Why it matters: After a record economic expansion, the coronavirus pandemic sent the U.S. economy into a recession as unemployment soared to staggering heights. The country now faces urgent questions about how much stimulus is needed for reeling consumers and businesses, and what a recovery might look like.
Thanksgiving Day consumer spending increased by roughly 22% year-over-year, topping a $5.1 billion record, according to Adobe Analytics data, CNBC reports.
The state of play: As shoppers avoid in-person retail due to COVID-related concerns, online transactions have surged. Adobe's marketing technology division follows online buying in real time at 80 of the top 100 retailers across the U.S., saying nearly half the purchases made on Thanksgiving were done so from smartphones.
Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff's bid for Slack — which is valued at $17 billion and would be his biggest acquisition yet — heats up his longtime rivalry with Microsoft, The Wall Street Journal's Aaron Tilley writes.
The state of play: Microsoft, which once tried to acquire Slack (and Salesforce), in 2016 launched its own workplace collaboration tool, Teams.
Amazon has hired an average of 1,400 new employees per day since the beginning of the year, the New York Times reports.
By the numbers: The tech giant added 427,300 employees between January and October, bringing its total workforce to 1.2 million globally, up more than 50% year-over-year.
The U.K. government said on Friday that it will establish next year a Digital Markets Unit, which will enforce forthcoming "pro-competition" regulations aimed at curbing some of the digital platforms like Google and Facebook.
Why it matters: This is the latest move by a government to respond to growing objections to the size and power these companies have amassed.
Safety nets are likely to be yanked from underneath millions of vulnerable Americans in December, as the coronavirus surges.
Why it matters: Those most at risk are depending on one or more relief programs that are set to expire, right as the economic recovery becomes more fragile than it's been in months.
The big picture: GLAAD's 2019-2020 report on LGBTQ representation in TV found that 10% of regular characters expected to appear on primetime programming in the past year were LGBTQ — the highest percentage in 15 years.
The pandemic has upended Thanksgiving and the shopping season that the holiday kicks off, creating a new crop of economic winners and losers.
The big picture: Just as it has exacerbated inequality in every other facet of American life, the coronavirus pandemic is deepening inequities in the business world, with the biggest and most powerful companies rapidly outpacing the smaller players.