Behind Barr (The Information’s 411, 30 min listen)
US Attorney General William Barr has the final say in whether or not the Antitrust Division takes actions against the likes of Google or Apple. This podcast explores how Barr’s past roles on the board of Directors of Verizon and Time Warner may impact his approach to the anti-trust actions. Tech investors appear to trust his independence, especially as the Time Warner/AT&T merger went ahead even with White House opposition, yet Barr ended up making $1.7m selling AT&T stock. At 19 mins in, the podcast switches to the financial woes of Bird, the dominant player in the rental electric scooter market. As a seasonal business, they had a bleak winter, losing $100m on $15m revenue. Investors are now questioning the company’s $2bn valuation.
Why does this matter? Tech investors may have a false sense of how friendly AG Barr will be on anti-trust actions. His anti-trust philosophy may turn out to be bigger risk than initially anticipated. Meanwhile, more doubts are coming to trendy loss-making companies – the latest is Bird, but others like Uber will probably follow.
(The commentary contained in the above article does not constitute an offer or a solicitation, or a recommendation to implement or liquidate an investment or to carry out any other transaction. It should not be used as a basis for any investment decision or other decision. Any investment decision should be based on appropriate professional advice specific to your needs.)
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