Update on the latest in business:
Wall Street slightly higher today
NEW YORK (AP) — Stocks are slightly higher at midday today, helped by corporate deal news.
Physician services provider Envision Healthcare rose 2.5 percent after KKR agreed to buy it for about $10 billion. Building materials supplier USG rose 3.8 percent after Germany’s Knauf agreed to buy it for $7 billion.
At 12:58 p.m. Eastern Time, the S&P 500 index rose 10 points, to 2,789.
The Dow Jones industrial average rose 76 points to 25,393. And the Nasdaq composite edged up 27 points, to 7,672.
NET NEUTRALITY ROLLBACK
Your internet use could change as ‘net neutrality’ ends
NEW YORK (AP) — Your ability to watch and use your favorite apps and services could start to change — though not right away — following today’s official repeal of Obama-era internet protections.
The repeal of “net neutrality” takes effect six months after the Federal Communications Commission voted to undo the rules, which had barred broadband and cellphone companies from slowing down or blocking sites of their choosing or charging more for higher speeds.
With the end of net neutrality, Broadband providers insist they won’t do anything that harms the “internet experience” for consumers. But companies are likely to start testing the boundaries over the next six months to a year.
EU backs Canadian leader after Trump’s sharp words
BRUSSELS (AP) — The European Union is backing Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau after U.S. President Donald Trump branded him “dishonest” and “weak” following a weekend Group of Seven summit of leaders.
European Commission spokesman Margaritis Schinas said the EU “stands fully behind” the joint statement issued at the end of the G-7. He added that EU Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker thanks Trudeau “for the excellent preparation and chairing of this challenging summit.”
Trump agreed to a G-7 statement on trade but withdrew from it later. He complained he was blindsided by Trudeau’s criticism of his tariff threats during the premier’s summit-ending news conference.
Schinas added: “The European Union will continue to stand up for an international, rules-based, multilateral system.”
London mayor optimistic about tech amid investment concerns
LONDON (AP) — London Mayor Sadiq Khan says he’s optimistic the city will keep attracting investors after Brexit as a survey showed Britain’s attractiveness as a destination for foreign direct investment dimmed last year.
EY, the worldwide accounting and consulting partnership, said today the U.K. slipped to third place in the survey of 450 global investors. Some 52 percent said Britain was an attractive place to invest, down 3 percentage points from the previous year. Germany topped the survey at 66 percent, followed by France at 56 percent.
While the survey found declining investment in London’s financial services sector, traditionally the city’s economic powerhouse, Khan highlighted the recent success of the technology industry. Foreign direct investment funded 320 projects in Britain last year, an increase of 23 percent from 2016.
Germany orders Daimler to recall 238,000 diesel vehicles
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — Germany’s transport minister says the government is ordering automaker Daimler to immediately recall 238,000 vehicles equipped with software that turns off emissions controls under certain conditions.
Minister Andreas Scheuer made the statement today after a meeting with Daimler CEO Dieter Zetsche. Scheuer said that Daimler was willing to work “with cooperative transparency” with the government and “at maximum speed.”
The affected vehicles include the Mercedes-Benz Vito delivery van and the Mercedes GLC 220d and C220d.
Europe-wide some 774,000 vehicles are affected.
Diesels have been under heavy scrutiny since U.S. authorities caught Volkswagen using illegal engine control software that turned off diesel emission controls in everyday driving. Subsequent investigations showed that other automakers had exploited European regulatory loopholes to limit the conditions under which emission controls work.
German prosecutors investigate Audi CEO in emissions case
FRANKFURT, Germany (AP) — German prosecutors say they have expanded their probe into manipulation of emissions controls at Volkswagen’s Audi division to include Audi’s CEO, Rupert Stadler.
Munich prosecutors said Stadler’s private residence was searched today along with that of another division manager whose name was not released.
A statement issued today said that Stadler was being investigated on suspicion of fraud and indirect improprieties with documents. The addition of the two executives brings to 20 the number of people under suspicion.
The probe of Stadler focuses on cars sold in Europe that were believed to be equipped with software that turned emissions controls off during regular driving.
BRITAIN-JAGUAR LAND ROVER
Jaguar Land Rover to move Discovery production to Slovakia
LONDON (AP) — Jaguar Land Rover is shifting all production of its Discovery model to Slovakia amid falling diesel sales, vehicle taxes and uncertainty about Britain’s departure from the European Union.
The company says the decision, which is likely to affect hundreds of jobs, “is a tough one but forms part of our long-term manufacturing strategy as we transform our business globally.”
Discovery production in Birmingham will move to Slovakia early next year.
Jaguar also said it will invest millions in Solihull in the west Midlands, where the new Range Rover and Range Rover Sport models will be built.
Profits have been under pressure, with pre-tax profit slumping to 364 million pounds ($487 million) in the three months to March 31, from 676 million pounds in the same period last year.
Justice Dep’t defends Trump’s business with foreign gov’ts
GREENBELT, Md. (AP) — The Justice Department is telling a federal judge that President Donald Trump’s hotel company did not break the law by doing business with other countries.
The state of Maryland and the District Columbia have accused Trump of capitalizing on the presidency and causing harm to local businesses that compete with his hotel.
At issue is the Constitution’s “emoluments clause,” which bans federal officials from accepting benefits from foreign or state governments without congressional approval.
TRUMP GOLF-HIGH HOPES
Trump sons open new clubhouse as numbers sag at its courses
NEW YORK (AP) — The president’s company is hoping a new clubhouse opening at a Trump golf resort in New York City will revive its fortunes, one of several of his courses posting disappointing numbers recently.
Donald Trump’s two adult sons are cutting the ribbon on a clubhouse at the Trump Golf Links in the Bronx today with hopes it will attract more visitors. Data from the city obtained in a freedom of information request by The Associated Press show revenue at the course fell 7 percent last year, echoing trouble at a few of Trump’s other 17 courses for which figures have been made public.
Greens fees fell last year at Trump’s Los Angeles course, and his two Scottish resorts and one in Ireland posted losses in 2016, the latest year available.
KKR is buying Envision Healthcare in a nearly $10B deal
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (AP) — KKR is buying physician services provider and surgery center operator Envision Healthcare Corp. in an approximately $9.9 billion deal.
The private equity firm will pay $46 in cash for each share of Envision’s stock in a deal the companies aim to close in the fourth quarter. The total price includes debt.
Nashville, Tennessee-based Envision announced last fall that it would review its strategic options. Envision said today that its board and financial advisers looked at acquisitions and the possibility of remaining a stand-alone business, among other options. They determined that the KKR deal offered the best chance to maximize shareholder value.
Envision provides physician services for emergency departments and in anesthesiology and radiology, among other specialties. It also owns 261 surgery centers and a surgical hospital.
Knauf buying building products maker USG in about $7B deal
CHICAGO (AP) — German building materials maker Knauf is buying American building products maker USG in an approximately $7 billion deal.
Gebr. Knauf KG will pay $44 per USG share. That includes $43.50 per share in cash payable once the transaction closes and a special dividend of 50 cents per share that would be paid after shareholders approve the deal.
Berkshire Hathaway and its subsidiaries, which own about 31 percent of USG’s outstanding stock, have agreed to vote in favor of the transaction.
USG will keep its headquarters in Chicago.
The deal is expected to close early next year.
Shares of USG Corp. rose more than 3 percent in today’s premarket trading.
NEW WORLD TRADE CENTER TOWER
80-story 3 World Trade Center to open after years of delays
NEW YORK (AP) — An 80-story office building set to open at the World Trade Center will be the third completed skyscraper at the site where the twin towers stood.
Today’s ribbon-cutting for the 1,079-foot (329-meter) 3 World Trade Center marks a major step in the rebuilding of the site.
The new $2.7 billion building, designed by Pritzker Prize-winning architect Richard Rogers, is the fifth-tallest building in New York City.
Its 62-foot (19-meter) lobby faces the National Sept. 11 Museum. It consists of an 80-story tower straddling a 17-story “podium.”
Tenants will include the advertising firm 3M and consultants McKinsey & Co.
Construction of the building was stalled for years by lack of financing and disputes between developer Larry Silverstein and the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey.