DealBook Briefing: China Has to Think Beyond the Tariff Two-Step


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Will Comcast counter the new bid? And how high might it go? The cable company loves Sky’s mix of content, its distribution channels and its rights to show the English Premier League, so a big fight is plausible.

There’s another player to consider, too. Walt Disney, which is fighting Comcast for control of Fox, wants Sky for similar reasons, and is helping Mr. Murdoch overcome British government fears about antitrust.


Mark Zuckerberg Credit Leah Millis/Reuters

Britain fines Facebook $660,000 over Cambridge Analytica

The Information Commissioner’s Office, which enforces Britain’s data rules, says Facebook “contravened the law by failing to safeguard people’s information.” It will hit the social network with the maximum penalty possible — a remarkably small 500,000 pounds, or about $660,000. In the last quarter, Facebook earned that 7,500 times over.

But the fine may not be the last punishment Facebook receives in this scandal. In the U.S., the Justice Department, the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Federal Trade Commission are all investigating. Their powers go much further.

Tesla’s latest bet: a huge Chinese factory

The automaker will build a factory in Shanghai — its first outside the U.S., expected to produce up to 500,000 vehicles a year. Tesla says it could be making cars less than two years after construction starts. Manufacturing in China will help Tesla dodge aggressive tariffs on imported cars, and could position it to take greater advantage of the world’s largest electric vehicle market.

A big question: Tesla is already struggling to ramp up production in Fremont, Calif. How will it manage setting up shop in another country at the same time?

More Chinese car news: Other Western automakers are doubling down on efforts to manufacture in China. And Beijing promises it will get easier to do so.

Pfizer backs down on pricing after Trump’s threats

The drug maker said yesterday that it would postpone price increases on 100 medicines. President Trump had tweeted that the company should be “ashamed” of the rises, and Pfizer’s C.E.O. then spoke to him. Mr. Trump tweeted that the delay was “great news for the American people” and urged other companies to follow suit.

It’s proof that Mr. Trump still wields a lot of power from his Twitter perch, and he’s not afraid to use it when companies do things he dislikes.

But they don’t all yield: Harley Davidson — which the president criticized for moving some motorcycle production offshore to avoid European tariffs — is not retreating.


Credit Justin Lane/Epa-Efe/Rex/Shutterstock

Deutsche Bank hired a shareholder for help

The embattled German lender has made the unusual move of hiring one of its biggest investors, Cerberus Capital Management, to help fix its operations. Cerberus is known for buying into troubled companies and fixing them, but not so much for gun-for-hire turnaround advice.

Leading the project for Cerberus is Matt Zames, the firm’s president and a former top executive at JPMorgan Chase. Matt Levine of Bloomberg Opinion writes that while the move is strange, Mr. Zames “arguably has run a bank more successfully than Deutsche Bank has.”

Revolving door

Morgan Stanley promoted two top executives, highlighting them as potential successors to James Gorman as C.E.O. Ted Pick, its trading chief, will now also oversee investment banking, while Franck Petitgas, a co-head of investment banking, will run international operations. (WSJ)

Liane Hornsey has resigned as Uber’s chief people officer after an investigation into her handling of racial discrimination complaints. (Reuters)

Lisa Phelan, who led the Justice Department’s team specializing in prosecuting cartels, is joining the law firm Morrison & Foerster as a partner in Washington.

The speed read


• Blackstone is said to be raising its latest buyout fund, with a target of more than $20 billion. (Bloomberg)

• Lightspeed Venture Partners, which was Snap’s first outside investor, has raised a new $1.8 billion fund. (Reuters)

• The hedge fund Elliott Management has gained control of the soccer team A.C. Milan. (FT)

Politics and policy

• The Trump administration said it would release hundreds of migrant families who were detained at the U.S. border, fitting them with ankle bracelets. (NYT)

• Likely Democratic lines of attack in Brett Kavanaugh’s confirmation hearings for the Supreme Court: abortion rights and the Affordable Care Act. (Politico)

• Jamie Dimon of JPMorgan Chase says Brexit could stunt economic growth worldwide. (FT)


• Big data breaches, where at least 50 million records are lost, could cost companies $40 million to $350 million. (IBM)

• The F.B.I. has accused a former Apple engineer of stealing secrets from the company’s autonomous car project. (Mercury News)

• Cisco’s new C.E.O. wants to make computer networks simpler. (NYT)

Best of the rest

• Blockchain is headed to the charity sector. But do charities want it? (Bloomberg)

• Turkey’s economy is so hot that it might melt down. (NYT)

• The Kindle version of a rare book by the hedge fund mogul Seth Klarman — physical copies of which have sold for $500 — is unauthorized, his firm says. (CNBC)

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