The Saturday - 5/22/2021 Edition
Volume 2, Issue 19
I’m out celebrating an original subscriber’s wedding, so this will be a short one. Let’s dive right in.
It’s Saturday May 22, 2022.
Tim Cook Takes The Stand
We most recently discussed the App Store drama and the Epic Games v. Apple lawsuit at the beginning of this month.
On Friday, it was Apple CEO Tim Cook’s time to take the stand. You can read up on it here. Here’s my favorite excerpt:
During the trial, experts from Epic and Apple debated one of the odder contentious issues of the lawsuit: Who does Apple compete with on operating systems? Some argued Apple has no competitor, others said it competes with Google.
When one of Epic's lawyers asked Cook to settle the debate, and say who he believes Apple's competitors were, Cook said Apple competes against the devices Google's software enables. So he sees Samsung and others as competitors.
"So your testimony is that you do not compete against Google in operating systems?" Epic's lawyer asked.
Epic then played a video of Cook speaking at a meeting of Berkshire Hathaway shareholders in 2019, in which he gives his boiler plate speech about how Apple competes against Microsoft and Google "on the operating system side," and competes with Samsung and Huawei and other phone makers "in the hardware space."
The lawyer then asked Cook if that video was him saying those words.
"Well, that certainly looked like me," Cook said. "And it sounded like me too."
Houston, We Have A Problem
Bitcoin is allegedly going to the moon, but it hit some turbulence as it exited the stratosphere.
As of noon on Friday, Bitcoin was down 28% on the week. The drop from its yearly highs started last week, when Elon Musk tweeted that Tesla would no longer accept Bitcoin as payment for its cars. On Wednesday, however, Musk also tweeted this:
Diamond hands, of course, is the term of art for “not selling.”
On Friday, China’s Vice Premier announced that the country would crackdown on Bitcoin mining and trading, which sent rebounding crypto prices back down to ~ $36,000 for Bitcoin and $2,400 for Ethereum.
It’s worth noting, however, that Bitcoin is still up 25% - and Ethereum more than 200% - since January 1st.
Montreal and Toronto are currently facing off in the National Hockey League playoffs, but Canada’s biggest battle was fought off the ice this week.
Last March, Canadian Pacific Railway agreed to purchase Kansas City Southern for $25B. On Thursday, KCS terminated the agreement and, on Friday, it announced that it would merge with CP-rival Canadian National.
Although KCS is the smallest of the major US railway networks, the deal would create the first rail network with ports in all three of the US, Canada, and Mexico.
The new deal values Kansas City Southern at $33B. CN also agreed to cover the $700M breakup fee owed to CP and pledged an additional $1B in the event that regulators kill the transaction.
Snitches Get Millions
On Wednesday, the SEC awarded $28M to a whistleblower who exposed a bribery scheme involving a US subsidiary of Japanese company, Panasonic.
While the reward isn’t as large as the record $114M payout that we discussed last October, it is still one of the ten largest whistleblower awards ever.
Panasonic, who was charged with violations of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act, settled with the SEC and DOJ in 2018. Whistleblowers typically receive 10%-30% of monetary penalties collected as a result of their efforts.
That’s it for this week.
Have a great weekend and cheers to the happy couple!