Amazon is Be-Twitched; Let’s Hear it for the S&P 500; Oh, Burger King

Getting Twitch-y with it…

Image courtesy of bulldogza/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of bulldogza/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Streaming video-game service Twitch just scored a premium deal with Amazon. The super e-tailer just picked up Twitch for close to a billion dollars. Not bad for a service that lets its users watch other people play games. Yes, it’s true. People like to watch other people play games. Whether they’re skilled gamers or total amateurs. The Twitch acquisition happens to be Amazon’s biggest purchase to date. But what was it about Twitch that made Amazon want to add it to its collection? Well, besides the fact that Twitch gets more than 50 million monthly users with about 7 million logging on each day, its users typically linger at the site for around two hours  – that’s two hours of major advertising potential that Amazon is all too eager to tap into. Incidentally, Google was rumored to be the one picking up Twitch. But wouldn’t you know  it….some pesky antitrust issues were getting in the way, presumably because Google already owns the competition – YouTube.

Gimme an S, gimme a P…

Image courtesy of Photokanok/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Photokanok/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

The S&P 500, which so often toys with our fiscal emotions, just hit the 2000 mark today. Oddly enough, even though it took the index thirteen years to go from 1500 to 1600, since March of 2009, the index has rallied in a very bullish market, with companies listed on it gaining around 200%. Companies listed in the S&P inlcude Apple, Google and Facebook.  The index is seen as important in terms of the Wall Street psyche. Which is all well and good, since these days the index seems to be indicating that stocks – some anyway – are worth the investment.

Can’t tax this…

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Image courtesy of Stuart Miles/FreeDigitalPhotos.net

In the latest exodus of major companies, Florida-based Burger King is getting set to cross the Canadian border as talks are in the works for a merger between the burger powerhouse and Canadian-based coffee and donut chain Tim Hortons. Besides the fact that Canadians are just so gosh darn nice ( I know this to be true as some of my best friends are Canadian), the country’s corporate tax laws are equally lovely – and considerably lower. Wall Street seemed to also be pleased by the news of this merger as shares of both companies took a nice hike north  – no pun intended – well maybe a little. This move is sure to help Burger King stake out some territory in the increasingly competitive breakfast arena. Of course leave it to politicians who would like to spoil a perectly lucrative merger as tax inversions tend to infuriate them. After all, they don’t so much appreciate US companies defecting in favor of better tax rates. But then perhaps those politicians should focus their efforts on tax reforms instead of trying to prevent these inversions. Some factions in Canada aren’t too thrilled about the inversions either as Canadian comapnies get conveniently scooped up by its neighbors to the south. It should be duly noted that this merger will not dramatically decrease Burger King’s tax rate which is already at a 27 % tax rate, compared to the usual US corporate tax rate of 35%. But Canada’s corporate tax rate is a major bargain at 15%. And who doesn’t like a bargain, eh?

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One response to “Amazon is Be-Twitched; Let’s Hear it for the S&P 500; Oh, Burger King

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