The daily business briefing: April 26, 2016

Samantha Rollins
The Time Warner Cable corporate logo
AP Photo/Mark Lennihan


FCC chairman recommends approving Charter-Time Warner Cable deal

The chairman of the Federal Communications Commission announced on Monday he is recommending the approval of Charter Communications' $78 billion acquisition of Time Warner Cable. The U.S. Justice Department also looked into the deal to ensure it does not violate antitrust laws, and on Monday said it would allow the transaction to proceed. The agreement also covers Charter's $10.4 billion acquisition of Bright House Networks. If the other four FCC commissioners agree to the deal, "an additional two million customer locations will have access to a high-speed connection," FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler said. If successful, the merger will create the second-largest cable TV and internet service provider in the U.S., with only Comcast having more cable customers. [The Los Angeles Times]


Gannett offers $815 million to buy Tribune Publishing

The Gannett Company decided to take its bid to buy Tribune Publishing Group public on Monday after the owner of The Chicago Tribune and The Los Angeles Times reportedly rebuffed its initial private offer. Gannett, which owns USA Today, is offering to buy Tribune Publishing for $815 million, including its debt. The deal, which is for $12.25 a share, would be a 63 percent premium on its closing stock price on Friday, which was $7.52. Tribune Publishing assured Gannett in a statement Monday morning that it would respond "as quickly as feasible." [The New York Times]


Mitsubishi admits mileage cheating scandal dates back to 1991

Following the news last week that Mitsubishi had tampered with test data to overstate the fuel economy of its vehicles, the Japanese automaker admitted Tuesday that its questionable mileage test practices were in use as far back as 1991, and said it would set up an external committee to investigate the issue. The automaker had initially said its non-compliance went back to at least 2002. Since the scandal erupted last week, Mitsubishi has lost $3.9 billion — half of its market value. [NBC News]


BP reports $583 million loss in first quarter

BP lost $583 million in the first quarter — compared to a $2.6 billion profit in the same period last year — as oil prices continued to drop across the world. The report was actually slightly better than analysts had expected, causing BP's share price to be up by more than 3 percent in midmorning trading in London. "Market fundamentals continue to suggest that the combination of robust demand and weak supply growth will move global oil markets closer into balance by the end of the year," BP Chief Executive Robert W. Dudley said Tuesday. [The New York Times]


Politico co-founder floats third party led by Mark Zuckerberg, Sheryl Sandberg, Michael Bloomberg

The key to beating the two-party duopoly in politics and bringing "radical disruption" to Washington is to steal "a lot of Donald Trump's and Bernie Sanders' tricks," former Politico CEO Jim VandeHei writes in The Wall Street Journal, ruling out Trump and Sanders as "fringe" candidates exploiting voter anger. "The way to win is to rail against Big — Big Business, Big Media, Big Government, Big Establishment," he adds, going on to suggest a third party led by Facebook's Mark Zuckerberg or Sheryl Sandberg, with a monetary assist from Michael Bloomberg. The "Innovation Party," VandeHei says, would win by pulling in "the 40 percent of people who don't vote or big blocks of dissatisfied independents with a call to a higher purpose." [The Wall Street Journal]