Spirit crashes merger with JetBlue

Spirit Airlines (SAVE:NYSE) and JetBlue Airways (JBLU:NASDAQ) have grounded their merger plans for good.

The two airlines said they were terminating the $3.8 billion deal, after deciding that they likely couldn’t overcome the legal and regulatory hurdles in the way of the merger.

A judge in January ruled that combining the two airlines would reduce competition and harm cost-conscious fliers.

The nearly two-year saga began with JetBlue fighting to win Spirit from rival suitor Frontier Airlines.

The two would have formed the fifth-largest U.S. carrier, while remaining significantly smaller than the so-called big four—United, American, Delta and Southwest.

Spirit shares dropped 14% for the week, while JetBlue shares gained 9%.

Target aims for a turnaround

Target (TGT:NYSE) posted stronger-than-expected profits in the holiday quarter and announced a new paid membership program, Target Circle 360. Target also introduced plans to open hundreds of new stores and to invest in improvements to most of its nearly 2,000 locations over the next decade.

Target Circle 360 will offer members free same-day delivery on orders over $35 and free two-day shipping, taking on rival programs Amazon Prime and Walmart+.

The retailer’s 2023 revenue fell, marking its first annual sales decline since 2016, as the company battled weaker store traffic and shoppers splurging less on items like homegoods and electronics.

Target shares finished the week 12% higher.

NYCB raises $1bn from group of investors

The week saw shares of New York Community Bancorp (NYCB:NYSE) go on a wild ride. Investors started dumping shares after new broke that the troubled regional lender was seeking to raise equity capital in a bid to shore up confidence. This sent NYCB shares down more than 40% during Wednesday’s trading session.

Amid several trading halts, NYCB said it raised more than $1 billion from a group of investors including former U.S. Treasury Secretary Steven Mnuchin. The company also disclosed a sweeping overhaul of its management.

NYCB shares recovered once trading resumed, ending 7.5% higher on Wednesday. The stock gained an additional 5.8% on Thursday after NYCB cut its quarterly dividend.

NYCB shares finished the week 6.04% lower.

Rivian unveils two new SUVs

Rivian Automotive (RIVN:NASDAQ) hopes to jump-start sales with its new, more affordable electric cars.

The electric-vehicle startup unveiled two new SUVs on Thursday: the midsize R2, which is slated to go on sale in 2026, and a smaller model called the R3. Rivian Chief Executive RJ Scaringe didn’t say when the R3 would go on sale.

The R2 model resembles a smaller version of Rivian’s $75,000 R1S SUV, with a lower price tag of $45,000.

Over the last several years, EV makers have battled a slowdown in demand. Rivian reported a $5.4 billion net loss for last year, and in February said it would lay off 10% of its salaried workforce.

Rivian shares jumped 13% Thursday.

Microsoft accused of cloud dominance

Microsoft has been was accused of abusing the dominance of its Azure cloud computing unit in Europe.The allegations stem from tweaks Microsoft made to its licensing terms in 2019.

Under those rules, Customers couldn’t rely on perpetual licenses they had already purchased to run Microsoft applications on so-called “listed providers” like Alibaba, Amazon, Google, and Microsoft itself. They’d have to buy new licenses, instead. Meanwhile, some software, including Office 365 Windows Apps, was forbidden from running on rival clouds.

The terms are the source of intense anger from competing cloud firms in Europe, like France’s OVHCloud and Italy’s Aruba, as well as Big Tech competitor Amazon.

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