Your commercial news round-up: Barclays, Ray-Ban, Amazon and Google, Buzzfeed

updated on 01 July 2021

This week we saw Barclays increase junior bankers’ salaries, two retail giants go back and forth, Amazon and Google under investigation from regulators and we witnessed BuzzFeed’s unstoppable revenue growth. What are the key takeaways from this commercial news? Can you see any trends or patterns? Which sectors are continuously doing well and which sectors do you think might be struggling?

Read this week’s round-up for some notable stories to keep you in the loop. Keep track of significant corporate, financial and political developments around the world. If a particular story catches your eye, delve into it further to boost your commercial awareness and read LCN’s news to stay informed. After reading LawCareers.Net Weekly, try to decipher what is relevant to your target firms and their clients.

  • In the banking sector, Barclays follows JP Morgan by increasing junior bankers’ base pay to $100,000. This surge follows recent news of law firms including Allen & Overy and Pinsent Masons increasing the salaries of their newly qualified lawyers in response to its US rivals. Although these changes are expected to be made global; this currently applies only to its US-based entry-level bankers, as reported by CITY AM. While the pay is extremely tempting, junior bankers have been working longer hours since the pandemic. Last week’s figures revealed 70% of analysts and associates left their role at banks, “jumping into private equity” instead.
  • In retailer news, the French-Italian eyewear giant Ray-Ban is considering suing GrandVision after a court ruled the Dutch eyewear brand had breached their agreements, according to CITY AM. Last Monday an arbitration court ruled that “GrandVision had breached obligations of the takeover agreement, after which Essilor said it was reviewing its options.” Ray-Ban maker EssilorLuxottica had previously announced its aim to take over GrandVision but the violation of the €7.2 billion acquisition agreement means EssilorLuxottica  “no longer bound to the pact.” Many believe the takeover deal could be off the table, as the two retailer giants prepare for a potential legal battle.
  • The BBC reported that Amazon and Google are under investigation due to concerns five-star reviews could be misleading online shoppers. The Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) is concerned that law-abiding companies who sell on Amazon and Google could end up losing out. Despite both firms maintaining they have resources and policies in place to prevent fake reviews, they could face court action for breaking consumer law. The CMA has launched an investigation to establish whether the two companies have broken the law and will take “strong enforcement action” where necessary.
  • BuzzFeed has revealed its plans to become publicly listed through a special-purpose acquisition company (SPAC) that could value the US firm at $1.5 billion, according to the Guardian. The New-York based firm is also set to purchase modern entertainment company Complex Networks for $300 million, following a merger with HuffPost late last year. The firm’s acquisition of Complex Networks will expand its reach to “new audiences” and “open the door to even more revenue opportunities,” according to Founder and Chief Executive Jonah Peretti.

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