AT&T to pay $25 million over data breaches
AT&T Inc. has agreed to pay $25 million to settle an investigation into data breaches at call centers in Mexico, Colombia and the Philippines that led to the disclosure of personal information of about 280,000 U.S. customers, federal regulators said. Employees at the call centers were paid for the information by people, including a mysterious man in Mexico known only as El Pelon, who appear to have been using it to unlock stolen cellphones, the Federal Communications Commission said. The call centers, which were operated by third parties, handled calls from U.S. customers, the FCC said. The data breaches began in 2013 and continued into last year. AT&T said it was reaching out to affected customers.
Bloomberg money backs anti-coal push
Billionaire Michael Bloomberg said he is donating an additional $30 million to a Sierra Club initiative working to reduce the nation's use of coal. The Sierra Club has a goal of replacing half the nation's coal plants with renewable energy by 2017. Bloomberg donated $50 million to the program in 2011. The latest donation, along with $20 million from others, will be spent over the next three years. He says that reducing the number of coal plants will save lives and that job growth in solar, wind and natural gas can offset coal-related jobs.
Mylan to buy drugmaker Perrigo for $29B
Mylan offered to buy fellow drugmaker Perrigo for $28.9 billion, a deal that would create a powerhouse for generic medicine. Mylan, which makes about 1,400 medications, offered $205 a share in cash and stock for Perrigo, according to a statement. That represents a 25 percent premium over Tuesday's closing price for Perrigo, which makes a range of products including skin gels, injectables and nasal sprays. Perrigo said its board will meet to discuss the proposal and that there's no certainty an offer will be made. The deal would be Mylan's biggest, more than four times the size of anything else it has attempted. Mylan agreed last year to acquire non-U.S. operations of Abbott Laboratories for $5.3 billion as part of a plan to move its tax address to the Netherlands.
American, US Airways can fly as one airline
American Airlines, the world's largest airline, received its single operating certificate from the FAA, an important behind-the-scenes milestone in its integration with US Airways. Now comes a potentially more difficult task: Aligning computer reservation systems into one without disrupting flights or vexing consumers. That changeover is slated to happen late this year. Combining to a single website and a single reservation system has been a harrowing project that proved rocky in some other airline mergers. That included Chicago-based United Airlines in its 2012 reservation-system combination with Continental Airlines. However, Delta Air Lines' combination with Northwest Airlines is generally regarded as a relatively smooth one.
Chemical company Zep to be taken private
Commercial and industrial chemical products company Zep Inc. is being taken private in a $692 million deal including assumed debt to the private equity firm New Mountain Capital. Under the deal, Zep shareholders will receive $20.05 in cash per share, a 17.3 percent premium over Zep's closing price of $17.09 on Tuesday. The amount being paid for the stock is about $462 million. The total value of the deal includes net debt being assumed by the buyer. The deal is expected to close in the third calendar quarter of 2015.
Tesla shifts to go after mainstream buyers
Electric car maker Tesla Motors is going after mainstream luxury car buyers by adding all-wheel-drive and more range and power to the base version of its only model. But the added features at the low end of the Model S lineup will come with about a 7 percent price increase, to $75,000 for those buying the cars. The base lease price will rise to $838 per month from $796 for 12,000 miles per year. As of Wednesday, Tesla will stop selling the old base Model S called the 60. The $70,000 rear-drive car with a 380-horsepower motor could go 208 miles on a single charge and from zero to 60 mph in 5.9 seconds. The new all-wheel-drive model, called the 70D, can go a government-certified 240 miles per charge, has 514 horsepower and can go from zero to 60 in 5.2 seconds.