29 Jun 2021

1.GOOGLE:  Multiple users complained about an outage affecting Alphabet  Inc’s search engine Google as well as its streaming and email services, according to outage monitoring website Downdetector.

Platforms including Google, YouTube and Gmail were down Monday evening, with users complaining of difficulty in logging in and accessing the website in parts of North America, according to Downdetector.

More than a thousand users were having difficulties with the search engine at one point, the outage monitoring website showed, and users were also facing issues with YouTube TV and Google Drive.

The issue affecting the platforms was not immediately clear.

Google did not immediately respond to a Reuters’ request for comment after business hours.

Downdetector tracks outages by collating status reports from a series of sources, including user-submitted errors on its platform.

2.GOLDMAN SACHS:-  Goldman Sachs Group Inc  and two former top executives were ordered by a U.S. judge on Monday to face a lawsuit accusing them of misleading shareholders about the bank’s work for 1MDB, a Malaysian fund that became embroiled in a corruption scandal.

U.S. District Judge Vernon Broderick in Manhattan said shareholders in the proposed class action adequately alleged that several statements by Goldman, former Chief Executive Lloyd Blankfein and former Chief Operating Officer Gary Cohn about 1MDB and Goldman’s ethics were false and misleading.

Shareholders led by Swedish pension fund Sjunde AP-Fonden claimed that Goldman’s market value fell by billions of dollars as the truth about its 1MDB dealings became public.

Goldman spokesperson Maeve DuVally declined to comment. Lawyers for the other defendants did not immediately respond to requests for comment. The shareholders’ lawyers did not immediately respond to similar requests.

Broderick’s decision followed Goldman’s agreement last Oct. 22 to pay $2.9 billion in penalties and have a Malaysian unit admit criminal wrongdoing to settle 1MDB probes by the U.S. Department of Justice and other authorities.

Goldman helped sell $6.5 billion of bonds for 1MDB, a sovereign wealth fund that former Malaysian Prime Minister Najib Razak launched to promote economic development, and collected an estimated $600 million of fees.

Authorities have said that fund officials and accomplices looted bond proceeds for luxuries and to finance Hollywood films, while Goldman bankers bribed officials in Malaysia and Abu Dhabi to win 1MDB business.

Broderick said it “strains credulity” for Goldman to contend it had no indication that funds were being siphoned, and said shareholders could sue over the bank’s claim it was “dedicated to complying fully with the letter and spirit of the laws, rules and ethical principles that govern us.”

 3.FACEBOOK:-A U.S. judge on Monday dismissed federal and state antitrust complaints against Facebook Inc  that sought to force the social media company to sell Instagram and WhatsApp, saying the federal complaint was “legally insufficient.”

Facebook shares rose more than 4% after the ruling. The share price rise put Facebook’s market capitalization over $1 trillion for the first time.

The dismissal was the first big blow to state and federal lawsuits against Big Tech firms last year seeking to rein in alleged abuses of their massive market power.

Judge James Boasberg of the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia said the FTC failed to show that Facebook had monopoly power in the social-networking market but said the FTC could file a new complaint by July 29.

He also dismissed a lawsuit by multiple U.S. states, saying they waited too long to challenge the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp in 2012 and 2014 respectively. The judge did not invite the states to refile their complaint.

A spokesperson for the New York Attorney General’s office said it was “considering our legal options.”

Facebook had asked for the lawsuits to be dismissed.

Regarding the FTC lawsuit, the judge wrote: “Although the court does not agree with all of Facebook’s contentions here, it ultimately concurs that the agency’s complaint is legally insufficient and must therefore be dismissed.”

A Facebook spokesperson said: “We are pleased that today’s decisions recognize the defects in the government complaints filed against Facebook.” An FTC spokesperson said the agency was “closely reviewing the opinion and assessing the best option forward.”

A bright spot for the FTC in the opinion was the judge’s saying that the agency was “on firmer ground in scrutinizing the acquisitions of Instagram and WhatsApp, as the court rejects Facebook’s argument that the FTC lacks authority to seek injunctive relief against those purchases.”

4.FORD:-Ford Motor  Co said on Monday its financial services arm, Ford Credit, would wind down operations in Brazil and Argentina and take a non-cash charge of up to $375 million.

Ford said it expects most of these losses, which include $365 million related to foreign currency, to be recognized in 2021, though the timing for the completion of the shutdown is uncertain.

The company said it would pay about $10 million in cash for employee separations.

Earlier this month, media reports said Ford would pay roughly 2.5 billion reais ($495 million) to the state of Bahia after deciding to close its plants in Brazil

5.WALT DISNEY Walt Disney  Co postponed its first test cruise since the onset of the global coronavirus pandemic after COVID-19 tests provided inconsistent results for five crew members, the company said on Monday.

Several cruise lines have planned to resume voyages from the United States after many months. Last weekend, Royal Caribbean  Group’s Celebrity Edge became the first vessel from a major operator to sail from a U.S. port.

The Disney Dream had been scheduled to set sail on Tuesday. A Disney Cruise Line spokesperson said routine COVID-19 testing came back with positive results for five of nearly 600 crew members.

All of the five were asymptomatic, had been vaccinated and had tested negative “several times before,” the spokesperson said. They were tested the day after the positive result, by the same lab, and found to be negative, the spokesperson said.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention treats the results as positive, which prompted the cancellation of the test cruise, Disney said. The company did not say when a new sailing would be scheduled.

Royal Caribbean executive Michael Bayley last week said two unvaccinated teenagers had tested positive on its Adventure of the Seas ship, adding that 92% of guests were fully vaccinated.