Good morning, MBA readers,
There’s a new wrinkle in the planned merger between Sprint and T-Mobile: State attorneys general who sued to block the deal are now seeking an extension in the case. Meanwhile, U.S. Sen. Josh Hawley of Missouri has stepped up his fight against big technology companies. Plus, Columbia finally has a new city manager after an eight-month process. Scroll down for these and other top business headlines from across the state.
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Hawley calls FTC to investigate tech companies’ content curation
Republican U.S. Sens. Josh Hawley of Missouri and Ted Cruz of Texas have asked the Federal Trade Commission to investigate the “enormous influence” of big tech companies on free speech. (MBA)
States seek extension in lawsuit to block Sprint/T-Mobile merger
Attorneys general in 13 states and the District of Columbia have asked a federal judge to extend the Oct. 7 trial date after Sprint and T-Mobile failed to provide timely information regarding their merger. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Missouri regulators deem digital slot machines spreading outside casinos illegal
In a letter written earlier this month, the Missouri Gaming Commission ruled that a growing number of gaming terminals at gas stations, truck stops and other places contain elements of gambling devices, making them illegal for use outside of licensed casinos. (St. Louis Post-Dispatch)
Judge reduces jury award in Monsanto decision
A federal judge on Monday slashed a damages award against Monsanto’s parent firm, Bayer, to $25.3 million from the $80.3 million initially awarded by the jury. (Reuters)
Columbia picks new city manager
The Columbia City Council has tapped John Glascock, the interim city manager, to take over on a permanent basis. Glascock, who had served as deputy manager since September 2015, took on the interim role when Mike Matthes resigned last November. (Columbia Missourian)
Big KC law firm launches cannabis practice
Shook Hardy & Bacon has launched a practice to help cannabis businesses with regulatory, compliance and litigation risks. (Kansas City Business Journal)
B&B Theatres plans new entertainment center
Gladstone-based B&B Theatres has announced plans for a luxury entertainment center in the Kansas City area, which will include a 12-lane bowling alley, a full restaurant and a 5,000-square-foot arcade. (Kansas City Business Journal)
Missouri had the fourth-lowest cost of living in the U.S. in the first quarter of this year, according to a report from the Missouri Economic Research and Information Center. The most expensive areas to live were Hawaii, Alaska, the Northeast and the West Coast.
Say that again
“It’s not just a matter of getting them off the street, it’s a matter of, these are people with a unique set of skills and a unique life experience.”
That’s Jason Kander, the former Missouri secretary of state and onetime U.S. Senate candidate. Kander announced Monday that he is joining the Veterans Community Project, a Kansas City-based organization aimed at addressing homelessness among military veterans. An Afghanistan War veteran, Kander bowed out of the Kansas City mayoral race last year to seek treatment for post-traumatic stress disorder and depression. Kander said he wants to help Veterans Community Project expand to eight other cities, St. Louis Public Radio reports.
That’s how much WILsquare Capital has raised for its second fund, exceeding its initial $150 million target within three months, the St. Louis Business Journal reports. The Creve Coeur-based private equity firm acquires and grows businesses in the Midwest and the South. Its investments focus on business services, niche manufacturing, distribution and technology companies.
#MLS4THELOU made our formal presentation to the @MLS expansion Committee today! The strength of the ownership group, led by @BetzKindle and their deep ties to the #STL community were discussed. #MLS has not released any info on when expansion teams will be announced. pic.twitter.com/xUrNfYGW2F
— MLS4TheLou (@MLS4theLou) July 15, 2019
#MLS4THELOU, the ownership group pursuing a Major League Soccer franchise in St. Louis, officially made its pitch to league governors on Monday, the group tweeted. St. Louis is currently a top contender for the 28th or 29th franchise in the league as MLS considers an expansion to 30 teams.
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This Overland Park, Kansas-based insurance analytics startup is gaining momentum with new investments and partnerships, Startland News reports. The company announced Monday it has raised an undisclosed sum of funds in a Series B round that included new investors such as Hearst Ventures and FM Global. RiskGenius, which uses artificial intelligence to analyze insurance policies, has also announced expanded partnerships with insurance carriers FM Global, Liberty Mutual and Everest Insurance.
It’s been a pleasure doing business with you this morning.