Insurance giant Aetna’s $37 billion deal to buy competitor insurer Humana was recently blocked by a federal judge on antitrust grounds, breaking up one of two current major health insurance mergers. Aetna, who would have to pay Humana a $1 billion breakup fee, has stated that it is considering an appeal.
In a regulatory filing on Tuesday, January 17, 2017, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation revealed its plan to sell 50 million Class B shares of Berkshire Hathaway between July 1, 2017 and June 30, 2020. The shares will be sold through a 10b5-1 program, designed to protect executives from the appearance of insider training by allowing owners to trade a fixed number of shares at designated intervals. This plan will replace a three-year program set to expire on June 30, 2017.
According to a new study, less-than-nationally-known law schools may offer students a return on their investment that is comparable to that of better known schools. This study was released by SoFi, a company known for refinancing student loans online. SoFi’s finding is a shock to the long-held assumption that taking on a high debt load is only worth it if the student is attending an elite law school. The report is titled “Return on Education (ROED) Law School Rankings” and considers the debt-to-salary ratio of law students. Yale Law School students, for example, have an average debt of $123,793 and earn a salary of $171,779. A University of Texas law student has the same debt-to-salary ratio, with an average debt of $105,254 and an average salary of $147,444. It is surprising that both schools have a debt-to-salary ratio of 1.4, considering that U.S. News ranks Yale Law School as the top law school in the U.S., while University of Texas is ranked 15th.
In a time where corporate diversity is a hot topic but executives do not follow through, Starbucks is continuing to prove that it is at the forefront of key issues. The international coffee giant’s founder and chairman, Howard Schultz, has served as a pioneer in the industry. He has engaged in national conversations about issues like student debt and race relations, positioned the company as an innovative technology-driven business, and most recently, nominated three diverse candidates to the Starbucks Board of Directors.
Navient is the largest student loan servicer in the country. It has serviced over twelve million students with loans totaling over three hundred billion dollars. Navient operates under a contract with the U.S. Department of Education and provides services for both public and private loans.
On September 9, 2015, Deputy Attorney General Sally Q. Yates issued a memorandum outlining “six key steps” department attorneys must take in corporate investigations, particularly when handling misconduct. Among these steps, the memorandum made eligibility for any cooperation credit conditional on the corporation providing information that identified individuals in the organization responsible for the violations. Ms. Yates went on to explain the importance of “deter[ing] corporate misdeeds, hav[ing] a real impact on corporate culture and ensur[ing] that the public has confidence in our justice system.”
On January 18th, the Berkeley Center for Law, Business and the Economy (BCLBE) held a speaker series entitled, “A conversation with Dom Perella, Deputy General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of Snap, Inc.” Perella spoke to Berkeley Law students and faculty on his position at one of the world’s most popular startups, as well as his time at the Supreme Court and Appellate Litigation practice at Hogan Lovells.
On January 19, 2017, Uber Technologies Inc. entered into a settlement agreement with the U.S. Federal Trade Commission (FTC), whereby the San Francisco-based startup agreed to pay $20 million dollars to its drivers. How the refunds will be distributed has yet to be determined, but the consumer-protection agency has ordered the company to work closely with its officials on the matter.
Several big banks are fighting crisis-era financial lawsuits worth tens of billions of dollars. These banks recently asked the Supreme Court to review a decision from the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, arguing that the regulators took too long to file their claims. The case relates to the failure of Colonial Bank. In August 2009, Colonial collapsed as a result of Residential Mortgage-Backed Securities (“RMBS”) purchases. As a result, the Federal Deposit Insurance Co. (“FDIC”) was appointed as a receiver. In August 2012, the FDIC sued the banks that issued and underwrote these RMBS in 2007, arguing that they issued a series of false and misleading statements in the offering documents relating to the RMBS’s liquidity and investment quality, which constituted a violation of Sections 11 and 15 of the Securities Act of 1933.