Big Business This Week is a guided tour through the biggest market stories of the week, from winning stocks to brutal dips to the facts and forecasts generating buzz on Wall Street.
Could two entertainment bigwigs combine forces for a streaming superpower? Reports that Warner Bros. Discovery and Paramount Global met to discuss a possible merger created buzz on Thursday. Axios was the first to break the news, but the companies have not released any statement on the report. If true, the deal is still in its very early stages, but investors didn't seem too enthused. Warner Bros Discovery stock was down 8 percent for the week and Paramount Global ended the week down nearly 7 percent.
RITE AID'S NEXT MOVE
Pharmacy chain Rite Aid has agreed to bankruptcy mediation, which gave investors a sigh of relief. The organization will be eligible for a $200 million loan while it sorts out what it owes to creditors and those who have accused the company of contributing to the opioid epidemic. Meanwhile, Rite Aid has been banned from using facial recognition technology in its stores for more than five years because the FTC says it didn't use "reasonable procedures" to prevent similar theft-prevention tech from falsely identifying people, particularly Black, Latino and female shoppers.
NIPPON STEEL TO BUY U.S. STEEL
U.S. Steel will be American no more. Japan's Nippon Steel will acquire the producer in a deal worth about $14.9 billion. U.S. Steel will keep its headquarters in Pittsburgh, where it has been based since the turn of the 20th century and played a major role in the industrialization of America. However, the White House has said the deal deserves "serious scrutiny." The company turned down a deal from Ohio-based Cleveland Cliffs over the summer that would have been worth about half the price. U.S. Steel stock soared on the news, which broke before the U.S. markets opened on Monday, so although it was down nearly 4 percent for the week, it's actually up nearly 38 percent over the last month. Nippon Steel stock was up 3 percent for the week.
ADOBE DROPS FIGMA DEAL
Another major deal that would have reshaped the cloud technology landscape has been called off. Adobe backed out of a $20 billion acquisition of the online design company Figma after concerns that EU and UK regulators would push back over antitrust concerns. Adobe will pay Figma $1 billion to kill the agreement. Adobe stock closed the week up 1 percent.
ILLUMINA UNWINDS GRAIL DEAL
The biotech world also saw an about-face on a major deal when Illumina announced it will unwind its purchase of cancer-screening company Grail. The $7.1 billion deal closed in 2021, but didn't get approval from the EU. Last week, a U.S. appeals court ruled the deal may have also violated antitrust laws stateside. That's when Illumina decided to throw in the towel. Illumina stock rose on the news of the divestment, closing the week up 6 percent.