FirstFT: Fox Settles $787.5 Million Libel Case

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Justin Nelson declared his “strong support for truth and democracy” after Rupert Murdoch’s Fox Corp agreed to pay voting machine maker Dominion $787.5 million to settle a lawsuit centering on claims of voter fraud in the US election. 2020.

Dominion’s attorney spoke outside the courthouse in Wilmington, Delaware yesterday. after obtaining one of the largest libel awards in United States history.

“The truth matters,” Nelson told reporters. “Lies have consequences.”

Fox stopped short of issuing a direct apology following the conclusion of the case, but acknowledged that “the court’s rulings found certain claims about Dominion to be false.”

At the center of the case were statements by Fox anchors accusing Dominion of rigging their devices to give votes to President Joe Biden, paying bribes to election officials and working for the late Venezuelan leader Hugo Chávez.

The lawsuit exposed the turmoil at the heart of the conservative news organization after the 2020 election and threatened to put its majority shareholder, 92-year-old Rupert Murdoch, on the stand.

However, while the immediate threat of the Delaware case is over, Fox remains open to separate shareholder claims that it has breached its fiduciary duties, one of which has already been filed in the Court of Chancery.

The settlement was less than the $1.6 billion in damages Dominion was seeking, but equaled more than half of the group’s $1.23 billion in net income last year. Fox Corp shares fell 1 percent in after-hours trading in New York.

Here’s what I’ll be keeping an eye on today:

  • Profits: Morgan Stanley is the latest Wall Street bank to report, while regional banks US Bancorp, Citizens Financial and Zions Bancorporation update investors. Tesla will also report profit.

  • Federal Reserve: The US central bank publishes its Beige Book, an outlook on current economic conditions.

  • monetary policy: New York Fed President John Williams is scheduled to speak at an event.

Five more main stories

John Aquilino

John Aquilino, head of the US Indo-Pacific command. © Aaron Bunch/EPA-EFE/Shutterstock

1. The top US military commander in the Indo-Pacific has rebuffed his colleagues who are “guessing” the date. of a possible Chinese invasion of Taiwan. Admiral John Aquilino told Congress yesterday that the Chinese threat to Taiwan had increased but refused to back other top military commanders who have suggested timelines for a possible conflict.

2. Netflix has delayed the planned US launch of its closely watched attempt to crack down on account-swapping. Video streaming company said delays to the launch of its “shared payment” service would reach revenue in the second quarter.

3. India has overtaken China as the world’s most populous country, according to UN data released today, qualification a historic crossroads time for the two Asian neighbors and geopolitical rivals. According to the UN population panel, India’s population has surpassed 1.428 million, barely surpassing China’s more than 1.425 million.

4. Record EU gas storage levels are raising hopes that the bloc can become less dependent on Russia for imports. A milder-than-expected winter meant EU storage was at 55.7 percent capacity at the start of the month, the highest level for early April since 2011.

5. UK inflation remained in double digits in March with annual price increases of 10.1 percent, making it more likely that the Bank of England will increase interest rates next month. Consumer price inflation had been 10.4 percent in February and was expected to drop to 9.8 percent last month.

the deep dive

Jack Teixeira

Jack Teixeira

How did Jack Teixeira, a 21-year-old low-ranking computer worker in the Massachusetts Air National Guard, get access to some of America’s most confidential secrets? The way the US ranking system works offers important clues.

We are also reading. . .

chart of the day

Dollar stores, the no-frills discount retailers known for catering to America’s most cash-strapped shoppers, they are being renewed. The two biggest, Dollar General and Dollar Tree, are spending big in contrast to other retailers as inflation-battered consumers shift spending to essential items like groceries.

Take a break from the news

This year’s International Booker shortlist includes the work of a pair of published poets, a film director and a former security guard. Catch up on these acclaimed titles before the winner is announced next month.

Additional contributions by Tee Zhuo and Emily Goldberg

Asset Management — Discover the inside story of the movers and shakers behind a multi-billion dollar industry. Register here

next week — Start each week with a preview of what’s on the agenda. Register here

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