Business & Tech


Brightcove names HBS professor, Google exec to board


Brightcove names HBS professor, Google executive to board

Video technology firm Brightcove Inc. has added two members to its board of directors, Harvard Business School professor Tdsedal Neeley and Google executive Ritcha Gupta Ranjan. Boston-based Brightcove’s board of directors now has nine members with the two new additions, and women now hold a majority of the seats. Neeley has been a professor at HBS since 2007 and she currently heads the required Leadership and Organizational Behavior course in the school’s MBA program. Ranjan is director of product management for Google Finance, and has worked at Google since 2005. — JON CHESTO


Facebook to restrict, but
not ban, QAnon

Facebook says it will restrict the right-wing conspiracy movement QAnon and will no longer recommend that users join groups supporting it, although the company isn’t banning it outright. Facebook said Wednesday it is banning groups and accounts associated with QAnon and a variety of US-based militia and anarchist groups that support violence. But the company will continue to allow people to post material that supports these groups — so long as they do not otherwise violate policies against hate speech, abuse, and other provocations. The QAnon conspiracy theory is centered on the baseless belief that President Trump is waging a secret campaign against enemies in the “deep state” and a child sex trafficking ring run by satanic pedophiles and cannibals. For more than two years, followers have pored over tangled clues purportedly posted online by a high-ranking government official known only as “Q.” The conspiracy theory emerged in a dark corner of the Internet but has recently crept into mainstream politics. Trump has retweeted QAnon-promoting accounts and its followers flock to his rallies wearing clothes and hats with QAnon symbols and slogans. Last week, Marjorie Tyler Greene, a House candidate who openly supports QAnon, won her Republican primary in Georgia. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


TJX reports loss

The owner of T.J. Maxx, Marshalls, and HomeGoods, reported a worse-than-expected loss Wednesday and said its revenue fell 32 percent. Framingham-based TJX Cos., which has reopened its more than 4,500 stores closed in the earlier days of the pandemic, said there was strong demand for furniture and home decor at HomeGoods and the home section of its other discount stores. Its stores were open a little more than two thirds of the second quarter. “We are confident that when more customers are comfortable with in-store shopping, we will be in a great position to continue gaining market share as we have for many years,” said CEO Ernie Hermann. Its shares fell 5.38 percent Wednesday, to $54.36. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Finnish team says it has found a cure for hangovers


A group of Finnish researchers believe they’ve discovered what people have spent centuries searching for: a cure for hangovers. A dose of 1,200 milligrams of amino acid L-cysteine was found to reduce alcohol-related nausea and headache, while a dose of 600 milligrams helped alleviate stress and anxiety, according to a study published in the journal Alcohol and Alcoholism by researchers at the University of Helsinki and the University of Eastern Finland. The randomized, double-blind study had 19 healthy male volunteers consuming alcohol doses of 1.5 grams per kilogram over three hours in a controlled setting. The subjects were then asked to swallow placebo or L-cysteine tablets containing vitamin supplements. Researchers say that as well as reducing or even eliminating hangovers entirely, L-cysteine also helps “reduce the need of drinking the next day,” thereby cutting the risk of alcohol addiction. Binge drinking is common in Finland, with more than half a million Finns considered at risk from excessive drinking. The researchers received funding from Catapult Cat Oy, which sells the L-cysteine supplements. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Target reports record growth online and
in stores

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Target reported recorded-setting sales growth online and at established stores over the past three months, more evidence that big box retailers have become essential points of supply during the pandemic. Online sales surged 195 percent and same-store sales spiked 10.9 percent, second-quarter growth that is unprecedented in the company’s 58-year history. Walmart, Home Depot, and now Target have reported eye-popping sales over the past three months as Americans limit their supply runs to fewer stores and do more cooking and do-it-yourself projects at home. Lowe’s on Wednesday reported that comparable store sales in the United States surged 35.1 percent and online orders more than doubled with Americans spending much more time at home during the pandemic. The report came one day after Home Depot reported similarly explosive sales. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Maersk says business down slightly but future murky

The world’s biggest shipping company, Denmark’s A.P. Moller-Maersk, said Wednesday that its business dropped only slightly during the second quarter as the COVID-19 pandemic hurt global demand but the outlook for trade is highly uncertain. The Copenhagen-based group said its revenue declined by 6.5 percent to $9 billion compared with the same quarter last year. Its profit went up to $443 million from $153 million for the same period last year. CEO Soeren Skou said the results were strong considering the economic conditions. — ASSOCIATED PRESS


Lenders to take over Cirque
du Soleil

Lenders to Cirque du Soleil won control of the company in a court-supervised restructuring, people with knowledge of the matter said. The bid by the creditors’ group, which represents holders of about $760 million in Cirque debt and includes Toronto-based Catalyst Capital Group Inc., must still receive the approval of a Canadian court. Lenders are planning to inject $375 million of new capital into the Montreal-based company to restart its shows. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Citigroup wins victory in accidental payment case

Citigroup Inc. scored court orders freezing almost half of the more than $900 million it says was accidentally sent to Revlon Inc. lenders this month. A federal judge Wednesday froze $127.3 million that HPS Investment Partners has refused to return and $109.7 million that Symphony Asset Management is holding. The same judge on Tuesday issued a temporary order freezing $174.7 million that Brigade Capital Management LP has declined to give back. Citigroup is suing all three, which together hold $411.7 million in Revlon debt. The bank had been acting as an agent on Revlon’s loan, collecting payments from the company to distribute to the creditors. Citigroup said it had intended to make interest payments on Revlon’s behalf but accidentally transferred a sum more than 100 times as big from its own funds. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


GM targets electric car market in China


General Motors Co. is accelerating its push into the fast-growing electric-car segment in China, the world’s largest market, seeking to challenge sales leader Tesla Inc. and a slew of local contenders. The Detroit-based carmaker outlined its technology rollout plan for electrification, intelligent driving, and connectivity in China on Wednesday, including virtual presentations from executives including CEO Mary Barra and the president of GM China, Julian Blissett. While GM’s sales have showed resilience in China amid the coronavirus pandemic, long-term growth prospects depend on its new models — including electric cars — attracting buyers. — BLOOMBERG NEWS