Briefs: Amazon takes aim at YouTube; Staples backs away from its $6.3 billion bid for Office Depot
Royal Dutch Shell, ConocoPhillips, and other oil giants have abandoned more than $2.5 billion in Arctic drilling leases. They initially bought the claims at U.S. government auctions, betting the region would hold the next big oil discovery. The sharp decline in oil prices combined with the high cost of working in the area have made their prospects unprofitable. Amazon.com will let people post videos to its website and earn money from advertising, royalties, and other sources, pitting it against Google’s YouTube. Amazon has long let authors self-publish e-books. Partners for the video service include Condé Nast Entertainment, HowStuffWorks, and Samuel Goldwyn Films. Staples called off its proposed $6.3 billion acquisition of Office Depot after a federal judge said uniting the two biggest U.S. office suppliers would hurt competition for business customers. In blocking the deal, U.S. District Judge Emmet Sullivan handed a victory to the Federal Trade Commission, which argued that the merged company would result in higher prices for companies buying supplies in bulk. Shares in Gap plunged 13 percent on May 10 after the retailer posted disappointing same-store sales, a sign that a long-promised comeback hasn’t materialized. Renaud Laplanche, CEO of LendingClub, resigned from the online lender after an internal review found abuses tied to the sale of loans and a failure to disclose his personal interest in an investment fund. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission’s enforcement unit is reviewing the matter.
“We still think that the subscription channel model is going to dominate the marketplace for certainly the next five years.”
—Robert Iger, Walt Disney, on a May 10 earnings call
JAB Holdings plans to take Krispy Kreme Doughnuts private in a $1.35 billion deal. JAB has been buying up coffee holdings, such as Stumptown Coffee Roasters and Keurig.