Global Glance: Aetna, Humana call off deal; Congress to grill Yellen amid uncertainty over Trump’s plans

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Aetna, Humana call off $34 billion deal

INDIANAPOLIS (AP) — Aetna and Humana called off a $34 billion proposal to combine the two major health insurers after a federal judge, citing antitrust concerns, shot down the deal. The announcement Tuesday comes several days after another federal judge rejected a tie-up between two other massive insurers. Blue Cross-Blue Shield carrier Anthem is attempting to buy Cigna for $48 billion. Anthem has vowed to appeal that decision. The deal would have given Aetna the opportunity to significantly expand its presence in the fast-growing market for Medicare Advantage plans, privately run versions of the federal Medicare program for people who are over 65 or disabled. Read more

Congress to grill Yellen amid uncertainty over Trump’s plans

WASHINGTON (AP) — Federal Reserve Chair Janet Yellen faces two tasks when she delivers her semiannual testimony to Congress starting Tuesday: As always, she’ll sketch a picture of how she expects the economy to fare in coming months and how the Fed’s interest rate policy may unfold. But lawmakers are sure to press her also to spell out how the Fed might react to the ambitious economic program President Donald Trump is preparing to unveil soon. Read more

Swiss bank Credit Suisse to cut up to 6,500 jobs this year

GENEVA (AP) — Credit Suisse announced plans Tuesday to cut as many as 6,500 jobs this year in an “incremental headcount reduction,” as the Swiss bank continues to rein in costs and change course after two years of losses. The news came as the Zurich-based bank said that it had more than halved its fourth-quarter loss compared with a year earlier, amid a “challenging” global market and continued cost cuts, and after striking a multibillion-dollar settlement with U.S. regulators over its activities in the run-up to the 2008 financial crisis. Read more

Verizon pulled back into unlimited data game

NEW YORK (AP) — Verizon, in a major reversal, has joined other carriers in offering an unlimited data plan. As recently as January, Verizon’s chief financial officer said unlimited plans were “not something we feel the need to do” even though rivals had made inroads against Verizon by offering them. Verizon stopped offering such plans to new customers in 2012 and has been trying to push longtime customers off those old plans through rate hikes. Read more

Senators try to speed up deployment of self-driving cars

WASHINGTON (AP) — In the first major congressional attempt to address the advent of self-driving cars, two senators said Monday they’re launching a bipartisan effort to help to speed up the deployment of the vehicles on the nation’s roads. Republican John Thune of South Dakota, the chairman of the Senate Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee, and Democrat Gary Peters of Michigan, said they’re exploring legislation that “clears hurdles and advances innovation in self-driving vehicle technology.” Read more

PSA group says it’s exploring acquisition of GM’s Opel

FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — France’s PSA Group, maker of Peugeot and Citroen cars, says it’s exploring a “potential acquisition” of Opel, the money-losing European business of General Motors Co. PSA Group said in a statement Tuesday that it was exploring “numerous strategic initiatives” that would expand the existing cooperation between the two companies, and that an acquisition of Opel was one of them. PSA Group and GM are already involved in several joint projects in Europe. GM has endured years of losses at its European business, which makes cars under the Opel and Vauxhall brands. Read more

Britain: 65 percent of companies suffered cyberattacks

LONDON (AP) — Britain’s treasury chief has warned that cyberattacks are increasing in severity and sophistication as authorities open a new center devoted to thwarting such threats. Philip Hammond has urged businesses to “sharpen” their approach as the attacks intensify. Hammond says 65 percent of large businesses have reported a cyber breach or attack in the past 12 months – but that many businesses don’t have plans in the event of a breach. Read more

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