🌊 Death by Taylor Swift?

New lawsuit accuses Ticketmaster's owner of antitrust violations...

Death to Sobriety?

The UK’s Mitchell Brewing Co. sold out of its “Osama Bin Lager” after it went viral on social media. Edgy beer names are this Linolnshire — the English county from which Roca was coincidentally reporting on Tuesday — brewery’s bread and butter. Among its other beers are Kim Jong Ale and Putin Porter. This place sure puts the fun in fundamentalism, huh? To be fair, they do donate some of their Osama Bin Lager proceeds to a 9/11 victims fund. Now I’m feeling Zero Dark Thirsty!

📈 Nvidia can't stop winning

🐶 New airline for dogs

🙏 The Catholic Church's first millennial saint

Here’s the link to today’s “Would you rather?” edition of 20 Questions. Perfect way to start MDW.


Nvidia’s Great Day

Nvidia’s share price passed $1,000 for the first time

  • Nvidia produces chips that AI companies use to train their algorithms. Since early 2023, its market cap has increased sixfold, making it the US’ third-most valuable company behind Microsoft and Apple

  • Nvidia released a quarter one (Q1) earnings report on Wednesday that showed it made $26B in revenue, exceeding analysts’ estimates and 262% higher than the same period a year prior

  • The company’s CEO said Nvidia is on pace to release a new, increasingly powerful chip every year

  • Nvidia’s stock finished up 9.3% on Thursday, pushing it over $1,000 per share for the first time. Its stock is now up ~115% year-to-date

Dig Deeper

  • Nvidia also announced a 10:1 stock split, meaning that for every one Nvidia stock an investor owns, they'll get nine more. The shares will simultaneously be diluted by the same ratio, meaning the move won't affect the total value of investors' holdings in the company


Live Nation Lawsuit

The Justice Department (DoJ), backed by attorneys general for 29 states, sued Live Nation, Ticketmaster’s owner, for alleged antitrust violations

  • The lawsuit claims the company used its power to drive up prices while lowering service quality, such as with its botched prerelease of “Eras Tour” tickets

  • The lawsuit seeks to break up Live Nation’s ticket sales and live venue businesses, undoing a controversial 2010 merger that combined Ticketmaster and Live Nation

  • Live Nation criticized the lawsuit, arguing that it has less control of the entertainment industry than the DoJ claims

Dig Deeper

  • Live Nation currently controls 70%+ of the US’ live events ticketing market and owns 330+ venues. In 2023, it described itself as “the largest live entertainment company in the world”

  • Last month, in anticipation of the lawsuit, a Ticketmaster executive said in a statement, “Ticketmaster has more competition today than it has ever had, and…it has nothing close to monopoly power”


Your All-in-One Security Solution

You’ve probably seen us advertise various Surfshark products

  • Originating as a trailblazer in VPN technology, Surfshark now pioneers comprehensive digital security with VPN, Antivirus, Search, Alert, and Alternative-ID

  • Surfshark One combines all of that into a single app – for just $3.19/month!

Dig Deeper


OpenAI + News = ?

News Corp, one of the world’s largest news media conglomerates, reached a landmark deal with OpenAI

  • News Corp, founded by Rupert Murdoch, owns The Wall Street Journal (WSJ), The New York Post, and other outlets. Its UK holdings include The Telegraph, The Times of London, and The Sun

  • On Wednesday, the WSJ reported that News Corp struck a content-licensing deal with OpenAI worth $250M over five years. The deal will reportedly allow OpenAI to use New Corp’s news content to train its AI algorithms and produce answers for customers

Dig Deeper

  • Over the past year, the Associated Press, POLITICO owner Axel Springer, and UK outlet The Financial Times have all signed multi-million-dollar deals to license their content to AI companies

  • Meanwhile, The New York Times is suing OpenAI over its alleged use of the NYT’s intellectual property, although many analysts see that as an attempt by the NYT to secure a better licensing deal

  • “The pact acknowledges that there is a premium for premium journalism,” News Corp’s CEO said in a memo to staff. “The digital age has been characterized by the dominance of distributors…The onus is now on us to make the most of this providential opportunity”


Crypto Regulation Bill Passes

The US House passed a bill that more clearly defines when cryptocurrencies can be defined as securities

  • Securities, such as stocks, are tradable financial instruments that carry value; commodities are items, like gold or corn, that hold value but aren’t controlled by a central authority. Cryptos are in a gray area between the two, making regulating them difficult

  • On Wednesday, the House passed a bill defining cryptos as commodities if their blockchain is decentralized, meaning there is no central authority, and securities if that is not the case

  • Several major crypto industry groups backed the bill; critics allege it lets cryptos off with little oversight. Its fate in the Senate is unclear

Dig Deeper

  • The US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) – tasked with regulating securities, but not commodities – has long struggled to regulate cryptos, given their ambiguous status

  • The SEC's chair came out against the bill, as did the White House, although President Biden didn't explicitly threaten a veto

Some Quick Stories for the Office

🪖 Three days after Taiwan inaugurated its new president, China launched two days of military drills as “punishment” for the island’s “separatist acts.” Per Taiwanese analysts, for the first time, China’s military drill simulated a full-scale attack, not an economic blockade

😇 Pope Francis attributed a second miracle to a London-born Catholic influencer, clearing the way for him to become the first millennial to be named a saint. Carlo Acutis, who spent most of his life in Italy, was known for proselytizing online. He died of leukemia in 2006 at age 15

🌀 NOAA predicted 8-13 hurricanes and 17-25 named storms this year, the most it’s ever predicted as of May. In 2020, there were a record 30 named storms; last year, there were 20, including seven hurricanes

🗳️ Voters in the county that includes Portland, Oregon, elected a police-friendly district attorney, ousting his progressive predecessor. Mike Schmidt, elected in 2020 amid social justice protests, pledged to reform the criminal justice system; his successor pledged to be stricter on crime

⛓️ Russia arrested the deputy head of the army’s general staff, making him the fourth defense official to be arrested since late April

🛢️ A judge ruled that ExxonMobil can proceed with a lawsuit against an investor that introduced a proposal calling for stricter carbon reduction goals. Exxon argued the proposal “does not seek to improve ExxonMobil’s economic performance” and sued; in response, the investor retracted the proposal. Nonetheless, the judge ruled that Exxon can advance the lawsuit

Some Quick Stories for Happy Hour

🏀 LeNepotism: Bronny James, the son of LeBron James, has garnered the most bets to be the #1 pick in this year’s NBA draft. His listed odds are 200:1, but selecting him could help a team land his father

🐚 Clams have feelings, too: A California woman got a $88,000 fine after her children collected 72 clams from a beach. A judge has since reduced it to $500

🍫 Not so sweet: Four people in Florida filed a federal lawsuit against Hershey that alleges the artistic designs on some Reese’s Peanut Butter Cups packages misled customers

🎓 Faces in the crowd: Jaycob Linsey, who went viral for dancing in school upon learning that he and his classmates would see “Black Panther” in theaters, has graduated from high school

🐶 “Now boarding mutt class”: BARK – a company that sells dog food and toys – launched BARK Air, an airline allowing pets to travel with their owners in the aircraft cabin. Tickets from NYC to LA cost $6,000

20 Questions

Last weekend, we did a reality TV-themed 20 Questions. Some of you seemed to love it, while many… didn’t. Many of you sent in comments like "One of your worse surveys ever... LOL" and "🤢🤮." And we totally get it. But we also are doing another edition that may elicit more "🤢🤮”: A “Would you rather?” edition of 20 Questions. We will ask you 20 absurd hypotheticals and you have to tell us which you would prefer. 

Here’s the link to the 20 Questions. Have an amazing Memorial Day Weekend!  

Last Week’s 20 Questions:

  1. Your favorite reality TV show of all time?

Most common answers: Survivor, The Amazing Race, and Jersey Shore

  1. Favorite Kardashian sister?

Dear Lord, none of them… - 90.5%
Khloe - 4.2%
Kourtney - 2.8%
Kim - 2.5%

  1. Which show would you most want to be on?

American Idol - 43.5%
America’s Got Talent - 35.1%
Dancing with the Star - 21.3%

  1. Best musician that American Idol has launched?

Kelly Clarkson - 46.6%
Carrie Underwood - 42%
Chris Daughtry - 8%
Jordin Sparks - 3.4%

  1. Favorite Impractical Joker?

Murr - 13.6%
Q - 22.8%
Sal - 35.1%
Joe - 28.5%

  1. Favorite shark on Shark Tank?

Mr. Wonderful - 15.8%
Mark Cuban - 45.4%
Barbara - 11%
Lori - 10%
Robert Herjavec - 12.8%
Daymond - 5%

  1. In the next two decades, will we elect another president who starred in a reality TV show?

Yes - 38.2%
No - 61.8%

  1. Do you believe contestants on The Bachelor can find true love?

Yes - 22.2%
No - 77.8%

  1. Favorite reality TV show chef?

Guy Fieri - 40%
Gordon Ramsay - 41.8%
Bobby Flay - 18.2%

  1. More quintessentially American work of art?

To Kill a Mockingbird - 91.1%
Jersey Shore - 8.9%

  1. Which show would you most want to be a taste tester on?

Chopped! - 10.1%
Diners, Drive-Ins, and Dives - 59.5%
The Great British Baking Show - 30.4%

  1. Survivor or Pawn Stars?

Survivor - 47.5%
Pawn Stars - 52.5%

  1. Which Pawn Stars item would you most want?

The OJ Simpson chase car - 16.9%
The original Beatles contract - 58.5%
A George Washington silk suit - 24.6%

  1. Love is Blind or Love Island?

Love Is Blind - 12.7%
Love Island - 4.6%
I have enough respect for my intellect to not have succumbed to watching either - 82.7%

  1. Best Jersey Shore character?

Snooki - 44.1%
The Situation - 21.1%
DJ Pauly D - 27.8%
Sweetheart - 7%

  1. Do you feel sympathy for stars like Honey Boo Boo who starred in their own show at a young age?

Select answers:

Yes, their parents are generally terrible people who do not have the best interest of their children.

i have never seen a child star that lived a good life until they were in the late 30s

Not really, you take what your given and make the best of it!

  1. Which one of these shows do you most belong on?

Hoarders - 25.1%
American Ninja Warrior - 21.8%
Survivor - 39.4%
Cops - 13.7%

  1. Which one of the jobs on Dirty Jobs sounds the worst?

Sewer inspector - 55%
Cow inseminator - 19.2%
Shark suit tester - 19.5%
Concrete chipper - 6.2%

  1. Best city for reality TV shows?

Miami - 30.7%
LA - 35.4%
Atlanta - 9.1%
Las Vegas - 24.8%

  1. Which show would be best for airing your personal trauma?

Jerry Springer - 17.5%
Judge Judy - 23.8%
Dr. Phil - 58.7%

Final Thoughts

Have a wonderful weekend, Roca Nation. We remember all of the soldiers — especially those among the friends and family of the Roca community — who gave their lives while serving the country. It’s hard to fathom the sacrifice they made in our day and age where our level of comfort is unprecedented. Their sacrifices, of course, helped make it possible.

–Max and Max