6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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The price of the Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) Echo has caused competitors to slash prices for similar products. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Amazon.com Inc. has triggered a race to the bottom in smart speakers.

Amazon slashed prices on its new lineup of six Echo devices as part of its Black Friday promotions last month. The price drop for its entry-level Dot, to $30 from $50, helped make it the No. 1-selling product on the online retail giant’s website over the Thanksgiving weekend. The new version of Amazon’s original Echo speaker now sells for $100, roughly half the price of the first-generation device when it launched three years ago.

That has forced rivals to react. Alphabet Inc. reduced prices on its Google Home smart speaker nearly 40% to $79 for a limited time and introduced a lower-priced option, the currently $29 Home Mini.

John Skipper, who has run sports programming behemoth ESPN for Walt Disney Co. (NYSE: DIS) for five years, has quit because of “substance abuse.”

Twitter Inc. (NYSE: TWTR) said some extremist groups could no longer use the service. According to Bloomberg:

Twitter Inc. pulled some white supremacists and other extremists from its platform on Monday, enforcing new policies to address persistent concerns that it wasn’t doing enough combat hate speech and harassment.

The U.S. government reported that software that disabled a large number of computers originated in North Korea. According to Reuters:

Capitalizing on spying tools believed to have been developed by the U.S. National Security Agency, hackers staged a cyber assault with a self-spreading malware that has infected tens of thousands of computers in nearly 100 countries.

The Trump administration has publicly blamed North Korea for unleashing the so-called WannaCry cyber attack that crippled hospitals, banks and other companies across the globe earlier this year.

“The attack was widespread and cost billions, and North Korea is directly responsible,” Tom Bossert, homeland security adviser to President Donald Trump, wrote in a piece published on Monday night in the Wall Street Journal.

Two billion dollars were recovered by the U.S. government on behalf of American workers. The Economic Policy Institute reported:

In 2015 and 2016, a total of $2 billion in stolen wages ($880.3 million in 2015; $1.1 billion in 2016) were recovered for workers by the U.S. Department of Labor ($246.8 million in 2015; $266.6 million in 2016); by state departments of labor and attorneys general in 39 states ($170.0 million in 2015; $147.5 million in 2016); and through class action settlements ($463.6 million in 2015; $695.5 million in 2016). These represent wages stolen by employers who, for example, refuse to pay promised wages, pay employees for only some of the hours worked, or fail to pay overtime premiums when employees work more than 40 hours in a week.

Shares of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. (NYSE: BRK-A) hit $300,000 for the first time.