Briefs: Time Warner blows past earn­ings es­ti­mates; MetLife faces a $25 mil­lion fine over an­nu­ities

Bloomberg Businessweek (Asia) - - CONTENTS - By Dim­i­tra Kessenides

●,● Hal­libur­ton and Baker Hughes said they would ter­mi­nate their $35 bil­lion pro­posed merger, an­nounced in 2014. The deal faced stiff op­po­si­tion from reg­u­la­tors. The U.S. Depart­ment of Jus­tice filed an an­titrust law­suit in April to block the merger, which the oil ser­vice com­pa­nies had said would help them bet­ter com­pete against ri­vals. ●Í● Time Warner posted first-quar­ter earn­ings that sur­passed an­a­lysts’ es­ti­mates. Sales at its ca­ble-net­work unit, which in­cludes TNT and TBS, climbed 7.2 per­cent, to $2.91 bil­lion, from a year ear­lier. The in­crease came largely from an 11 per­cent rise in fees paid by distrib­u­tors like AT&T and Com­cast to carry the chan­nels, which have spent bil­lions on sports rights. ●● Ellen Pao, the for­mer Kleiner Perkins Cau­field & By­ers ju­nior part­ner who last March lost a gen­derdis­crim­i­na­tion suit against the firm, has co-founded an ad­vo­cacy group to pro­mote diver­sity in the tech in­dus­try. Project In­clude will ad­vise com­pa­nies on re­cruit­ing, hir­ing, and re­tain­ing more di­verse work­ers. MetLife will pay $25 mil­lion to set­tle a probe of abuses tied to vari­able an­nu­ities, the sec­ond-largest fine ever levied by the Fi­nan­cial In­dus­try Reg­u­la­tory Au­thor­ity. The sum in­cludes a $20 mil­lion fine and $5 mil­lion to be paid to cus­tomers for “neg­li­gent” mis­rep­re­sen­ta­tion and omis­sions, Finra says. MetLife nei­ther ad­mit­ted nor de­nied wrong­do­ing. ●● Changes are com­ing to the year-old $10-per-month Ap­ple Mu­sic ser­vice. Ap­ple plans to al­ter the user in­ter­face and bet­ter in­te­grate its stream­ing and down­load busi­nesses. An un­veil­ing is ex­pected in June.

“We have de­cided that we are not go­ing to com­pete as a com­mod­ity provider; we are go­ing to com­pete as a pre­mium provider.” ——Ed Bas­tian, who be­came CEO of Delta Air Lines on May 2

To shorten air­port se­cu­rity lines this sum­mer, the Trans­porta­tion Se­cu­rityAd­min­is­tra­tion wants to add more screen­ers and bomb-sniff­ing dogs, plus boost over­time.

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