Must Read Money Stories for Monday, Oct. 24

by October 24, 2016
An internal debate at Facebook heated up last week about its role in politics and censoring speech. (Photo by Sarah Marshall via Flickr.)

An internal debate at Facebook heated up last week about its role in politics and speech censorship. (Photo by Sarah Marshall via Flickr)

AT&T scoops up Time Warner

Time Warner—the corporate conglomerate behind CNN, HBO, TNT and movie blockbusters such as Harry Potter and Superman—may soon be owned by one the world’s largest telephone companies. AT&T agreed over the weekend to buy Time Warner for a whopping $84.5 billion, a deal that’ll almost certainly be intensely scrutinized by federal regulators before going through, according to The New York Times. The deal marks the latest in a string of acquisitions and mergers in the media and entertainment industry, where bigger now means better when it comes to negotiating with service providers and advertisers amid the rise of online competitors such as Netflix and Amazon Prime.

Feds to take Moody’s to court

Moody’s is anticipating to soon be handed a lawsuit from federal prosecutors, who are planning to take the financial giant to court over its valuations of mortgage-back securities leading up to the nation’s 2008 economic meltdown, according to USA Today. The company disclosed the looming lawsuit on Friday in its latest quarterly earnings report. Afterward, despite performing higher than analysts forecast, investors sent Moody’s stock prices down by 5.4 percent. Federal prosecutors alerted Moody’s of their litigation plans in a letter last month, which will be separate from other complaints the company is expecting from several states attorneys general on similar grounds.

Facebook grapples with role in politics

In this year’s particularly contentious and high-profile election cycle, Facebook and its employees have been grappling with—and arguing amongst themselves over—the line they’ve been walking between the company’s roots as a social media network and its newfound role as one of the nation’s largest sources of aggregated political news and information. Last week Facebook executives sent an internal memo to employees saying they’ll be allowing people to post more information and content that might otherwise violate the company’s speech standards, according to The Wall Street Journal. The memo came after sources disclosed to media outlets that Facebook employees rallied, albeit unsuccessfully, for CEO Mark Zuckerberg to remove Republican nominee Donald Trump’s posts about banning Muslims in the U.S.

Airbnb sues New York over new law

The New York Times says that the “regulatory gray area” in which Airbnb operates has prompted the room-sharing company to sue yet another state over new regulations and a subsequent schedule of fines. Within hours of New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo signing a new housing-regulation law Friday targeted at Airbnb, the company filed a lawsuit saying it would suffer “irreparable harm” as a result of the new legislation. The New York suit follows similar, ongoing cases Airbnb has launched against such cities as San Francisco, Santa Monica, Calif., Berlin and Amsterdam.