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The news at a glance

NYSE: Lawsuit threat kills Nasdaq’s bid; IPOs: Glencore readies a blockbuster; Autos: Earthquake rattles Toyota’s profits; Mergers: AT&T’s $6 billion confidence-booster; Television: NBC revamps its lineup to play catch-up

NYSE: Lawsuit threat kills Nasdaq’s bid
Facing fierce resistance from the U.S. Justice Department, Nasdaq dropped its $11 billion bid for NYSE Euronext, the operator
of the New York Stock Exchange, said Lauren Pollock in MarketWatch.com. In April, Nasdaq and a partner, derivatives specialist IntercontinentalExchange, offered to pay more for the Big Board than Deutsche Börse had proposed in an earlier, friendly takeover offer. But the U.S. firms’ proposal would have consolidated nearly all U.S. exchange-based stock trading under a single corporate roof. That roused antitrust authorities at the Justice Department, which threatened to sue Nasdaq if its takeover attempt succeeded.

This is a happy outcome for NYSE CEO Duncan Niederauer and the antitrust lawyers at Justice, said Shira Ovide in WSJ.com. Niederauer resisted the entreaties of NYSE shareholders who demanded he take a closer look at Nasdaq’s bid, which he unfailingly described as “a mirage intended only to spoil” his deal with the German exchange. And Justice is feeling its oats after crushing Nasdaq’s ambitions “with the mere hint of putting its boot to Nasdaq’s neck.” Nasdaq CEO Bob Greifeld, on the other hand, looks foolish for having “badly misjudged the regulatory appetite for the Nasdaq-NYSE tie-up.”

IPOs: Glencore readies a blockbuster
Glencore International, the world’s largest commodities dealer, could raise more than $11 billion in its initial public offering this week, which would make it the largest-ever London-based stock debut, said Javier Blas in FinancialTimes.com. Dealers involved in placing the stock with investors said the offer is strongly oversubscribed despite recent drops in commodity prices. Glencore has been a powerful behind-the-scenes player for decades in markets for everything from oil to coffee to the wire used in cell phones.
 
Autos: Earthquake rattles Toyota’s profits
Buffeted by a rising yen and the devastating March 11 earthquake and tsunami, Toyota this week disclosed that its quarterly profit fell 77 percent from a year earlier, said Makiko Kitamura and Masatsugu Horie in Bloomberg.com. The natural disaster “forced Toyota to halt production at Japanese plants for two weeks and led to a plunge in domestic sales,” while the strong yen made Toyota’s vehicles more expensive in overseas markets. To avoid further production disruptions and hold down labor costs, Toyota officials are considering shifting more production to factories overseas.

Mergers: AT&T’s $6 billion confidence-booster
Even if AT&T’s planned acquisition of T-Mobile USA falls through, T-Mobile shareholders stand to gain a windfall, said Don Reisinger in CNET.com. AT&T’s $39 billion bid for its mobile-phone rival won out over Sprint Nextel’s competing bid largely because AT&T promised to pay T-Mobile $6 billion if their deal fell apart. That indicated that AT&T was confident that it could clear any regulatory hurdles. The biggest opposition to the proposed combination may be in Congress, where representatives have demanded proof that the merger will benefit consumers.

Television: NBC revamps its lineup to play catch-up
NBC has unveiled its fall prime-time lineup, featuring six new comedies and six new dramas calculated to lift the network out of fourth place in the ratings competition, said Gary Levin in USA Today. The network is banking on regaining its knack for developing hit comedy series with offerings such as Up All Night, starring Christina Applegate as “a frazzled working mom,” and Free Agents, “about smitten co-workers on the rebound.”

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