When people hear that one company is buying another for however-many billions of dollars, most assume it’s a done deal. The truth is that regulators and shareholders have been know to ax mergers and acquisitions both large and small. Despite the fame of the names involved, Comcast’s $45 billion deal for TimeWarner Cable doesn’t even make it into the top 10 of failed mergers.
Until now, Russia’s control of the gas pipeline that warms much of Europe has given Moscow, at minimum, an implied choke point to lord over Ukraine and its neighbors. That situation escalated this week, when the European Union used antitrust laws to charge the state-controlled Gazprom with price gouging, a move that inspired Lithuanian President Dalia Grybauskaite to declare, ”The era of Kremlin-backed political and economic blackmail draws to a close.” But if the Baltic States have their way, a bid for power independence could flip the script and leave a strategic Russian enclave out in the cold.
With taxes (hopefully) in the rear-view mirror, kick back with some light reading suggestions compiled from the week that was.
Clients typically have to pay the lawyers they hire, regardless of whether they win or lose in court. But civil rights cases against local and state governments are different. Under a law designed to encourage civil rights action against the government, winners of such cases can petition to recoup costs from the very jurisdiction that they sued. This week Reuters’ Joan Biskupic examined the ethical complexities of this law as it pertains to the spate of same-sex marriage suits in the U.S. in recent years.
Serving a global market can be great, if a bit of an adventure. The manifestly diverse nature of a worldwide customer base means that a butterfly flapping its wings in Asia can affect winds of change in the U.S. and Europe.
The concept of touchable holograms sounds like the holy grail of online pornography, but a British company has developed a prototype for tactile virtual objects with an array of potential uses that are much more pragmatic than prurient.