Google hit with EU antitrust charge, and Etsy prices its IPO — 5 things to know today
Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures are up slightly this morning. European shares are also moderately ahead, and Asian markets closed the day mixed.
Earnings season continues today, with Bank of America (BAC) reporting a profit, and Delta Airlines (DAL) reporting a first-quarter profit that beat analysts’ expectations as cheap fuel helped its bottom line. Video streaming giant Netflix (NFLX) will reveal its quarterly results after the close.
Here’s what else you need to know about today.
1. Google faces down antitrust charges.
Following a five-year investigation, the European Union on Wednesday has accused Google (GOOG) of cheating competitors by distorting Internet search results to favor its shopping service. The EU also launched another antitrust investigation into Google’s Android mobile operating system. Google could end up facing a fine of up to $6.6 billion in what would be one of the EU’s largest-ever antitrust cases.
2. Nokia pays nearly $17 billion for Alcatel-Lucent.
Nokia (NOK) has confirmed plans to buy Alcatel-Lucent in an all-stock deal. The combination also gives the two telecom equipment makers the bulk to better compete with industry heavyweights Ericsson and Huawei. The combined companies will claim about 130 billion euros ($137.8 billion) worth of the market and plan to grow at a rate of 3.5% to 5% a year. Nokia’s CEO Rajeev Suri said that some job cuts would come from the combined payroll of 113,000 workers, but it wouldn’t have to eliminate more than Alcatel had already laid off during its own restructuring. That appeases French lawmakers who were anxious to avoid losing any high-tech jobs.
3. Etsy set to price its IPO.
The online marketplace of handmade and vintage goods will price its initial public offering after the market closes today, setting the stage for its debut on the Nasdaq. Etsy is expected to price its shares at between $14 and $16 a share and will raise as much as $267 million at a valuation of $1.8 billion. That would make it one of the largest tech offerings this year. The company, which relies on its steady stream of online sellers, is allowing vendors to purchase as much as $2,500 in Etsy stock just before its public float, The Wall Street Journal reported.
4. Fast food workers get ready to strike again.
Fast food workers across 200 U.S. cities will protest low wages and rally in support of a $15-an-hour minimum wage. Economists partly credit these campaigns for the recent decisions by Walmart (WMT) and McDonald’s (MCD) to raise the minimum wage they pay their workers. Earlier this month, McDonald’s announced that it would raise its base pay rate by $1 to $10 an hour, which would apply to about 1,500 restaurants that the corporation owns in the U.S. While that’s a significant gain for some 90,000 workers, it still leaves 660,000 McDonald’s workers behind, since 90% of the chain’s restaurants are operated by individual franchisees.
5. New Enterprise Associates raise biggest VC fund ever.
New Enterprise Associates has raised just under $2.8 billion for its fifteenth flagship fund, becoming the largest venture capital fund of all time. It also pulled in an additional $350 million “opportunities” pool that will go towards choice later-stage startups, reported Fortune’s Dan Primack. NEA began raising money for its latest fund as a successor to its most recent $2.6 billion fund that closed in the summer of 2012. NEA expects to use 70% of its newly raised dollars to invest in technology companies and 30% into healthcare companies.