WEEK IN REVIEW
Monday Sempra swoops in
San Diego-based Sempra Energy signed an agreement to buy the bankrupt Energy Future Holdings and its Dallas-based utility Oncor as an eleventhhour agreement swept aside another bidder, Berkshire Hathaway Energy, a subsidiary of Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway.
Strikers denounce cuts
Union workers at WymanGordon went on strike to protest proposed pay and benefit cuts at the aerospace and energy manufacturing facility in northwest Houston.
Big judgment in talc case
A Los Angeles jury ordered Johnson & Johnson to pay a record $417 million to a hospitalized woman who claimed in a lawsuit that the talc in the company’s iconic baby powder causes ovarian cancer when applied regularly for feminine hygiene.
Ex-GE CEO a finalist
Former General Electric CEO Jeffrey Immelt is among the finalists being considered to run ride-hailing company Uber, but there’s no clear consensus among its board about a frontrunner, two people briefed on the search said.
Tuesday Bailing on U.S. shale
Australian mining conglomerate BHP Billiton Corp. said it is getting out of U.S. shale. It is looking to sell more than 800,000 acres in the Permian Basin, Eagle Ford and other oil fields, and analysts said the acreage could be worth up to $10 billion.
Robots as spies Some widely used industrial and consumer robots are dan-
gerously easy to hack and could be turned into bugging devices or weapons, researchers for cybersecurity company IOActive said.
Wednesday NRG signs big lease
NRG Energy will move its downtown offices into more than 18 floors of One Shell Plaza as part of the city’s largest sublease deal since the oil slump began. The move will begin in the spring and put all of NRG’s downtown employees under one roof, senior vice president of administration Jennifer Wallace said.
Lift for coal, nuclear power
The Energy Department issued a long-anticipated report that stresses the need to protect the “resilience” of the nation’s power grid by valuing dependable resources such as coal and nuclear more in power markets.
Google, Walmart team up
Google and Walmart are testing the notion that an enemy’s enemy is a friend. They said Google would start offering Walmart products to people who shop on Google Express, the company’s online shopping mall. It’s the first time the world’s biggest retailer has made its products available online in the U.S. outside its own website.
Car safety systems pay off
Safety systems to prevent cars from drifting into another lane or that warn drivers of vehicles in their blind spots are beginning to live up to their potential to reduce crashes significantly, according to two studies.
The hashtag celebrated its 10th birthday. An average of 125 million hashtags are shared daily around the world on Twitter, the company said.
Thursday Whole Foods price cuts
Amazon said it planned to use its deep pockets to make big changes at Whole Foods, saying it will cut prices on bananas, eggs, salmon, beef and more when it completes its $13.7 billion takeover on Monday. Among other Whole Foods items getting discounts Monday: avocados, tilapia, baby kale, apples and rotisserie chicken — all organic, Amazon said. The company also said certain Whole Foods products will be available through Amazon.com, AmazonFresh, Prime Pantry and Prime Now.
Bears Ears’ future unclear
The future of Bears Ears National Monument, a sprawling region of red-rock canyons, was left in question when Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke sent recommendations for 27 national monuments under federal review to President Donald Trump, but did not make the recommendations public.
More Kmarts to close
Sears Holdings Corp. said that it would close 28 additional Kmart stores nationwide as the retailer continues to struggle with declining sales.
Friday Defense of regulation
Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen delivered a broad rebuttal to Republican criticism that financial regulation is impeding economic growth. Yellen said changes since the global financial crisis, which began a decade ago, have significantly improved the resilience of the financial system.
Prison term in VW case
A Volkswagen engineer who had a key role in the company’s diesel emissions scandal was sentenced to more than three years in prison and a $200,000 fine, a steeper punishment than prosecutors requested.
After weeks of negotiations, 271 Machinist members employed by WymanGordon in Houston began a strike calling for a fair and equitable contract from the company.
NRG Energy is consolidating its downtown workers at the 50-story One Shell Plaza, once Texas’ tallest building.