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FTC drops Meta from antitrust suit, Pharmapacks to close, Tesla, Nio suspend EV charging in China

Notable business headlines include the FTC dropping Mark Zuckerberg from Meta’s antitrust suit, Amazon seller Pharmapacks to close after failing to secure financing to remain operating, and Tesla and Nio suspending EV charging amid China’s power crunch.

Video Transcript

JULIE HYMAN: Let's get down to business now and look at some other stories that we are watching. Meta CEO Mark Zuckerberg's quest to expand the Metaverse did hit a bit of an actual wall, I guess, when the Federal Trade Commission said it was a key player at every level of the virtual reality sector. That puts Zuckerberg in the agency's antitrust crosshairs as it looked to buy a smaller VR player called Within Unlimited and its fitness app, Supernatural.

Now the agency is complying with Meta's request and dropping Zuck from the suit on the condition that the Meta chief will not purchase the startup in his personal capacity or through any of the entities he controls. One of Amazon's top third party sellers Pharmapacks, once valued at $1 and 1/2 billion, is closing up shop. That's according to CNBC. Its parent company, Packable, is liquidating after deciding not to go public via a SPAC merger due to unfavorable market conditions.

The health and beauty product retailer started as a single brick and mortar pharmacy in the Bronx 12 years ago. And it was the number one Amazon seller in the US last September according to research firm Marketplace Pulse. It now ranks number five after failing to secure new financing to keep the business afloat.

And grid overloads in parts of China has led EV makers NIO and Tesla to suspend charging services. User apps show charging stations are down in Sichuan province where the nation's worst drought since the '60s has cut hydropower generation.

Meanwhile, the heat wave continues to drive electricity demand. NIO has posted temporary notices and Tesla leaving only a couple stations operational, but only during the nights, according to most recent reporting. And this is in line with a lot of electricity power cutbacks, other restrictions that are happening in the Sichuan province.