On November 17, 2016, the SEC announced that JPMorgan Chase agreed to pay $130 million to the SEC, $72 million to the Justice Department, and $61.9 million to the Federal Reserve Board of Governors, in order to settle the charges that it “won business from clients and corruptly influenced government officials in the Asia-Pacific region by giving jobs and internships to their relatives and friends in violation of the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act (FCPA).”
Worldwide, 2016 has been a politically impactful year. In the United States, a controversial presidential election resulted in the unexpected election of Donald Trump. Across the pond, the United Kingdom voted to separate itself from the European Union , resulting in Brexit. Europe saw its own political battlegrounds with the Italian referendum and the French and German national elections. Furthermore, Central and South America faced falling oil prices and changes in U.S. monetary policy. These events had a huge impact on the M&A market by reducing investors’ confidence, which resulted in a decline in the volume and value of deals, compared with the huge numbers in global mergers obtained in 2015.
On November 28, the South-Korean tech giant Samsung Electronics Co. announced that for the following six months it will work with external advisors in order to assess restructuring alternatives. Such alternatives might include splitting their electronic business into a holding company listed on an American exchange and an operating company. These moves would be the most important reorganization of the Asian company in its history.
Takata, one of the world’s top automotive parts producers, faces potential liabilities of billions of dollars to cover the cost of the biggest automotive recall in history, arising from its defected air bags. The company is considering a U.S. bankruptcy filing and is seeking a financial backer. But all bidders interested in Takata’s car parts business want Takata to file bankruptcy in the U.S. first.
The election of Donald Trump has shone a new light on healthcare insurance mega-mergers currently being challenged by the Obama administration. With the Anthem-Cigna trial in motion, and Aetna-Humana soon to follow, the future of health care insurance is up in the air. If successful, these two mergers will significantly reshape the market, reducing the five major health insurers to just three.
The EpiPen is a necessity for people who are at risk of anaphylaxis, a life-threatening type of allergic reaction. They are a common item in kids’ backpacks and home first-aid kits, and the name has become a generic term that refers to epinephrine auto-injectors. Yet the product itself is only available as a brand-name product that costs hundreds of dollars.
The Department of Justice on behalf of the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) filed a request for a “John Doe” summons in federal court for the individuals who engaged in transactions on Coinbase from 2013-2015. A “John Doe” summons request does not name any individual in particular, but instead identifies a nameless class of people that Coinbase is expected to turnover. The summons currently would include a large portion of the 4.8 million users trading over $5 billion in virtual currencies.
Facebook in Germany is a test case globally on how social media should respond to inappropriate and illegal content. Chancellor Angela Merkel and Justice Minister Heiko Maas are demanding that Facebook monitors the content published in its network and deletes unlawful content within 24 hours.