DealBook Briefing: Media Mergers Coming in 3, 2, 1 …
(Source: nytimes.com)

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(Original link: nytimes.com)

story-content" data-para-count="68" data-total-count="68"> Good Wednesday. Want this in your inbox every morning? Sign up here . The media M.&A. floodgates are open Every media and telecom giant that’s thinking of buying a rival just got some good news.
AT&T won its legal fight to be allowed to buy Time Warner — a huge blow to the Justice Department, which sought to block the deal on the grounds that consumers would suffer. The chances of approval for other media takeovers look much better now.
First up will be Comcast. Expect the cable giant to challenge Walt Disney’s $52.4 billion bid for most of 21st Century Fox in the next day or two. (Michael de la Merced has outlined Fox’s antitrust concerns about a potential Comcast bid, which yesterday’s ruling is likely to have allayed.)
But who else could be on the hunt for deals? John Malone, who controls both the cable company Charter and content providers like Starz; Verizon; and tech giants like Apple, Google and Amazon.
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Continue reading the main story Andrew says the verdict is likely to rattle President Trump, a vocal opponent of the Time Warner deal. “Mr. Trump doesn’t like to lose, and that could make his administration more reluctant to police future deals that actually deserve to be blocked,” he writes in his latest column .
Photo Elon Musk Credit Shannon Stapleton/Reuters Advertisement
Continue reading the main story Tesla is cutting staff in a bid for profitability In a sign of financial sense, the carmaker announced that it would lay off 9 percent of its staff of 37,500. The cuts will mainly hit salaried employees and won’t affect production workers at its plant in Fremont, Calif. (That’s important, given its struggle to build enough Model 3 sedans.)
The aim is to slow Tesla’s cash burn: It lost $785 million in the first quarter, despite generating $3.4 billion in revenue. In an email to the staff , Elon Musk said that his company’s vision — to “accelerate the world’s transition to sustainable, clean energy” — would not happen “unless we eventually demonstrate that we can be sustainably profitable.”
DealBook’s take: Streamlining — and presumably reducing how rapidly it needs to raise money — sounds sensible for Tesla. But exciting new projects like an electric truck could now become harder to finance. There’s also a risk to that highflying stock: If Tesla behaves like a normal company, investors may start to value it as one.
Photo Kim Il-sung Square in Pyongyang, North Korea. Credit Ed Jones/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images Who wants to do business with North Korea? When President Trump met Kim Jong-un in Singapore this week, one of his pitches to the dictator was the prospect of Western investment in North Korea. Businesses aren’t exactly lining up to build factories in Pyongyang — at least, not yet. But could that change? Alex Stevenson of the NYT assesses the chances :
Some in the business world find the idea intriguing. The North has a relatively young population and an underground entrepreneurial bent. It has a large amount of resources like rare earths and iron ore. And South Korea has offered the North a modernization plan that includes building railways and power plants.
Crossed wires? North Korean state media said Mr. Trump offered to lift sanctions on Pyongyang. That wasn’t the White House line.
The political flyaround • President Trump is expected to impose tariffs on Chinese goods as soon as Friday. ( Politico )
• Take a close look at Tom Barrack, a billionaire ally of Mr. Trump who has strong ties to the Middle East — and introduced him to Paul Manafort. ( NYT )
• Mick Mulvaney’s time atop the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau — sorry, the “B.C.F.P.” — is near an end . His potential replacement: Representative Darrell Issa , a California Republican who isn’t running for re-election.
• A New York state court has curtailed the reach of the Martin Act, which has been used to bring fraud charges against Wall Street. ( NYT )
Photo Protesters at a Seattle city council meeting in May. Credit Elaine Thompson/Associated Press Seattle fought Big Tech. Big Tech won. Last month, city officials unveiled a business tax meant to help pay for homeless programs and affordable housing. It would have fallen in large part on Amazon. But the e-commerce behemoth lobbied hard against the tax — and now it’s dead .
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Continue reading the main story The lesson for mayors and city governments elsewhere? Taking on tech titans is risky, especially if they employ lots of people in your district. More from David Streitfeld and Claire Ballentine of the NYT :
The politicians had no stomach for a protracted battle over jobs, even at a moment when the area’s unemployment rate is only 3.1 percent. “It is clear that the ordinance will lead to a prolonged, expensive political fight over the next five months that will do nothing to tackle our urgent housing and homelessness crisis,” they said.
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