Financial Daily Dose 2.19.2020 | Top Story: Arguments Begin Regarding Facebook’s 2010 Tax Bill

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On Tuesday, a U.S. federal tax court began hearing arguments regarding Facebook’s 2010 tax bill. The IRS valued Facebook at $13.8 billion, while Facebook reported only $6.5 billion. The final tally could potentially cost Zuck’s baby between $5-9 billion, depending on the ruling’s impact on future tax calculations and penalties. – Law 360

The U.S. District Court in East, Texas, dismissed Huawei Technologies Co.’s suit challenging the constitutionality of the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA). The NDAA included provisions blocking federal money from going to Huawei. – WSJ 

Europe continues to champion privacy. The EU will likely place restrictions on the use of machine-learning-enabled technologies, especially those related to facial recognition. – WSJ  and Bloomberg 

Big foods brands, such as General Mills Inc. and Clorox Co., have started to lose control over how and where their products are displayed at stores. Store owners now have analytics related to customer behavior, which has resulted in strategic placement of niche items and generic alternatives in the most profitable areas. Big brands are now attempting to provide more data/statistical insights to stores and smaller brands in order to compete. – WSJ 

General Electric Co. has begun hunting more business from Airbus. This after Boeing’s 737 MAX’s continued grounding. GE will have to compete with Rolls-Royce Holdings PLC’s engines to win European contracts. Hopefully, this competition leads to a more affordable ticket for the end consumer, fingers-crossed. – WSJ and Bloomberg 

The bottled-water industry faces an uncertain future as environmentalist continue to support bills that would limit licensing to businesses bottling natural water. A bill to ban such bottling passed the Washington state senate and has now gone to the house. Given lobbying efforts by the industry, the bill’s future remains uncertain. – WSJ 

While we’re on the subject, here’s a quick video highlighting an app that shows you where you can refill your reusable water bottle for free. – Bloomberg 

Dish Network Corp.’s television subscriptions continue to shrink, spurring the company to shift its focus to the cellular phone market. – WSJ 

Investors fearing market volatility resulting from the coronavirus have begun looking for safer investments, such as precious and semi-precious metals. Gold and palladium have been among the first to rally. – Bloomberg

Choose your attorney wisely; the New York Supreme Court Justice assigned to Harvey Weinstein’s trial issued a gag order on Tuesday ordering Weinstein’s lawyers to stop speaking to the media before the verdict. The gag was issued after Weinstein’s lead attorney wrote an opinion piece in Newsweek asking the jury to acquit Weinstein. – Law 360

Have you ever seen a Mercedes G-Wagen and wondered whether it is worth the hype? I have, and it is. Here’s a rundown of the vehicle’s pros, cons, and cachet. – WSJ

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