Plus: Oracle paid more than $200 million for the naming rights to the San Francisco Giants’ stadium; Jeff and MacKenzie Bezos are divorcing after 25 years; NYC’s iconic Chrysler Building is up for sale.
The ongoing government shutdown is threatening to spoil what was poised to be a banner year for IPOs. The partial closure of the Securities and Exchange Commission is forcing companies that were seeking to list shares in January to push back their plans. It now looks likely that no major company will tap the US IPO market this month. As part of the shutdown, currently the second-longest on record, the SEC has furloughed thousands of employees and stopped reviewing and approving all new and pending corporate registration statements, including proposed IPO filings; dozens of SEC accountants and lawyers who review IPO paperwork are prohibited from reading email or calling deal lawyers seeking to discuss complex disclosure questions. [Corrie Driebusch, Maureen Farrell, and Dave Michaels / The Wall Street Journal]
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Eight House Republicans broke with President Trump and voted in favor of a bill passed by House Democrats that would reopen the Treasury Department and ensure that the Internal Revenue Service would remain funded as tax season kicks off and millions of taxpayers begin to file their returns. The vote comes on the eve of a visit by Trump to the US-Mexico border, but the measure has no path to passage, as Trump has said he opposes any legislation that does not include funding for the border wall. Earlier yesterday, a meeting at the White House between Trump and congressional leaders ended quickly after Democratic leaders said they would not fund Trump’s wall; the meeting represented the first face-to-face talks for both sides since last week. [Felicia Sonmez and John Wagner / The Washington Post]
Oracle bought the naming rights to the San Francisco Giants’ stadium for more than $200 million — a second deal to boost its brand image by sponsoring a hometown sports facility in the San Francisco Bay Area. The world’s second-largest software maker already has its name on the current home of the NBA’s Golden State Warriors; now it will own the rights for 20 years on the Major League Baseball stadium now known as AT&T Park; it will be renamed Oracle Park with the new deal. [Nico Grant and Scott Soshnick / Bloomberg]
The market for video-streaming devices is exploding — the number of households with a streaming player has quadrupled in the last five years. Amazon said its Fire TV streaming devices have “well over” 30 million active users, surpassing competitor Roku, which earlier this week estimated it has 27 million active accounts. That’s up from the 25 million users Amazon disclosed in October, suggesting growth of five million new accounts in three months. Meanwhile, on the content-delivery side, Hulu said it ended 2018 with more than 25 million total subscribers, a net gain of eight million for the year, marking 47 percent year-over-year growth that gives Hulu more video customers than the biggest US pay TV providers — including Comcast, one of its owners. [Joan E. Solsman and Ben Fox Rubin / CNET]
Jeff Bezos and his wife MacKenzie are planning to divorce after 25 years of marriage. The couple, perhaps the wealthiest in the world, posted a joint statement on the Amazon CEO’s Twitter account. The split between the tech titan and his wife, a novelist, could have an impact on Amazon’s ownership: Jeff Bezos owned 16.3 percent of Amazon’s shares as of February 2018, but it’s possible that half of that stake could go to MacKenzie in a split, which could make her the world’s richest woman. The couple have four children and met prior to the founding of Amazon. [Jason Del Rey / Recode]
Revenue from Apple’s wearable products — Apple Watch and AirPods — has already topped that of the iPod at its peak. In an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC’s “Mad Money,” Apple CEO Tim Cook also teased “new services” expected from the company, which could include the already rumored video-streaming platform and a monthly news subscription service, which could look a lot like Apple’s streaming-music service, Apple Music. Cook’s good-news appearance came less than a week after Apple shocked global markets with a warning about lower-than-expected iPhone sales. Apple executives have previously said that the company’s goal is to hit $50 billion in services revenue by 2021.[Elizabeth Gurdus / CNBC]
How did a beauty blogger become the leader of a $86 million empire and a business icon of her generation? Emily Weiss can tell you. As founder and CEO of Glossier, Weiss has created more than a direct-to-consumer beauty company — it’s a community archive of self-empowerment, helping people from all walks of life look good and feel even better. Her innovative approach has landed her on Forbes’ 30 Under 30 list, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, and AdWeek’s Top 20 Content Creators. Join us on Monday, January 14, at the 92nd Street Y in New York City, as Weiss sits down with Recode’s Kara Swisher for a fascinating, in-depth conversation on innovation, beauty, and business. The program begins at 7:30 pm; click here to buy tickets.
Top stories from Recode
You still can’t watch NBA games on Twitter, but you’ll soon be able to watch NBA players on Twitter. Twitter cut a streaming deal with the NBA to show you individual players, not full games. [Kurt Wagner]
Pod Save America co-host Jon Lovett explains why Democrats in Congress probably won’t regulate Facebook. Even if, in private, they might really want to. Listen to the latest episode of the Pivot podcast. [Kara Swisher]
America desperately needs fiber internet, and the tech giants won’t save us. On the latest Recode Media, Harvard’s Susan Crawford explains why we shouldn’t expect Google to fix slow internet speeds in the US. [Peter Kafka]
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