Charter Communications, a cable and telecommunications company, recently announced that it would acquire Time Warner Cable in a $55 billion deal. Along with Time Warner, Charter also plans to acquire Bright House Networks in an additional $10 billion deal. While Bright House is a much smaller provider, Charter and Time Warner are the second and third largest cable television providers in the United States. Charter CEO Tom Rutledge claims the combined companies will provide customers with improved internet speeds and more competitive pricing.
Noel Cryan, an ex-broker of the Tullet Prebon Group, a British brokerage firm, entered his plea at Southwark Crown Court in London, pleading not guilty against criminal charges for conspiring to manipulate Libor.
FedEx has agreed to acquire European shipping and delivery competitor TNT Express (TNT). The $4.8 billion deal must still receive approval from European regulators, a status that UPS failed to achieve when its proposed acquisition of TNT was blocked by these same regulators in 2013. UPS was unable to satisfy regulator’s antitrust concerns because of their “dominant” position in the European ground shipping market. Substantial similarities between UPS and TNT’s business offerings led to regulators’ concern that the deal would result in a significant decrease in competition and an increase in prices for consumers.
Continuing their leveraged buyout partnership, private equity firms Leonard Green & Partners and TPG Capital recently announced an agreement to buy gym operator Life Time Fitness for about $4 billion. The two firms previously worked together to acquire retailer J.Crew in 2010 and Petco in 2006.
On Monday, March 30, Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. announced that it would be acquiring Auspex Pharmaceuticals for $3.2 billion. As a result of the acquisition, shares of Auspex climbed from $29.60 (41.7 percent) to $100.51 while Teva shares increased by $1.67 (2.7 percent) to $63.65. This major increase in the value of the shares for both companies will boost their presence in treatments for central nervous system disorders, which may save many lives.
On March 5, 2015, Professor Michael Katz, Sarin Chair in Strategy and Leadership, Director of the Center for Telecommunications and Digital Convergence, and professor of business at the UC Berkeley Haas School of Business, gave the lunchtime keynote address for the Berkeley Business Law Journal’s “Bits Bites Plastic: The New World of Electronic Payments and e-Currency” symposium at the UC Berkeley School of Law.
Professor Katz began by revealing his insights on the integration of mobile technology into our everyday lives. The first personal computer was commercially marketed in 1975. By 1983, there were nearly 2 million computers in the United States. In 2014, the Cisco Visual Networking Index estimated 7.4 billion computing devices worldwide with an estimate that in 2015 the number of mobile-connected devices would exceed the number of humans on Earth. A great deal of this technology is used to conduct business and commercial transactions. Paypal, Google Checkout, Apple Pay, and Venmo are quickly gaining traction in a global marketplace that is increasingly reliant on digital commerce and e-currency. Professor Katz explains that digital cash is the natural evolution of currency and that vendors and banking companies are well-advised to develop models of payment facilitation incorporated digital cash to keep up with the digital currency revolution.
On March 6, 2015, the FDA approved Zarxio, a biologic pharmaceutical produced by Novartis’ generic drug unit—Sandoz—that is biosimilar to Amgen’s Neupogen. Now, after overcoming two important challenges, Sandoz is poised to bring the first biosimilar approved under the Affordable Care Act to the U.S. market.