ADVERTISEMENT

Business Highlights: Musk buying Twitter, Amazon union

April 25, 2022 GMT

___

Elon Musk buys Twitter for $44B and will privatize company

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Elon Musk reached an agreement to buy Twitter for roughly $44 billion on Monday, promising a more lenient touch to policing content on the platform where he promotes his interests, attacks critics and opines on a wide range of issues to more than 83 million followers. The outspoken Tesla CEO, who is also the world’s wealthiest person, has said he wanted to buy and privatize Twitter because he thinks it’s not living up to its potential as a platform for free speech. The risk is that Musk goes too far in his hands off approach, potentially alienating users and advertisers. Shares of Twitter Inc. rose 5% Monday to $51.70 per share, below the $54.20 he offered for the company.

___

Amazon union could face a tough road ahead after victory

NEW YORK (AP) — In the aftermath of their hard-won labor victory, Amazon workers in the New York City borough of Staten Island popped Champagne, cheered their victory and danced in celebration. But their jovial attitude will be tested by a company that seems likely to drag its feet to the bargaining table. The nascent Amazon Labor Union, or ALU, has said it wants longer breaks for warehouse employees, more time off and a dramatically higher minimum hourly wage of $30, up from just over $18 per hour now at the Staten Island facility. To achieve anything close to that, the grassroots union would need to negotiate a contract with Amazon that both sides, as well as union members, agree on.

ADVERTISEMENT

___

Rich trio back on Earth after charter trip to space station

CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. (AP) — Three rich businessmen are back on Earth with their astronaut escort after a pricey trip to the International Space Station. SpaceX flew them back Monday, wrapping up a 17-day chartered flight that marked the first time NASA opened its space hatches to tourists. The trip cost the trio $55 million apiece. Their stay was supposed to last a little over a week, but dicey weather kept the visitors in orbit almost twice as long as intended. Houston-based Axiom Space handled the logistics for the trip for its three paying customers. The company plans a second flight next spring.

___

Buffett to auction off one last private lunch for charity

ADVERTISEMENT

OMAHA, Neb. (AP) — The world’s most expensive lunch will go on sale again this spring when investor Warren Buffett auctions off a private meal to raise money for a California homeless charity one last time. Buffett, Berkshire Hathaway’s CEO, held the online lunch auction once a year for 20 years before the pandemic began to raise money for the Glide Foundation, which helps the homeless in San Francisco. The auction has been on hiatus for the past two years. Buffett has raised nearly $34.5 million for the charity over the years. Many of the past winners have been investors who revere Buffett for his remarkable track record of finding undervalues companies and stocks to buy. The bidding starts June 12.

___

County grants approval for Amazon’s helix-shaped HQ tower

FALLS CHURCH, Va. (AP) — The Arlington County Board has given unanimous approval to Amazon’s plans to build a unique, helix-shaped tower as the centerpiece of its emerging second headquarters in northern Virginia. Amazon announced plans last year for the 350-foot tower. It will support a second headquarters for Amazon that is expected to welcome more than 25,000 workers when it’s complete. The helix stands out among several office towers granted approval in the redevelopment plans. The spiral design features a walkable ramp wrapping around the building with trees and greenery planted to resemble a mountain hike. The County Board approved the project at its Saturday meeting.

___

German ex-Chancellor Schroeder urged to leave Scholz party

BERLIN (AP) — The co-leader of German Chancellor Olaf Scholz’s party says former Chancellor Gerhard Schroeder should leave the party. Schroeder’s ties to the Russian energy industry have left him increasingly isolated at home. One of two co-leaders of Scholz’s center-left Social Democrats said in a radio interview Monday that “Gerhard Schroeder has been acting for many years now only as a businessman.” Saskia Esken also said that Schroeder “earns his money with work for Russian state companies.” Esken replied when asked whether Schroeder should leave the party that “He should.”

___

China promotes coal in setback for efforts to cut emissions

BEIJING (AP) — China is promoting coal-fired power as the ruling Communist Party tries to revive a sluggish economy, prompting warnings that Beijing is setting back efforts to cut climate-changing carbon emissions from the biggest global source. News reports say official plans call for boosting coal production capacity by 300 million tons this year. That is equal to 7% of last year’s output of 4.1 billion tons. China is one of the biggest investors in wind and solar, but jittery leaders called for more coal-fired power after economic growth plunged and shortages caused blackouts and factory shutdowns. Russia’s attack on Ukraine added to anxiety that foreign oil and coal supplies might be disrupted.

___

Otis elevators rethinks business in Russia over Ukraine war

FARMINGTON, Conn. (AP) — Elevator manufacturer Otis Worldwide Corp. is reevaluating its future in Russia amid the ongoing war in Ukraine. Otis Chief Executive Judith Marks spoke during an earnings conference call with industry analysts Monday. She says the company is disheartened by the escalation of the crisis and is evaluating the best ownership structure for the business, whether that’s with Otis or somewhere else. The company has said its operations in Russia represented approximately 2% of its 2021 revenue, based mostly on new equipment sales. In March, Otis announced it would not take new elevator and escalator orders in Russia and not make new investments in the country.

___

The S&P 500 rose 24.34 points, or 0.6%, to 4,296.12. The Dow Jones Industrial Average added 238.06 points, or 0.7%, to 34,049.46. The Nasdaq gained 165.56 points, or 1.3%, to 13,004.85. The Russell 2000 index of smaller companies advanced 13.54 points, or 0.7%, to 1,954.20.