Missouri Minute: Monsanto execs defend merger; Tobacco tax hike proposal stays on ballot

Here are today’s top business headlines from across Missouri:

Monsanto and industry execs defend wave of agribusiness mega-mergers

Bayer’s pending $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto got a going-over at a Senate hearing that probed consolidation in the seed and farm chemical industries, with officials of the companies saying the deal would allow them to spend more on research and that mergers and acquisitions are necessary in a stressed farm economy. Read more

Tobacco tax hike proposal stays on Missouri ballot

Voters will have a chance to weigh in on a proposal to raise the tax on a pack of cigarettes by 60 cents, after the Missouri Supreme Court dismissed claims that the initiative was unconstitutional in a 7-0 ruling Tuesday. Read more

Stadia Ventures invests in 5 more sports startups

St. Louis-based sports startup accelerator Stadia Ventures has announced five new portfolio companies. Read more

St. Louis cab commission pursuing app to link all area taxis

A smartphone app could be on the way that will allow taxi riders in the St. Louis area to hail cabs the same way they summon an Uber car. Read more

Sales tax bump up across KC area to fund improvements

Shopping centers and other developments around the Kansas City area are collecting higher sales taxes through creation of community improvement districts to fund maintenance and upgrades. Read more

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