MONOPOLY MATTERS

Today in Monopoly – Tuesday, March 5th

Here are some stories we had our eye on today:

High-Speed Rail inthe U.S. Remains Elusive: Illinois Shows Why

The Wall Street Journal, Shayndi Raice and Paul Overberg

The challenges faced by Illinois, among them limited federal funding and people’s ingrained travel habits, mirror those faced by other states that would like to upgrade the passenger rail network. The issue is drawing renewed attention as part of congressional Democrats’ “Green New Deal” to overhaul the country’s energy and transportation infrastructure. Some local governments are looking at ways to commit to reducing their carbon footprint, or to better serve an aging and urbanizing population.

 

The Startup Taking On Bayer With Cheaper, Non-GMO Seeds

Bloomberg Businessweek, Elizabeth G Dunn

Baron is co-founder of Farmers Business Network Inc. (FBN), a five-year-old startup that says it can do for corn and soybean seed what Warby Parker has done for eyewear. For most farmers of such grains, genetically modified seeds with patent-protected advantages (weed resistance, insect immunity) have become the largest variable expense—and one over which they have little control given consolidation inthe market. U.S. farmers spent $22 billion on seeds last year, 35 percent more than they did in2010, and that increase can’t be explained by additional acreage. The product is sold through local dealers or retailers—almost never online—and prices typically aren’t posted.

 

AT&T Breaks Up Turner, Bulks Up Warner Bros. inMajor WarnerMedia Overhaul

The Wall Street Journal, Joe Flint

AT&T Inc. T -0.30% said it is shaking up its WarnerMedia unit, doing away with an outdated structure ina bid to make the company more competitive inan entertainment industry reshaped by consolidation and technology.

 

The Amazon Deal Implosion Will Make It Hard to Do the Next Deal. Good.

New York, Josh Barro

But the pro-Amazon Establishment is desperate to get Amazon back for two reasons not directly related to Amazon. One problem is the loud signal the episode sent about New York being an expensive and difficult place to do business. New York real-estate developers endure a lot of community input and busybody negotiations because land can’t be moved and there’s a lot of money to be made developing it right here; now, businesspeople whose operations are more mobile have been given a high-profile taste of the headaches they might face if they come to New York when they don’t have to. The other problem is the specific signal the episode sent about Cuomo’s and Mayor Bill de Blasio’s credibility if they offer an incentive package to another company. If you think you have a deal, you still have to worry that you actually might not have a deal. That makes it hard to negotiate the next deal.