Snap Snaps Back at Facebook; AT&T-TWX Bring in Big Guns to Battle DOJ --ICYMI
Snap CEO Evan Spiegel blames algorithmic social media for the spread of fake news.

The Nasdaq tallied its worst losses in three months on Wednesday as another snap selloff in tech stocks weighed on the index.

Despite the decline in the tech sector, epitomized by the 2.2% decline in the Technology Select Sector SPDR ETF (XLK) , Wednesday was a busy one for the FANG stocks.

Facebook Inc. (FB) CEO Mark Zuckerberg was in New York City (and TheStreet was in attendance) to promote Facebook's new social initiatives. Part of the slew of new features to help people promote fundraising campaigns, donate to nonprofits and improve response to crises around the world.

But real news around Facebook came from rival social media platform Snap Inc. (SNAP) . The parent of Snapchat announced Wednesday a major redesign of its popular disappearing message app, Snapchat, that introduces an algorithmic feed to the platform--a feature that Snap has long resisted, despite it being a staple of Facebook, Instagram and Twitter (TWTR) .

Ironic, as Snap CEO Evan Spiegel at the same time said he blamed algorithmic social media for the spread of fake news. Spiegel avoided calling out Facebook by name, but he was clearly referencing how Facebook has generated massive profits off of algorithmic news feeds--a feature that has come at a "huge cost to facts, our minds and the entire media industry."

Spiegel argued that Snapchat's algorithms are different from Facebook's, however, in that they prioritize content based on a user's interests, rather than their friends' interests. In doing so, Spiegel is hoping that it will prevent the spread of fake news on the platform and safeguard against "mindless scrambles for friends or unworthy distractions."

From a battle being waged in product redesigns to one being battled in court we go.

TheStreet's sister publication, The Deal, walks you through the big gun lawyers being paraded out by Time Warner Inc. (TWX) and AT&T Corp. (T) in their battle with the Justice Department over their planned merger.

Time Warner's team includes Christine Varney of Cravath, Swaine & Moore LLP, who was the Department of Justice antitrust chief who approved Comcast Corp's (CMCSA) purchase of a majority stake in NBCUniversal. Meanwhile, AT&T lawyer Daniel Petrocelli of O'Melveny & Myers LLP, made a name for himself representing the family of Ronald Goldman in the wrongful death case against O.J. Simpson in 1996, obtaining a $33.5 million award for the family.

Since then Petrocelli has developed a list of high-profile clients including: Trump University; Walt Disney Co. (DIS) ; former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling and singer Ke$ha Rose Sebert, a plethora of litigation issues.

As the parties battle over their proposed combination it will be interesting to see just how much the clout of its legal team and their experience plays a role. For now, the parties will argue about timing: with AT&T and Time Warner angling to have the trial start in February while the DOJ would like to see a May start date.

This is an excerpt from "In Case You Missed It," a daily newsletter brought to you by TheStreet. Sign up here.

Photo of the Day: Disney Dumps ESPNers, Invests in Tokyo

Walt Disney Co.'s (DIS) Tokyo Disney theme park operator Oriental Land is planning the largest expansion of the park in 20 years Oriental Land wants to spend $2.68 billion to expand the park's area by about 30%. The money will be spent on new attractions and efforts to ease traffic congestion, according to the Nikkei Asian Review. Tokyo Disney welcomed 16.54 million people last year with another 13.64 million visiting its sister park Tokyo DisneySea. Tokyo Disney was opened on April 15, 1983. The park is the 5th largest Disney park by acreage and brought in about $677 million in profit in 2016, according to a report in Nikkei. For Disney, the investment in theme parks comes as the company's cable business, which included ESPN and ABC among other properties, continues to struggle. ESPN plans to lay off 150 people in the near future adding to an already staggering reduction in headcount in 2017. Read More

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