Diane's Feed
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

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.

Apr 21, 2015

Six U.S. senators call for rejection of Comcast-TWC merger

By Diane Bartz and Alina Selyukh

(Reuters) – Six U.S. senators on Tuesday asked the Federal
Communications Commission and Justice Department to reject the
proposed $45 billion merger of the country’s largest cable
providers, Comcast Corp and Time Warner Cable Inc

The call came from Democratic Senators Al Franken, Edward
Markey, Ron Wyden, Elizabeth Warren and Richard Blumenthal,
alongside Independent Senator Bernie Sanders, in letters to FCC
Chairman Tom Wheeler and U.S. Attorney General Eric Holder.

Apr 21, 2015

Google lobbying spending reached new high in early 2015

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Google Inc (GOOGL.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), already one of Washington’s biggest spenders, set a company record for its lobbying activity in the first quarter of 2015 when it spent $5.5 million, according to a government database.

Google ranked ninth in terms of total lobbying spending in 2014 at $16.8 million, behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($124 million) and the National Association of Realtors ($55 million), according to the Center for Responsive Politics.

Apr 15, 2015

Google rivals urge U.S. Justice Department to probe Android -sources

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO, April 15 (Reuters) – Google Inc
competitors are pushing U.S. antitrust enforcers to
investigate allegations the Internet services company unfairly
uses its Android system to win online advertising, two people
with knowledge of the matter said.

A small number of technology companies have complained to
the Department of Justice that the Android mobile operating
system is anti-competitive, said the sources, who declined to be
named to protect business relationships.

Mar 31, 2015

Robert Bosch GmbH to plead guilty to price fixing in U.S.

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – German-based auto parts company
Robert Bosch GmbH agreed to plead guilty to fixing the
prices of spark plugs and other auto parts, the U.S. Justice
Department said on Tuesday.

The company agreed to pay a criminal fine of $57.8 million.

The company’s settlement is the most recent in a long list
of auto parts makers – 34 in total – who have pleaded guilty or
agreed to plead guilty to fixing prices of more than 30 types of
car parts, including seat belts, ball bearings, radiators,
windshield wipers, air-conditioning systems, power window motors
and power steering components.

Mar 17, 2015

AT&T-DirecTV merger escapes heat as all eyes on Comcast

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – AT&T Inc’s proposed acquisition of satellite television company DirecTV is getting a smooth ride from U.S. regulators and industry rivals, who instead are directing their firepower at a merger deal between the nation’s two biggest cable operators.

U.S. Federal Communications Commission filings and interviews with several people familiar with the Justice Department show the $48.5 billion AT&T-DirecTV deal is getting far less attention than Comcast Corp’s agreement to buy Time Warner Cable Inc for $45 billion.