May 30, 2018

Bayer receives U.S. antitrust approval for Monsanto merger

Photo credit should read jean-francois Monier/AFP/Getty Images

Bayer yesterday received U.S. antitrust approval for its $66 billion acquisition of Monsanto, based on Bayer’s commitment to sell around $9 billion in assets.

Why it's a big deal: This is the largest-ever divestiture related to antitrust enforcement, and shows how the Trump administration's antipathy toward mega-mergers isn't limited to media or China.

  • Bayer has until June 14 to close the deal, which was first signed in 2016, but still needs sign-offs from Canada and Mexico.

Bottom line from WSJ's Brent Kendall: "The approval clears one of the last remaining regulatory hurdles for the Bayer-Monsanto transaction, one of three recent mega-deals that have reshaped the global market for crop seeds and chemicals. Last year Dow Chemical and DuPont merged, while China National Chemical acquired Swiss seed and pesticide maker Syngenta."

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Pro-Trump warrior takes the helm of U.S. intelligence

Richard Grenell in Berlin. Photo: Sean Gallup/Getty Images

By picking Ambassador Richard Grenell to be acting director of national intelligence, President Trump has slotted a pro-Trump warrior into the ultimate apolitical role.

What they're saying: James Clapper, the longest-serving DNI (2010-2017), tells Axios it's "very worrisome installing a partisan with no real intelligence experience in this position."

Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as Israel confirms first case

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's Health Ministry. U.S. numbers include Americans extracted from Princess Cruise ship.

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship — as Israel confirmed its first case among evacuees from the ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,200 people and infected over 76,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 118 new deaths since Thursday.

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California's "woman quota" law seems to be working

Illustration: Eniola Odetunde/Axios

When California passed its boardroom law requiring public companies based there to have at least one female director, there were concerns it would spark a gold rush for the same handful of well-known women — but that hasn’t happened.

Why it matters: Of the 138 women who joined all-male California boards last year, 62% are serving on their first company board, per a study by accounting firm KPMG. That means a majority of companies aren't contributing to so-called overboarding in corporate America.