1. Spotify Going Public
Yesterday, the music streaming service filed to go public. Usually, a company would leave the work to the banks, but Spotify is taking the direct listing route which will save them a ton of money. This is a new way of doing things, NYSE only recently changed the rules for bigger companies to go public this way. This was the first time that Spotify’s financials were laid out for investors to see. Some were pumped others are concerned about how it could turn a profit from its growing subscriber base. The company wants to trade as SPOT on the New York Stock Exchange but because the company isn’t issuing any new shares, it did not specify a listing price. Based on private transactions, it is valued at roughly $19 billion, according to Reuters calculations. The major issue is that Spotify is going up against Apple, Amazon and others and is “competing against companies that never need to make a dime on music as a standalone business and that in fact use it to drive other aspects of their business.” Plus, Apple and Alphabet own the two main operating systems used by smart phones, iOS and Android.
Mountain Equipment Co-op, the Vancouver-based chain has announced they will stop using Vista Outdoor as a supplier. The company has succumbed to the pressure to distance itself from the sports and recreation company, which makes and distributes items including guns and ammunition. After last month’s school shooting in Florida, thousands of members have pushed for MEC to move away from Vista. MEC doesn’t sell guns or ammunition so it won’t hurt their brand. They have been selling Vista-owned brands including Bollé, Bushnell, CamelBak and Jimmy Styks for years, but now they won’t be ordering any more. However, any products that are currently in stores will remain there until they’re sold out.
3. Vladimir Putin
Today, Putin announced that Russia has tested an array of new strategic nuclear weapons that can’t be intercepted. This technological breakthrough could be a game changer for Russia, boosting their military capability and opening a new round in the global arms race. In a State of the Nation speech, Putin explained the weapons include a nuclear-powered cruise missile, a nuclear-powered underwater drone and new hypersonic missile that have no equivalent elsewhere in the world. According to Putin, the new weapons make NATO’s U.S.-led missile defense “useless.” In his speech, he stated that everyone else in the arms race “has failed to contain Russia.” This announcement comes as Putin is set to win another 6-year term as President. The nuclear-powered cruise missile and the drone haven’t been named yet, and Putin suggested running a nationwide contest for the best names.
4. Calgary Police Bust
The CPS has busted a murderous crime cartel and will be releasing details later today about how they got to the bottom of it. The city-based crime cartel involved in murder, massive importation of drugs and money laundering. They were also involved in the fatal shooting outside Superstore in May last year. Tentacles of the gang spread as far as Mexico where they have ties with notorious drug cartels. According to sources, the bust is so significant that members of the U.S. Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will be on hand when police reveal details at a news conference. The Alberta Law Enforcement Response Teams (ALERT), who specialize in drugs and gangs, have been pursuing the case for nearly a year. The major break came last year when two Calgarians were caught in Utah’s biggest ever meth bust. The news conference is happening this morning, where you can hear more details.
5. Meghan Markle and the Royal Family
Meghan, Prince Harry, Prince William and Dutchess Kate came together for their first official engagement as a foursome at the Royal Foundation Forum in London on Wednesday. The couples opened up about their close relationship, both personal and professional and talked about how their four different personalities work so well together. Prince Harry said, “You know, we’ve all got that same passion to want to make a difference. But [we have] different opinions, and I think those opinions work really, really well [together].” Meghan chimed in with “Togetherness at its finest.” #goals