From toilet paper to diapers, here’s a list of household staples that are about to get more expensive

Stockpiling toilet paper
  • Several companies including Procter & Gamble and General Mills have announced price hikes.
  • The goods most heavily impacted include paper products and baby-care items.
  • Coke products and coffee will see price increases as port delays continue to pinch the supply chain.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Many household goods are getting more expensive, as companies like Procter & Gamble and General Mills hike prices to combat shortages and rising shipping costs.

During their third-quarter earnings call, P&G said it has started raising prices on some of its paper goods, including baby-care, feminine hygiene products, and adult diapers. The price hike would encompass Pampers diapers, Charmin toilet paper, Tampax and Always feminine products, as well as Depends and Prevail adult products.

“The exact amount of the price increase will vary by brand and sub-brand in the range of mid-to-high single-digit percentages and will go into effect in mid-September,” P&G said in a statement.

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Some of P&G’s primary competitors, including Kimberly-Clark, have already announced similar price increases. In March, the company said it would implement a price increase for top products like Scott toilet paper and Huggies diapers.

Similarly, General Mills CFO Kofi Bruce said during the company’s March earnings call that it was planning to increase its prices to offset rising commodity costs as the company’s margins continue to fall. While the company did not specify what products would be impacted, General Mills’ line-up of brands includes Cheerios, Chex, Betty Crocker, and Pillsbury products, to name a few.

On Monday, Coca-Cola CEO James Quincey told CNBC the company is planning to hike its prices for the first time in over three years. Quincey did not say which beverages would be impacted by the price increases.

“We intend to manage those [the price hikes] intelligently, thinking through the way we use package sizes and really optimize the price points for consumers,” the CEO said.

Coke is not the only drink that will get more expensive in the coming months. Coffee prices are set to skyrocket. Peet’s and J.M. Smucker told CNBC in March that they are facing rising costs. Last month, port delays pushed coffee prices to their highest level in over a year.

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J.M. Smucker – the brand known for Folgers and Dunkin coffee – was one of the first companies to start hiking prices when it increased the price tag for its Jif peanut butter products in August.

Many of the companies including P&G and Coca-Cola saw sales continue to rise in the last quarter, even from the previous year when people were stockpiling products at the onset of the pandemic. While an increase in demand can only be a positive for companies, demand is outstripping supply and driving up the overall price of goods.

Consumer interest is rising at the same time the products themselves are getting increasingly difficult to obtain due to the shipping container shortage and port congestion.

March data from the US Bureau of Labor Statistics’ Consumer Price Index shows that as vaccination rates increase, prices continue to go up. Consumer prices increased in 2021 over last year at their highest rate in three years.

While gasoline prices have seen the largest increase, the cost of food, rental cars, and hotels has also pushed higher.

For top companies like P&G – that encompass everyday products and top brands like Tide, Gillette, Crest, Bounty, and Pantene – consumers will likely continue to see inflated prices at the grocery store, as demand compounds on vaccine optimism and port congestion shows no sign of clearing.

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New Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can get three months for free right now

If you buy through our links, we may earn money from affiliate partners. Learn more.

Listening to Music headphones

Music Unlimited (medium)

Right now, new Amazon Music Unlimited subscribers can get the first three months of the premium streaming tier for free.

For those unfamiliar, Music Unlimited service, which competes with Apple Music and Spotify, allows subscribers to stream over 60 million songs, which is a huge step up over the two million songs that the company offers to all Prime members through its free Prime Music service.

With this offer, new subscribers are ostensibly getting a service valued at $30 for free. Better still, you can cancel the service at any time. So if you want to listen to music for free for 3 months, and cancel before spending any money – you have that option.

However, if you enjoyed the three-month offer and want to continue, it costs $8 a month or $10 per month for non-Prime members.

Echo Dot (3rd Gen) and 1 month of Amazon Music Unlimited (medium)

Alternatively, Amazon is giving away a month of Amazon Music Unlimited and an Echo Dot for a low $13. This particular Echo Dot typically sells for around $20, so this is a terrific alternative if you want to grow your smart home.

Though there is a new fourth-generation Dot on the market, we think that the third-generation Echo Dot is still the best entry-level smart-home hub you can buy. For less than half the price of the standard Echo, you get a hockey puck-sized gadget that can help you control your lights with your voice, answer questions about the universe, and connect to external speakers through a Bluetooth signal.

Prime Monthly Subscription (medium)

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Take a look inside Wall Street darling Ryan Cohen’s ambitious plan to ‘transform’ the retailer into the Amazon of gaming

Ryan Cohen - Chewy
Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is now the head of RC Ventures, an investment firm that’s taken a 12% stake in GameStop.

  • Chewy cofounder and former CEO Ryan Cohen is the largest individual GameStop shareholder.
  • He’s also in charge of the board, and intends to turn the company into the Amazon of gaming.
  • Cohen is already making major moves at the company, and he has big plans for the future.
  • Visit the Business section of Insider for more stories.

What does Ryan Cohen want with GameStop?

That’s the big, unanswered question at the heart of his 12.9% ownership stake in the company – an investment he made well before GameStop became a meme stock.

Cohen, who cofounded Chewy and acted as CEO before it sold to PetSmart for $3.35 billion in 2017, does not have a background in the video game industry. His claim to fame is outfoxing Amazon at its own game – e-commerce – in a specific category: pets. That’s an especially meaningful claim to fame when it comes to Wall Street, which saw Cohen’s involvement in the company as a reason to buy the ailing retailer’s stock before Reddit found it.

Read more: Ryan Cohen made millions when Chewy got acquired. Now the millennial entrepreneur has a plan to turn around GameStop.

But Cohen is no casual investor in GameStop – he’s the chairman of its board, and an activist investor who has successfully lobbied the company to follow his advice several times thus far. He is clearly in this for the long term.

Though the lingering question of “Why GameStop?” remains unanswered, we know a lot about Cohen’s plans for the future of the company.

1. Cohen wants GameStop to become a technology company, with a focus on ecommerce over brick-and-retail stores.

gamestop store
A GameStop Corp. store on November 5, 2013 in North Las Vegas, Nevada.

Cohen’s investment firm, RC Ventures, owns 12.9% of GameStop. That stake makes it the second-largest single shareholder of GameStop.

Those shares cost tens of millions of dollars in 2020, and they put Cohen in a position to more directly engage with the company’s leadership. But those private conversations apparently didn’t go very well.

“Given that our attempts to privately engage with you since the summer have yielded little progress, we feel compelled to send a clear message to the Board today,” Cohen wrote in an open letter aimed at GameStop’s board of directors published in November 2020.

“GameStop’s leadership should immediately conduct a strategic review of the business,” he said, “and share a credible plan for seizing the tremendous opportunities in the rapidly-growing gaming sector.”

The letter, overwhelmingly, focused on the company’s need to transition to ecommerce.

“GameStop’s challenges stem from internal intransigence and an unwillingness to rapidly embrace the digital economy,” the letter said. “GameStop needs to evolve into a technology company that delights gamers and delivers exceptional digital experiences – not remain a video game retailer that overprioritizes its brick-and-mortar footprint and stumbles around the online ecosystem.”

Throughout his letter, Cohen directly criticizes the company’s leadership – both its executive suite and its board of directors, to whom the letter is addressed.

GameStop CEO and board member George Sherman, “appears committed to a twentieth-century focus on physical stores and walk-in sales, despite the transition to an always-on digital world,” Cohen said, and the board lacks “the type of strategic vision” necessary for GameStop, “to pivot toward becoming a technology-driven business that excels in the gaming and digital experience worlds.”

That criticism appeared to have a major impact, as GameStop announced in early January that Cohen and two of his former Chewy lieutenants would become new members of the board. Soon after, Cohen was put in charge of a committee created to reshape GameStop and appointed the chairman of its board.

2. He’s swapping the company’s current leadership, both its board and c-suite, for former Amazon and Chewy leaders.

GameStop execs (April 2021)

Since Cohen joined GameStop’s board and was put in charge of the Strategic Planning and Capital Allocation Committee, the company’s entire executive suite has been cleared out.

That includes CEO George Sherman, who is stepping down in the near future, and CFO Jim Bell, who was suddenly forced out of his role at the company after the board of directors “lost faith” in him, according to a person familiar with the decision who spoke with Insider. At the same time, a gaggle of former Amazon and Chewy leaders have been elected in their place.

Similarly, the company’s board of directors is being completely flipped – at the company’s annual shareholder meeting in June, it plans to elect a small group of Cohen’s colleagues to the board. And Cohen is expected to be elected chairman of the board.

In the last six months, Cohen has completely reshaped the leadership of GameStop.

3. The potential future of GameStop: online trade-ins.

GameStop Clerk
A customer laughs with a clerk as he purchases a copy of the video game “Grand Theft Auto IV” at a GameStop store in New York

Game trade-ins, and their subsequent resale, are the lifeblood of GameStop.

In September 2020, when Cohen initially purchased a significant chunk of the company’s shares, he privately proposed a plan to the board to focus GameStop on e-commerce opportunities.

One example of those opportunities is tied to GameStop’s core business: reselling used games.

Cohen reportedly proposed an online version of the retailer’s (in)famous game trade-in program.

During those talks, he proposed a major expansion of GameStop’s online footprint, according to Bloomberg. Beyond just games, GameStop’s online store would offer “a wide range of merchandise,” the report said, and prioritize fast shipping.

Cohen has yet to publicly spell out his specific plans, and representatives repeatedly declined requests for comment.

Got a tip? Contact Insider senior correspondent Ben Gilbert via email (bgilbert@insider.com), or Twitter DM (@realbengilbert). We can keep sources anonymous. Use a non-work device to reach out. PR pitches by email only, please.

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Amazon opens its first hair salon, where customers can use augmented reality to experiment with hair colors

Amazon Salon
Amazon Salon’s AR app

  • Amazon on Tuesday announced the opening of its first hair salon in London
  • The London salon will trial an augmented-reality app to let customers experiment with styles and colors.
  • Amazon Salon is only open to Amazon employees, but will open to the public in the coming weeks, Amazon said.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

US retail giant Amazon on Tuesday opened its first-ever hairdressing salon, in London, UK.

Customers can experiment with different hair colors using an augmented reality (AR) app before deciding on their style, Amazon said.

Amazon Salon is only open to Amazon employees to begin with, the retailer said in a press release. It would open to the public in the coming weeks, it said.

Amazon said there were no plans to open other salons, adding that it was “an experiential venue where we showcase new products and technology.”

The two-floor, 1,500 square-foot Amazon Salon is on Brushfield Street in London’s Spitalfields.

Amazon Salon
Amazon Salon in London

The AR app lets customers see what different hair colors and styles look like on them before they commit, Amazon said.

Customers can also point to a product on a shelf to get information on a display screen on the wall, Amazon said. Customers can then scan the QR code under the product to order it and get it delivered to their home, the retailer said.

The salon will give free face masks and sanitizer to customers, who will have their temperature checked and must wear face coverings, Amazon said. Customers will be separated with screens, staff will sanitize equipment between cuts, and only a limited number of people can be in the salon at one time, the company added.

Amazon Salon
Amazon Salon

“We have designed this salon for customers to come and experience some of the best technology, hair care products and stylists in the industry,” said John Boumphrey, Amazon’s UK country manager.

Elena Lavagni, owner of Neville Hair & Beauty, an independent hair salon in London, and her team of stylists will cut and style customers’ hair.

Amazon’s hair salon is opening a month after the retailer opened its first Amazon Fresh store in the UK.

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Elon Musk has been unseated as the world’s second-richest person by luxury goods tycoon Bernard Arnault

Elon Musk Bernard Arnault
Elon Musk, left, and Bernard Arnault.

  • LVMH chief executive Bernard Arnault has unseated Elon Musk as the world’s second-richest person.
  • Arnault and his family control 47.5% of LVMH, which owns brands like Louis Vuitton and Tiffany & Co.
  • Four of Arnault’s adult children hold executive positions within LVMH.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Elon Musk appears to have been unseated as the world’s second-richest person.

According to Forbes’ real-time billionaires list, Musk has been eclipsed by Bernard Arnault, the CEO of French luxury conglomerate LVMH Moët Hennessy – Louis Vuitton. As of Tuesday morning, Arnault’s fortune was pegged at $176.3 billion while Musk’s clocked in at $174.6 billion.

Another real-time wealth tracker, Bloomberg’s billionaires list, still has Arnault in fourth position with a net worth of $146 billion and Musk in the No. 2 slot with $183 billion.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos remains the richest person in the world with a net worth of $197 billion.

Read more: The ultrawealthy are installing home amenities that rival 5-star hotels in the quest to never leave the house, from $50,000 Botox spas to cigar lounges and Zoom theaters

Arnault and his family control 47.5% of LVMH, and his surge in wealth appears to be the result of an impressive first quarter for the company. The luxury house, which owns over 70 brands including Louis Vuitton, Christian Dior, Fendi, Moët & Chandon, Hennessy, and Veuve Clicquot, recorded 14 billion euros in revenue – about $16.9 billion – in the first quarter, up 32% from the same quarter in 2020.

Following multiple quarters of declining growth due to the pandemic, the company said it saw strong sales in fashion and leather goods in the beginning of the year. LVMH also noted a uptick in alcohol sales in the first quarter, particularly when it comes to Champagne: Champagne volumes were up 22% compared to the same time last year as vaccinations continue worldwide.

Last fall, LVMH completed its nearly $16 billion acquisition of jeweler Tiffany & Co., a history-making deal in the luxury sector. The contentious deal came after multiple lawsuits, a public war of words, and a $400 million discount.

Following the acquisition, Arnault’s 28-year-old son, Alexandre, was named Tiffany’s executive vice president of product and communications following a stint at the helm of LVMH-owned luggage brand Rimowa. Last June, Arnault’s 26-year-old son, Frédéric, was named CEO of Tag Heuer, the luxury watch brand also owned by LVMH. Arnault’s daughter, Delphine, is the executive vice president of Louis Vuitton, and his son, Antoine, is the CEO of Berluti and chairman of Loro Piana, two fashion houses owned by LVMH.

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Store owners in Minneapolis are boarding up ahead of the Derek Chauvin murder-trial verdict, fearing potential unrest

george floyd derek chauvin trial
Law enforcement stands guard as crews remove artwork from temporary fencing outside the Hennepin County Government Center on April 2, 2021 in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

  • Businesses in Minneapolis are preparing for the Derek Chauvin murder-trial verdict.
  • Fearing unrest, some restaurant and store owners are boarding up their premises.
  • An owner of a dry cleaners told the New York Times he’d cleared out his store.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Stores and restaurants in Minneapolis are preparing for potential unrest as they await the verdict in the Derek Chauvin murder trial.

Chauvin, a 45-year-old former police officer, is accused of killing George Floyd in May 2020. Floyd died after Chauvin kneeled on his body for 9 minutes and 29 seconds. Chauvin has pleaded not guilty to charges of second-degree unintentional murder, third-degree murder, and second-degree manslaughter.

The jury heard closing arguments of the trial on Monday. The verdict could arrive this week.

Floyd’s death triggered months-long protests over racism and police brutality in the US and worldwide. Some stores, including in Minneapolis, were damaged or looted, and now some business owners in the city are preempting possible unrest after the Chauvin verdict by boarding up or emptying their stores.

The Wall Street Journal reported that some businesses, including a Target, were boarded up on downtown’s Nicollet Mall. The New York Times also reported that phone stores, furniture shops, restaurants including Quruxlow and Hook Fish & Chicken, and Mercado Central, a Latino market in the city, had been boarded up.

An NPR reporter tweeted on Wednesday that Haskell’s wine shop was also boarded up.

Samir Patel, owner of dry-cleaning shop Elite Cleaners, told the Times on Monday that he’d moved customers’ clothes to his home. He hadn’t boarded up the shop, he said.

“We don’t know what will happen,” he added.

Read more: Derek Chauvin’s trial is testing the stress levels of Black Americans. Here’s what leaders and allies can do to help.

Patel said his shop suffered half a million dollars in damage in the civil unrest following Floyd’s death. He had to exhaust his savings and retirement accounts to reopen the business, he said. The city looked like “a war zone” at the time, he added.

From Wednesday, schools in Minneapolis will switch to remote learning, and razor wire has been wrapped around police buildings. National Guard troops are already present in some areas of downtown Minneapolis.

Insider has reached out to other businesses and retailers in Minneapolis to see how they’re preparing.

Are you a business owner in Minneapolis? Get in touch with this reporter via Twitter, or email kduffy@insider.com.

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MyPillow is doubling down on election conspiracy theories despite being hit by a massive lawsuit

Mike Lindell MyPillow
Mike Lindell, founder of My Pillow Inc., points to the crowd during a rally for Donald Trump in September.

  • MyPillow’s new lawsuit against Dominion doubles down on election conspiracy theories.
  • It’s a different approach than the one Sidney Powell took after Dominion sued her for $1.3 billion.
  • Powell’s lawyers argued that “no reasonable person” would take her claims seriously.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

Mike Lindell doubled down on his false conspiracy theory about the 2020 election in a new lawsuit against Dominion Voting Systems filed Monday.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minnesota and seeking $1.6 billion in damages, is a counter-suit against a previous lawsuit from Dominion. It was filed on behalf of Lindell’s company, MyPillow, although Lindell promoted it on his new social network, Frank.

Dominion sued Lindell and MyPillow in February, asking for $1.3 billion in damages. The election technology company claimed Lindell defamed it when he falsely claimed it rigged the 2020 election in favor of Joe Biden against Donald Trump.

The new MyPillow lawsuit reiterates a version of the very same conspiracy theory.

“In its capacity as – and using its authority as – a governmental actor, Dominion allowed manipulation or changing of votes in the 2020 election, as well as suppressed public debate about the election which deprived MyPillow of its rights,” the lawsuit says.

There is no evidence that Dominion allowed the manipulation or changing of votes in the 2020 election. Numerous audits, lawsuits, and analyses of technology used in the election have found no evidence of widespread voter fraud.

Despite claiming Dominion manipulated election results, the lawsuit brings forth no evidence to bolster that claim. The most recent example of problems with Dominion-related election software included in the lawsuit dates back to 2009. The lawsuit also brings up examples of numerous people claiming before the 2020 election that it would be hacked, but presents no actual evidence of hacking. The US Cybersecurity & Infrastructure Security Agency said the 2020 election was “the most secure in American history.”

The lawsuit further claims Dominion’s litigation against MyPillow, Lindell, and others is an exercise in “cancel culture” and stifles free speech.

“This is a meritless retaliatory lawsuit, filed by MyPillow to try to distract from the harm it caused to Dominion,” Dominion attorney Stephen Shackelford told Insider’s Grace Dean.

MyPillow’s approach to Dominion’s $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit differs from others who’ve been sued over election conspiracy theories.

Lawyers for Sidney Powell, another conspiracy theorist sued by Dominion, defended her statements about Dominion by saying her claims were too outlandish for anyone to take seriously.

“Even assuming, arguendo, that each of the statements alleged in the Complaint could be proved true or false, no reasonable person would conclude that the statements were truly statements of fact,” Powell’s attorneys wrote.

Lindell has welcomed a lawsuit from Dominion from the start, claiming litigation would prove his theories to be correct.

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Charli and Dixie D’Amelio made a mattress with Simmons, the latest brand turning to TikTok stars to target a younger audience

Charli & Dixie x Simmons
  • Simmons and Charli and Dixie D’Amelio announced a mattress collaboration on Monday.
  • The mattress brand’s partnership with TikTok influencers suggests the brand is looking to target a younger audience.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

As TikTok expands, brands from Dunkin’ to Aerie are working on attracting the app’s growing user base. And now, the mattress company Simmons is partnering with two of the platform’s biggest stars: Charli and Dixie D’Amelio.

The sisters announced a partnership with Simmons on Monday.

Charli and Dixie D’Amelio, who have 113 million and 51 million followers on TikTok, respectively, are pictured on Simmons’ home page standing in front of a mattress with a jaunty turquoise-and-white print “designed by Charli & Dixie D’Amelio for creators like you.” The press release says that the D’Amelio sisters chose the mattress cover.

“Our beds are the new offices for our generation,” Charli D’Amelio said in a press release. The product page for the mattress echoes the sentiment, with language mimicking the slang popular on TikTok: a motion isolation layer on the mattress is described as “no wakey wakey.”

The Charli & Dixie x Simmons memory foam mattress starts at $499 for a twin-sized mattress and goes up to $699 for a king size. Simmons says that the mattress features gel memory foam and leans slightly more plush than firm. The mattress is subject to Simmons’ usual shipping terms – it comes in a box and has a 100-night trial period.

The mattress’ launch will be commemorated with the sisters competing against each other in “a family-friendly showdown to turn two fans’ boring bedrooms into stunning creative studios,” according to the announcement. Entrants post a video of their bedroom on TikTok using the hashtags #SimmonsDreamRoom and #Contest, then enter via the Simmons website. The contest will close in coming months when the remodeled bedrooms will be posted on social media for fans to decide a winner.

The D’Amelio sisters have partnered with other brands in the past, including a popular collaboration between Charli D’Amelio and Dunkin’, which introduced an iced coffee drink named after the 16-year-old influencer.

TikTok is particularly useful for retailers looking to target younger audiences. A Cowen report cited by Insider found that the majority of users were under 24.

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MyPillow’s $1.6 billion lawsuit against Dominion says it’s using ‘cancel culture’ to silence critics

Mike Lindell Donald Trump
Donald J. Trump and MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell in March 2020.

  • MyPillow’s new $1.6 billion lawsuit against Dominion says it’s participating in “cancel culture.”
  • MyPillow CEO Mike Lindell has pushed false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election.
  • The new lawsuit says Dominion’s own, previous lawsuit is an attempt to stifle free speech.
  • See more stories on Insider’s business page.

In a lawsuit seeking $1.6 billion in damages, MyPillow claims Dominion Voting Systems is trying to stifle unproven allegations of voter manipulation by “using today’s cancel culture” to sue people pushing conspiracy theories about its technology.

“Dominion’s purpose is to silence debate; to eliminate any challenge to the 2020 presidential election; and to cancel and destroy anyone who speaks out against Dominion’s work on behalf of the government in administering the election,” the lawsuit against the election technology company says.

The lawsuit, announced by MyPillow’s pro-Trump CEO Mike Lindell, acts as a countersuit to a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit Dominion filed against the pillow company in February.

In its own lawsuit, Dominion pointed to Lindell’s promotion of false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election and Dominion’s role in it. Lindell, like former President Donald Trump, falsely alleged that the 2020 presidential election was marred by widespread voter fraud and claimed that Dominion was responsible for covering it up.

Dominion’s lawsuit alleged Lindell used those false theories to juice his company’s profits by integrating his pillow advertising into the right-wing media ecosystem.

Lindell told Insider at the time that MyPillow in fact lost $65 million in deals with retailers, which he held up as evidence that he truly believes his own theories about the election.

“Those stores combined did $65 million in business last year,” Lindell said. “And now I won’t have them this year, or any year. They’re done.”

MyPillow says Dominion is trying to cancel its critics

Dominion – along with rival election technology company Smartmatic, which was named in false conspiracy theories about the 2020 election as well – has sued the likes of Sidney Powell, Rudy Giuliani, and Fox News. Dominion also sent more than 100 additional letters threatening litigation to people who pushed false theories about the company.

MyPillow’s lawsuit brings up Dominion’s litigation against Powell and Giuliani as examples of the company using “lawfare” to “cancel” and “intimidate” others. The lawsuit gives the example of an actuary who was “forced to self-censor” after Dominion mailed him a box “full of legal papers, which included lawsuits filed against other citizens along with a threatening demand letter.” A photograph of the pile of documents Clare Locke, the law firm representing Dominion, apparently sent to the anonymous actuary is included.

MyPillow dominion legal letters
MyPillow’s lawsuit includes a photo of a pile of paper Dominion’s lawyers sent to someone.

The MyPillow lawsuit compared Dominion’s “scorched earth campaign” to the McCarthy era, where people associated with communism were expelled from public life in the US and lost their livelihoods.

“So too today, those who, like MyPillow are merely associated with a critic of Dominion and the integrity of the 2020 election, face expulsion from public life in large parts of America,” the lawsuit says. “Dominion is using today’s cancel culture to eliminate dissent and to cover up the election issues that compromised the 2020 result.”

The definition of “cancel culture” can be contentious, but it generally refers to withdrawing support for those who espouse objectionable views.

As examples of cancelation, the lawsuit points to the fact that numerous retailers have stopped selling MyPillow products – a boycott that began after a pro-Trump mob overran the US Capitol over the election conspiracy theories – and because one radio station ended its advertising relationship with the company. The lawsuit also says that individual MyPillow employees have experienced harassment.

Dominion’s lawsuit discusses the harassment its own employees have faced over election conspiracy theories. One executive, Eric Coomer, went into hiding in November following death threats from Trump supporters.

Stephen Shackelford, an attorney for Dominion, told Insider’s Grace Dean that MyPillow’s lawsuit had no merit.

“This is a meritless retaliatory lawsuit, filed by MyPillow to try to distract from the harm it caused to Dominion,” Shackelford said.

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Mike Lindell’s company, MyPillow, is suing Dominion for $1.6 billion

mike lindell trump
Mike Lindell with then-President Donald Trump at the White House in March 2020.

MyPillow is suing Dominion Voting Systems for $1.6 billion, the pillow company’s CEO Mike Lindell announced Monday.

The suit appears to be a counterattack after Dominion filed a $1.3 billion defamation lawsuit against both the company and Lindell in February.

Lindell announced the new lawsuit in a livestream on his social-media site, Frank.

“This is all about the First Amendment rights and free speech,” Lindell said.

The lawsuit, filed in federal court in Minnesota, claims Dominion is trying to stifle free speech and engaging in “cancel culture” against those who question it.

Frank Mike Lindell
Lindell during a livestreamed launch of his social-media site, Frank, on Monday.

The suit distinguishes between MyPillow and Lindell, arguing that the CEO was speaking on his own behalf when alleging election fraud, as The Wall Street Journal first reported.

Lindell, a major GOP donor, is a staunch ally of former President Donald Trump and has repeatedly supported his claims challenging the integrity of the 2020 presidential election.

Lindell spread the conspiracy theory claiming that Dominion had developed technology to switch votes from Trump to Joe Biden. The theory has been thoroughly debunked.

Read more: The MyPillow guy says God helped him beat a crack addiction to build a multimillion-dollar empire. Now his religious devotion to Trump threatens to bring it all crashing down.

MyPillow said in the lawsuit that “in making these statements, Lindell spoke for himself, not MyPillow,” adding that “MyPillow has not engaged in discussion about the 2020 election.”

The lawsuit accuses Dominion of engaging in “lawfare” by aggressively using the legal system to attack its critics, who have falsely argued that the election technology company manipulated the 2020 election.

“Lawfare is the use of the legal system as part of wrongful scheme to attack another person and inflict extra-judicial harm upon them,” the lawsuit says. “Here, Dominion’s scheme is wrongful because Dominion’s purpose is to punish and deter important constitutionally-protected activity-free expression about a matter of public concern.”

Alan Dershowitz, a lawyer representing Lindell, discussed the lawsuit alongside Lindell during the livestream on Monday.

“I’ve been defending the First Amendment for 60 years, and I’m not going to stop now,” Dershowitz said.

Dominion’s counsel, Stephen Shackelford, a partner at Susman Godfrey LLP, told Insider, “This is a meritless retaliatory lawsuit, filed by MyPillow to try to distract from the harm it caused to Dominion.”

Dominion sued Lindell, Powell, Giuliani, and Fox News

On February 22, Dominion filed a defamation suit against Lindell after filing similar ones against the pro-Trump attorney Sidney Powell, Trump’s former lawyer Rudy Giuliani, and Fox News.

Dominion’s lawsuit accused Lindell of repeatedly making false allegations while knowing there was no credible evidence to support his claims.

Lindell used his social-media profiles – as well as rallies, interviews, and a two-hour movie – to spread his baseless claims of voter fraud and accuse Dominion of building its machines “to cheat.”

Lindell previously told Insider that he thought Dominion had a “zero, zero, zero” chance of winning. The lawsuits were part of cancel culture’s attempts at silencing voices, he said.

“I looked at it as a great day for America when they sued me,” Lindell added. “I can put the evidence for the whole world to see, and it’ll be public record, and the media will quit trying to suppress it.”

More than 20 retailers have severed ties with MyPillow

In its lawsuit, Dominion said Lindell had used the claims as a way to ramp up his pillow sales, advertising on far-right media outlets that parroted his claims and sponsoring a bus tour that sought to overturn the election result.

But Lindell’s lawsuit said Dominion had caused “grave harm” to MyPillow “as a result of Dominion’s suppression of speech and attacks on the Company,” according to The Journal.

More than 20 retailers have cut ties with MyPillow following the insurrection at the Capitol in January and Lindell’s insistence that the election result was fraudulent.

Bed Bath and Beyond, Sam’s Club, Kohl’s, and, most recently, Costco are among those to have stopped selling MyPillow’s products.

Some of the companies cited poor sales, but Lindell blamed it on “cancel culture” and described people saying they would boycott the brand as “bots and trolls.”

mike lindell white house
Mike Lindell in March 2020.

Lindell had told Insider that lost retailer revenue would cost the company about $65 million this year. He added during his livestream on Monday that MyPillow had 2,500 employees, many of whom had stock in the company.

But Lindell said that this wasn’t the main reason for his lawsuit.

“It’s not about the money,” he said. “It’s about our First Amendment rights.”

In January, Twitter barred Lindell for sharing voter-fraud conspiracy theories on the site. It suspended MyPillow’s account after Lindell used it to evade his personal ban and accused Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey of being “tied into the election fraud.”

Lindell said he has spent millions building his own social-media site. Frank has the tagline “the voice of free speech,” and he has said that he would use the site to share voter-fraud evidence.

Lindell said in mid-March that he hadn’t been back to his home in Minnesota for two months and had been moving among “undisclosed locations” because he feared for his safety.

This article has been updated.

Read the original article on Business Insider