The daily business briefing: June 4, 2018

Harold Maass
Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella
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Microsoft reportedly to buy coding site GitHub

Microsoft has agreed to acquire popular coding site GitHub, Bloomberg reported Sunday, citing people familiar with the matter. The deal reportedly could be announced as soon as Monday. The terms were not immediately available, but GitHub was valued at $2 billion in 2015 and Quartz reported that the price could be above $5 billion. GitHub has not yet made a profit from its service, which lets coders share and collaborate on work. Quartz likens the service to a Google Docs for developers. GitHub reportedly was "impressed" by Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella, who has courted coders since he took over at the software giant in 2014. Acquiring GitHub will give Microsoft access to millions of software developers, although some reportedly are not pleased to see GitHub become part of Microsoft. [Bloomberg, Quartz]


Report: Facebook let device makers access data of users' friends

Facebook reached agreements over the last decade to share access to user data with 60 device makers, including Apple, Microsoft, Samsung, and Blackberry, The New York Times reported Sunday. Most of the partnerships remain in effect, although Facebook started winding them down in April, after news reports revealed that now-defunct data-mining firm Cambridge Analytica had improperly accessed tens of millions of Facebook users' private data. The partnerships allowed some device makers access to the personal information of users' friends, even if they had tried to bar sharing, the Times found. During the backlash over the Cambridge Analytica story, Facebook said it had cut off developers from accessing the information of users' friends in 2014, but it didn't disclose that it had exempted device makers. [The New York Times]


American Airlines chief warns of fare hikes if oil prices stay high

American Airlines CEO Doug Parker warned Sunday that the company might have to raise ticket prices if oil prices remain high. The price of crude has jumped by about 50 percent over last year's levels, driving up fuel costs and weighing on the bottom line for airlines. "If it becomes clear this is the new normal, you would see over time less capacity and growth in the industry and therefore higher prices, but I don't think that's going to happen in the near term," Parker told reporters in Sydney, where airline executives are attending the annual International Air Transport Association meeting. [Reuters]


Asian stocks get a boost from U.S. jobs data

Asian stocks edged higher Monday, lifted by Friday's strong U.S. jobs report. Japan's Nikkei index rose by 1 percent, while the broad MSCI index of Asia-Pacific shares gained 0.3 percent. U.S. shares jumped Friday, with the Nasdaq Composite gaining 1.5 percent and the S&P 500 rising by 1.1 percent. The gains came despite "unanimous concern and disappointment" expressed by the other six G7 countries — all U.S. allies — heading into next week's G7 summit in Quebec, over President Trump's decision to impose steel and aluminum tariffs on Canada, Mexico, and members of the European Union. [Reuters]


Solo sees big drop in second week's box office numbers

Solo: A Star Wars Story led the weekend box office but lost steam, with its haul falling by 65 percent in its second weekend after a disappointing debut. The film brought in $29.3 million, bringing its domestic total so far to $148.9 million, still below the opening weekend of $155.1 million for the last minor Star Wars film, Rogue One, which debuted in December 2016. The fall of 65 percent is among the steepest second-week drops for films in the Star Wars franchise. Star Wars: The Last Jedi took a steeper tumble after its debut last December, but that was after an opening weekend take of $220 million. Paul Dergarabedian, senior media analyst for comScore, said publicity surrounding Solo's sub-par ticket sales overshadowed a mostly positive audience reaction. [The Associated Press]