The National Basketball Association will be the first major test of the new competitive landscape. Its agreements with ESPN and Turner run through the 2024-25 season. Most sports and media executives predict that the league will stick with traditional broadcasters for most of its games, while carving out some small portion of rights for a tech company.

“It hedges them for the future and exposes the product to new audiences,” said George Pyne, founder of the sports private equity firm, Bruin Capital, and the former chief operating officer of NASCAR. “They can still have a long-term relationship with network partners but dip their toe in with new media.”

Until then, the best opportunities for Apple and Amazon may be overseas — where Amazon has been active for years — because European soccer leagues resell their rights every two to three years. Amazon recently scooped up rights to Europe’s top tournament, the UEFA Champions League, in Britain, Germany and Italy. It also has rights to France’s Ligue 1, which it offers to Prime Video subscribers for annual fee of about $90, and the English Premier League.

Media companies will be pressured to expand geographically to compete, said Daniel Cohen, who leads global media rights consulting for Octagon, a sports agency. Television broadcasters could also team up to pool their financial firepower, or buy each other outright, to compete with tech giants willing to pay billions for rights like N.F.L. Sunday Ticket.

“It comes down to a Silicon Valley ego thing,” Mr. Cohen said of the high-dollar N.F.L. deal. “I don’t see a road to profitability. I see a road to victory.”

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Wall Street dips after Fed minutes published

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  • FOMC minutes published at 2 p.m. EDT
  • Markets endured topsy-turvy trading prior to release
  • Investors watching c.bank’s stance on rate hikes, inflation
  • Uber, DoorDash fall as Just Eat agrees Amazon partnership
  • Indexes up: Dow 0.23%, S&P 0.36%, Nasdaq 0.35%

NEW YORK, July 6 (Reuters) – Wall Street put a seesaw day behind it to close higher on Wednesday, as investors digested new clues on the U.S. central bank’s approach to rate policy and its inflation fight detailed in the minutes from the latest Federal Reserve meeting.

After a brutal selloff in global equity markets in the first half of the year, nervous investors are keeping a close watch on central bank actions as they try to assess the impact of aggressive rate hikes on global growth.

They got their latest data point on Wednesday afternoon, when the minutes of the June 14-15 policy meeting detailed how the U.S. central bank was prompted to make an outsized interest rate increase. The minutes were a firm restatement of the Fed’s intent to get prices under control to address stubborn inflation and concern about lost faith in the central bank’s power. read more

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The 0.75 percentage-point rate increase which came out of the meeting was the first of that size since 1994. According to the minutes, participants judged that an increase of 50 or 75 basis points would likely be appropriate at the policy meeting later this month.

Prior to the minutes’ publication, investors had been pricing in another 75-basis-point rate increase at the upcoming July 26-27 gathering, meaning the fact that both 50 basis points and 75 basis points remained on the table pointed toward the Fed acknowledging the impact of its rate rises on the economy.

The minutes reflected participants’ concern about rate increases having the potential for a “larger-than-anticipated” impact on economic growth.

“I think people are heavily focused on the terminal rate of what the Federal Reserve’s increases are, and the 50-75 debate just points towards where you end up,” said Jason Pride, chief investment officer of private wealth at Glenmede.

Traders work on the floor of the New York Stock Exchange (NYSE) in New York City, U.S., June 30, 2022. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

He noted that a 50 basis-point hike would point toward a terminal rate of 3%, while 75 basis points indicated a peak of 3.25% or 3.5%. At 3.5% or above, the likelihood of recession is about 50%.

Prior to the publication of the minutes, all three Wall Street benchmarks had endured a seesaw session, and while there were further swings between positive and negative territory in the moments after the 2 p.m. EDT release, markets built solid gains for the rest of the day.

The Dow Jones Industrial Average (.DJI) rose 69.86 points, or 0.23%, to 31,037.68, the S&P 500 (.SPX) gained 13.69 points, or 0.36%, to 3,845.08 and the Nasdaq Composite (.IXIC) added 39.61 points, or 0.35%, to 11,361.85.

Eight of the 11 S&P subsectors closed higher, with utilities (.SPLRCU) and technology (.SPLRCT) leading the way. The biggest outlier was the energy index (.SPNY), which slipped 1.7% as crude prices fell to a 12-week low on recession fears.

Elsewhere, Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N) and DoorDash Inc (DASH.N) fell 4.5% and 7.4%, respectively, after Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) agreed to take a 2% stake in Just Eat Takeaway.com’s (TKWY.AS) struggling U.S. food delivery business, Grubhub. read more

Rivian Automotive Inc (RIVN.O) gained 10.4% after the electric-vehicle maker’s deliveries nearly quadrupled as it ramped up production. read more

Volume on U.S. exchanges was 11.31 billion shares, compared with the 13.08 billion average for the full session over the last 20 trading days.

The S&P 500 posted 2 new 52-week highs and 29 new lows; the Nasdaq Composite recorded 20 new highs and 109 new lows.

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Reporting by David French in New York and Amruta Khandekar and Bansari Mayur Kamdar in Bengaluru
Editing by Shounak Dasgupta and Matthew Lewis

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Grubhub gets Amazon investment; Prime members to get fee-free food

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July 6 (Reuters) – Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) has secured the right to buy a 2% stake in Just Eat Takeaway.com’s (TKWY.AS) Grubhub and will offer no-fee access to the service for a year to U.S. Prime members, hoping to boost subscriptions with a renewed push into meal delivery.

Announced ahead of Amazon’s July “Prime Day” marketing blitz starting Tuesday, the deal lets the online retailer’s loyalty club members use Grubhub without delivery fees on orders over $12 in more than 4,000 U.S. cities.

Shares in Just Eat Takeaway rose more than 15% to 15.86 euros in Amsterdam trading. The deal is a major relief for Europe’s largest meals company, whose stock had fallen 70% this year.

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Shareholders have demanded it sell or find a partner for Grubhub, which it bought last year for $5.8 billion. Demand has waned since the height of the pandemic, and it has lost market share to Doordash (DASH.N) and Uber Eats (UBER.N). read more

Amazon will receive warrants representing 2% of Grubhub’s shares, and an additional 13% of shares conditional on the deal bringing Grubhub enough customers.

Amazon’s stock rose more than 1%, while Uber shares fell about 4% and Doordash tumbled about 7%. Just Eat Takeaway specified in a statement it continues to “explore the partial or full sale of Grubhub,” though there is no certainty any deal will be reached.

In a note on the Amazon deal, analysts from JPMorgan said it would bring new customers and strengthen Grubhub’s position in the United States, comparable to a partnership Amazon has in Britain with Just Eat rival Deliveroo (ROO.L).

“While Grubhub is now only a smaller part of Just Eat Takeaway’s portfolio, representing about 20% of estimated 2023 revenues, this step improves JET’s position in potentially selling (Grubhub),” analysts wrote.

Globally, Amazon has said it has more than 200 million Prime members. It raised the annual cost of membership to $139 from $119 in the United States this year and has aimed to show the higher price-tag is worth it.

Analysts said this was an easy, inexpensive way for Amazon to resume U.S. restaurant delivery after exiting that business in 2019 because it lacked sufficient restaurant supply.

“Our thought is ‘hey, why not?”, analysts at RBC Capital Markets wrote.

The deal represents a familiar playbook for Amazon, which for years acquired warrants to buy stock in air transport and food distribution companies, prodding these partners to support the online retailer’s business without putting up money for a total acquisition.

Just Eat Takeaway said the agreement is expected to expand membership to Grubhub+, while having a neutral impact on Grubhub’s earnings in 2022 and providing a boost from 2023 onward.

The company said that Grubhub’s gross assets were worth 6.5 billion euros ($6.67 billion) at the end of 2021, and it made a pretax loss of 403 million euros in that year.

($1 = 0.9746 euros)

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Reporting by Elena Vardon, Piotr Lipinski, Toby Sterling, and Aishwarya Venugopal; Editing by Louise Heavens, Kim Coghill and David Gregorio

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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Factbox: Companies offering abortion travel benefits to U.S. workers

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June 29 (Reuters) – A growing number of companies, including JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O), Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) and Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) are updating or changing their health insurance policies to offer travel benefits to U.S. employees who may need to access out of state abortion services.

The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday took the dramatic step of overturning the landmark 1973 Roe v. Wade ruling that recognized a woman’s constitutional right to an abortion and legalized it nationwide. read more

Below is a list of companies that have said they will cover or reimburse U.S. employees who need to travel to receive medical care, including abortion, if access where workers live is restricted.

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Airbnb Inc (ABNB.O)

Alaska Air Group Inc (ALK.N) read more

Alphabet Inc (GOOGL.O)

Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) read more

American Express Co (AXP.N)

Apollo Global Management Inc (APO.N) read more

Apple Inc (AAPL.O)

AT&T Inc (T.N)

Bank of America Corp (BAC.N)

Bank of Nova Scotia (BNS.TO)

Blackstone Inc (BX.N) read more

Block Inc (SQ.N)

Bumble Inc (BMBL.O) read more

Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce (CM.TO)

Carlyle Group Inc (CG.O) read more

Chobani

Citigroup Inc (C.N) read more

CVS Health Corp (CVS.N)

Deutsche Bank AG read more

Dick’s Sporting Goods (DKS.N) read more

DoorDash Inc (DASH.N)

Equinox

Goldman Sachs Group Inc (GS.N) read more

Gucci (PRTP.PA)

H&M (HMb.ST)

HubSpot Inc

Intel Corp (INTC.O)

Johnson & Johnson (JNJ.N) read more

JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N) read more

Kroger Co (KR.N)

Levi Strauss & Co (LEVI.N) read more

L’Oreal (OREP.PA)

LVMH (LVMH.PA)

Lyft Inc (LYFT.O) read more

Macy’s Inc (M.N)

Mastercard Inc (MA.N) read more

Meta Platforms Inc (META.O) read more

Microsoft Corp (MSFT.O) read more

Morgan Stanley (MS.N) read more

Netflix Inc (NFLX.O)

Nordstrom Inc (JWN.N)

OKCupid (MTCH.O) read more

PayPal Holdings Inc (PYPL.O)

Pinterest Inc (PINS.N)

Proctor and Gamble Co(PG.N)

Ralph Lauren Corp (RL.N)

Rivian Automotive Inc(RIVN.O)

Starbucks Corp (SBUX.O) read more

Target Corp (TGT.N)

Tesla Inc (TSLA.O) read more

TPG Inc (TPG.O) read more

Uber Technologies Inc (UBER.N)

Ulta Beauty Inc (ULTA.O)

Unilever PLC (ULVR.L)

United Talent Agency read more

Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc (WBA.O)

Walt Disney Co (DIS.N) read more

Wells Fargo & Co (WFC.N) read more

Yahoo

Yelp Inc (YELP.N) read more

Zillow Group Inc (ZG.O)

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Reporting by Doyinsola Oladipo and Akash Sriram; Additional reporting by Chavi Mehta, Manas Mishra and Nichola Saminather; Editing by Anna Driver, Rosalba O’Brien, Bill Berkrot, Daniel Wallis, William Maclean

Our Standards: The Thomson Reuters Trust Principles.

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How Elon Musk and Tesla Helped Make C.E.O Pay Even Richer

While those compensation totals are taken from the company’s financial filings, they are often estimates driven by the companies’ attempts to value the stock their chief executives might receive. As a result, the executives may earn less than those totals, especially if the bear market persists and their companies’ stock prices remain depressed, but they could also take home far higher amounts should the stocks recover.

Many of the highest-ranking executives in the survey received pay packages that were far larger than those of the heads of far bigger companies with much larger profits. For example, Tim Cook, chief executive of Apple, received his first equity award since 2011 last year and had total compensation of $99 million, putting him just 13th in the survey.

Despite the growth in pay, shareholders, apparently believing that it is being tied to performance, have voted in favor of most packages. Only 3 percent of “say on pay” votes got less than 50 percent support from shareholders in the year through June 3, according to an analysis of 1,444 public companies by Willis Towers Watson, a consulting firm that advises companies on executive pay programs and corporate governance matters.

For several years, public companies have had to compare their chief executive’s compensation with that of a typical employee, the result of a regulation passed by Congress that aimed to help investors assess the level of executive pay. Last year, chief executives earned 339 times more than the median pay of employees at their companies, up from 311 times in 2020, according to Equilar. The median employee wage rose 10 percent last year, to $92,349 from $83,808.

Last year’s executive pay jumped in part because corporate boards, which decide chief executive compensation, wanted to reward top officers for navigating their companies through the pandemic.

In addition, the stock market rallied in 2021, and the value of stock grants, which typically constitute the largest share of chief executive compensation, was also higher. When stock prices are rising, boards tend to say executives are doing a good job — and pay them more.

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Amazon’s captive staff meetings on unions illegal, labor board official finds

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May 6 (Reuters) – A U.S. labor board official believes Amazon.com Inc (AMZN.O) violated federal law during mandatory staff meetings it held in New York City to discourage unionizing, a board spokesperson said on Friday, in what could lead to a new legal precedent.

The Amazon Labor Union alleged the retailer forced workers at an Amazon warehouse on Staten Island to attend the so-called captive audience trainings and said staff were threatened with dismissals if they joined the ALU, according to an amended complaint and an audio recording the union shared with Reuters.

The regional director of the Brooklyn-based office of the National Labor Relations Board has found merit to the allegations, in a potential first regarding captive-audience practices, board spokesperson Kayla Blado said. If the parties do not settle, the Brooklyn division will issue a complaint against Amazon that could be litigated up to the NLRB at the federal level.

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The NLRB’s Brooklyn region includes the borough of Staten Island.

An Amazon manager in March told workers that if they voted to organize, unions could bargain for a contract clause that “would require Amazon to fire you if you don’t want to join the union and pay union dues,” according to the recording the ALU shared.

In a statement, Amazon spokesperson Kelly Nantel said, “These allegations are false and we look forward to showing that through the process.” Mandatory meetings have been legal for over 70 years and were commonly held by employers, Amazon said.

The NLRB precedent that the meetings are legal dates to the 1940s.

The New York warehouse elected to join the ALU within weeks of the March incident, becoming the first Amazon facility to vote to unionize in the United States. Amazon is contesting the result.

Amazon’s meetings have been a flashpoint for labor organizers who for years sought to represent workers at the second-largest U.S. private employer but lacked an equal venue to counter the company’s point of view.

Seth Goldstein, a pro bono attorney representing the ALU, said, “We hope that Amazon will cease their meritless objections to our overwhelming election victory and will instead focus on ending their unlawful union-busting practices.”

Last month, the NLRB’s top lawyer, Jennifer Abruzzo, asked the board to ban businesses from making workers attend anti-union meetings, calling them inconsistent with employees’ freedom of choice. In a future case, Abruzzo said she would ask the board to overturn the precedent that the meetings are legal.

President Joe Biden, considered the most pro-union U.S. president in decades, last year appointed Abruzzo as general counsel, a position independent from the five-member NLRB.

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Reporting by Jeffrey Dastin in Palo Alto, Calif.; Editing by Rosalba O’Brien and Leslie Adler

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As Stocks Fall, Economic Fears Rise, Along With Inflation

Broadly speaking, earnings reports have shown that profit growth continues, and results from some big firms, like Microsoft and Facebook’s parent, Meta Platforms, did briefly ease the panic on Wall Street. About 80 percent of companies in the S&P 500 to report results through Thursday did better than analysts had expected, data from FactSet shows.

But other companies have only added to the downdraft. Netflix plunged after it said last week that it expected to lose subscribers — 200,000 in the first three months of the year, and an additional two million in the current quarter. The stock dropped more than 49 percent for the month.

On Friday, Amazon slid 14.1 percent after it reported its first quarterly loss since 2015, citing rising fuel and labor costs and warning that sales would slow. Its shares fell 23.8 percent in April.

General Electric warned on Tuesday that the economic fallout from Russia’s invasion of Ukraine would weigh on its results. Its shares fell 10 percent that day and about 18.5 percent for the month.

The war, which began in February, brought a new risk to the fragile global supply chain: Western countries’ sanctions on Russia, including a ban on oil imports from the country by the United States, and European promises to limit purchases of Russian oil and gas.

Now, executives are also assessing how the Covid-19 lockdowns in China, which has the world’s second-largest economy, could affect profit margins. Multiple Chinese cities are on lockdown, and although factories remain open, the country’s draconian “zero Covid” policy has led to interruptions in shipments and delays in delivery times.

Texas Instruments Inc. and the machinery maker Caterpillar cautioned investors this week that the lockdowns in China were affecting the company’s manufacturing operations. On Thursday, Apple also warned that the outbreak there would hamper demand and production of iPhones and other products. The company’s shares fell 3.7 percent on Friday, and ended April with a loss of 9.7 percent.

The outlook for the economy, the effects of the Ukraine invasion, the lockdowns in China and exactly how fast the Fed will raise interest rates are still not clear. Markets are likely to stay volatile until they are.

“There are definitely a lot of open-ended and unquantified risks looming,” said Victoria Greene, the chief investment officer at G Squared Private Wealth, an advisory firm. “The U.S. economy lives and dies for the consumer, and as soon as this consumer starts to slow down, I think that will hit the economy hard.”

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Amazon Union Success May Point to a New Labor Playbook

The critics typically acknowledge that the campaigns helped galvanize support for higher wages even if they fell short of unionizing workers. Defenders say the goal is to have an impact on a company- or industrywide scale rather than a few individual stores. They point to certain developments, like a pending California bill that would regulate fast-food wages and working conditions, as signs of progress.

In other cases, workers themselves have perceived the limitations of established unions and the advantages of going it alone. Joseph Fink, who works at an Amazon Fresh grocery store in Seattle with roughly 150 employees, said the workers there had reached out to a few unions when seeking to organize in the summer but decided that the unions’ focus on winning recognition through National Labor Relations Board elections would delay resolution of their complaints, which included sexual harassment and health and safety threats.

When the workers floated the idea of staging protests or walkouts as an alternative, union officials responded cautiously. “We received the response that if we were to speak up, assert our rights publicly, we’d be terminated,” Mr. Fink said. “It was a self-defeating narrative.”

The workers decided to form a union on their own without the formal blessing of the N.L.R.B., a model known as a “solidarity union,” whose roots precede the modern labor movement.

For workers who do seek N.L.R.B. certification, doing so independent of an established union also has advantages, such as confounding the talking points of employers and consultants, who often paint unions as “third parties” seeking to hoard workers’ dues.

At Amazon, the strategy was akin to sending a conventional army into battle against guerrillas: Organizers said the talking points had fallen flat once co-workers realized that the union consisted of fellow employees rather than outsiders.

“When a worker comes up to me, they look at me, then see I have a badge on and say, ‘You work here?’ They ask it in the most surprising way,” said Angelika Maldonado, an Amazon employee on Staten Island who heads the union’s workers committee. “‘I’m like, ‘Yeah, I work here.’ It makes us relatable from the beginning.”

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