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Breakingviews - Capital Calls - GameStop’s digital play

CLICKS AND BRICKS. GameStop, the $12 billion company buoyed by Reddit fans, plans to elect Chewy co-founder Ryan Cohen to chairman. He may help steer the brick-and-mortar retailer to an e-commerce future, even if such transitions can be fraught.

Breakingviews - Capital Calls - Netflix ups the ante on movies

HEY BIG SPENDER. Netflix is lending credence to the phrase “content is king.” The $246 billion video-streaming service struck a five-year deal with Sony Pictures for the rights to Marvel’s Spider-Man movies and other flicks after they play in theaters. Along with the Sony deal and the acquisition of the rights to produce two “Knives Out” sequels, Netflix may end up spending approximately $1.5 billion, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Breakingviews - SEC’s SPAC threats need more firepower

The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission is inching closer to taking a stick to the SPAC craze. On Thursday it released a statement on how targets of special purpose acquisition companies use projections in deals. That’s a start. But more and clearer disclosures on structure, price, and management goodies are needed. Then the agency has guardrails to punish rule breakers with fines.

Breakingviews - Review: Tax’s weird past exposes present oddities

The authors of “Rebellion, Rascals, and Revenue: Tax Follies and Wisdom through the Ages” set themselves a daunting task: make tax history interesting. Michael Keen and Joel Slemrod mostly succeed, even managing to serve readers a surprisingly palatable dollop of economic theory in the process. The main effect of this enjoyable gallop through state levies of the past is to expose the continuing oddities of how governments raise revenue today.

Breakingviews - Capital Calls - Tui cash call adds rain to Europe summer holiday

GREY SKIES. Tui’s holiday forecast looks increasingly cloudy. Shares in the 5 billion euro package tour operator fell 6% on Friday after it announced plans to issue a 350 million euro convertible bond. The company’s opportunism in cashing in on sun-starved investor optimism is understandable: Tui shares are up by around a third this year due to the increasing pace of vaccination rollouts.

Breakingviews - Capital Calls - South Korea gaming IPO primes for high score

ONE HIT. The company behind one of the world’s most successful mobile games has applied to go public in South Korea. Krafton, which counts China’s Tencent as a key backer, more than doubled operating profit last year to $692 million, according to local media, citing business filings. That’s probably thanks to “PUBG Mobile”, the  survival-themed shooting blockbuster that has racked up 1 billion downloads since 2018. With the pandemic trapping gamers at home

Breakingviews - Memory giants delay consolidation at own risk

Global chipmakers may regret dragging their feet on consolidation. A mooted sale of Japan's Kioxia to a larger rival like $107 billion Micron would benefit the memory sector. But regulatory scrutiny and uncertain returns may put off buyers. Without scale, incumbents looks vulnerable to attack by hungry Chinese entrants.

Breakingviews - China plus bitcoin is a marriage of convenience

Tech mogul Peter Thiel suggested this week that China might use bitcoin as a “financial weapon” to unseat government-backed currencies in general and the U.S. dollar in particular. The People's Republic is indeed keen on digital currencies. But bitcoin isn't its best way to challenge the greenback.

Breakingviews - Capital Calls - Cellebrite good times

SOMETHING TO CELLEBRITE. Controversy over cops breaking into people’s cellphones is heading to a stock exchange near you. Israeli digital intelligence outfit Cellebrite is merging with a special-purpose acquisition company, TWC Tech Holdings II, at an equity valuation of $2.4 billion. 

About Breakingviews

Reuters Breakingviews is the world's leading source of agenda-setting financial insight. As the Reuters brand for financial commentary, we dissect the big business and economic stories as they break around the world every day. A global team of about 30 correspondents in New York, London, Hong Kong and other major cities provides expert analysis in real time. Sign up for a free trial of our full service at http://www.breakingviews.com/trial and follow us on Twitter @Breakingviews and at www.breakingviews.com. All opinions expressed are those of the authors.

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