Tuesday's economy & business stories

Best Buy sees spike in shoplifting, pressuring profits

Best Buy is the latest retailer — joining Kroger and others — to say "organized crime" is weighing on its bottom line.

Why it matters: Companies say profits took a hit for all sorts of reasons. It's not every day that theft is a scapegoat.

Jury holds pharmacies responsible in groundbreaking opioids case

Photo: Paul Weaver/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

A federal jury said Tuesday that Walgreens, CVS and Walmart recklessly distributed pain pills in two Ohio counties and played a hand in the hundreds of overdose deaths that plagued the communities, AP reports.

Why it matters: It's the first verdict for pharmacy companies in a case involving the opioid crisis, per AP. The verdict — with a judge set to rule on damages this spring — could set a precedent for other local governments that seek to hold pharmacies accountable.

Most things at The Dollar Tree will now cost $1.25

A Dollar Tree store in Bowie, Maryland. Photo: Jim Watson/AFP via Getty Images

Dollar Tree will raise prices from $1 to $1.25 on most of its products by the end of April, the company announced Tuesday.

Why it matters: Dollar Tree, which has sold products at $1 for 35 years, was among the last of the major U.S. dollar store chains to retain its $1 price. The change is a reflection of the pressure on low-cost retailers amid rising inflation, CNN notes.

Chile's future government will fall on a political extreme

A voter casts her ballot during national elections on Nov. 21, 2021 in Arica, Chile. Photo: John Moore/Getty Images

Chile's centrist candidates were completely shut out in Sunday's first-round vote, which now heads to a runoff election between a far-right and a far-left candidate.

Why it matters: The outcome of the second round of voting on Dec. 19 will have repercussions for an increasingly polarized Chile and how the country's economy, which is supported by key natural resources such as copper, is handled.

Nov 23, 2021 - Economy & Business

The pandemic put STAT on the map

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

STAT had a banner year in 2020, and executives say they expect continued growth for the foreseeable future.

Why it matters: "I've never for a moment worried about a post-pandemic dip because the past two years catapulted us into a whole new league in terms of readership, reach and our brand identity," said STAT co-founder and executive editor Rick Berke. "There's no turning back from what we were pre-pandemic."

Notorious hedge fund sparks panic about death of local news

Reproduced from UNC Hussman School of Journalism and Media; Chart: Axios Visuals

Lawmakers, local reporters and journalism advocates are sounding the alarm over a takeover attempt of local newspaper group Lee Enterprises by Alden Global Capital, a hedge fund known for cutting journalists at local papers to maximize profits.

Why it matters: Roughly half of America’s daily newspapers are already controlled by investment groups. Alden's takeover would make it a clear majority.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
Nov 23, 2021 - Economy & Business

Elliott wins the Athenahealth battle (again)

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Jonathan Bush sounded improbably chipper when we spoke, in the wake of Monday's news that Athenahealth would be sold for $17 billion by the activist hedge fund that had forced him out of the company he founded.

  • "I knew you'd be calling, so I picked an unnecessary argument with my wife to get it all out first," he said.

"Pokémon Go" maker Niantic now worth $9 billion

illustration a Pokémon Go logo. Photo: Pavlo Gonchar/SOPA Images/LightRocket via Getty Images

Niantic, an S.F.-based maker of augmented reality games like "Pokémon Go," raised $300 million from Coatue at a $9 billion valuation.

Why it matters: This is about the metaverse that Meta isn't interested in building.

Nov 23, 2021 - Technology

Washington Post taps its former CMO to lead tech division

Photo credit: Jackie Hicks, Photo courtesy of The Washington Post

The Washington Post has hired Miki King — the company's former chief marketing officer, who most recently served as the President of Genius Media Group — to run The Post's Arc XP software arm.

Why it matters: The hire underscores The Post's commitment to growing its software arm as a significant revenue stream to support its journalism.

Authentic Brands Group, after buying Reebok, raises $3.5 billion

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

Brand management firm Authentic Brands Group on Monday announced that a group led by private equity firms CVC Capital Partners and HPS Investment Partners acquired a significant ownership stake at an enterprise value of $12.7 billion.

Why it matters: The lofty price tag and the deal's structure are a departure from the kind of traditional leveraged buyouts that have been prevalent in the retail sector.

Nov 23, 2021 - Health

Private equity firms buy Athenahealth, again

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Private equity firms Bain Capital and Hellman & Friedman acquired Athenahealth, an electronic health records vendor for physician practices, for $17 billion.

Why it matters: This is one of the largest leveraged buyouts of the year, and it means the previous private equity firms that took Athenahealth private in 2018 — Veritas Capital and Evergreen Coast Capital, a subsidiary of Elliott Management— tripled their investment.