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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

Updated 6 hours ago - World

Mexican President López Obrador tests positive for coronavirus

Mexico's President Andrés Manuel López Obrador during a press conference at National Palace in Mexico City, Mexico, on Wednesday. Photo: Ismael Rosas/Eyepix Group/Barcroft Media via Getty Images

Mexican President Andrés Manuel López Obrador announced Sunday evening that he's tested positive for COVID-19.

Driving the news: López Obrador tweeted that he has mild symptoms and is receiving medical treatment. "As always, I am optimistic," he added. "We will all move forward."

6 hours ago - Politics & Policy

Sarah Huckabee Sanders to run for governor of Arkansas

Sarah Huckabee Sanders at FOX News' studios in New York City in 2019. Photo: Steven Ferdman/Getty Images

Former White House press secretary Sarah Huckabee Sanders will announce Monday that she's running for governor of Arkansas.

The big picture: Sanders was touted as a contender after it was announced she was leaving the Trump administration in June 2019. Then-President Trump tweeted he hoped she would run for governor, adding "she would be fantastic." Sanders is "seen as leader in the polls" in the Republican state, notes the Washington Post's Josh Dawsey, who first reported the news.

Coronavirus has inflamed global inequality

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

History will likely remember the pandemic as the "first time since records began that inequality rose in virtually every country on earth at the same time." That's the verdict from Oxfam's inequality report covering the year 2020 — a terrible year that hit the poorest, hardest across the planet.

Why it matters: The world's poorest were already in a race against time, facing down an existential risk in the form of global climate change. The coronavirus pandemic could set global poverty reduction back as much as a full decade, according to the World Bank.

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