🌍 The Prime Day distraction

Plus: One win and a round of job losses for Microsoft.

A man working next to a conveyer belt, onto which he is pushing Amazon packages.
Photo: Soren Larson (Reuters)

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Here’s what you need to know

Prime Day is in full swing for Amazon shoppers in much of the world. The two-day sale might distract subscribers from the fact that the US Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon for subscription tricks. (Note: India’s Prime Day starts July 23.)

Microsoft’s bid for Activision Blizzard jumped an antitrust hurdle in the US... But the $69 billion deal still faces one major regulatory obstacle.


…and announced a new round of layoffs in the US and abroad. The software giant added to the 10,000 jobs cut at the start of the year.

Foxconn and India’s Vedanta are calling it quits. Taiwan’s chip giant has withdrawn from its $19.5 billion venture with the Indian metals-to-oil conglomerate, for reasons we can only speculate.


A brief history of Bank of America’s illegal activity

The second largest bank in the US will have to pay $250 million—with some going directly to consumers—for charging junk fees, withholding credit card awards, and opening accounts without customer consent. The last decade has been a rocky one for the relationship between the bank and its consumers:

April 2014: BoA was fined $727 million for illegally charging 1.9 million customers for credit card services they never actually received.

May 2022: BoA was fined $10 million for unlawfully freezing customers’ accounts and charging garnishment fees in violation of state laws.

July 2022: BoA was fined $225 million for “botching” the distribution of state unemployment benefits during the pandemic.


Threads is beating Twitter in user engagement

Engagement—when users interact with a post—is famously important to brands: If you have 1 million followers, but only 20 users care about your posts enough to hit the like button, comment, or share, that’s a problem.


Brands may not have nearly as many followers on Threads as they do on Twitter, but engagement levels show that Threaders (is that what we’re calling them?) are paying more attention. It’s still early days, Faustine Ngila cautions, but in their ongoing cage match, Mark Zuckerberg’s strategy currently has Elon Musk on the ropes.

Pop quiz: What’s BNP Paribas voting against?

BNP Paribas Asset Management handles nearly $580 billion and has voted in more than 1,600 annual general meetings so far in 2023. At 55% of these votes, it rejected shareholder resolutions on:

  1. Bonuses for executives that were not clearly linked to actual results
  2. Director appointments for males when there were too many men on the board already
  3. Reelection of directors when the company wasn’t meeting ESG requirements
  4. Free ice cream on Fridays!

Nate DiCamillo reveals all.

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Surprising discoveries

Snatched jawline fervor indicates a depressing shift back to bony fashion norms. They also indicate: rich plastic surgeons.


Birds love anti-bird spikes. Savvy nest-builders use the spokes meant to keep ledges bird-free to keep their homes… other-bird-free.

Netflix has improved the green screen. The update to the century-old technology required the addition of one more color.


 Angolan giraffes are back in Angola. But they’re under a lot of pressure to jumpstart ecosystems stalled by decades of conflict.

There’s more than one way to look at the Earth’s shape. You can make an argument for either “blue marble” or “potato,” depending on, well, your worldview.


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