Briefs: Twit­ter’s foot­ball grab; Pfizer and Al­ler­gan don’t mix

Bloomberg Businessweek (Europe) - - CONTENTS - By Kyle Stock

●● In its first broad­cast deal, Twit­ter won the right to stream 10 Thurs­day-night NFL games in the com­ing sea­son, which may help it recharge user growth. Twit­ter beat out a slate of heavy­weights in­clud­ing Ama­zon.com, pay­ing about $10 mil­lion for the games, ac­cord­ing to a per­son fa­mil­iar with the mat­ter. The NFL said it turned down higher bids, be­cause it likes Twit­ter’s fa­cil­ity with live events. ●● Pfizer and Al­ler­gan walked away from their $160 bil­lion merger af­ter a U.S. Trea­sury De­part­ment ac­tion less­ened the fi­nan­cial ap­peal of the deal. Federal rules pub­lished on April 4 would make it tougher to com­plete so-called in­ver­sions, when U.S. com­pa­nies use ac­qui­si­tions to shift their ad­dresses to lower-tax coun­tries. An in­ver­sion with Ire­land-based Al­ler­gan could have been worth up to a to­tal of $35 bil­lion in tax sav­ings. ●● Thomas Staggs, Walt Dis­ney’s chief op­er­at­ing of­fi­cer, stepped down on April 4 as the com­pany’s board said it would broaden its search for new chief ex­ec­u­tive can­di­dates. He was be­ing groomed to re­place CEO Robert Iger, whose con­tract ends in June 2018. ●● Rovio En­ter­tain­ment, the com­pany be­hind An­gry Birds mo­bile games, said it had a $14.8 mil­lion loss last year. Game rev­enue was up, but ex­penses swelled in ad­vance of The An­gry Birds Movie, open­ing on May 20. ●● The Jus­tice De­part­ment sued oilser­vices com­pany Hal­libur­ton to block itss pro­posed merger with ri­val Baker Hughes, say­ing the $34 bil­lion deal would hin­derr com­pe­ti­tion and bring higher prices and less in­no­va­tion to the in­dus­try. The two com­pa­nies pledged to fight the law­suit.

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