Cincinnati-based Vantiv last month announced that it would acquire British payment processing giant Worldpay for over £7.7 billion, beating out a rival bid from J.P. Morgan. But it seems the auction "win" never included a formal bid, and the two sides have yet to settle on final terms.

  • Timeline: The deadline was supposed to be today, but Worldpay has granted a one-week extension. If no final bid is submitted, then there would be a 6-month cooling-off period (and perhaps an opening for JPM).
  • The hang-up: Reuters reports that a major sticking point is where the combined company will be based: "Worldpay wants to make the deal palatable to the British government, which has recently taken a more protectionist stance on takeovers by foreign acquirers."
  • Bigger picture: Protectionism (and its regulatory relatives) is becoming one of the year's major M&A storylines. China has been leading the way, cracking down on domestic acquisitions of foreign assets (here's the most recent). Yesterday came news that India plans to stop China's Fosun International from buying local drugmaker Gland Pharma for $1.3 billion. And there have been numerous stories about stepped-up CFIUS action – or inaction, which is effectively the same thing – here in the U.S.

Go deeper

Post-debate poll finds Biden strong on every major issue

Joe Biden speaks Friday about "The Biden Plan to Beat COVID-19," at The Queen theater in Wilmington, Del. Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

This is one of the bigger signs of trouble for President Trump that we've seen in a poll: Of the final debate's seven topics, Joe Biden won or tied on all seven when viewers in a massive Axios-SurveyMonkey sample were asked who they trusted more to handle the issue.

Why it matters: In a time of unprecedented colliding crises for the nation, the polling considered Biden to be vastly more competent.

Bryan Walsh, author of Future
3 hours ago - Science

The murder hornets are here

A braver man than me holds a speciment of the Asian giant hornet. Photo: Karen Ducey/Getty Images

Entomologists in Washington state on Thursday discovered the first Asian giant hornet nest in the U.S.

Why it matters: You may know this insect species by its nom de guerre: "the murder hornet." While the threat they pose to humans has been overstated, the invading hornets could decimate local honeybee populations if they establish themselves.

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