Business

TALKING POINTS

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WIRELESS

New York attorney general drops
T-Mobile-Sprint challenge

New York’s attorney general said Sunday the state will not appeal a judge’s decision approving the merger of T-Mobile and Sprint. Attorney General Letitia James and California Attorney General Xavier Becerra led a coalition of 14 attorneys general who sued to stop T-Mobile’s purchase of Sprint for $26.5 billion. They argued that eliminating a major wireless company would harm consumers by reducing competition and driving up prices for cellphone service. A federal judge in New York sided with the carriers last week. James said in a statement that after analyzing the issue, New York will not move forward with an appeal. “Instead, we hope to work with all the parties to ensure that consumers get the best pricing and service possible, that networks are built out throughout our state, and that good-paying jobs are created in New York,” James said. The merger has been approved by the Justice Department and the Federal Communications Commission, with T-Mobile agreeing to create a brand-new mobile carrier in a deal with satellite-TV company Dish. — ASSOCIATED PRESS

INDUSTRY

Alstom reportedly in deal to buy Bombardier’s train unit

French train giant Alstom SA has reached a preliminary deal to acquire Bombardier Inc.’s train business for more than $7 billion, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing people familiar with the matter. The discussions, first reported by Bloomberg News on Jan. 21, began before Bombardier surprised the market last month by warning of disappointing fourth-quarter sales. If terms are completed, the deal could be announced as early as Monday, according to the Journal report. Alstom is expected to buy the unit using mainly cash and some stock component. Quebec pension firm Caisse de Depot et Placement, which owns 32.5 percent of Bombardier’s train unit, has agreed to sell its stake to Alstom and acquire a minority holding in the combined train company, the report added. Alstom’s decision to go ahead with a deal could allow the French company to avoid paying a material premium due to Bombardier Transportation’s cash needs and recent project delays, according to a Bloomberg Intelligence report last week. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

CHEMICALS

Bayer faces more Monsanto pain after trial loss

The first US trial over the dicamba herbicide has landed Bayer AG and its German rival BASF SE with another potentially multi-billion-dollar problem. Jurors in federal court in Cape Girardeau, Mo., awarded $265 million Saturday to a Missouri farmer who blamed the companies’ herbicide for destroying his peach orchards. They now face more than 140 lawsuits over allegations that dicamba wreaked havoc across the Midwest when it drifted onto crops that weren’t engineered to resist it. While two German industrial giants are involved, the focus is set to fall on Bayer, already seeking to settle thousands of lawsuits claiming exposure to its Roundup weedkiller causes cancer. Both dicamba and Roundup are produced by Monsanto, which Bayer acquired in 2018. The loss heaps more pressure on Bayer chief executive Werner Baumann, who in 2016 staked his career on the $63 billion acquisition of Monsanto. Last April, after a couple of Roundup trial losses, Baumann became the first CEO of a major German company in decades to lose a shareholder confidence vote. — BLOOMBERG NEWS

INTERNATIONAL

Pompeo touts business ties
in Africa

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Secretary of State Mike Pompeo traveled from a security conference in Germany to Senegal this past weekend, where he emphasized economic partnership, even as tensions festered over the Trump administration’s recent restrictions on visas for citizens of four African countries and a potential drawdown in military assistance just as extremist attacks have surged across West Africa’s arid interior. Pompeo’s arrival in Dakar, Senegal’s seaside capital, on Saturday, marked the first time in more than a year and a half that an American Cabinet official had stepped foot in sub-Saharan Africa. Pompeo traveled to Angola on Sunday night and was to visit Ethiopia on Monday. In Senegal, Pompeo met with business leaders and announced five projects that would involve US companies, including a new 100-mile-long highway. The United States has lagged far behind China in establishing trade relationships with African countries, and China has been the continent’s biggest trade partner for more than a decade. Much of China’s economic relationship with Africa is driven by investments by state-owned companies that have contributed to a boom in factories, ports, power plants, railways, and paved roads across the continent. — WASHINGTON POST