It's been just over a month since T-Mobile (NASDAQ:TMUS) and Sprint (NYSE:S) announced their blockbuster $26 billion merger, which was immediately met with investor skepticism. The proposed deal has massive implications for the competitive landscape for cellular service, particularly at the national level. Of course, antitrust regulators would primarily be concerned about the effect that reduced competition may have on the prices that consumers pay for their monthly cellphone bills. This article originally appeared in the Motley Fool. Just days after the announcement, T-Mobile CEO John Legere did what any businessman looking for regulatory approval would do with an administration that seems susceptible to influence: booked a room at the Trump International Hotel in Washington, D.C. (It's possible Legere is merely a historical post office enthusiast.)
Instead of using Chinese investors' cash to open coffee shops, assisted living facilities and other businesses, an Orange County attorney spent millions on a yacht and other personal expenses, according to a civil fraud suit filed Tuesday by the Securities and Exchange Commission. The SEC alleges that Newport Beach lawyer Emilio Francisco misspent at least $9.5 million from 131 investors who wanted to participate in the federal EB-5 visa program, which promises permanent U.S. residency in exchange for investments that create jobs in the U.S. The program has faced harsh criticism over the past few years, as developers have stretched rules aimed at ensuring EB-5 money flows to rural communities or areas with high unemployment. A disproportionate amount of investors' cash has gone to build pricey condos and hotels in Los Angeles and other cities. Increasingly, the program has also been seen as a potential haven for fraud. Over the last few years, a number of investment managers have been charged with duping foreign investors and misspending cash that was supposed to go to job-creating projects.
Subscribe in iTunes RSS feed Download Play in a New Tab Slate Plus members: Get your ad-free podcast feed. Today on Slate Money, hosts Felix Salmon of Fusion; Cathy O'Neil, the author of Weapons of Math Destruction; and Slate Moneybox columnist Jordan Weissmann discuss: Check out other Panoply podcasts at itunes.com/panoply. Cathy O'Neil is a former hedge fund quant and blogger at Mathbabe.org. Jordan Weissmann is Slate's senior business and economics correspondent.
More than two years after a Wall Street Journal investigation exposed potential fraud at blood-testing startup Theranos, many of us have forgotten about the company. The Securities and Exchange Commission has not. Wednesday, the regulatory agency charged CEO Elizabeth Holmes and former President Ramesh Balwani with an "elaborate, years-long fraud in which they exaggerated or made false statements about the company's technology, business, and financial performance." As a result of the SEC's charges, Holmes has agreed to reduce her equity stake and voting control in the company. She's also agreed to a 10-year ban on working at public companies.
US Assistant Attorney General Makan Delrahim speaks to the press after a court ruled that the merger between AT&T and Time Warner could go ahead in Washington, DC, on June 12, 2018. Judge Richard Leon summoned both parties to his courtroom at 4 pm Eastern on Tuesday to hear his decision in the biggest merger challenge of our time. For a case about the dizzying pace of competition between Internet service providers (ISPs) and dominant tech platforms on the Internet super-highway, it was a tad ironic that the public could not access news of his decision for some forty minutes, as reporters were forbidden from leaving the courtroom until he was finished (and a connected cellphone would earn a contempt citation). Judge Leon dismantled the Antitrust Division's case, carefully noting the false premises and internal inconsistencies in the evidence presented to support DoJ's claim that the vertical tie-up of a non-dominant distributor with a content provider lacking "must-have" content would substantially lessen competition. The head of the Antitrust Division, darling of the tech reporters, and antitrust hero of the New Brandeisians for having the audacity to bring a case against an ISP--regardless of its infirmity and alignment with President Trump's war on Time Warner's news arm and the concept of a free press generally--was present as the seasoned judge explained why virtually each government witness and the studies underpinning their case lacked credibility.