The Justice Department has filed an antitrust lawsuit to block an $85.4 billion merger of AT&T and Time Warner. Makan Delrahim, assistant attorney general for antitrust matters, says combining the companies would weaken competition and would harm consumers by increasing the cost of video services and by stifling innovation.
Asian-Pacific stock markets advanced Tuesday after US equity markets finished higher. Japan's Nikkei 225 gained 0.7%; Hong Kong's Hang Seng Index climbed 1.9%; Australia's S&P/ASX 200 rose 0.3%; China's Shanghai Composite added 0.6%; South Korea's Kospi edged up 0.1%; and India's Sensex was up 0.4%.
Toshiba's move to boost capital through a $5.33 billion private placement is drawing strong interest from funds and has greatly reduced the chances that the company's publicly traded shares will be delisted in Tokyo. Many of the funds interested in the deal, however, are activist investors that typically use their voting power to steer corporate decisions.
Throughout the US economy, major corporations are looking for deals to protect themselves from competitive challenges by online giants such as Amazon, Facebook, Google and Netflix. Roughly $200 billion worth of mergers and acquisitions have been announced this month, according to Dealogic, and at this pace, November could be the second-biggest month for M&A since the company started collecting data in 1995.
Efforts to renegotiate the North American Free Trade Agreement are likely to reach a stalemate as the fifth round of talks ends today. Mexico and Canada have refused to bend to US pressure to increase the minimum threshold for NAFTA autos from 62.5% to 85% and to require that half of the content come from the US, a demand even US automakers have questioned.
Unless politicians achieve a breakthrough smoothing the UK's path out of the EU, major banks will start relocating staff to countries remaining in the EU during the first quarter, people familiar with the matter said. Financial institutions getting ready to move operations include Goldman Sachs, Morgan Stanley, UBS and Royal Bank of Scotland, the sources said.
The US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit has delayed oral arguments in a lawsuit brought by the National Association for Fixed Annuities challenging the Labor Department's fiduciary rule. The court granted the postponement to wait for a decision by the US Court of Appeals for the 5th Circuit on another case related to the fiduciary rule.
AdvisorShares has filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission for an exchange-traded fund investing in companies involved in the production and sale of alcoholic beverages and tobacco products, as well as the research and development of legal cannabis-related products. The actively managed AdvisorShares VICE ETF would trade on NYSE Arca.
The European Securities and Markets Authority, the European Banking Authority and the European Insurance and Occupational Pensions Authority are working to revise a requirement that buy-side firms post and collect variation margin on physically settled foreign exchange forwards. It remains to be seen whether the revision can be agreed upon before the rule takes effect in January.
CME Group's endeavor into bitcoin futures is good news for futures trading and for bitcoin industry participants, despite the risk of a bubble or money laundering, writes CME member and retired brokerage executive William Mallers Jr. "CME has done its homework on bitcoin; it's well aware of bitcoin's volatile price history and has the experience and controls in place to clear bitcoin futures," he writes.