Sign up for our daily briefing

Make your busy days simpler with the Axios AM and PM newsletters. Catch up on what's new and why it matters in just 5 minutes.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on the day's biggest business stories

Subscribe to the Axios Closer newsletter for insights into the day’s business news and trends and why they matter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios Pro Rata

Dive into the world of dealmakers across VC, PE and M&A with Axios Pro Rata. Delivered daily to your inbox by Dan Primack and Kia Kokalitcheva.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sports news worthy of your time

Binge on the stats and stories that drive the sports world with the Axios Sports newsletter. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Tech news worthy of your time

Get our smart take on technology from the Valley and D.C. with Axios Login. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Get the inside stories

Get an insider's guide to the new White House with Axios Sneak Peek. Sign up for free.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Catch up on coronavirus stories and special reports, curated by Mike Allen everyday

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Denver news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Denver

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Des Moines news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Des Moines newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Twin Cities news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Twin Cities

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Tampa Bay news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Tampa Bay newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Charlotte news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with Axios Charlotte

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Nashville news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Nashville newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Columbus news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Columbus newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Dallas news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Dallas newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Austin news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Austin newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Atlanta news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Atlanta newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Philadelphia news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Philadelphia newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top Chicago news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios Chicago newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Sign up for Axios NW Arkansas

Stay up-to-date on the most important and interesting stories affecting NW Arkansas, authored by local reporters

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Want a daily digest of the top DC news?

Get a daily digest of the most important stories affecting your hometown with the Axios DC newsletter.

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Please enter a valid email.

Please enter a valid email.

Subscription failed
Thank you for subscribing!

Photo: Cindy Ord/Getty Images

LVMH yesterday broke off its $16.2 billion engagement to Tiffany & Co., and then the two sides sprinted to file competing lawsuits in Delaware.

What we learned: The French government may have played a key role in the split, asking LVMH to delay the deal close for two months past the agreed-upon deadline.

Details: The request came via an August 31 letter from France's foreign affairs minister, who is the equivalent to the U.S. secretary of state. According to an English translation disclosed by Tiffany, it reads in part...

"The American government has decided to implement an additional customs duty on the import of certain French goods, in particular goods in the luxury sector, in reaction to France adopting a digital services tax, with the U.S. deferring the application thereof until January 6, 2021.
France considers these measures legally objectionable. ... Because the implementation of these tariffs may affect France’s external relations ... proposed investments by French companies in sectors that could be subject to such sanctions must be reevaluated in light of this new context.
You should defer the closing of the pending Tiffany transaction until January 6, 2021. I am sure that you will understand the need to take part in our country’s efforts to defend its national interests."

Basically, LVMH told Tiffany: "I really like you, but my parents hate your parents, so I just don't think it'll work out right now."

Tiffany didn't take the rejection in stride. It seems to believe LVMH is using the French government request as cover for its own cold feet, referencing how LVMH previously tried to negotiate deal terms under the guise of "U.S. social justice protests and the COVID-19 pandemic."

  • It wants Delaware Chancery Court to enforce the deal.
  • It also got some backup via a new Bloomberg report that LVMH chairman Bernard Arnault "asked for help from the French government in an effort to pull out of [the deal]."

LVMH this morning said not only that it will "defend itself vigorously," but also that it will file a lawsuit of its own — claiming Tiffany violated the deal terms through "crisis mismanagement."

  • Specifically, LVMH says it will cite dividend distributions during the pandemic.

The bottom line: Breakups can be messy, particularly when there's a third party involved.

Go deeper

LVMH backs out of Tiffany acquisition over U.S. tariffs

Photo; Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

LVMH backed out of an $18.5 billion agreement to buy jeweler Tiffany & Co. Wednesday, citing U.S. tariffs on French products.

The big picture: LVMH’s board of directors recently made the decision after a "succession of events which undermine the acquisition," the company wrote. Tiffany filed a lawsuit in Delaware to enforce the acquisition.

Our thought bubble via Axios' Dan Primack: The move highlights how the U.S. is in trade wars with more than just China, with the Trump administration proposing new tariffs on French luxury goods in retaliation for a French tax on U.S. tech companies.

Public schools staffing is on the brink of collapse

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

The public school system is hanging by a thread as staff are stressed, burned out and thinking of quitting more than ever before.

Why it matters: Staffing shortages are leading school districts to look for "bodies in a room to babysit kids" as last-ditch efforts to keep their doors open, one education researcher told Axios.

Nathan Bomey, author of Closer
1 hour ago - Economy & Business

Tipping has soared during the pandemic

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

From restaurants to ride-sharing, Americans are tipping a lot more than they did before the pandemic.

Why it matters: The past two years have upended the way we express appreciation to the people who provide us food and services.