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Trump Beefs Up Defamation War Against New York Prosecutor, Apple Weighs Content Deals With Disney, Likely Lawsuit On Google For Influencing Online Ad Market: Today's Top Stories

Benzinga

Trump Reportedly Hires Top Trial Lawyer In Defamation War Against New York Prosecutor

  • Former President Donald Trump has reportedly hired trial lawyer Joe Tacopina in a matter about alleged defamatory statements made by the former criminal division chief at the U.S. attorney’s office in Manhattan, Mark Pomerantz.
  • The alleged defamatory statements were made in Pomerantz’s resignation letter, according to the letter sent by Tacopina, Seigel & Deoreo to the former prosecutor.

Elevance Agrees To Acquire Louisiana Nonprofit Health Insurer Adding 1.9M Members

  • Elevance Health Inc ELV agreed to acquire Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana, joining Elevance Health’s affiliated Anthem Blue Cross Blue Shield family of brands.
  • The combination builds on the existing collaboration in Louisiana through joint ownership of Healthy Blue, which serves Medicaid and Medicare Dual Eligible members.
  • Analysts from S&P Global Ratings said the Louisiana insurer had revenue of approximately $4.5 billion and net income of about $101 million in 2021, figures a Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Louisiana spokeswoman confirmed.

Amazon Introduces Affordable Healthcare Subscription Service For Uninsured Consumers

  • Amazon.Com Inc launched RxPass in select U.S. states, a new Prime membership benefit from Amazon Pharmacy that provides patients affordable access to generic medications that treat more than 80 common health conditions for just $5 a month. 
  • With RxPass, Prime members can avail of desired eligible medications for one flat, low fee of $5 and have them conveniently delivered free to their door.

Emerson Electric Secures Key Role In $6B Chemical Project In the Middle East

  • Emerson Electric Co EMR will provide automation technologies, software, and analytics for the Ras Laffan Petrochemical Complex in Qatar.
  • Emerson will be a part of a consortium with Viasat Energy Services, a division of global communications company Viasat Inc VSAT.
  • The $6 billion integrated polymers project is currently under construction and scheduled to go online in late 2026.

Verizon Clocks 1.43M Retail Postpaid Net Additions In Q4, FY23 Outlook Lags Wall Street Consensus

  • Verizon Communications Inc VZ reported a fourth-quarter FY22 sales growth of 3.5% year-on-year to $35.3 billion, beating the consensus of $35.1 billion.
  • Adjusted EPS of $1.19 was in line with the consensus.
  • Total wireless service revenue was $18.8 billion, up 5.9% Y/Y, reflecting the company’s ownership of TracFone, further progress on its premium Unlimited strategy, and pricing actions. Postpaid phone net additions of 217,000, and retail postpaid net additions of 1,434,000, marked the best single-quarter performance in seven years.
  • The quarter marked 416,000 total broadband net additions.

Johnson & Johnson Reports Mixed Q4 Earnings, Issues FY23 Guidance Edging Higher Than Street Consensus

  • Johnson & Johnson JNJ has reported Q4 FY22 adjusted earnings of $2.35 per share, up 10% Y/Y and beating the consensus of $2.23.
  • Sales declined 4.4% to $23.7 billion, primarily driven by unfavorable foreign exchange and reduced COVID-19 vaccine sales, missing the consensus of $23.94 billion.
  • Operational growth, excluding the COVID-19 vaccine, was 4.6%.

 

Bloomberg

Apple Weighs Content Deals With Disney, Other Partners For VR Headset

  • Apple Inc discussed developing VR content for the platform with about half a dozen media partners, including Walt Disney Co DIS and Dolby Laboratories Inc.
  • Apple worked on updating its own Apple TV+ material to work with the headset.
  • Apple’s long-anticipated mixed-reality headset marked an ambitious attempt to create a 3D version of the iPhone’s operating system with eye- and hand-tracking methods.

DOJ Likely To Take Action Against Google For Influencing Online Ad Market

  • The U.S. Justice Department prepared to slap a lawsuit on Alphabet Inc’s Google by January 24 regarding its dominance over the digital advertising market.
  • The lawsuit will mark the DOJ’s second monopoly case against the most influential player commanding the $278.6 billion U.S. digital-ad market and the $626.86 billion global digital ad market. The lawsuit would also mark the fifth major case in the U.S. challenging the company’s business practices.

 

Reuters

Blackstone Plans Divesting $480M Worth Stake In Indian REIT To Bain Capital

  • Investment banking company Blackstone Inc BX is planning to sell half its stake in the Indian real estate investment trust Embassy Office Parks (REIT).
  • The company is in talks with the potential buyer, private equity firm Bain Capital for the same.
  • The deal, if materialized, would be valued at about $480 million.

 

Wall Street Journal

Intel Faces Heat From Arm’s Growing Popularity With Cloud Computing Giants Like Amazon and Microsoft

  • Softbank Group Corp SFTBF SFTBY Arm-based chips won market share in PCs and rivaled Intel Corp INTC in the increasingly crucial data-center market. 
  • Arm’s clientele included cloud-computing operators Amazon.com Inc AMZNMicrosoft Corp MSFTAlphabet Inc’s GOOG GOOGL GoogleApple Inc AAPL as their data centers consumed a vast number of chips.

 

Financial Times

As US Investors Offload Their Stakes In Credit Suisse, Qatar Investment Doubles Its Stake

  • The Qatar Investment Authority (QIA) has increased its stake in Credit Suisse Group Inc CS, becoming the second-biggest shareholder after the Saudi National Bank.
  • As per the US Securities and Exchange Commission filing, the QIA doubled its stake in the Swiss bank and now owns a 6.87% stake in Credit Suisse.
  • The move comes as Harris Associates, the bank’s biggest shareholder just a few months ago with a 10% stake, now owns less than 5%.

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