Business

How the Senate’s “Honest Ads Act” Will Affect Online Advertisers

https://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/3/3f/Facebook_Logo_on_Monitor.jpgBy: Patrick Wilson

On October 19th, 2017, a bipartisan group of Senators including Amy Klobuchar (D-MN), John McCain (R-AZ), and Mark Warner (D-VA) introduced legislation that would require more transparency and disclosure of the groups funding online advertising during election season. The purpose of proposed Senate Bill 1989, ‘The Honest Ads Act’, would hold online advertising platforms like Facebook, Google, and Twitter to the same standards as traditional media, such as television and radio.

The Bill requires that platforms with more than fifty million unique monthly visitors keep a public record of the parties that purchase more than $500 in advertising and disclose the purchaser of those ads, which included the ad’s target audience is, the ad rate, the name of the candidate the ad supported, and contact information of the ad. The Bill’s stated goal is preventing foreign nationals from purchasing political ads and potentially influencing the perception of American citizens during election season with false or misleading information.  Continue reading »

JAB to Take a Gulp of Dr. Pepper, but Shareholders Aren’t Happy

https://pixabay.com/en/cola-pouring-in-a-glass-with-ice-ice-2769457/

By: Andrew Homer

The pace and size of mergers and acquisitions in the United States have accelerated in the past few years. It is predicted this momentum will continue into 2018. Global mergers and acquisitions announced so far this year have surpassed a value of $450 billion. Earlier this year, JAB Holdings Company (JAB), a German consumer group, announced it will purchase Dr. Pepper Snapple Group (Dr. Pepper) for $18.7 billion and merge it with its Keurig Green Mountain coffee (Keurig). This is the largest acquisition of a soft drink company.

JAB tries to stay out of the public spotlight, but with recent large acquisitions, this has proven difficult. It is reported that the family behind the consumer conglomerate requires its members to take a vow at the age of 18 not to speak publicly about the family business. JAB purchased Keurig in 2016 for $14 billion and has focused on coffee related industries by later acquiring Krispy Kreme and Panera Bread. JAB began the hot drink journey in 2012 when it purchased Peet’s Coffee & Tea for $974 million. As a result, JAB has created rivalries with companies like Starbucks and Nestlé. A shift into the soft drink market shows JAB’s intent to expand this list to companies like Coca-Cola and PepsiCo. Continue reading »

Trump Imposes Tariffs on China: What are Tariffs? How do They Impact the Economy?

By: Juliana S. Inman

https://pixabay.com/en/network-social-abstract-3139222/

On March 22, 2018, President Donald Trump signed a presidential memorandum imposing tariffs and investment restrictions on China. These tariffs are estimated to affect as much as sixty billion dollars in Chinese imports to the United States. According to U.S. News writers, Ken Thomas and Paul Wiseman, the tariffs were “the boldest example to date of Trump’s ‘America first’ agenda, the culmination of his longstanding view that weak U.S. trade policies and enforcement have hollowed out the nation’s workforce and ballooned the federal deficit.” Moreover, these tariffs against China came just after the United States prepared to impose tariffs of twenty-five percent (25%) on imported steel and ten percent (10%) on aluminum, which were also meant to target China’s cheap steel and aluminum production. Although there are partisan politicians with varying opinions on the recent tariffs, “[b]usiness groups mostly agree that something needs to be done about China’s aggressive push in technology, but they worry that China will retaliate by targeting U.S. exports of aircraft, soybeans[,] and other products and start a tit-for-tat trade war.” The short-term and long-term economic impacts as a result of these tariffs have yet to be seen, but one thing is for certain: there will be economic effects, both positive and negative.

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The Contract Clause: Taking Another Look

By: Andrew Homer *| Staff Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/contract-handshake-feather-2098011/

The right to contract and the protection thereof is a fundamental piece of the societal and economic machine that provides prosperity to our country. The Contract Clause of the Constitution (Article I, Section X, Clause I)  states that “[n]o State shall … pass any … Law impairing the Obligation of Contracts … .” In debating this clause at the Constitutional Convention, its proponents argued that it is intended to protect private contracts from legislative actions. Despite this clear purpose, the Contract Clause has not been so clearly interpreted by the Supreme Court.

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How Accepting a Donation Can Have Disastrous Effects

By Christopher Lewis

By Arad [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

By Arad [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html), CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/) or CC BY-SA 2.5-2.0-1.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.5-2.0-1.0)], from Wikimedia Commons

In February 2018, the Southern District of New York issued their holding in Zuckerman v. Metropolitan Museum of Art. The plaintiff, Laurel Zuckerman who is the great-grandniece of Paul Leffmann and Administratix of Alice Leffmann’s estate, alleged that Pablo Picasso’s, The Actor, now owned by the Metropolitan Museum of Art in Manhattan, was sold under duress during the height of Adolf Hitler’s reign in Germany. Ms. Zuckerman sought over $100,000,000 in damages and for The Actor to be returned to her family. This lawsuit was dismissed as the district judge found that Ms. Zuckerman could not sufficiently argue that her great-great-uncle was under sufficient duress that would justify returning the painting to her family or allowing for damages. This case is unlikely to be overturned on appeal unless the Second Circuit Court of Appeals widens the claim of duress to include a broader reach into the parties’ motives, however, the claims of duress are not always so easily dismissed. Continue reading »

What Skill Bank of America CEO, Brian Moynihan, Attributes to His Success and Major Pay

By: Yusuf A. Brown *| Staff Writer

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As one of the largest and most successful retail banking franchises, it comes to no surprise that Bank of America (“BOA”) would pay its Chief Executive Officer (“CEO”) the big bucks. In February of 2018, the BOA Board approved its CEO’s, Brian T. Moynihan, 2017 incentive compensation package. This approval will allow Moynihan to enjoy a $3 million increase from 2016 in equity incentive. Although Moynihan continues to receive a relatively modest salary of $1.5 million, he will also receive $21.5 million as an equity incentive, an increase from the $18.5 million he received in 2016.

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Employee Tracking: How to Balance Business Efficiency and the Right to Privacy

By: Christopher Lewis *| Staff Writer

By Rama (Own work) [CeCILL (http://www.cecill.info/licences/Licence_CeCILL_V2-en.html) or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Rama (Own work) [CeCILL (http://www.cecill.info/licences/Licence_CeCILL_V2-en.html) or CC BY-SA 2.0 fr (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0/fr/deed.en)], via Wikimedia Commons

With the advent of new technology, privacy concerns are becoming an increasingly hot topic of debate in many different forms. People across the globe are becoming more cognizant of the personal right to privacy and are working to protect it; however, other factions believe that technological advances and the integration of life and technology are worth the loss in privacy rights. Some believe that it is only a matter of time before we fall into the dystopian worlds that George Orwell and Ray Bradbury, respectfully, espoused in 1984 and Fahrenheit 451. Continue reading »

Who Has to Have Some “Skin-in-the-Game”: Circuit Court Exempts CLOs from Dodd-Frank’s Risk-Retention Requirement

By: Yusuf A. Brown *| Staff Writer

Carlos Delgado [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

Carlos Delgado [CC BY-SA 3.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

In February 2018, the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit (the “Court”) ruled that a key lender to some of the largest companies should be exempt from Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act’s (“Dodd-Frank”) requirement that investment firms hold some of their funds’ risk. Specifically, the Court ruled to exempt Collateralized Loan Obligations (“CLOs”) from compliance with risk-retention regulations.

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O Sears Canada! The Unfortunate Consequences of a Retailer’s Downfall

By: Andrew Homer *| Staff Writer

SimonP at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

SimonP at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

The demise of Sears Canada began in 2017. In June of that year, the company signaled a warning that the retailer would have to restructure or seek a buyer. In its first quarter of 2017, Sears Canada had a net loss of $144.4 million up over 50% from its loss of $63.6 million from the corresponding quarter in 2016.

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What the NLRB’s Overturning of Obama Era Employer Liability Rules Means for Employers in the Piedmont

By: Patrick Wilson *| Staff Writer

https://www.goodfreephotos.com

https://www.goodfreephotos.com

Across the board, the Trump administration has moved quickly to roll back existing regulations in its quest to scale back government intrusion into the workplace. In a move that will benefit small business owners in the Piedmont, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has lessened the liability a franchise may face for the actions of a staffing or contracting company it utilizes.

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