EU Fines Qualcomm $272 Million for Antitrust; 60 Companies Paid Zero Taxes With New Tax Law; Prime Day Record; Netflix Q2 Subscriber Miss

The world’s #1 chipmaker, Qualcomm, has been fined $272 million by the European Union for blocking a rival from the market about 10 years ago. Venturebeat.com reports that this is Qualcomm’s 2nd EU antitrust penalty. “Qualcomm’s strategic behavior prevented competition and innovation in the market,” Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager said in a statement. Qualcomm has responded that it is ‘unsupported by the law, economic principles or market facts.’ The company will appeal. The Commission had already fined Qualcomm $1.1 billion last year for paying iPhone maker Apple to use its chips exclusively.

A new analysis by the Institute on Taxation and Economic Policy shows that 60 of Fortune 500 companies paid ZERO federal income taxes in 2018, thanks to the Trump Tax Cuts and Jobs Act. According to yahoo.com, their total average effective tax rate was -5%. Sixty companies is triple the number of companies that avoided paying corporate taxes on average from 2008 to 2015!

Amazon says it moved a record 175 million items over Prime Day (which was really days, since it lasted two.) Geekwire.com says that’s a 75% increase over the 100 million items sold last year. As usual, Amazon didn’t say how much Prime members spend, but did say that ‘independent small and medium-sized businesses’ sold more than $2 billion worth of items over the 48 hour period. Amazon has been able to turn it into a real event…Adobe Analytics notes that large retailers— ones with over a billion in annual sales— saw revenue increase 68% during Prime Day(s). Smaller retailers picked up a 28% bump.

Netflix stubbed its toe on subscriber increase for 2nd quarter, adding 2.7 million, and missing its own guidance and Wall Street Expectations by a mile. The Street thought the uptick would be closer to 5 million. Businessinsider.com reports that the stock dropped over 10% to $317.91 after the earnings report. Revenue was $4.92 billion, while Wall Street looked for $4.93…which was also Netflix’ forecast. Some of the blame may go to the imminent rollout of Disney Plus and Apple’s new TV offerings. The third quarter seems to be off to a big start, though….the new season of ‘Stranger Things’ was the biggest four day debut of any original show on the service. New seasons of ‘Orange is the New Black’ and ‘The Crown’ will be coming out, which should add to the numbers 3rd quarter.

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