AT&T Buys AppNexus; Harley Davidson Moves Some Production Abroad; VC Leader Starts Crypto Fund

The Water Coolest

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BUY, BUY, BUY

No days off. That’s been AT&T’s motto as of late. Just a month after closing an $85B deal to purchase Time Warner, the cell phone, cable, you-name-it company is planning to purchase AppNexus.

The “I’s” have yet to be dotted and the “T’s” have yet to be crossed, but the deal is reportedly in the $1.6B range. AT&T will include AppNexus as part of its advertising and analytics platform and will begin by selling targeted ads for Turner networks including CNN and TNT.

AT&T’s latest purchase is a play to compete with advertising services like Google and Facebook. They’re well on their way, with AppNexus currently garnering over 11.4B impressions daily.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “AT&T is flexing their muscles and showing us that they aren’t playing around when it comes to competing with Google and Facebook. The only question is how long until they sell our data to the Russians.”

 

IT’S TARIFF UP MY HEART

It doesn’t get much more American than Harley Davidson. But the company announced Monday that it will be moving some of its production abroad to offset tariffs imposed by the European Union.

The EU accounts for nearly 16% of Harley’s sales. Estimates peg the cost increase per hog at $2.2k. Without passing along price hikes to consumers, which Harley doesn’t plan to do, the company would face an annual $90M to $100M hit to the bottom line. Hence yesterday’s decision.

It’s been a tough go for the supplier of the Hell’s Angels’ chopper of choice. The company closed down a factory in Kansas City (Missouri side) earlier this year as a result of their lower than expected sales in 2017.

Donny Tradetalks is “surprised” that Harley decided to move their operations. Even before the EU tariffs, the US tariffs on metal imports cost Harley an additional $15M through the first half of 2018.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “The appeal of a Harley isn’t what it once was but if there’s a more poignant example of the impact trade wars are having on American businesses, I don’t know what is.”

 

(CRYPTO) WINTER IS COMING

Andreessen Horowitz, the creme de la creme of Sand Hill Road VC’s, will launch a $300M crypto fund. The company plans to bring on its first female General Partner, real-life Monica Hall, Katie Haun, to lead the effort.

The pool of “f*ck you money” will be invested in (read: pissed away via) everything from early-stage coins and tokens to more “well-established” crypto plays like ether and bitcoin, all despite the firm admitting the current market can best be described as “crypto winter,” with bitcoin 50% off of its high.

AH (mind if we call you that?) will bring on Katie Haun as its first female GP to monitor the fund. You may remember her as the reason that buying drugs on the internet got a lot more difficult. She is a former U.S. Department of Justice federal prosecutor who helped take down Silk Road and is no stranger to the intricacies of digital currency.

Water Cooler Talking Point: “Don’t for a second use this as an excuse to justify investing your future children’s college fund in an ICO endorsed by Floyd Mayweather.”

 


IN OTHER NEWS

 

  • Gray Television plans to buy competitor Raycom in a deal worth $3.65B, to bolster its local TV presence. Go f*ck yourself, San Diego.
  • GE will sell its industrial engine division to PE firm Advent International in a $3.25B cash deal. Unfortunately for GE, despite the deal, they will still be booted from the Dow Jones Industrial Average today.
  • The FDA gave its stamp of approval to Epdiolex, the first ever cannabis-based drug to receive the coveted green light.
  • Venmo is planning to launch a debit card … again. After beta testing the laughable “dough” card with Visa last year, the PayPal owned company will launch with MasterCard this time around.
  • Define irony: China banning John Oliver from the internet following his segment on internet censorship (among other things). I’m not even mad, I’m just impressed that China can censor the entire internet.
  • US indices were down yesterday:
    • DOW: -1.33%
    • S&P 500: -1.37%
    • NASDAQ: -2.09%