Green light expected on Alaska, Virgin deal
Alaska Air Group Inc.’s $2.6 billion-plan to acquire Virgin America Inc. could soon be given the green light by way of a settlement with federal antitrust officials, an unnamed source close to the deal told Bloomberg on Friday. Details of the settlement weren’t immediately available, but the U.S. Justice Department is expected to approve the airlines’ proposal before the end of the month, ending a roughly eight-month delay since the deal’s initial disclosure in April, Bloomberg reported. Federal officials have held the deal in limbo over concerns of competition in an industry where four major carriers to control 80 percent of the market as a result of widespread consolidation since 2005.
Obama reaffirms support of controversial trade deal
President Barack Obama wrapped up his final Asia Pacific Economic Cooperation, or APEC, annual summit over the weekend in Peru where he reiterated his support for the Trans-Pacific Partnership, the controversial 12-nation trade deal that has since fizzled with the U.S.’s election of one of its biggest critics, Donald Trump. Although the Obama administration acknowledge after Election Day that there was no way forward for the TPP deal, this weekend’s APEC summit ended with international leaders vowing to tweak the deal so that it’s either more appealing to the president-elect or forges ahead without the U.S, according to this Associated Press article published by USA Today.
Trump eyes billionaire businessman for commerce secretary
President-elect Donald Trump is reportedly in talks with billionaire investor Wilbur Ross to take the helm as commerce secretary, a cabinet-level post that, as CNN Money described, serves as the “government’s chief business advocate” and liaison between the White House and the private sector. Ross’s flush bank account and resume as a distressed debt investor—a decades-long career of reviving and flipping previously-dying companies—is right in line with the types of business-minded individuals Trump vowed during his campaign to appoint to his cabinet, CNN Money reports.
Feds tighten oversight of Wells Fargo
A federal banking regulator has decided to tighten its oversight of Wells Fargo, altering the terms of its $185 million-agreement with the banking giant reached in September to settle claims involving unauthorized customer accounts, according to this Associated Press article published by USA Today. Officials at the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency said Friday that it’ll now require Wells Fargo to obtain prior government approval before making so-called “golden parachute” payments to departing executives or any changes to the bank’s board of directors or senior executives. The OCC did not offer an explanation for the tighter restrictions.