The Week in Business: Uber’s Bumpy Ride and Apple’s Star-Studded Trial

The Week in Business: Uber’s Bumpy Ride and Apple’s Star-Studded Trial

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You're a busy person, so here's your quick and breezy catch-up on the latest in tech and business news, plus what to know for the week ahead. Your Monday self will be better for it.

APRIL 7-13

What’s Up? Uber Shows Its Hand

Your ride is (almost) here, but how much is it worth? Uber’s widely anticipated initial public offering, on track for early May, will aim for a valuation of $90 billion to $100 billion. That’s significantly lower than the $120 billion that many investors had expected, although it would still be the largest I.P.O. since 2014. Why the falling numbers? For one thing, the ride-sharing company lost $1.8 billion last year, and its growth is slowing. Plus, everyone has been taking note of what happened after the recent I.P.O. of Uber’s smaller rival Lyft. Its shares have already dropped roughly 20 percent below their offering price.

A Tabloid for Sale

The National Enquirer, the checkout-line mainstay known for peddling headlines about aliens on the moon and, more recently, aiding President Trump’s 2016 candidacy, is for sale. The tabloid is led by David J. Pecker, a longtime friend of Mr. Trump’s, and there’s word of a surprising potential buyer: the billionaire Ron Burkle, a Democratic donor with ties to former President Bill Clinton. The publication came under scrutiny for helping Mr. Trump’s political rise by buying the rights to a story from a Playboy model who said she had an affair with him and then never publishing it — a tabloid practice known as catch-and-kill. The Enquirer is now under federal investigation for claims that it threatened Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, with “extortion and blackmail” after exposing details about his extramarital affair.

Brexit, Meet Brexwait

Just what no one wanted: Six more months of Brexit drama. European Union leaders agreed on Wednesday to extend Britain’s withdrawal deadline — again — this time to Oct. 31. Now, British lawmakers will have more time to argue over their long-overdue departure plan, which they’ve already had three years to discuss. While they haggle, businesses will continue to plan for the worst until Brexit trade policies are settled, compromising the country’s economic growth. On the upside, Britain did not crash out of the bloc on Friday without a deal, which could have wreaked economic havoc. But is the extension just prolonging the inevitable?

APRIL 14-20

What’s Next? What’s in a Tweet?

Thursday is the deadline for Tesla’s chief executive, Elon Musk, and the Securities and Exchange Commission to work out their differences on Mr. Musk’s Twitter practices. A federal judge in New York has asked both parties to submit a joint letter with clear guidelines about Mr. Musk’s tweets — namely, when Mr. Musk must get approval from a Tesla lawyer before posting. The S.E.C. sought more oversight of Mr. Musk’s communications after he tweeted erroneous information about Tesla more than once, first about taking the company private and later about its production numbers. (Presumably, he will be allowed to keep tweeting about cheese-related flatulence and multicolored squirrels whenever he pleases, as he recently did.)

Apple Goes to Court

A jury will get to decide whether Apple owes money to the chip manufacturer Qualcomm, which might sound dull if not for the cast of tech stars involved. Apple’s chief executive, Tim Cook, and Steve Mollenkopf, his counterpart at Qualcomm, are both expected to take the stand at the trial, which begins in San Diego this week. Top brass from other technology companies, like the manufacturing giant Foxconn, are also expected to testify. The showdown is a culmination of a two-year global fight between tech giants, with Qualcomm seeking back payment for chips used in iPhones and Apple disputing Qualcomm’s claims to certain technology.

Wall Street’s Report Card

More big banks will release their first-quarter earnings this coming week, and the results may be stronger than expected if JPMorgan’s report on Friday was any indication. Analysts had lowered their projections for bank profits in recent months for a mix of reasons, including the slowing economy and the Federal Reserve’s changing stance on interest rates. Banks’ performances are often seen as a litmus test for overall economic health, and the latest numbers may offer clues to how much we should be worried about a recession — or whether we’re overly paranoid.

What Else?

Disney unveiled plans to take on Netflix with its own streaming service, which will cost $7 a month when it becomes available on Nov. 12. In other news, J. Crew is considering a spinoff of its smaller, fast-growing brand Madewell to raise some much-needed cash. Speaking of crunches, Boeing still has no timetable for getting its grounded 737 Max jets back in the air, and the costs of fixing the planes — and convincing regulators, airlines and passengers that they’re safe to fly — are starting to pile up.

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