6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg would not say if he is willing to support regulation of the company he founded as he testified before Congress. According to Reuters:

Facebook Inc Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg on Tuesday navigated through the first of two U.S. congressional hearings without making any further promises to support new legislation or change how the social network does business.

During nearly five hours of questioning by 44 U.S. senators, Zuckerberg repeated apologies he previously made for a range of problems that have beset Facebook, from a lack of data protection to Russian agents using Facebook to influence U.S. elections.

But the 33-year-old internet mogul managed to deflect any specific promises to support any congressional regulation of the world’s largest social media network and other U.S. internet companies.

Scandal-troubled biotech Theranos has fired most of its staff. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Blood-testing firm Theranos Inc. laid off most of its remaining workforce in a last-ditch effort to preserve cash and avert bankruptcy for a few more months, according to people familiar with the matter.

Tuesday’s layoffs take the company’s head count from about 125 employees to two dozen or fewer, according to the people familiar with the matter. As recently as late 2015, Theranos had about 800 employees.

Sprint Corp. (NYSE: NYSE: S) and T-Mobile US Inc. (NASDAQ: TMUS) returned to M&A negotiations. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Sprint Corp. and T-Mobile US Inc have rekindled merger talks, people familiar with the matter said, as the wireless rivals explore a combination for the third time in four years.

The latest discussions come just five months after a previous courtship ended largely over who would control the combined business. The talks also come in the midst of an antitrust fight between the U.S. government and telecommunications giant AT&T Inc.

Locked in a battle with Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) and Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT), Kroger Co. (NYSE: KR) will add over 10,000 new workers. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Kroger Co. is hiring 11,000 workers to improve customer service and efficiency at its thousands of stores as competition among food retailers heats up.

Kroger said the new positions at its nearly 2,800 supermarkets will include 2,000 managers and represent a 2% increase to its workforce of about 450,000 full- and part-time employees. The hiring push is part of a three-year plan to focus on overhauling existing stores instead of building as many new ones as in past years.

The head of the International Monetary Fund said global trade wars could cripple the economy. According to the Financial Times:

IMF chief warns global economy could be ‘torn apart’. Lagarde says countries should ‘steer clear of protectionism’

The failure of retailers reached a high in the first quarter. According to CNNMoney:

Moody’s said in a report on Tuesday that retail sector defaults hit a record high during the first three months of 2018 as the rise of e-commerce and decline of malls continues to eat away at profits.

Struggling Sears and bankrupt Claire’s are among the nine retailers that defaulted on their debt during the first quarter despite the healthy overall economy. All but one of the retailers are based in the United States.

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