Walgreens Boots Alliance
scrapped its takeover of rival Rite Aid and instead will buy a smaller piece of the drugstore chain after the original deal was doomed by U.S. antitrust problems. The agreement ends a saga that dragged on for more than a yearand-a-half as the companies struggled to get approval from regulators. Walgreens will pay $5.18 billion to buy 2,186 stores, leaving Rite Aid as a regional chain. Merck, a pharmaceutical giant, was among dozens of businesses affected by a sprawling cyberattack, with victims across the globe facing demands to hand over a ransom or have their computer networks remain locked and inaccessible. The widespread intrusion that hit the New Jersey-based drug company was similar to a recent, massive ransomware attack that deployed a virus dubbed WannaCry. The extent of the Merck hack was not yet known. UPS told its more than 70,000 nonunion workers that the company plans to freeze their pensions, joining the ranks of other large employers that are moving away from the defined benefit plans. As of December, UPS was about $7 billion short of the $25.3 billion needed to pay future benefits for workers in that plan, a spokesman said. Anthem’s decision to stop offering Affordable Care Act plans in much of Nevada will leave large parts of the state without options on the healthcare law’s exchanges. The insurer, a one-time Obamacare stalwart, has accelerated its retreat in recent weeks, partly blaming the uncertain fate of the law for making it difficult to come up with plans and calculate premiums.