEO, James P. Gorman.

  • The company has identified a few "strong candidates" for the position.

  • Morgan Stanley's co-presidents Ted Pick and Andy Saperstein, Chief Operating Officer Jonathan Pruzan, and head of investment management Dan Simkowitz are likely contenders for the position.

Photo via Meta

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