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Lexmark Wrecked Your Business Model — What Now?

Where does the US Supreme Court’s Impression Products v. Lexmark ruling leave businesses and legal teams? Read


Understanding the WannaCry Virus: One of the Largest Cyber Attacks in History

In an unprecedented event in cyber history, hackers utilizing software stolen from the US National Security Agency (NSA) unleashed a ransomware virus Friday that impacted nearly 200,000 computers in over 150 countries around the world. Read


The Road Ahead: How the French Election Might Impact In-house Counsel

With France inching towards isolationism and the European Union inching towards another Brexit, the scenario begs the question: Will this impact my in-house practice? Read


Ask Aliya: How Law Departments Can Help in a PR Crisis

In light of United Airline’s recent incident, ACC Docket’s advice columnist offers guidance on handling negative publicity. Read


US Congress Voted to Remove FCC's Enforcement on ISPs Selling Personal Data

The controversial resolution serves as one of the first major pushes into privacy enforcement by the FCC. Read


In Brief

Today's Top Story

Google General Counsel Kent Walker to Push for Updating Laws on Overseas Data

Google will press U.S. lawmakers on Thursday to update laws on how governments access customer data stored on servers located in other countries, hoping to address a mounting concern for both law enforcement officials and technology firms. The effort comes amid growing legal uncertainty, both in the United States and across the globe, about how technology firms must comply with government requests for foreign-held data. Such uncertainty has raised alarm that criminal and terrorism investigations are being hindered by outdated laws that make the current process for sharing information slow and burdensome. Kent Walker, Google's senior vice president and general counsel, will announce the company's framework during a speech in Washington, D.C., at the Heritage Foundation, reports Reuters (22 June, Volz). The speech urges Congress to update a decades-old electronic communications law. Google is calling for allowing countries that commit to baseline privacy, human rights, and due process principles to directly request data from U.S. providers without the need to consult the U.S. government as an intermediary. The measure is intended to be reciprocal. Countries that do not adhere to the standards, such as an oppressive regime, would not be eligible. "This couldn't be a more urgent set of issues," Walker says, noting that recent acts of terrorism in Europe underscored the need to move quickly.

From "Google General Counsel Kent Walker to Push for Updating Laws on Overseas Data"
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Legal Actions

Theranos, Walgreens Reach Deal to Settle Lawsuit

Theranos has informed its investors that it has reached an agreement in principle to settle a lawsuit by Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. The suit had alleged the embattled laboratory start-up breached the companies' contract, according to the Wall Street Journal (22 June, Weaver). Walgreens' stores once hosted nearly 40 Theranos blood-testing centers, providing a main conduit to customers. In its suit, Walgreens had sought to recover the full US$140 million it put into the partnership, including a US$40 million convertible-debt note and a separate payment as part of an effort to expand the partnership. The tentative accord calls for Theranos to pay Walgreens less than US$30 million, according to sources.

From "Theranos, Walgreens Reach Deal to Settle Lawsuit"
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Murray Energy Sues HBO Over John Oliver Show

Murray Energy Corp. has filed suit against HBO after "Last Week Tonight" host John Oliver dedicated a large portion of his Sunday show to mocking the coal company, which sent him a cease-and-desist letter. The coal company, which says it is the largest privately owned coal company in the U.S., has a history of issuing lawsuits against the media, including a recent one against The New York Times for defamation, reports the Washington Examiner (22 June, Chaitin). An updated version of the report said the suit was filed 21 June in the circuit court of Marshall County, W.Va., alleging a "meticulously planned attempt to assassinate the character" of CEO Bob Murray, "a man who needs a lung transplant, a man who does not expect to live to see the end of this case," and his companies. The text of the complaint also states Murray's health degraded after Oliver's latest show aired and claimed that his website was hacked.

From "Murray Energy Sues HBO Over John Oliver Show"
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Missouri Attorney General Files Suit Against Three Opioid Manufacturers

Missouri has filed suit against three pharmaceutical companies for allegedly violating the state's Medicare fraud and consumer-protection statutes by "misrepresenting the truth" about opioids, Attorney General Josh Hawley said. The companies named in the suit are Purdue Pharma, Endo Pharmaceuticals, and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, reports CNN (21 June, Hassan). At a news conference, Hawley alleged that the companies "used bogus front organizations and fake research; they used fraudulent advertising and deceptive trade practices." Hawley also said that 500 Missourians died of opioid overdoses or complications and 300 more died from heroin misuse in 2015.

From "Missouri Attorney General Files Suit Against Three Opioid Manufacturers"
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Regulatory Developments

Beijing is Investigating Some of China's Top Overseas Deal Makers

China's banking regulator has ordered the country's commercial banks to investigate loans made to a group of companies that have aggressively invested overseas in recent years, according to sources cited by the Wall Street Journal (22 June, Wei). The companies in question range from Anbang Insurance Group Co. and HNA Group to Fosun International Ltd. and Wanda Group. The primary goal of the China Banking Regulatory Commission's order is to examine those companies' leverage situations and risks. The firms being targeted belong to a cohort of Chinese companies that have grown increasingly acquisitive in the past several years, at the forefront of a multi-billion dollar buying spree spanning the globe. The latest move comes amid a government clampdown on overseas purchases to help protect the yuan from depreciating further, and follows an investigation into one of the nation's most prolific dealmakers.

From "Beijing is Investigating Some of China's Top Overseas Deal Makers"
Abstract News © 2017 Information, Inc. Read  


Labor and Employment

Amazon Drops Non-Compete Suit Against Employee Who Left for Smartsheet

Amazon on 21 June moved to drop its non-compete lawsuit against a former employee just one week after filing the suit. The case came about when Gene Farrell sought to leave a leadership position in Amazon's public cloud division, Amazon Web Services, and join Smartsheet, a work management software company based in the Seattle area. Judge Jim Rogers of the King County Superior Court in Washington granted Amazon's temporary restraining order blocking Farrell from working as senior vice president of product. However, now the parties in the suit — Farrell and Amazon — have resolved the suit, and on 21 June Rogers lifted the temporary restraining order, reports CNBC (21 June, Novet).

From "Amazon Drops Non-Compete Suit Against Employee Who Left for Smartsheet"
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Mergers and Acquisitions

Harley-Davidson Reportedly Enters Race to Buy Italian rival Ducati

U.S. motorcycle maker Harley-Davidson is reportedly lining up a takeover bid for Italian rival Ducati, potentially bringing together two of the most famous names in motorcycling in a deal that could be worth up to US$1.67 billion. Indian motorcycle maker Bajaj Auto and several buyout funds are also preparing bids for Ducati, which is being put up for sale by German carmaker Volkswagen, according to Reuters (21 June, Barbaglia).

From "Harley-Davidson Reportedly Enters Race to Buy Italian rival Ducati"
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Diageo Buys George Clooney's Tequila Company for Up to US$1 Billion

Diageo has agreed to purchase Casamigos, the tequila company co-founded by actor-director George Clooney, in a deal that values the company at as much as US$1 billion. Clooney founded the company four years ago with long-time friend Rande Gerber. Diageo will make an up-front payment of US$700 million for Casamigos, with another US$300 million to follow if it hits sales targets, according to National Public Radio (21 June, Chappell). The spirits company expects the tequila brand to top 170,000 cases by the end of December. To maximize future growth, Diageo says it will build on what it calls "significant international potential of the brand." Casamigos' founders, most notably Clooney, will continue to promote and lead the tequila brand they created.

From "Diageo Buys George Clooney's Tequila Company for Up to US$1 Billion"
Abstract News © 2017 Information, Inc. Read  


Finance

RBC Confirms it is Cutting 450 Jobs, Mostly at Toronto Head Offices

On 21 June, Royal Bank of Canada announced that it is cutting roughly 450 jobs, primarily at its head office locations in the Toronto area. RBC spokesperson Catherine Hudon said the bank is making "hundreds of changes" including promotions, transfers, creation of new roles, and new teams, reports CBC News (21 June). "As always, we consolidate where necessary so that we can re-invest in key areas including digital, data, new technology as well as investment in high growth business areas," Hudon said.

From "RBC Confirms it is Cutting 450 Jobs, Mostly at Toronto Head Offices"
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Energy and Environment

Energy Regulator Warns Against Government Meddling in Market

A top federal regulator has warned against government meddling in energy markets. Anne Pearson, chief executive of the Australian Energy Markets Commission, told the Energy Week 2017 conference in Melbourne that governments were in charge of building enough generators to meet consumer demand before the National Electricity Market was established in 1998. "Had these arrangements continued, we would have seen two Eraring-sized power stations sitting idle because forecast consumer demand never eventuated," she said. Pearson's remarks came less than 24 hours after Prime Minister Malcolm Turnbull said the federal government could invest in new coal-fired power stations if there were gaps in supply as a result of the transition to wind and solar energy, reports the Australian Financial Review (21 June, Potter).

From "Energy Regulator Warns Against Government Meddling in Market"
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Economic Outlook

Brexit Could Strengthen EU, Germany as Business Location - German Official

Britain's departure from the European Union could strengthen the bloc's political integration and make Germany more attractive as a business location, according to German Deputy Finance Minister Thomas Steffen. He said that the EU-27 were determined to remain united and to put future relations on a new common basis. Germany has thrown its hat into the ring to host the London-based European Medicines Agency and the European Banking Authority following Britain's departure from the EU, though diplomats say both will not go to a single country. In its monthly report, the finance ministry said Germany could benefit from Brexit as the future relationship with the U.K. was still unclear and London's market access was not secured, reports the New York Times (21 June, Nienaber). The location question is therefore already present for many financial services companies and Germany can offer a good alternative with Frankfurt as one of the leading financial centers in Europe, the finance ministry said.

From "Brexit Could Strengthen EU, Germany as Business Location - German Official"
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Agriculture

Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Facing Migrant Labor Shortages

U.K. summer fruit and salad growers are having difficulty recruiting pickers, with more than half saying they are unsure if they will have enough migrant workers to harvest their crops. Many growers blame the weak pound which has reduced their workers' earning power, as well as uncertainty over Brexit, according to a BBC survey. About 80,000 seasonal workers a year pick and process British fruit and vegetables, reports BBC News (22 June, Simpson). British Summer Fruits, the body which represents soft fruit growers, says labor shortages are now the worst seen since 2004.

From "Fruit and Vegetable Farmers Facing Migrant Labor Shortages"
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