British authorities have launched an investigation into Barclays Bank and CEO Jes Staley for his attempts to identify the author of a whistleblower letter the board received in 2016.
Staley took over in 2015 with a pledge to overhaul the culture at Barclays, which had been rumbling through a series of public relations troubles, including its $450 million payout in 2012 over allegations it had tried manipulating the benchmark rate, Libor.
Why it matters: Timing. The UK's Serious Fraud Office is about to decide whether it will prosecute the bank and former executives for a loan it gave to Qatar.
The outcome: Staley's getting his pay docked once the investigation is over, but the Board has "unanimous confidence" in him and plans to reappoint him to his role this May.
Beijing is now offering citizens rewards up to 500k yuan ($72,460) in exchange for information on foreign spies, reports China's state news agency Xinhua. The new policy, which went into effect Monday, lets informants pass information to authorities by calling through a hotline, sending letters, or visiting the city's state security bureau.
- Public security officials said in a statement cited by Quartz that the capital is the main location of foreign agents, and Beijing wants ordinary citizens to create a metaphorical "steel-like Great Wall" to help protect China from "traitors and spies."
- The statement notes that the personal information of informants will not be disclosed without their consent, and they can seek protection from security authorities if they feel they are in danger.
- However, it also warned that "informants will be punished if they deliberately slander others, or invent and spread false information."
Why this matters: It's another indication of the crackdown on foreign spying that has intensified since Xi Jinping came to power in 2012.
United CEO Oscar Munoz has issued a statement in response to yesterday's forced removal of a passenger on a flight from Chicago to Louisville:
"This is an upsetting event to all of us here at United. I apologize for having to re-accommodate these customers. Our team is moving with a sense of urgency to work with the authorities and conduct our own detailed review of what happened. We are also reaching out to this passenger to talk directly to him and further address and resolve the situation."
Samsung said Monday that pre-orders for its flagship Galaxy S8 and S8+ smartphones are up significantly over last year.
"Pre-orders of the Galaxy S8 and S8+ in the US are outpacing those of the Galaxy S7 and S7 edge with strong double digit growth," a Samsung representative said in a statement to Axios. The majority of customers have opted for the larger-screen S8+, while "midnight black" has been the most popular color.
Samsung launched the phone last month, with U.S. shipments slated to start April 21. Among its features are an edge-to-edge screen with no physical home button and a new voice assistant, known as Bixby.
Why it matters: Consumer reaction to the Galaxy S8 is critical for Samsung after last year's disastrous Galaxy Note 7 debacle. Most customers traded in their recalled Note 7 for a Galaxy S7, but this shows new customers are also sticking by Samsung.
It's official: Neil Gorsuch is an associate justice of the Supreme Court of the United States. Gorsuch told the crowd in the White House Rose Garden that he was "humbled by the trust placed in [him]" and paid homage to his predecessor, Antonin Scalia.
In his remarks prior to the ceremony, President Trump congratulated Gorsuch, and himself:
I got it done in the first 100 days...you think that's easy?
AT&T announced a big spectrum play on Monday, announcing it will spend $1.6 billion to buy a company called Straight Path Communications.
Of the $1.6 billion, $1.25 billion, or $95.63 per share, will go to Straight Path stockholders, while the remainder covers amounts owed to the FCC and other liabilities. The all-stock deal is subject to FCC approval and expected to close within 12 months, AT&T said.
Why it matters: Straight Path owns nationwide rights to what is known as millimeter wave spectrum. Such high-band frequencies can carry data very fast, but not very far, and make up a key part of plans for the next generation of cellular technology, known as 5G.
Flipkart, an Indian e-commerce giant, confirmed that it has raised $1.4 billion in new venture capital funding at an $11.6 billion post-money valuation. New investors include eBay, Microsoft and Tencent.
- Deep discounts: Flipkart was valued at around $15 billion in mid-2015, while Snapdeal once was valued at around $6.5 billion.
- Bottom line, via the FT: "While the Indian e-commerce market is forecast to grow sharply, Snapdeal, Flipkart and Amazon India have recorded losses as they invest heavily on marketing and logistics in an effort to gain scale. In the year to March 2016, the latest period for which regulatory filings are available, Flipkart, Snapdeal and Amazon India made an aggregate net loss of $1.4 billion."
Why it matters: This news comes amidst what could be major consolidation in the Indian e-commerce sector, with multiple reports saying that Flipkart is in talks to purchase smaller rival Snapdeal from shareholders like SoftBank for around $1 billion. It appears that SoftBank is driving that M&A train, despite holding just a 35% stake in Snapdeal, per a weekend memo from Snapdeal management to employees.
Microsoft made a small but strategic acquisition on Monday, scooping up Deis, the maker of what's known as a container technology called Kubernetes.
"Container technologies let organizations more easily build, deploy and move applications to and from the cloud," Microsoft executive VP Scott Guthrie said in a blog post announcing the deal. "At Microsoft, we've seen explosive growth in both interest and deployment of containerized workloads on Azure, and we're committed to ensuring Azure is the best place to run them."
Why it matters: Microsoft's cloud-based operating system, Azure, is increasingly important to the company's future and the source of much of its growth.
Alabama Governor Robert Bentley, facing impeachment charges and four felonies stemming from campaign ethics violations and an embarrassing sex scandal, is expected to resign by the end of this week, according to The Alabama News.
The big picture: Bentley has had a noteworthy effect on politics outside of Alabama. As governor, he got to choose Luther Strange, who replaced Jeff Sessions in the Senate.