6 Most Important Things in Business Today

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The federal government has approved a Bayer takeover of Monsanto Co. (NYSE: MON). According to The Wall Street Journal:

The Justice Department has decided to allow Bayer AG’s megadeal to acquire Monsanto Co., valued at more than $60 billion, after the companies pledged to sell off additional assets to secure government antitrust approval, according to people familiar with the matter.

An agreement in principle between the companies and the department, brokered in recent days, marked a breakthrough in the U.S. merger review process, which had remained in limbo because of Justice Department concerns about the deal.

Apple Inc.’s (NASDAQ: AAPL) offices now use energy that is completely renewable. According to The Wall Street Journal:

Apple Inc. said Monday that it has achieved a decade-old goal of having its facilities world-wide powered exclusively by renewable energy, an achievement that will shift the company’s sustainability efforts to its supply chain, where about 10% of suppliers have made a similar commitment.

The tech giant said it has improved to be 100% reliant on clean energy from 96% last year in part by contracting renewable energy for the first time in India, Turkey, Brazil and Mexico. The figure covers all of its retail stores, offices, data centers and partner data centers, as well as its new headquarters in Cupertino, Calif., Apple Park, the spaceshiplike structure that features rooftop solar panels and is one of the largest on-site solar installations in the world.

Trade negotiations between China and the United States are hung up on the issue of technology. According to Bloomberg:

Trade talks between the world’s biggest economies broke down last week after the Trump administration demanded that China take steps to curtail support for high-technology industries, a person familiar with the situation said.

Liu He, a vice premier overseeing economics and finance, told a group of officials Thursday that Beijing had rejected a U.S. request to stop subsidizing industries related to its “Made in China 2025” initiative, the person said. The U.S. has accused China of using the policy to force companies into transferring technology in areas like robotics, aerospace and artificial intelligence.

Facebook Inc. (NASDAQ: FB) has another scandal on its hands. Some advertisers are selling animal body parts. According to the AP:

Facebook is displaying advertisements for well-known American corporations on group pages operated by overseas wildlife traffickers illegally selling the body parts of threatened animals, including elephant ivory, rhino horn and tiger teeth. a secret complaint filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, wildlife preservation advocates allege that Facebook’s failure to stop illicit traders using its service for illegal activity violates the social network’s responsibilities as a publicly traded company.

Apple released a new version of its iPhone 8 that has a red cover. According to CNNMoney:

Apple on Monday announced a special edition iPhone 8 and 8 Plus with a red aluminum body. The models are in partnership with (RED), a nonprofit that works to fight AIDS and HIV in Africa.

The devices are identical to the iPhone 8 devices Apple launched in September. They join an existing lineup of iPhone 8 colors, such as gray, silver and gold.

Fines against Wells Fargo & Co. (NYSE: WFC), which has been pummeled by scandals, could reach $1 billion. According to Reuters:

Wells Fargo is facing as much as $1 billion in fines over abuses in the beleaguered bank’s mortgage and auto loan financing divisions, according to a report.

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is planning to levy its biggest fine ever in the coming days against the nation’s third-biggest bank, which is currently led by CEO Tim Sloan, according to Reuters.