Good morning, Quartz readers!
What to watch for today
The US Senate considers AT&T’s acquisition of Time Warner. The companies’ CEOs will try to persuade the judiciary committee that the $108.7 billion deal will increase competition. Tech billionaire Mark Cuban will also testify that it will create a new competitor for Facebook and Google.
India’s central bank looks to cut rates. With the economy sputtering from demonetization, the Reserve Bank of India is expected to drop its benchmark interest rate by .25 points to 6%. (In yesterday’s Daily Brief, we mistakenly said the decision would be made on Dec. 6.)
The US reports more October economic data. Analysts expect job openings increased by 14,000 (pdf) to a
seasonally adjusted 5.5 million. Consumer credit data will also be released.
While you were sleeping
Donald Trump met with SoftBank CEO Masayoshi Son. Afterwards he announced the Japanese tech firm will invest $50 billion and create 50,000 jobs in the US. SoftBank still hopes for US approval to merge its Sprint subsidiary with T-Mobile US, despite authorities signaling opposition to the idea a few years ago. Stocks in both companies gained after the announcement.
The US Supreme Court backed Samsung over Apple. In a unanimous decision, judges threw out a ruling that ordered the South Korean giant to pay a $399 million penalty for violating Apple’s patents. The case was returned to an appeals court with instructions to decide on a smaller penalty for copying iPhone designs.
Alaska Air Group won US approval for its $2.6 billion acquisition of Virgin America. But the company will have to scale back its code-sharing with American Airlines for the deal to go forward, antitrust regulators said. The merged company would be the fifth-largest US carrier.
An earthquake struck Indonesia’s northern Aceh province. At least 25 people were killed, and dozens of buildings collapsed. In 2004 the nation lost more than 160,000 lives, mostly in the Aceh province, after an earthquake triggered a large tsunami. This time there was no tsunami threat.
Quartz obsession interlude
Josh Horwitz on the US companies and states that will suffer most if US-China relations worsen: “Any trade war that introduced new tariffs on US goods sold in China or made it more difficult for US companies to do business there would hurt some profoundly. In the aggregate, US soybeans farmers, auto makers, and aircraft companies export the most to China.” Read more here.
Quartz haiku interlude
The skyward cranes join
and part in flight, kind of like
two stock indices
Matters of debate
Beijing will be the real winner if Facebook enters China. Censoring content in exchange for market access would be a Pyrrhic victory for Mark Zuckerberg.
The West’s center-left is in free fall. Francois Hollande’s demise is a sign of the times, one that mirrors the fate of politicians throughout the western hemisphere.
Tamil Nadu’s most shameful political moment fueled Jayalalithaa’s rise. The late Indian politician was a victim turned abuser.
David Bowie is treating Buzz Aldrin in a New Zealand hospital. The astronaut’s doctor shares a name with the late rock star who wrote the song “Space Oddity.”
Polar sea ice the size of India has disappeared. Greenhouse gases, an El Niño weather event, and freak natural swings are all possible culprits.
The speed of light could be slowing down. Some scientists believe that the supposed constant was faster in the early moments of the universe.
JPMorgan Chase’s new credit card may be too popular. The premium Sapphire Reserve card is expected to reduce the bank’s quarterly profits by up to $300 million.
San Francisco’s airport now features a therapy pig. LiLou is trained to reduce the stress of travel (she’s also big on Instagram.)
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