United Airlines puts down a deposit on Flying Taxis. The company has paid a $10 million deposit for 100 electric flying taxis, a sign that the airline is growing more confident in the nascent technology. United and Archer Aviation Inc. said United will be the launch customer for the four-passenger aircraft Archer is working on. The latest indication that traditional airlines see a place for the new technology in their businesses.
FCC rejects Starlink’s bid for rural internet subsidies. The Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has rejected Starlink’s application for $885 million in federal subsidies that it would use to provide satellite internet to broadband customers in rural areas. The FCC states that the SpaceX-owned company’s dish is simply too expensive and that Starlink “failed to demonstrate” that it “could deliver the promised service.”
US inflation eases slightly in July as gas prices come down. The U.S. annual inflation was 8.5 percent in July, down from 9.1 percent in June, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). The core inflation rate, which eliminates the volatile food and energy sector, stayed unchanged at 5.9 percent last month. On a monthly basis, the CPI was flat, and the core CPI edged up 0.3 percent.
Elon Musk sells $6.9 billion worth of Tesla stock amid Twitter uncertainty. Musk disclosed sales Tuesday evening of almost 8 million shares worth about $6.9 billion. The average selling price was about $869 a share. The sales were conducted over three days in more than 120 separate transactions. Neither Tesla nor Mr. Musk responded to a request for comment.
Disney raises streaming price by 38%. Starting Dec. 8 in the U.S., Disney+ with commercials will be $7.99 per month — currently the price of Disney+ without ads. The price of ad-free Disney+ will rise 38% to $10.99 — a $3 per month increase. The price increases reflect the growing operating loss for Disney’s streaming services. Disney+, Hulu, and ESPN+ combined to lose $1.1 billion in the fiscal third quarter. Read more here.
US foreclosure activity ticks down in July. Foreclosures slid down 4%, data shows. Figures released Wednesday by Attom show a total of 30,358 properties with foreclosure filings in July. Despite the slight drop, foreclosure activity is still up 143% from the same time last year. Read more here.
The Zillow & Opendoor partnership is a match made in lead gen heaven. Zillow generates and monetizes buyer leads, but is missing a product that generates seller leads (that product is iBuying). Opendoor generates millions of seller leads, but it's really expensive and Opendoor only monetizes a small fraction of those leads. This deal is both a confirmation of the relevancy of iBuying. Read more here.
Roblox is the latest videogame company to disappoint. Bookings, which include revenue, deferred revenue, and other adjustments, fell 4% to $639.9 million in the second quarter. The number of daily active users also fell short of expectations as the growth rate slowed. Roblox said it had an average of 52.2 million daily users, up 21% from a year ago but less than the 28% increase in the first quarter.
WHAT TO WATCH
Foxconn warns of slowing demand for smartphones. The Apple inc supplier reported a higher-than-expected 12% jump in April-June net profit, driven by strong demand for its smartphones and cloud products. Foxconn said it expects flat revenue growth for that business in the third quarter. The company gave a cautious outlook citing slowing smartphone demand after a pandemic-fuelled boom. Read more here.
Walmart explores adding streaming video to the Walmart+ membership program. The retailer is looking to add a large video streaming service to its Walmart+ membership program as the retailer amps up its competition with Amazon.com Inc. Walmart executives have held talks in recent weeks to discuss a streaming deal with executives at Walt Disney Co., Comcast Corp., and Paramount Global, according to people familiar with the situation.
SoftBank to reduce Alibaba stake and expects $34 billion in gains. SoftBank said its stake in Alibaba was expected to fall to 14.6% by the end of September, down from 23.7% as of June 30. As a result, SoftBank will change its accounting treatment of Alibaba and no longer count a portion of the Chinese company’s profits as its own. Instead, Alibaba will be just another one of hundreds of investments on SoftBank’s books.
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