Walt Disney Co.
announced a move to bolster its subscription and streaming empire as it plans to end its relationship with Netflix and ramp up its online ESPN offerings. Disney said no new releases will be available on Netflix after 2019. Instead, Disney will launch its own video streaming service for consumers to directly access the company’s movies and shows. To help its cause, Disney announced it was buying a majority ownership in BAMTech, a video-streaming company, for more than $1.5 billion. Netflix said later that it is in “active discussions” with Walt Disney about keeping Marvel and “Star Wars” films after 2019. Google’s chief executive, Sundar Pichai, canceled an all-hands meeting after employees expressed concerns about their safety. Google was expected to address the controversy surrounding a divisive memo written by a Google engineer that was made public, in which he suggested that innate, biological factors are part of the reason for the gender gap in the tech industry and that Google should “stop alienating conservatives.” The engineer, James Damore, was fired for violating Google’s code of conduct. Uber Technologies backer Benchmark Capital filed a lawsuit against the start-up’s founder Travis Kalanick for using allegedly fraudulent means to pack the board with his loyalists. At the heart of the Benchmark lawsuit is a provision that venture capitalists say is highly unusual. It allowed the Uber founder to personally appoint three members to Uber’s eight-seat board, effectively letting him slant the board his way after he resigned. Tesla increased its debut bond deal to $1.8 billion as it seeks to finance production of the Model 3 that the electric-car maker has staked its future on. The eight-year bonds reportedly will have a yield of 5.3 percent. The sale is private. General Electric will close its manufacturing facility in Rochester, N.Y., next June, and the work will be moved to China, the company said. J.C. Penney followed Macy’s and Kohl’s in reporting declining sales in the second quarter, sending its shares down 16 percent Friday. Oprah Winfrey has teamed up with food giant Kraft Heinz to launch a line after creating a joint venture earlier this year. The new brand, called O, That’s Good!, will offer comfort foods with added vegetables, such as mashed potatoes with cauliflower mixed in. Consumer Reports is withdrawing its recommendation for four new Microsoft laptops and tablets after a survey showed that one-quarter of the company’s older Surface devices posed problems for their owners after only two years.