Global Glance: Britain files for divorce from EU; House sends bill to Trump blocking online privacy regulation

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Here are today’s top business headlines from across the nation and world:

It’s over: Britain files for divorce from the European Union

LONDON (AP) — The United Kingdom filed for divorce from the European Union on Wednesday, overturning four decades of integration with its neighbors, demolishing the notion that EU expansion is inevitable and shaking the foundations of a bloc that is facing challenges to its identity and its place in the world. Britain’s top envoy to the EU, Tim Barrow, hand-delivered a letter to European Council President Donald Tusk formally triggering a two-year countdown to the final split. “Today the government acts on the democratic will of the British people.” Prime Minister Theresa May told lawmakers in the House of Commons, adding, “This is an historic moment from which there can be no turning back.” Read more

House sends bill to Trump blocking online privacy regulation

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress has sent President Donald Trump legislation that would kill an online privacy regulation, a move that could eventually allow internet providers such as Comcast, AT&T and Verizon to sell the browsing habits of their customers. The Federal Communications Commission rule issued in October was designed to give consumers greater control over how internet service providers share information. But critics said the rule would have stifled innovation and picked winners and losers among Internet companies. The House voted 215-205 to reject the rule. The Senate had already voted to the block it. Read more

EU blocks merger of Deutsche Boerse, London Stock Exchange

BERLIN (AP) — European regulators blocked the proposed merger of Germany’s Deutsche Boerse and the London Stock Exchange on Wednesday, saying it would effectively have created a European monopoly in clearing bonds. They shot down the pair’s third attempt at a merger, which would have united the stock exchanges of Germany, Britain and Italy as well as several of the biggest European clearing houses. EU antitrust chief Margrethe Vestager said the deal “would have significantly reduced competition by creating a de facto monopoly in the crucial area of fixed income instruments (such as bonds).” Read more

US consumer confidence hits 16-year high

WASHINGTON (AP) — U.S. consumer confidence climbed to its highest level in more than 16 years, a strong gain for one of President Donald Trump’s preferred economic indicators. The Conference Board said Tuesday that its consumer confidence index rose to 125.6 in March from 116.1 in February, the best reading since December 2000. The index measures both consumers’ assessment of current conditions and their expectations for the future. Both improved this month. The “renewed optimism suggests the possibility of some upside to the prospects for economic growth in the coming months,” said Lynn Franco, director of economic indicators for the business group. Read more

Wells Fargo to pay $110 million to settle fake account suit

NEW YORK (AP) — Wells Fargo will pay $110 million to settle a class-action lawsuit over up to 2 million accounts its employees opened for customers without getting their permission, the bank announced Tuesday. It’s the first private settlement that Wells has reached since the company paid $185 million to federal and California authorities late last year. Authorities said bank employees, driven by high-pressure sales tactics, opened the bank and credit card accounts without customer authorization. Read more

Toshiba says Westinghouse files for bankruptcy protection

TOKYO (AP) — Japan’s embattled Toshiba Corp. said Wednesday that its U.S. nuclear unit Westinghouse Electric Co. has filed for bankruptcy protection, marking a key step in its struggles to stop the flow of massive red ink. Toshiba said in a statement that it filed the Chapter 11 petition in the U.S. Bankruptcy Court of New York. The move had been largely expected. Toshiba has said it’s expecting a loss of 500 billion yen ($4.3 billion) for April-December of last year, including a 712.5 billion yen ($6.2 billion) hit from its embattled nuclear business. It said Wednesday that it was working out revised numbers, and warned that the loss for the fiscal year may grow to 1 trillion yen ($9 billion). Read more


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