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OpenAI Wants Licensed Content

Regulators denied Apple, Disney bids to skip votes on AI, Morgan Stanley dropped its bullish dollar bet, OpenAI is working with publishers about licensing content, Google is killing cookies, NYC’s mayor sued Texas, and Peloton shares surged on news of deal with TikTok.

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Good Morning,

Regulators denied Apple and Disney bids to skip votes on AI, Morgan Stanley dropped its bullish dollar bet, OpenAI is working with publishers about licensing content, Google is killing cookies, NYC’s mayor sued Texas, and Peloton shares surged on news of deal with TikTok.

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Let’s dive in.

Before The Bell

As of 01/04/2023 market close.


  • US stocks mostly fell, as the Nasdaq fell for a consecutive fifth session 

    • The Nasdaq fell 0.56%, while the Dow closed up 0.03%

  • European stocks rose even as Germany’s inflation accelerated to 3.8%, its fastest rate since December; French consumer prices rose in line with expectations


  • Walgreens Boots Alliance shares fell ~5% despite beating adjusted earnings and revenue expectations due to cutting its quarterly dividend nearly in half (CNBC

  • What we're watching this week:  

    • Today: Constellation Brands

  • Full calendar here

Headline Roundup

  • US jobs report to show hiring concentrated in only a few sectors (BBG)

  • US regulator denies Apple, Disney bids to skip votes on AI (RT)

  • Supermarket giant drops Pepsi and Lay’s over price increases (WSJ)

  • Morgan Stanley drops contrarian bet for dollar to rally in 2024 (BBG)

  • OpenAI says it’s in talks with dozens of publishers about licensing content (BBG)

  • Apple hit with second downgrade this week on iPhone worries (BBG)

  • Summit Partners halts new deals in booming credit market (WSJ)

  • Google is finally killing cookies, and advertisers still aren’t ready (WSJ)

  • EV startup Fisker ditches Tesla-style direct sales model (WSJ)

  • Mobileye crashes into auto-chip pileup (WSJ)

  • NYC mayor sues Texas charter bus companies transporting migrants (AX)

  • BlackRock’s Lynam calls early credit drop a ‘healthy correction’ (BBG)

  • US crude oil stocks fell 5.5M barrels in week ended Dec. 29 (WSJ)

  • Peloton shares surge 15% as it partners with TikTok to offer short-form fitness classes (CNBC)

  • Wall Street’s ambitions in China run into a rising firewall (BBG)

  • SpaceX charged with illegally firing workers who spoke critically of Elon Musk (CNBC)

  • Buyers shun Argentina reconstruction bonds for second straight week (BBG)

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Deal Flow

M&A / Investments

  • US oil producer APA will acquire rival Callon Petroleum in an all-stock deal valued at $4.5B, including debt (RT

  • US refiner and petrochemical manufacturer Phillips 66 is in active discussions for a sale of its non-core assets; the company had previously said it is looking to monetize $3B in non-core assets in 2024 (RT

  • Health insurer Elevance Health will buy private firm Paragon Healthcare for more than $1B (RT

  • NCAA and ESPN agreed to an eight-year $920M agreement that will give the network exclusive rights to 40 championships, including the D1 women's basketball tournament (BBG

  • The University of California will pay $700M for a former LA shopping mall that had been redeveloped as offices for Google; the school system plans to redevelop the campus to a medical and engineering research park for UCLA (BBG

  • Renewable energy company Ormat Technologies finalized the acquisition of a renewable asset portfolio in the US from Italian multinational energy company Enel for $271M (RT

  • $22B fund manager Alger Group Holdings will acquire global equity investment boutique Redwood Investments (BBG

  • Portuguese football club Sporting Lisbon is weighing the sale of a minority stake (BBG)


  • Avistone Biotechnology, a Beijing-based oncology company, raised a ~$140M Series B led by SDIC and IDG Capital (BW)

  • HI-Bio, a clinical-stage biotechnology company developing targeted therapies for patients with immune-mediated diseases, raised a $95M Series B led by Alpha Wave Global (PRN)

  • AI-powered search engine Perplexity AI raised a $73.6M round at a $520M valuation led by IVP (TC)

  • Epigenetics medicine startup Moonwalk Biosciences raised $57M in seed and Series A funding from Alpha Wave Ventures, ARCH Venture Partners, Future Ventures, and more (BW)

  • Bumper, a startup helping drivers split repair bills into interest-free payments, raised a $48M Series B led by Autotech Ventures (BW)

  • Shanghai-based radiotherapeutics startup Full-Life Technologies raised a $47.3M Series B from Prosperity7 Ventures and Sky9 Capital (FN)

  • Unsecured lending platform for credit unions Happy Money raised $40M in funding led by TruStage Ventures (PRN)

  • Varlo Sports, an athletic apparel company, raised a $30M seed round led by REI Co-op Path Ahead Ventures (PRN)

  • Resalis Therapeutics, a startup developing a non-coding RNA drug to treat metabolic disorders, raised a $10.9M Series A led by Sunstone Life Science Ventures (BW)

  • Arbital Health, a startup working for the healthcare industry, raised a $10M Series A led by Transformation Capital (FN)

  • UrbanStems, a modern floral gifting company, raised a $5M Series C extension led by SWaN & Legend and DF Enterprises (PRN)

  • Hatz AI, a startup allowing MSPs to build an AI-as-a-Service business, raised a $2.5M seed round led by Vestigo Ventures (PRN)

  • Vigilant Ops, a leading automation platform for the generation and maintenance of SBOMs, raised a $2M seed round from DataTribe (BW)

  • UniFAHS, a phage technology startup for sustainable agriculture, raised a $1.4M seed round led by A2D Ventures (PRN)

IPO / Direct Listings / Issuances / Block Trades

  • Amer Sports, the maker of Wilson tennis rackets and Salomon ski boots, filed for a US IPO and could be valued at as much as $10B (BBG


  • Helium producer New Era Helium will merge with Roth CH Acquisition V in a $90M deal (GNW


  • The California State Teachers’ Retirement System, the country’s second-largest pension fund, will seek to borrow over $30B to help maintain liquidity and avoid an asset fire-sale (BBG

Bankruptcy / Restructuring

  • Pharmaceutical developer Humanigen filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy, attributing its problems to the FDA’s rejection of its COVID-19 drug in 2021 (WSJ


  • Operator-centric PE firm Seven Hills Capital raised $125M for its inaugural Seven Hills Capital Fund I (FN

Crypto Corner

  • Indian banks paid some employee benefits through the digital rupee in December (RT)

  • According to a Bloomberg ETF analyst, an ether ETF is likely coming, as the SEC implicitly accepted Ether as a commodity (CT)

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