6 Most Important Things in Business Today

Douglas A. McIntyre

Snap Inc. (NYSE: SNAP) is being investigated about some of its IPO claims. According to Reuters:

The U.S. Justice Department and Securities and Exchange Commission have subpoenaed Snap Inc for information about its March 2017 initial public offering, the social media app maker told Reuters on Tuesday.

Toys “R” Us has a new Chapter 11 payment plan. According to The Wall Street Journal:

A judge signed off Tuesday on a bankruptcy plan for Toys “R” Us that gives control of the brand to a group of hedge funds, and a fractional payment to suppliers, after a failed turnaround effort left 33,000 workers without jobs and all of its U.S. stores closed.

The once-giant toy seller filed for bankruptcy protection in September 2017, hoping to trim its chain of stores and survive. Hopes of a turnaround for the toy store chain were dashed when hedge funds owed about $1 billion pushed Toys into liquidation after a disastrous holiday season.

Germany’s economy contracted last quarter. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Germany’s economy shrank for the first time in 3½ years, as tussles over trade undermined exports and new emissions rules hit car production.

Gross domestic product—the broadest measure of goods and services produced in an economy—fell 0.8% in annualized terms in the third quarter, data released Wednesday by the Federal Statistical Office showed.

That marks the first decline in Germany’s quarterly GDP since the first three months of 2015, when it fell by an annualized rate of 0.5%, and is well below the 3.5% rate registered in the U.S. during the third quarter.

Softbank put money into WeWork at a level that values the rental company at $45 billion. According to The Wall Street Journal:

WeWork Cos. said Tuesday that its largest investor, Japanese conglomerate SoftBank Group Corp., has committed an additional $3 billion to the shared-office company, valuing it at about $45 billion

If completed, the deal would make New York-based WeWork—which was last valued in a 2017 fundraising at $20 billion—the second-most valuable U.S. startup behind Uber Technologies Inc., and ahead of Airbnb Inc., according to Dow Jones VentureSource.

Starbucks Corp. (NASDAQ: SBUX) will cut some of its corporate workers. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Starbucks Corp. is planning to lay off approximately 5% of its global corporate workforce as it seeks to become a more nimble company.

The plan comes as the Seattle-based chain struggles to attract new and repeat customers to its U.S. coffee shops amid a highly competitive coffee market.

The company on Tuesday said it will lay off 350 employees. That number doesn’t include any employees who work in its cafes. In a memo sent to employees on Tuesday, Chief Executive Kevin Johnson said the areas impacted include marketing, creative, product, technology and store development. Employees were being informed of the job cuts on Tuesday.

Senator Bernie Sanders wants Walmart Inc. (NYSE: WMT) to raise worker wages. According to CNN Business:

Senator Bernie Sanders plans to unveil legislation on Thursday titled The Stop Walmart Act, aimed at raising wages at the retail giant. Walmart, along with Amazon, American Airlines and several other large companies, have drawn Sanders’ ire because he says they don’t pay workers a living wage.

Sanders points out that the Walton family, heirs to Walmart’s founder and one of the richest families in the US, have seen their wealth grow. The company earned $13 billion in profits last year, while the median worker is paid just over $19,000 a year.