6 Most Important Things in Business Today
Amazon.com Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) discontinued a controversial tool used to help it hire people. According to Reuters:
Amazon.com Inc’s machine-learning specialists uncovered a big problem: their new recruiting engine did not like women.
The team had been building computer programs since 2014 to review job applicants’ resumes with the aim of mechanizing the search for top talent, five people familiar with the effort told Reuters.
An activist investor took a position in Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX). According to The Wall Street Journal:
William Ackman’s activist hedge fund has built a roughly 1.1% stake in Starbucks Corp., a so-far friendly bet that the coffee giant will recover from recent stumbles and weather the departure of its longtime leader, Howard Schultz.
Mr. Ackman unveiled Pershing Square Capital Management LP’s investment in the Seattle coffee company during a presentation Tuesday at a conference in New York, his first such appearance in several months. He took the stage with an unsweetened Starbucks ice tea.
Sears Holding Corp. (NASDAQ: SHLD) finally may file for Chapter 11. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Sears Holdings Corp. has hired M-III Partners LLC to prepare a bankruptcy filing that could come as soon as this week, according to people familiar with the situation, as the cash-strapped company that once dominated American retailing faces a debt payment deadline.
Employees at M-III Partners, a boutique advisory firm, have spent the past few weeks working on the potential filing, the people said. In recent days, M-III staff have been at the retailer’s headquarters in Hoffman Estates, Ill., one person said. Sears continues to discuss other options and could still avert an in-court restructuring, the people added.
Google appealed a huge fine. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Alphabet Inc.’s Google on Tuesday said it filed an appeal of the European Union’s €4.34 billion ($4.97 billion) antitrust fine for allegedly abusing the dominance of its Android operating system for mobile phones.
But Google said it has no plans to ask for so-called interim measures to pause application of the decision. Without further action, Google will have to meet a deadline at the end of October to end the behavior the EU says is anticompetitive or face additional fines of up to 5% of average daily global revenue for each day it doesn’t comply.
Music piracy is still a big problem. According to The Wall Street Journal:
Even as Spotify and Apple Music have returned the music business to growth by getting fans to pay, piracy rates remain stubbornly high, according to the record industry’s global trade organization.
The way people pirate music has evolved along with their legitimate listening habits, and piracy is curbing the potential market for subscribers, the International Federation of the Phonographic Industry concluded in a report released Tuesday.
The level of U.S. weapon sales to overseas nations has risen. According to CNBC:
The U.S. sold more than $54 billion in military equipment to foreign governments in the fiscal year that ended Sept. 30, the Pentagon’s top financial officer told a small group of reporters.
“We’ve had a 62 percent increase in foreign military sales, over $54 billion,” David Norquist, the Defense Department’s comptroller, said alongside Deputy Secretary of Defense Patrick Shanahan on Oct. 3.