Bumble Bee CEO is the latest tuna titan caught in the tangled net of fish-fixing
Federal fishermen from the Department of Justice reeled in a fish fit for the trophy case with the indictment of Chris “Catch-of-the-day” Lischewski, CEO of Bumble Bee Foods.
Lischewski, the 4th prosecution in an ongoing federal investigation, faces a $1m fine and up to ten years in jail for his alleged participation in a price-fixing conspiracy that has stunk up the seafood industry for years.
A whole industry of tainted tuna
Big grocers (Walmart, Kroger, and Albertsons) were the first to notice something fishy, suing Bumble Bee, Starkist, and Chicken-of-the-Sea (which control 80% of the US market) for keeping tuna prices fraudulently high in 2016.
It’s a wonder it took so long for the terrible tunas to come under the spotlight -- in 2007, to “speak for the tuna industry,” the 3 companies created the Tuna Council (I dare you to find a worse front for a massive conspiracy).
It must be legit if it’s called a council
A DoJ investigation eventually accused the three can-slingers of collusion. Bumble Bee agreed to pay a $25m fine, and two Bumble Bee execs (and one from Starkist) pleaded guilty to price fixing.
The frightened fishmongers prayed the penalty would be the close of the case, but vengeful Walmart had only dipped its toes into the crystal-clear class-action waters -- next, it published a fish-list of 56 tuna-schemers and an expanded list of complaints.
If it weren’t for those meddling mega-retailers, they would have gotten away with it, too.
Justice is a patient fisherwoman
Although shifty ’Schewski’s lawyer claims “vindication will restore his good name… when the truth emerges,” the slow-n-steady investigation has dredged up more details about the tuna cartel -- and Lischewski’s indictment will likely not be the last.
As demand for canned tuna continues to dry up, other tuna-slingers better watch their dorsal fins -- after all, the Chicken doesn’t fall far from the Sea.
Justice tastes a lot like mercury
YouTube rolls out ‘Premium’ music service in an attempt to drown out Spotify
Google is hitting shuffle on its music offerings, replacing its old subscription offering, Youtube Red, with YouTube Music -- a new AI-powered music-streaming service with free and paid versions.
Using its never-ending reservoir of data to make a “smarter” clone of popular platforms, Google hopes to take on streaming’s big dogs. But the $9.99/month Premium service has a lot of ground to cover to catch up to Spotify.
Giving the people what they already have
$3.4B poured into the paid streaming industry last year, with Spotify leading the pack at 75m paid subscribers, and Apple close behind at 50m. Now Google hopes to copy their success -- and then optimize it.
If imitation is really flattery, then Spotify and Apple should be blushing -- YouTube Music mirrors its competitors from price point ($9.99) to major features (discovery, artist radio, offline options).
A struggle to differentiate from competitors -- and itself
To poach paying listeners, YouTube Music will use Google’s AI-powered assistant -- which knows more about you than you do -- to curate a hyper-personalized playlist based on where you are, what you’re doing, and what you had for lunch.
To get users on board, Google must also differentiate between its own music products.
The murky difference between Google Play Music (Google’s music streaming platform), YouTube Music Premium (Youtube’s music streaming platform), and YouTube Premium (previously YouTube Red -- ad-free YouTube + music) is enough to make you pine for your walkman.
Just remember it this way: YouTube Red is now YouTube Dead.
Qatar pays to keep DC’s Metro running an hour later for the Capitals hockey game
Totally lost? We’ll catch you up.
See, Washington DC’s hockey team, the Capitals, are in the NHL playoffs this week, and last night they played the Tampa Bay Lightning at home at 8pm.
Only problem is, DC’s Metrorail stops running at 11:30pm, which means Caps fans are cutting it close if they wanna make it home after the game.
Enter the Qatari government, apparent dark horse saint of hockey goons, who reportedly swooped in with a $100k lifeline to keep the Metro running an hour later for the game.
Metro has partnered with private companies for sporting events in the past, and Qatar has been heavily invested in DC’s infrastructure since around 2010, when they put up $650m to revamp DC’s convention center.
In other words, they were likely on the short list of contacts for a quick cash infusion.
And, according to public records Qatar is currently in the midst of a $5m PR campaign to diversify their relationship with the US beyond energy and defense.
‘Diversify’ has been Qatar’s motto for over the past decade
Created in 2005, the tiny country’s sovereign investment fund, the Qatar Investment Authority, now manages about $338B in assets -- including media, sports, and real estate investments across the UK, France, Singapore, and America.
And when you’re the world’s wealthiest country per capita, you can afford some extra bus fare.
Earlier this month, GE held an NYC conference bringing together the world’s foremost engineers, scientists, and industrialists to share how additive manufacturing is transforming industries.
The conference highlighted businesses using 3D printing principles to build everything from lighter jet engines to custom skull plates for cranial surgery.
The golden goose of the conference was GE’s own efforts to radically redesign engines used in civil aviation. With additive manufacturing, GE engineers were able to reduce the number of parts in their new turboprop engine from 855 to just 12. Yes, they printed a better engine.
And that’s just the tip of the printer head. If ever there was a time to get in on the ground floor, it’s now. Learn more about the future of design & manufacturing at GE Additive.