Business News at a Glance
Posted April 29, 2018 9:56 p.m. EDT
Sprint and T-Mobile Agree to Merge, in Bid to Remake Wireless Market
Sprint and T-Mobile announced Sunday that they had reached a deal to merge, moving to create a new telecommunications giant — and betting that regulators will finally allow the American wireless market to shrink to just three national players. A combined company, they said, would have more than 100 million subscribers — and the resources to build out a next-generation wireless network and challenge Verizon and AT&T. Sprint and T-Mobile also said the merged company — which would keep the T-Mobile name — would create thousands of jobs by building out that next-generation network and opening hundreds of new stores.
Learning the Lessons of Seattle
When representatives from Amazon visited Denver in January, they did what you’d expect from a company scouting for a place to put its second headquarters. They toured more than a half-dozen sites for a new campus and talked about the technical talent available in the area. But they also did something that surprised officials: Quiz them on how, if Amazon chooses to settle there, the company could avoid the problems it confronts in Seattle, its hometown. If Amazon moves in, how would officials deal with traffic? And how would the company’s tax dollars contribute to the creation of affordable housing?
US Allies Brace for Trade War as Tariff Negotiations Stall
A few weeks ago, it felt as if a trade war pitting the United States against allies like Australia, Canada and the European Union was over before it even began. The Trump administration dispensed so many temporary exemptions to steel and aluminum tariffs that many countries figured the threats were just political theater. But with only days left before the exemptions expire and punitive tariffs take effect, it’s dawning on foreign leaders that decades of warm relations with the United States carry little weight with a president dismissive of diplomatic norms and hostile toward the ground rules of international trade.
Blockchain Will Be Theirs, Russian Spy Boasted at Conference
Last year, representatives of 25 countries met in Tokyo to work on setting international standards for the blockchain, the technology that was introduced by Bitcoin. Some of the technologists at the meeting of the International Standards Organization were surprised when they learned that the head of the Russian delegation, Grigory Marshalko, worked for the FSB, the successor to the KGB. They were more surprised when they asked the FSB agent why the Russians were devoting such resources to the blockchain standards. "The internet belongs to the Americans — but blockchain will belong to us,” he said, according to one delegate.
‘Avengers: Infinity War’ Lands the Biggest Global Opening Ever
“Spider-Man: Homecoming” was a soaring success. “Thor: Ragnarok” opened even bigger. Then “Black Panther” crushed both of them. But none of those Marvel movies could compare to the franchise’s shiniest jewel, “Avengers: Infinity War,” which rampaged through the weekend with $630 million worldwide — easily the biggest global opening of all time. Expectations were high for “Infinity War,” the first installment of a two-part finale, which will wrap up a whopping 20-film Disney franchise. Domestically, the film put up a cool $250 million and was celebrated in Hollywood as the biggest opening ever.
Press Dinner’s Comedy Act Sets Off Furor
The panna cotta had been served and the First Amendment celebrated by the time comedian Michelle Wolf took the stage Saturday at the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner. What followed was a roast that took aim at some of the notables in the room — and quickly opened a divide, largely but not entirely along partisan lines, over the limits of comedy and comity under a president who rarely hesitates to attack the press. At one point, Wolf described Sarah Huckabee Sanders, the White House press secretary, as “an Uncle Tom but for white women who disappoint other white women.”