Diane's Feed
May 26, 2015

Charter’s Time Warner Cable bid faces $2 billion regulatory question

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Time Warner Cable, entering into talks to be acquired by Charter Communications Inc just a month after regulators killed a proposed takeover by Comcast Corp’s, was determined not to get burned a second time.

It won such an insurance policy on Tuesday, when Charter included as part of its $56 billion takeover agreement a pledge to pay Time Warner Cable a $2 billion breakup fee if the deal goes south. Comcast, by contrast, had made no such pledge and was able to walk away scot-free when its bid collapsed.

May 26, 2015

Reynolds American wins U.S. antitrust approval to buy rival Lorillard

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Reynolds American Inc won
U.S. antitrust approval on Tuesday for its deal to buy smaller
rival Lorillard in a deal that would combine the No. 2
and No. 3 U.S. cigarette companies.

The Federal Trade Commission said it would allow the deal to
go forward in condition that the companies sell four cigarette
brands – Winston, Kool, Salem and Maverick. They will be
purchased by Imperial Tobacco Group PLC.

May 26, 2015

Charter’s $56 bln Time Warner Cable deal to face U.S. scrutiny

NEW YORK/WASHINGTON, May 26 (Reuters) – Charter
Communications Inc, seeking to remake the U.S. cable television
industry by acquiring larger rival Time Warner Cable Inc
for $56 billion, will try to skirt the regulatory obstacles that
helped sink Comcast Corp’s earlier bid for Time Warner
Cable.

The combined company would control a big swath of the cable
and Internet markets, marking a huge step toward industry
consolidation, long advocated by cable pioneer John Malone,
Charter’s biggest shareholder.

May 19, 2015

Four U.S. cancer charities charged; two settle

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. government has charged four cancer charities with misusing more than $187 million in donations, with two agreeing to be dissolved and two fighting the allegations, the Federal Trade Commission said on Tuesday.

The FTC, 50 states and the District of Columbia charged the Cancer Fund of America, Cancer Support Services Inc, the Children’s Cancer Fund of America and the Breast Cancer Society Inc with collecting millions of dollars in donations but doing little to help patients.

May 18, 2015

Exelon, Pepco agree to Maryland’s merger conditions

May 18 (Reuters) – Exelon Corp said on Monday it
would agree to conditions placed last week by the state of
Maryland on the power company’s $6.8 billion bid for Pepco
Holdings Inc, clearing one of the deal’s last hurdles.

Maryland’s Public Service Commission said on Friday it would
approve the deal, which would create the biggest U.S. power
generator, if Exelon would agree to 46 conditions.

May 15, 2015

Sysco may face about $1 billion in costs if US Foods merger dies

WASHINGTON/NEW YORK (Reuters) – Sysco Corp (SYY.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will be left with a bill of around $1 billion if the U.S. government kills its $3.5 billion merger with US Foods, regulatory filings show, underscoring the perils of doing deals that have a good chance of being blocked by antitrust regulators.

    Sysco, the biggest U.S. food distributor, has spent more than $400 million so far on a combination of integration planning, financing charges and on defending the transaction in court, based on a Reuters analysis of its filings. To put that into context, Sysco’s net profit for its fiscal year ended June 28, 2014 was $932 million.

May 4, 2015

Cement makers Holcim and Lafarge win U.S. antitrust approval to merge

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Holcim Ltd (HOLN.VX: Quote, Profile, Research), a Swiss company, and Lafarge S.A. (LAFP.PA: Quote, Profile, Research), which is based in Paris, on Monday won U.S. antitrust approval to merge after they agreed to divest assets, the Federal Trade Commission.

The companies agreed to divest plants, terminals and a quarry to gain approval of their $25 billion deal, the FTC said.

Apr 30, 2015

American Express told it cannot enforce anti-steering rules against merchants

NEW YORK (Reuters) – Merchants unhappy with the fees
American Express Co charges them may steer customers
toward less expensive cards without fearing retaliation from the
credit card company, a federal judge ruled on Thursday.

Judge Nicholas Garaufis in Brooklyn federal court said
American Express may not stop restaurants and stores, for
instance, from offering discounts, rebates or other incentives
for using lower-fee cards. Merchants may also tell customers
about the relative costs of using particular cards, the judge
ruled.

Apr 24, 2015

Collapse of Comcast cable deal may chasten Wall Street, for a while

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Comcast Corp’s failed bid to buy Time Warner Cable Inc is the latest muscle flex by U.S. antitrust enforcers and will likely deter chief executives from pursuing aggressive transactions as a way to spend excess cash.

Comcast, which had barely convinced regulators to allow it to buy NBC Universal four years ago, folded under pressure from the Federal Communications Commission and the Department of Justice and scrapped its deal to buy its No. 2 rival on Friday.

Apr 22, 2015

Sysco opposes FTC challenge to its purchase of U.S. Foods

By Diane Bartz and Yashaswini Swamynathan

(Reuters) – No. 1 U.S. food distributor Sysco Corp
has filed a memorandum opposing government efforts to block its
proposed purchase of rival US Foods Inc on Tuesday,
according to court records.

The sealed memorandum was one of many documents that Sysco
has filed in its fight with the Federal Trade Commission’s over
whether it can merge with No. 2 US Foods.