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US Supreme Court Hears Class-Action Case: What You Should Know

The US Supreme Court heard arguments Monday, October 2 regarding whether an employee should have the right to bring class-action claims against their employers. Read


Hurricane Harvey: The Best of Humanity on Display

The ACC Houston director recounts how the deluge from Hurricane Harvey brought Houstonians together. Read


After the Hurricane: How You Can Be of Service

After hurricane Harvey battered Houston, R. Scott McCay met with evacuees to offer pro bono legal services. Read


This Week in Privacy: Were You a Victim of the Equifax Breach?

Even if you weren’t impacted, here’s how to monitor and protect your credit in case of future hacks. Read


What US Employers Should Know About the Travel Ban

ACC Docket's HR Columnist discusses what parts of the ban are in effect and how they'll impact companies. Read


In Brief

Today's Top Story

U.S., EU May Collide on Taxing Apple and Amazon

President Donald Trump and congressional lawmakers are not the only ones interested in collecting taxes on global profits that American corporations are hoarding overseas. European regulators, knee deep in a campaign to stamp out tax avoidance, have their own plans for that money. Last week, the European Commission billed Amazon for US$293 million in unpaid taxes in Luxembourg, arguing that the country's failure to collect the tax amounted to an illegal state subsidy. The commission also took Ireland to court for not following up on the US$15.2 billion tax bill imposed on Apple last year, reports the New York Times (13 October, Cohen). "The Europeans are targeting U.S. dollars overseas that the U.S. believes should be taxed here," said Dave Camp, a former Republican representative from Michigan. He said the U.S. must address this problem before the Europeans get there first.

From "U.S., EU May Collide on Taxing Apple and Amazon"
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Legal Actions

Police Seek Arrest Warrant for Hanjin Group Chairman

South Korean police are seeking an arrest warrant for the chairman of Hanjin Group, parent of Korean Air, on charges of breach of trust amid allegations that he misappropriated company funds for his house renovation. Cho Yang-ho was questioned by police last month for allegations that he siphoned off about three billion Won (US$2.65 million) from Korean Air's coffers for the remodeling of his home in central Seoul. Police are also seeking to arrest a Hanjin Group executive in charge of the construction work, reports the Financial Times (16 October, Jung-a). Cho has denied any wrongdoing, saying he was unaware of the misappropriation.

From "Police Seek Arrest Warrant for Hanjin Group Chairman"
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Regulatory Developments

Uncertainty Over U.S. Policy on Iran Raises Alarm Bells for Multinationals

Western companies have piled into Iran in the past couple of years since world powers agreed to lift sanctions, notes the Wall Street Journal (13 October, Faucon, Kent). Now, as U.S. President Donald Trump looks to scuttle that deal, executives must decide whether to stay the course. Trump announced Friday he will not recertify the 2015 international deal struck with Tehran, which lifted sanctions in return for promises by Iran to curtail its nuclear program. Trump also vowed to cancel the deal himself if Capitol Hill lawmakers and U.S. allies do not act to address his concerns. U.S. Secretary of State Rex Tillerson said the steps should not affect U.S. companies that have applied for special licenses to do business authorized under the nuclear deal. Boeing, for example, has such a license after agreeing in 2016 to sell dozens of airplanes to Tehran.

From "Uncertainty Over U.S. Policy on Iran Raises Alarm Bells for Multinationals"
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Labor and Employment

Japanese Firms Try Being More Gay-Friendly

Many companies in Japan are trying to become more gay-friendly. One Japanese insurance company recently extended family benefits to employees' same-sex partners, and said it would allow its gay customers to name their partners as beneficiaries of its life insurance plans, something previously limited only to legally sanctioned, opposite-sex spouses. Such changes have proliferated across the economy in recent years, with a rising number of goods and services targeting the gay community in what many Japanese describe as an "L.G.B.T. boom." It is a striking trend in a country where departures from the norm, sexual or otherwise, have long been something to keep hidden — especially at work, reports the New York Times (12 October, Soble).

From "Japanese Firms Try Being More Gay-Friendly"
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Mergers and Acquisitions

Chinese Firms Bidding for Chicago Exchange Withdraw From Deal

Several Chinese investors vying for a piece of the last regional stock exchange in the United States have dropped out of the running, people familiar with the matter said, after the deal weathered intense political criticism of their bid. Two of the Chinese investors, Chongqing Jintian Industrial Co., Ltd. and Chongqing Longshang Decoration Co., Ltd., withdrew in the past two weeks, after the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) sought more details from the participants about their bid, the people said. The SEC's three commissioners are deciding whether to approve the sale after the commission's chairman overrode an earlier staff recommendation to approve it, reports the Wall Street Journal (14 October, Michaels).

From "Chinese Firms Bidding for Chicago Exchange Withdraw From Deal"
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Cybersecurity

Pentagon Turns to High-Speed Traders to Fortify Markets Against Cyberattack

Dozens of high-speed traders and others from Wall Street are helping the Pentagon study how hackers could unleash chaos in the U.S. financial system, reports the Wall Street Journal (16 October, Osipovich). The Department of Defense's research arm over the past year and a half has consulted executives at high-frequency trading firms and quantitative hedge funds, and people from exchanges and other financial companies, participants in the discussions said. Officials described the effort as an early-stage pilot project aimed at identifying market vulnerabilities. Participants described meetings as informal sessions in which attendees brainstorm about how hackers might try to bring down U.S. markets, then rank the ideas by feasibility. Among the potential scenarios: Hackers could cripple a widely used payroll system; they could inject false information into stock-data feeds, sending trading algorithms out of whack; or they could flood the stock market with fake sell orders and trigger a market crash.

From "Pentagon Turns to High-Speed Traders to Fortify Markets Against Cyberattack"
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Finance

Financial Services Found to Have Widest Gender Pay Gap in U.K.

Financial services companies in the United Kingdom have the highest gender pay gap, according to early returns on the government's gender pay gap registry. Financial services has a median gender pay gap of 31 percent, according to analysis by data analytics company Staffmetrix. The figure is based on information lodged by companies and public sector organizations on the government's website. Electricity and gas suppliers had the second highest gap, at 26 percent, followed by the construction sector at 23 percent. All companies with more than 250 employees must publish the gap for mean and median wages and bonuses, as well as the percentages of men and women receiving bonuses and at different pay scales, reports the Financial Times (16 October, Gordon).

From "Financial Services Found to Have Widest Gender Pay Gap in U.K."
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Board/Management Relations

Peabody Appoints Corporate GC

Peabody has promoted Scott Jarboe to senior vice president and general counsel-corporate. Jarboe, who joined Peabody in 2010, will report to Verona Dorch, chief legal officer — government affairs and corporate secretary. Before joining Peabody, Jarboe served as associate counsel at Husch Blackwell, reports the St. Louis Business Journal (16 October, Mueller).

From "Peabody Appoints Corporate GC"
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Tax Issues

Bombardier Exploring Options for its Aerospace Businesses

Bombardier Inc. is seeking investors for its aerospace businesses and considering a sale of some operations, people familiar with the matter said, as a turnaround plan at the Canadian planemaker faces pressure from potentially crippling U.S. tariffs on its marquee jetliner. The Montreal-based manufacturer is studying the disposal of assets including its Q400 turboprop and CRJ regional-jet unit, said the people. Airbus SE is among the suitors, they said, with one person saying Bombardier is also open to partnerships with other aerospace companies. Chief Executive Officer Alain Bellemare is trying to stop a cash drain after its C Series jetliner came to market more than two years behind schedule and about US$2 billion over budget, reports Bloomberg (16 October, Henning, Baigorri, Tomesco). Asset sales or investment deals in aerospace would raise money as Bombardier contends with newly imposed U.S. import duties of 300 percent on the plane.

From "Bombardier Exploring Options for its Aerospace Businesses"
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Manufacturing

China's Aerospace Boom Faces Challenges

Chinese suppliers to U.S. flight control systems maker Moog sold it poorly made parts, faked paperwork, and outsourced work to a factory not approved by the company, according to an internal report by U.S. aviation regulators. In a nine-page report dated 4 November 2016, the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said 273 affected parts were installed in an unspecified number of Boeing 777 wing spoilers, which help slow a plane when coming in to land, reports Reuters (16 October, Goh). The report did not identify the parts or say when they were installed. The FAA, Boeing, and Moog said in the report and in emails to Reuters that the faulty pieces posed no safety risk. The episode does not raise immediate safety issues; however, it highlights the pressure on Chinese suppliers and regulators as the world's fastest growing aviation sector seeks to be less reliant on foreign manufacturers.

From "China's Aerospace Boom Faces Challenges"
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Food and Beverage

Aramark to Buy Avendra, AmeriPride

Aramark announced early this morning that it would acquire Avendra LLC, majority owned by Marriott International Inc., and uniform and linen supplier AmeriPride Services Inc. for a total of US$2.35 billion before tax benefit adjustments, reports the New York Times (16 October, Mishra). The food services giant is set to pay Avendra US$1.35 billion, or US$1.05 billion in net purchase price after adjusting for anticipated tax benefits. AmeriPride's purchase price of US$1 billion came in at US$850 million after adjusting for anticipated tax benefits.

From "Aramark to Buy Avendra, AmeriPride"
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Corporate Finance

Oi's Largest Creditors Want to Renegotiate Debt Plan

Oi SA's largest creditors demand that the company's top executives meet them as soon as possible to renegotiate a debt plan. A letter was sent by the main advisors of the International Bondholders Committee and the Ad Hoc Group of Oi Bondholders and demanded the carrier's executives meet in New York to "negotiate in good faith and on an expedited basis the terms of an acceptable plan(s) of reorganization," reports Reuters (15 October, Brooks). The Oi restructuring, which started in June 2016 and remains Latin America's largest bankruptcy protection case to date, has been marked by a series of disputes between creditors and shareholders.

From "Oi's Largest Creditors Want to Renegotiate Debt Plan"
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