5 Top Stories

FTC sues Amazon; Intelsat pulls plug on merger; RSV vaccines approved

Every day, we handpick the 5 Top Stories stock market investors need to know. In 5 minutes, you’ll learn the stocks, CEOs, and money managers moving markets. 

Intelsat pulls plug on SES merger

Intelsat has walked away from negotiations over a possible merger with Luxembourg-based SES [SES.PA]. The US satellite giant had been in discussions with its European competitor over the creation of a transatlantic business with a value of more than $10bn. The talks stalled shortly after SES CEO Steve Collar announced he is to step down at the end of June, after 20 years at the firm. Both firms are under pressure following the ascendance of SpaceX’s Starlink.

FTC: Amazon “tricked and trapped” subscribers

The US Federal Trade Commission is suing Amazon [AMZN] over its Prime streaming service. Lina Khan, the chair of the consumer protection agency, said in a statement that “Amazon tricked and trapped people into recurring subscriptions without their consent, not only frustrating users but also costing them significant money”; Amazon has rejected the claims. Some $25bn of the company’s annual revenue comes from Prime subscription fees.

Netflix outlines plans for South Korea investment

South Korea has become one of Netflix’s [NFLX] leading sources of content, and back in April the streaming service announced it is to spend $2.5bn in the country over the next four years. Today, co-CEO Ted Sarandos shared more detail on where that money will go, including to support training programmes for both filmmakers and actors. Sarandos is currently visiting Seoul to discuss Netflix’s plans with partners and government officials, among them prime minister Han Duk-soo.

TikTok strives to break into ecommerce

Bytedance-owned TikTok is moving to increase its online offerings, in a bid to challenge more established online retailers. UK-based users of the app are trialling a new function called Trendy Beat, which allows them to buy items that have trended in videos. All the items sold ultimately come from a China-based company owned by Bytedance, which is currently seeking to shore up its profitability ahead of an IPO expected in the next two years.

RSV vaccines approved as lobby group sues on drug prices

The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention have approved Pfizer [PFE] and GSK [GSK] respiratory syncytial virus (RSV) vaccines for use in people aged 60 and above; RSV causes an estimated 160,000 deaths worldwide. This news comes as the largest pharma lobby group sues the US government over the Medicare programme’s new powers, conferred by the Inflation Reduction Act, to cut the prices of drugs for older people.

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