The week of business: Streaming hits a hard patch

After pouring tens of millions of dollars into a nationwide marketing campaign, big name stars and hundreds of new employees, CNN announced on Thursday that it is shutting down CNN +, its weeks-old streaming platform. Managers at Discovery, CNN’s new owner, are said to be concerned about the overwhelming interest from subscribers. The news raised questions – especially after Netflix’s disastrous earnings report last week – about the long-term outlook for streaming services. Netflix said Tuesday it had lost 200,000 subscribers in the first quarter and expected about two million more to leave the platform over the next three months. It was the first time in a decade that the company lost subscribers and its shares fell by 35 percent.

By escalating its turmoil with Disney World, lawmakers in Florida put forward a measure to deprive the theme park of a privilege that has allowed it to effectively self-manage its vast state property for more than 50 years. Republicans, who have a majority in both houses of the Legislative Assembly, were spurred on by Governor Ron DeSantis, who paved the way for lawmakers to vote on bills that would eliminate special tax districts created before 1968. He signed the legislation Friday. The move is widely seen as retaliation for Disney’s opposition to what some call the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which restricts the teaching of gender and sexuality in some elementary school classes.

Many of the nation’s major airlines dropped their mask mandates after a federal judge appointed under the Trump administration cracked down on the requirement for planes, trains, buses and other public transportation. Airlines, including American, Delta and United, which have had to deal with unruly passengers who refused to comply with the mandate, quickly announced that they no longer needed masks, and Delta later said it would allow people who were placed on its no-fly list to defy its previous mask policy of flying again. The Biden administration said it would appeal the ruling.

The gross domestic product report for the first quarter, which will be published on Thursday, is expected to show that economic growth in the United States slowed markedly in the first three months of the year. The slowdown is due in part to the Omicron wave, which kept many Americans at home in January and disrupted the service industry and manufacturing. The report will also help show the extent to which inflation – which reached 8.5 per cent last month – can hold back consumers as well as the wider economy. The GDP data from the last quarter of 2021 illustrated how inflation can hide how much of the country’s economy is recovering from the depths of the pandemic. Production in the US had still not caught up with the pre-pandemic level, last quarter’s report showed because consumer dollars are worth less than before.

Twitter is releasing its quarterly earnings report this week, and a significant portion will likely address Elon Musk’s targeted efforts to acquire the company and give investors an idea of ​​whether his offer is adequate. In an effort to get the company’s board of directors to take his offer more seriously, Mr Musk said Thursday in a federal application that he had $ 46.5 billion in liabilities – a mix of debt and cash – to fund. sit bud. The documents also showed that Mr Musk was considering a hostile takeover, which would involve bringing the bid directly to shareholders. Twitter’s board has already taken steps to thwart such a move, by adopting a so-called poison pill that would block Mr. Musk from buying an unlimited number of Twitter shares.

Activision Blizzard shareholders will vote on Thursday on whether to merge with Microsoft. For Microsoft, which announced in January that it wanted to buy the video game company for nearly $ 70 billion, the deal would serve at least two main purposes: In the long run, it plants a flag in the meta-verse, the virtual world, where technology companies like Facebook put a lot of effort. In the short term, the acquisition helps Microsoft get ahead of its rival Sony in the race for players’ attention and dollars and keeps the company competitive with Amazon and Google, which have also entered the gaming market. If Activision shareholders approve the deal – and they probably will – it will still face control of antitrust regulators.

Airlines expect a travel boom in the coming months. Workers at an Apple store in Atlanta filed a petition to hold a union election. The Federal Reserve is considering a larger-than-usual rate hike of half a percentage point for the May meeting.

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