CNOOC: A mega energy deal in Canada
In the biggest overseas takeover by a Chinese company, state-controlled oil producer CNOOC agreed to pay $15.1 billion to buy Canada’s Nexen. The deal gives CNOOC access to oil and gas fields in the North Sea, the Gulf of Mexico, and Nigeria, as well as oil-sands reserves in Alberta. Canada has become fertile ground for Chinese companies looking to satisfy the huge energy demand back home. With the CNOOC deal, Chinese energy companies have spent $53.4 billion in Canada over the past decade. Their U.S. counterparts have spent just $30.8 billion. The new deal will make Canada even less dependent on the U.S. as a primary customer for its oil and gas.
Pharmaceuticals: A setback for an Alzheimer’s drug
An experimental Alzheimer’s treatment failed to improve patients’ cognition or their ability to perform daily activities in the first of four pivotal studies needed for FDA approval. Pfizer, Johnson & Johnson, and Elan joined forces to develop Bapineuzumab, a drug designed to target brain plaques that are a hallmark of the degenerative disease. Bapineuzumab is in a race with a similar product from Eli Lilly to become the first therapy to target a cause for Alzheimer’s, rather than just its symptoms—a $20 billion market, Deutsche Bank estimates.
Payday Lenders: Shopping for a regulator
Internet payday lenders are pressing for less state regulation and more respect in Washington. Firms offering short-term online loans, including Cash America International, are ramping up political contributions, hiring lobbyists, and asking Congress to pass a bill that largely transfers oversight of the industry from states to the federal Office of the Comptroller of the Currency. The bill also would exempt lenders from having to disclose the annualized percentage rate consumers are paying on loans of less than a year.
Apple: iPhone holdouts mean lower profits
Apple’s third-quarter earnings came in below expectations, as consumers held off buying iPhones in anticipation of a new model due later this year. In the quarter ended June 30, Apple sold 26 million smartphones—iPhones account for half of its total sales—shy of the 28.4 million analysts predicted. Apple’s once-a-year upgrade cycle is slower than those of rivals, which release several designs annually. That adds pressure on Apple’s next iPhone, which will have an overhauled look and larger screen, say people familiar with the plans.
News Corp.: Former editors face criminal charges
Rebekah Brooks and Andy Coulson, former top editors of the News of the World tabloid in Britain, are among eight former News Corp. journalists being charged with conspiring to intercept voice mails to get scoops. The group sought to hack the voice mails of more than 600 people between 2000 and 2006, the Crown Prosecution Service alleges. Coulson and Brooks, both of whom have personal ties to Prime Minister David Cameron, deny the charges, which could lead to two-year prison terms.