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The DOJ unleashes its lawsuit against Live Nation...
May 24, 2024 View Online | Sign Up | Shop

Morning Brew

ARMRA Colostrum

Good morning. If there’s one person who could beat Ken in a beach-off, it’s Dr. Beach. Stephen Leatherman, professor in the Department of Earth and Environment at FIU and self-styled Dr. Beach, has ranked the best US beaches based on metrics like wave action, wildlife presence, and sand type for the past 34 years.

And just in time for MDW, he released his best beaches list for summer 2024. The top three are:

  1. Duke Kahanamoku Beach, Oahu, Hawaii
  2. Coopers Beach, Southampton, New York
  3. Wailea Beach, Maui, Hawaii

How can you become a Dr. Beach? Four years at Club Med school.

—Matty Merritt, Molly Liebergall, Cassandra Cassidy, Adam Epstein, Neal Freyman

MARKETS

Nasdaq

16,736.03

S&P

5,267.84

Dow

39,065.26

10-Year

4.475%

Bitcoin

$67,565.45

Boeing

$172.21

Data is provided by

*Stock data as of market close, cryptocurrency data as of 10:00pm ET. Here's what these numbers mean.

  • Markets: The Dow had a worse day than the officer who arrested Scottie Scheffler as stocks plunged despite Nvidia’s smash earnings report earlier this week. Investors remain concerned over comments from Fed officers that suggest they’re still in no rush to lower interest rates. As is tradition, Boeing dropped after it admitted its free cash flow is worse than expected.
 

ENTERTAINMENT

DOJ sues to break up Ticketmaster ‘monopoly’

Ticketmaster logo behind bars. Anna Kim

The US government did not mince words yesterday: Live Nation and Ticketmaster need to split. The Department of Justice (DOJ) and 30 state and district attorneys general sued Live Nation, which refers to itself as the “largest live entertainment company in the world,” lodging a 120-page complaint that it purposefully stifles competition, hurts consumers, and unfairly jacks up ticket prices.

The suit alleges that Live Nation threatened to retaliate against venues that didn’t use its ticketing service and that artists who don’t use Live Nation’s tour promo services can’t perform at any of its venues.

  • The DOJ said the company controls over 70% of ticket sales at major concert venues in the country.
  • Plus, Live Nation controls 265 venues in North America and 60 of the top 100 amphitheaters in the US.

“This is a travesty!” Cried the Justice Department, which allowed the merger to happen 14 years ago. Industry pros had begged the DOJ to prevent Live Nation from buying Ticketmaster, warning of the same concerns the DOJ now cites in seeking to break them up.

Then came Taylor Swift…

The Eras Tour’s ticket-buying process was such a mess that a bipartisan group of senators brought Live Nation execs to Capitol Hill last year to grill them on the company’s practices. The DOJ’s investigation was announced shortly after the Swiftie debacle, though the agency claimed it had already been investigating the company.

Live Nation called the lawsuit “baseless.” In a company blog post, an executive claimed that the suit ignores price factors like artists’ popularity and scalpers. The post also says that Live Nation’s net profit margin was only 1.4% last year, too low to indicate a monopoly.

A long road ahead…the whole thing is expected to take years to move through the courts, especially since the suit requests a jury trial (which is unusual for this type of case).—MM

   

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WORLD

Tour de headlines

a box of mifepristone The Washington Post/Getty Images

Louisiana designated abortion pills as dangerous controlled substances. Lawmakers in the state voted to reclassify the drugs mifepristone and misoprostol, which would make possessing them without a prescription punishable with jail time. Louisiana becomes the first state to pass such a law, though other GOP-controlled states are considering similar measures. Supporters of the bill say it protects “expectant mothers from coerced abortions,” the AP reported, while doctors vehemently oppose it, saying it falsely gives the impression the drugs are dangerous and makes it harder to prescribe them to patients with other medical needs.

Biden is strengthening US ties to Kenya. The Biden administration welcomed Kenyan President William Ruto to the White House yesterday—the first time an African leader has made an official state visit to Washington in over 15 years, the Financial Times reported. President Biden is trying to bolster the US’ relationship with Africa to counter the growing influence of Russia and China on the continent in hopes that a closer relationship with Nairobi will enhance peace and security globally. As part of the meeting, the US is designating Kenya as a “major non-NATO ally,” the first from sub-Saharan Africa to receive the designation.

NOAA warned this hurricane season could be historically bad. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration forecast 17 to 25 named tropical storms this upcoming season, the most it has ever predicted in its May outlook. Of those storms, eight to 13 are expected to become hurricanes, with four to seven likely to be Category 3 or higher—about double the usual number. Scientists believe warming temperatures are increasingly leading to more storms and helping to intensify the ones that form. The NOAA will provide an updated forecast in August.

DESIGN

Spotify gets a new font

GIF of new Spotify fonts displayed on playlists Spotify

Times New Roman walked so that Spotify Mix, a new custom typeface that the green-colored music streamer started rolling out to app and desktop this week, could lowkey two-step in a chill way.

Spotify says…the curved yet angled new font will add a more “distinctive character” to the brand’s products and marketing than the last font it used, Circular, which was not created for Spotify.

So what…? Spotify will be using a bespoke typeface that it owns, which means it no longer has to pay annual licensing fees like it did while using Circular. Spotify, welcome to the proprietary font club—they’ve been waiting:

  • In the 2010s, tech giants looking to quirk up their brand identities churned out a lot of original typefaces, including Android’s Roboto, Google’s Product Sans, Apple’s San Francisco, YouTube Sans, and Samsung One, Mashable reported.
  • There’s also Netflix Sans, Airbnb Cereal, Uber Move, Twitter/X’s Chirp, Burger King’s Flame, and Popeyes’s Chicken Sans.

Don’t sleep on font business. Dinamo Typefaces, which helped Spotify develop its pretty new letters, has also worked with Burberry, Discord, Nike, Patreon, Tumblr, and other big hitters. Advancements in screen resolution have opened up the doors for digital designers to create finer and more creative typefaces.—ML

   

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FOOD

Tired of hearing cicadas? Eat them

Photo of cicadas on a grill Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Here’s a drink that Ina Garten herself couldn’t have come up with: cicada-infused Malört.

That’s the newest offering at a small brewery outside Chicago in celebration of the arrival of two broods of cicadas that will emerge through mid-June across parts of the US. The liquor, which is described as having “a flavor reminiscent of succulent lobster,” represents the insect’s big glow-up from noisy bugs whose carcasses litter our sidewalks to protein-packed, eco-friendly superfood.

Yes, they’re edible. And if you like a seafood platter, you’ll probably take a liking to them. Once you catch, clean, and cook cicadas, they make a great substitute for shrimp or lobster, according to culinary experts, many of whom say they’re best tempura fried. Pro tip: The bugs are at their best once they’ve molted, or shed their skin, but are still young and juicy. Other pro tip: Don’t harvest dead cicadas.

There’s more to come. In 2022 and 2023, investors poured over $90 million into insect-based food companies, according to data from PitchBook, though many of those companies have found more success using insects as livestock feed or pet food rather than trying to make them appealing to humans.—CC

   

GRAB BAG

Key performance indicators

Portrait of Kate Middleton Tatler

Quote: “Awful. Almost anti Royal putting this on front cover of a magazine.”

The Rolling Stone cover of a naked John Lennon cuddling up to Yoko Ono is no longer the most controversial magazine cover of a British icon. A portrait of Kate Middleton appears on the cover of the July issue of the British lifestyle mag Tatler, and the reviews are not so great. Comments on Tatler’s Instagram post revealing the cover are overwhelmingly negative: While some admire the art, most argue that it looks absolutely nothing like the Princess of Wales. Artist Hannah Uzor said she combed through hundreds of thousands of photos of Kate to “capture the soul.” The royal family has not yet commented on whether the soul was captured.

Stat: If the person next to you at graduation is weeping softly in their cap and gown, it’s not because your student body president’s speech is shockingly poignant. It’s because they, like 99% of other applicants, were rejected from Goldman Sachs’s summer internship. The prestigious investment bank said that just 0.9% of the record 315,000 applications were accepted this year, down from 5% a decade ago and the first time the rate’s been below 1%. JPMorgan’s wealth management internship was similarly cutthroat: The rival financial giant accepted only 4,000 of the 493,000 hopefuls, Business Insider reported. On the bright side, those rejected are no longer required to spend their paychecks on Patagonia zip-up vests.

Read: The case for getting rid of left turns on downtown streets. (WSJ)

QUIZ

Grandma McQuizzy

New Friday quiz image

The feeling of getting a 5/5 on the Brew’s Weekly News Quiz has been compared to remembering it’s the Friday of a three-day weekend.

It’s that satisfying. Ace the quiz.

NEWS

What else is brewing

  • Spot Ethereum ETFs were approved by the SEC in another big win for crypto, following the approval of spot bitcoin ETFs earlier this year.
  • The bipartisan border security bill failed in the Senate yesterday for the second time, due to Republican opposition and divisions in the Democratic party.
  • Louisville police released video of the arrest of golf star Scottie Scheffler that appears to undermine the arresting officer’s claim that he was dragged to the ground by Scheffler’s car.
  • Oreo-maker Mondelez was fined $366 million by the EU for rigging the European chocolate market.
  • X announced it will hide likes on the platform to encourage users to like “edgy” content without fear of retaliation.

RECS

Friday to-do list

Travel the right way: How to have a great vacation, according to science.

Avoid AI: A guide on turning off Google’s “AI Overview” as your default search setting.

Watch: Behold this fast-moving storm briefly consumes the New York City skyline.

Kick off summer: AllTrails+ has all the features you need to take advantage of the outdoors this summer. Use promo code SUMMER24 for 50% off.*

Hear, hear: hear.com’s new best-selling device makes conversations effortless and background noise a problem of the past. Wanna join 350k happy customers? Experience the clarity with Horizon IX.*

*A message from our sponsor.

GAMES

The puzzle section

Picdoku: If you prefer sweet over savory, you’ll find this Picdoku delectable. Play it here.

Friday puzzle

Today’s puzzle comes from the Guardian: Change one letter of each word to make pairs of synonyms.

Example: “paid and dug” → “pair and duo”

a) Mistress and buffering

b) Engage and maiden

c) Aware and prime

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ANSWER

a) Distress and suffering

b) Enrage and madden

c) Award and prize

Word of the Day

Today’s Word of the Day is: succulent, meaning “full of juice.” Thanks to Bernie from Minnesota for the tasty suggestion. Submit another Word of the Day here.

✢ A Note From ARMRA Colostrum

*Based on third-party research of ARMRA Colostrum™: Jensen, GS, 2021.

These statements have not been evaluated by the Food and Drug Administration. This product is not intended to diagnose, treat, cure, or prevent any disease.

         
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