6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Douglas A. McIntyre

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) will no longer work with brokers that use its data to target certain people. According to Reuters:

Facebook Inc said on Wednesday it would end its partnerships with several large data brokers who help advertisers target people on the social network, a step that follows a scandal over how Facebook handles personal information.

The world’s largest social media company is under pressure to improve its handling of data after disclosing that information about 50 million Facebook users wrongly ended up in the hands of political consultancy Cambridge Analytica.

Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) legal problems over slow iPhones have grown. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Dozens of iPhone owners are taking Apple Inc. to court over its disclosure that it slowed down old phones to preserve battery life, in what could become one of the biggest legal challenges involving the company’s smartphone since its 2007 debut.

Some five dozen iPhone customers have filed at least 59 separate lawsuits since December accusing Apple of slowing their phones to spur people to buy new iPhones, according to court records. Apple said in December that its software update introduced at the start of 2017 reduced the performance of older phone models. The suits seek an unspecified financial award, attorneys’ fees and free iPhone battery replacements, as well as a corrective advertising campaign.

A Moody’s downgrade of Tesla Inc.’s (NASDAQ: TSLA) credit rating sent both the value of its stock and bonds down. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Heavy selling of Tesla Inc. shares and bonds persisted Wednesday, posing a new challenge to the electric-car maker that has relied on the faith of investors to meet pressing cash needs.

The company’s shares fell $21.40, or 7.7%, to $257.78, extending a weekslong decline that deepened Tuesday amid broad weakness among technology stocks, increased scrutiny of the company’s semiautonomous driving system, and a credit-rating downgrade from Moody’s Investors Service.

BMW and Mercedes will join forces to battle ride-sharing services around the world. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Daimler AG and BMW AG, fierce rivals in the luxury-car business, are joining forces to bolster their on-demand transportation entries against competition from tech giants like Uber Technologies Inc.

The German auto makers said Wednesday they will form a joint-venture company that combines Daimler’s Car2Go and BMW’s DriveNow car-sharing providers, as well as ride-hailing services such as Daimler’s Moovel and MyTaxi and others.

Nissan and Renault may merge. According to Bloomberg:

Renault SA and Nissan Motor Co. are in talks to merge and create a new automaker that trades as a single stock, people with knowledge of the matter said.

A deal would end the current alliance between the companies and marry them as one corporation, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the details aren’t public. Renault currently owns 43 percent of Nissan while the Japanese carmaker has a 15 percent stake in its French counterpart. Carlos Ghosn, the chairman of both companies, is driving the negotiations and would run the combined entity, the people said.

One hurdle to an Aramco IPO has been removed. According to CNBC:

Saudi Arabia expects to unveil by the end of June rules to prevent large share price drops in newly-listed companies, the final regulatory step for the listing of oil giant Saudi Aramco, the head of the kingdom’s stock market regulator said.

The mechanism, known as price stabilization, is common on developed markets and allows underwriters of an initial public offering (IPO) to use some of the company’s stock to bolster its price, should it fall in the days after it starts trading, or the volume of shares changing hands is weak.