Business Briefs – November 4, 2019

From Toast of Town to Toxic: Facebook CEO on Outs With Dems

WASHINGTON (AP) — Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is on the outs with Democrats in Washington, where bipartisan hostility against the social media giant has been building for months. With the 2020 election approaching, Democrats especially are homing in on Facebook’s conduct and its refusal to fact-check political ads and remove false ones. Zuckerberg says it’s important people “can see for themselves what politicians are saying.”

Apple Commits $2.5b to Combat California Housing Crisis

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Apple says it’s committing $2.5 billion to combat California’s housing crisis. The pledge announced Monday includes a $1 billion fund to build new homes for households with low to moderate incomes and a $1 billion homebuyer mortgage assistance fund. Democratic Gov. Gavin Newsom is calling Apple’s pledge an “unparalleled financial commitment to affordable housing” and says he hopes other companies follow its lead.

Uber’s Revenue Grows but Its Losses Mount in Third Quarter

NEW YORK (AP) – Uber picked up the pace of its revenue growth in the third quarter, but the ride-hailing heavyweight is still losing vast sums of money. The San Francisco company said Monday it racked up revenue of $3.81 billion in the third quarter, 30% more from the same time last year. But Uber lost $1.16 billion in the quarter, extending its streak of losses.

Market for Small Businesses Cools Further, Report Says

NEW YORK (AP) – The market for small businesses cooled further during the third quarter as fallout from trade wars made companies look less appealing to buyers. That’s the finding of a report on small business sales released by BizBuySell.com, an online marketplace for companies. BizBuySell.com counted 2,454 small businesses sold during July-September, down 8.6% from 2,685 sold in the same period last year.

China-Led Asian Trade Bloc Pushes Ahead As India Drops Out

NONTHABURI, Thailand (AP) — A 16-nation trade initiative backed by China is pushing ahead as India, facing fierce domestic opposition to its market-opening requirements, has dropped out. Leaders of countries involved in the Regional Comprehensive Economic Partnership said Monday that they had resolved differences, but India said it was out.

Google Employees Call For Corporate Climate Change Action

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google employees are demanding the company issue a climate plan that commits it to zero emissions by 2030. An online petition posted Monday bears signatures from more than a thousand Google employees. It also calls on Google to decline contracts that would support the extraction of fossil fuels and to avoid collaborating with organization involved with the oppression of refugees.

Ferrari To Launch Fashion Collaboration With Armani

MILAN (AP) — Sportscar maker Ferrari said Monday it was starting a fashion collaboration with Giorgio Armani as part of its long-promisedy strategy to squeeze more value out of the storied company’s allure. CEO Louis Camilleri told analysts that Ferrari aims to earn 10% of earnings before interest and taxes in seven to 10 years from three defined brand extension areas: apparel, entertainment and luxury services.

First Horizon, IberiaBank Combining In Stock Deal

LAFAYETTE, La. (AP) — Tennessee-based First Horizon and the Louisiana-based IberiaBank are combining in a deal worth $3.9 billion. The regional banking companies announced what they are calling a “merger of equals” in a statement released Monday. The combined company will have its headquarters in Memphis, Tennessee, and a regional banking center in New Orleans. The new company will have $75 billion in assets and market capitalization of $9 billion after the all-stock deal closes next year.

Chile Protests Resume, Demonstrations Crimp Economic Growth

SANTIAGO, Chile (AP) — Thousands of Chileans took to the streets again Monday to demand better social services, some clashing with police, as protesters demanded an end to economic inequality even as the government announced that weeks of demonstrations are hurting the country’s economic growth.

Finance Minister Ignacio Briones warned that that negative economic impacts from the protests in the country’s that is the planet’s leading copper producer forced officials to lower their 2019 economic growth prediction to between 2% and 2.2% from 2.6 percent.