Cigna’s acquisition of Express Scripts get vote of confidence from investor advisor ISS

Famed activist investor Carl Icahn published a searing letter Tuesday opposing Cigna's $ 54 billion acquisition of pharmacy benefit manager Express Scripts. 
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AT&T’s acquisition spree is part of a plan to dominate advertising on connected TVs and devices

AT&T is developing an ad tech platform where it can sell targeted video ads, including on streaming content. Ads could appear on AT&T's television shows and movies, as well as partner media companies' content.
Tech

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Data Sheet—The Thinking Behind Broadcom’s CA Technologies Acquisition

Some people like buying houses in lots of different places. Larry Ellison comes to mind. Some companies like to buy businesses that have nothing to do with their own. Coca-Cola once owned Columbia Pictures, presumably on the assumption that marketing sugar water ought not be that different from marketing movies. General Electric owned an investment house, Kidder Peabody. Jack Welch famously hated the compensation plans for star bankers, a different bunch than salute-and-follow-orders GE managers.

Broadcom, the semiconductor company formerly known as Avago, likes to buy things too. Given its Chinese ties, though, buying chipmakers has become more difficult (though in April it officially re-domiciled to the United States from Singapore). So the acquisitive company, acting more like a buyout firm than a manufacturer, has turned to software. It announced a $ 19-billion deal to purchase CA Technologies, the once-scandal-plagued mainframe-computer software maker formerly known as Computer Associates–and a serial acquirer itself back in the day.

Chip investors are puzzled by the move. “We guess we are going to be giving ourselves a crash course in mainframe and enterprise computing,” Ambrish Srivastava, an analyst with BMO Capital Markets, wrote to clients. Software analysts, meantime, smell opportunity. “We think the acquisition is supportive of unloved, value-oriented software stocks and highlights the durability of such businesses,” opined Brad Zelnick, who follows software stocks for Credit Suisse. “The deal also suggests a much larger universe of strategic buyers than most investors appreciate.”

The other day I wrote that Vista Equity Partners founder Robert Smith believes enterprise software companies share so many characteristics that best practices can be applied to operating many of them. Broadcom CEO Hock Tan is matching Smith’s thesis and raising him an industry: All enterprise technologies look alike to Broadcom.

It’s worth noting that Coke isn’t in the film business anymore. As for GE, which dumped Kidder a long time ago, well, it’s not in many businesses at all anymore.

Adam Lashinsky
@adamlashinsky
adam_lashinsky@fortune.com

NEWSWORTHY

Merlin’s beard. Cord cutters who were relying on Google’s YouTube TV to watch the World Cup semi-final match between Croatia and England on Wednesday got an unhappy surprise. The service crashed in the middle of the game and was offline for about an hour. The Googleplex had happier news for two of its X projects. Balloon-delivered Internet service Loon and drone delivery effort Wing graduated to become standalone companies.

Chamber of secrets. A major revamp could be on the way for fans of Apple’s Mac line of desktop and laptop computers. Well-connected analyst Ming-Chi Kuo, now at TF International Securities, on Wednesday said to expect significant boosts to the MacBook, MacBook Pro, iMac, and even the lowly Mac mini, which hasn’t been upgraded in years. On Thursday morning, Apple partially delivered, unveiling new MacBook Pro laptops with 8th-generation Intel CPUs.

Evanesco. If you noticed a sudden drop in the number of your Twitter followers over the next few days, don’t fret. The company is taking steps to cleanse itself of bad actors, including no longer counting locked accounts as followers. “Most people will see a change of four followers or fewer; others with larger follower counts will experience a more significant drop,” Twitter’s legal, policy and trust and safety lead Vijaya Gadde wrote.

Mischief managed. There was a bit of a kerfuffle (and a lot of headlines) on Wednesday over a proposal by the Federal Communications Commission to change the way it handles informal complaints from consumers about issues like robocalls or improper billing. Some read a proposed change as meaning the commission would no longer investigate free, informal complaints, forcing consumers with real problems to file formal complaints and pay the associated $ 225 fee. But the Washington Post noted that the proposal barely altered the existing rule. And then, due to the controversy, the agency dropped a plan to vote on it today.

The Mirror of Erised. We’ve been waiting for literally years to see the amazing virtual and/or augmented reality gear from secretive startup Magic Leap. Now the hour draws near. The company on Wednesday announced an “exclusive” wireless distribution agreement with AT&T and said its first goggles product, the Creator Edition, would go to developers this summer. But many were less-than-impressed with a video demo Magic Leap showed.

Blast-Ended Skrewt. The Trump administration’s top antitrust enforcer doesn’t sound like he wants to mess with the tech giants much. Assistant Attorney General for Antitrust Makan Delrahim tells the Financial Times that there are many benefits when big tech companies acquire smaller ones (like, say, Facebook buying Instagram). “I think there’s great efficiencies that could occur from a lot of these,” Delrahim said. “You can’t, you know, in retrospect try to second guess that.”

Wingardium Leviosa. It got an awful lot of hype when first announced in May, but now HTC appears to be scaling back expectations for its so-called blockchain phone, the HTC Exodus. The phone, coming by year end, won’t be able to mine for digital currencies but will have an offline “cold storage” wallet to hold cryptocurrency, the company told the Verge this week. There will also be some kind of partnership with CryptoKitties. Oh boy.

(Headline reference explainer for the non-Gen Y among you.)

FOOD FOR THOUGHT

The growing menace of distracted driving due to smartphones seems inexorably linked with the rise in accidents and vehicular fatalities. Some states are trying to legislate their way out of the problem. A Georgia law that took effect on July 1 may be the nation’s strictest, prohibiting a driver from even touching their phone unless their car is legally parked. No checking Waze. No reading email at a red light. Nada. In a piece for The Atlantic, Ian Bogost explores how the law is working.

None of the ordinary citizens I talked to had any idea that the Georgia law went to such extremes. Most understood that they couldn’t hold their phones anymore and resolved to deploy some kind of dashboard mount. But they still assumed they’d be able to touch their phones upon those mounts. That’s how California handled the situation when it adopted a similar law in 2016: California Assembly Bill 1785 allows drivers to execute a “single swipe or tap of the driver’s finger” in order to “activate or deactivate a feature or function” of the device. The Georgia law is somewhat unclear on the matter, as is guidance for drivers provided by the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety in Georgia. The law might say a lot less than the clarifications, commentary, and coverage about it. Daniel J. Grossman, an Atlanta lawyer, says “It is the commentary that has created confusion, not the statute itself.”

One reason the law might perplex drivers is that operating a car has become a lot more like operating a smartphone. A 2009-model-year car I own features knobs to control the climate and buttons to operate the radio. My 2017 minivan, by contrast, just has a giant touch screen, on which different submenus must be selected to alter the cabin temperature, view navigation, or change radio channels. I asked the Governor’s Office of Highway Safety about the difference, from a safety perspective, between operating a manufacturer-provided dashboard touch screen and a dash-mounted smartphone. Robert Hydrick, the organization’s communications manager, wouldn’t speculate on the rationale behind the legislation but did affirm that “there is no law to my knowledge that prohibits drivers from touching or using any of their accessories provided by the manufacturer of their vehicle.”

BEFORE YOU GO

Speaking of Harry Potter spells–I mean literally speaking them–Virginia product developer Ben Markowitz had a wacky idea. He’s using Apple’s new Siri shortcuts feature to train his iPhone to react to spell trigger phrases from J.K. Rowling’s series. Utter “lumos maxima” at Markowitz’s iPhone and you’ll get the flashlight turned on, full blast. Cute.

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Aaron Pressman. Find past issues, and sign up for other Fortune newsletters.

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http://www.acrx.org -As millions of Americans strive to deal with the economic downturn,loss of jobs,foreclosures,high cost of gas,and the rising cost of prescription drug cost. Charles Myrick ,the President of American Consultants Rx, announced the re-release of the American Consultants Rx community service project which consist of millions of free discount prescription cards being donated to thousands of not for profits,hospitals,schools,churches,etc. in an effort to assist the uninsured,under insured,and seniors deal with the high cost of prescription drugs.-American Consultants Rx -Pharmacy Discount Network News

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Nadella’s acquisition strategy is much different than Ballmer’s — and investors are rewarding him

Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella has taken a dramatically different approach to M&A than did his predecessor.
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Dyslexia: When spelling problems impair writing acquisition

Dyslexia is a learning difficulty which affects the ability to adopt the automatic reflexes needed to read and write. Several studies have sought to identify the source of the problems encountered by individuals with dyslexia when they read. Little attention, however, has been paid to the mechanisms involved in writing. Researchers have recently looked at the purely motor aspects of writing in children diagnosed with dyslexia. Their results show that orthographic processing in children with dyslexia is so laborious that it can modify or impair writing skills, despite the absence of dysgraphia in these children.
Literacy News — ScienceDaily

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Merck Makes $394M Acquisition; CEO Opens Up About Spat With Trump

Just last September, Kenneth Frazier’s Merck finally got its long-awaited immuno-oncology drug, Keytruda, approved by the Federal Drug Administration.

Just a few months later, the pharmaceutical company is doubling down on its new area of focus.

On Wednesday, the company announced that it had reached an agreement to acquire Viralytics, an Australian biotech company for $ 394 million, which is in line with the drug maker’s focus on cancer immunotherapy.

Frazier told Black Enterprise magazine in 2014 about his company’s big plans to create transformational medicines with the company’s foyer into new investigational medicine for cancer.

“It’s one of the first in a series of what are called immunotherapies for cancer. This medicine is one that actually uses the bodies’ own natural defenses to defeat the tumors,” Frazier said. “That’s the kind of thing that a company like Merck exists to do.”

This comes on the cusp of Frazier’s interview with the New York Times about his public spat with President Donald Trump.

Frazier gave up his seat on the president’s American Manufacturing Council after controversy erupted over how President Trump handled the racist-fueled violence in Charlottesville, Virginia, last summer.

“It was my view that to not take a stand on this would be viewed as a tacit endorsement of what had happened and what was said,” Frazier told the New York Times. “I think words have consequences, and I think actions have consequences. I just felt that as a matter of my own personal conscience, I could not remain.”

Frazier said he consulted Merck’s board before he made his decision to resign from the president’s manufacturing council.

“I wanted to say that this was a statement I was making in terms of my own values, and the company’s values, and there was unanimous support for that,” he said. “My board supported that 100%.”


President Trump was quick to hit back on Twitter.


Although meant as a gibe toward Frazier, it is no secret that Merck has been working incredibly hard to bring Keytruda, the company’s own breakthrough immuno-oncology treatment drug to market.

In 2014, Merck acquired Idenix, another drug therapy for hepatitis C which had been a focal point of the drug makers. However, Merck’s patent of the drug was ruled invalid by a U.S. District Judge in Wilmington, Delaware, on Feb. 17, stating that the company did not meet a requirement that it disclose how to make the treatment it covered without undue experimentation, Reuters reported.

The ruling also reverses a $ 2.54 billion settlement Gilead Sciences Inc. was required to pay after Merck sued the company because its hepatitis C drugs Sovaldi and Harvoni infringed on Idenix’s patents.

Watch Black Enterprise’s Derek T. Dingle’s interview with Ken Frazier:



 

The post Merck Makes $ 394M Acquisition; CEO Opens Up About Spat With Trump appeared first on Black Enterprise.

Career | Black Enterprise

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‘PUBG’: The Best Settings to Help Your Chicken Dinner Acquisition

Even if you know how to perfectly manage the circle , or you can kill hackers at 1000 paces , there are always ways to improve your PUBG game. Ahead we’ll share with you the sorts of settings the pros use to ensure they get a consistent framerate while they’re smashing through their competition on the way to another chicken dinner.

We’ve already taken you through the biggest tweak — if you haven’t done it yet, do yourself a favour and snag ReShade to dramatically change the game’s colour palette and find yourself better able to see moving enemies in the distance. And don’t forget to turn it off for a more authentic Zombies experience, too.



Just as a heads-up, we won’t get into any advantage-altering tweaks here. Editing the “ini” files was locked down with version 1.0, and any tweaks that allow you to remove grass and foliage from the game convey an unfair advantage which can get you banned, so we don’t recommend it. Still, the settings list we use can absolutely create a fair advantage against others who play the game with everything maxed, so you should keep reading!

Let’s run through the graphics settings you want to change so you can nail down a smooth game. In many cases these settings should be good for any PC setup, but we’ll note any you can play around with when we get to them.

Field of View

FOV, or Field of View, is a bit of a personal preference setting, but you should set it to 100 (provided it doesn’t make you feel motion sick) to squeeze a little bit of extra peripheral information out of the game.

Inventory Screen Character Render

Turning this off will make it so your character doesn’t show up in the inventory screen when you press tab. This change is huge, regardless of how good your PC is – we noticed a 30% increase in frames in the inventory thanks to switching this off.

The downside to this is that it takes a few microseconds longer to work out what helmet and vest you are wearing, but you can fix that by turning the “Equipments HUD” on, and you’ll see three icons representing your backpack, helmet and vest down the bottom of your screen (and the icons turn red when your equipment is damaged). Another downside is that if you accidentally replace your sexy red jeans with boring blue pants, you won’t notice until it’s too late.

Anti-Aliasing

AA controls the ‘jaggies’ that you see in games, where in-game models appear to be made of dozens of sharp edges when you look at them. It’s very much up to you whether you set this to Ultra or not, but we recommend going with Ultra because there’s not much of a frames-per-second difference between having it on or off, and it looks better.

If you don’t mind some jaggies, or if you have a lower-end PC which struggles to run PUBG, try setting it to Very Low (which technically turns it off in-game). If you see a noticeable improvement, leave it off — but you probably won’t.

Post-Processing

Post-Processing should be dumped on Low in all cases. ReShade does all the more interesting post-processing for you already, so having PP any higher than Low adds pointless bloom (that’s additional brightness) to the game, as well as motion blur which some can find nauseating.

Shadows

Setting Shadows to Very Low can make them look a bit weird indoors — they get pretty blocky as they try to render collisions. If your PC can handle it, don’t go any lower than Low to avoid this. Even if your PC is a beast, you should leave it on Low as it can help spot players who are belly crawling through grass when you’re in the open fields during the last few circles.

Textures

Textures have probably the biggest impact on gameplay in general. Put it on Very Low if you have an older PC and you’ll find that the game is able to load buildings at the start of a match a lot faster.

I have a pretty good computer, but I don’t go above High — going lower to Medium makes literally no difference, but setting it to Ultra can cause some frame drops in towns like Los Leones.


PUBG Settings Menu
Our preferred Advanced Settings

Effects

Effects is similar to Textures, in that you will see performance increases the lower you set it. Going above Medium for Effects can make hiding out in the Red Zone a bit of a slideshow on even my beastly PC, so I recommend leaving it on Medium!

Foliage

Turn Foliage on Very Low. It’s not a huge difference, but the grass in fields will render for a slightly shorter distance the lower you put this, which means on very low you will be able to see people snaking through fields a little closer. It’s a matter of 10s of metres, but it counts.

View Distance

Regardless of your computer’s performance, View Distance shouldn’t be lower than Medium. There is functionally no difference in the game between View Distance on Very Low and Medium, so go Medium or nothing.

Setting it above Medium is up to personal preference, but there’s not much point putting it on High either, as it’s nearly identical to Ultra. I go for Ultra, but if you see frame-rate increases on Medium then leave it there and you shouldn’t be disadvantaged in-game.

Remember to tweak these settings to best suit your PC setup! Hopefully though these options should create the perfect balance between performance and viewability to best allow you to earn all those PUBG chicken dinners you so richly deserve.

The post ‘PUBG’: The Best Settings to Help Your Chicken Dinner Acquisition appeared first on FANDOM powered by Wikia.

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45 Great Moments in Black Business – No. 27: Don Barden’s $149 Million Acquisition of Three Vegas Casinos

This year, BLACK ENTERPRISE celebrates the 4th anniversary of its roster of the nation’s largest black-owned businesses—The BE 100s. To commemorate the significance of this collective’s widespread impact on black business and economic development as well as American industry over four decades, we have presented 45 milestones moments. As part of this tribute, we continue our yearlong countdown.  

Today we reveal No. 27 in the web series “Great Moments in Black Business.” 

2002: With the acquisition of three Fitzgeralds casinos for $ 149 million, Don Barden becomes the first African American to wholly own a casino in the nation’s gambling capital.

Rising from meager beginnings to become a self-made multimillionaire African American entrepreneur, the late Don Barden was a trailblazer in America’s gaming industry.

First-Ever Black Vegas Casino Operator

 

Barden made history when one of his companies acquired three Fitzgeralds casinos for $ 149 million, making him the first black to own casino operations in Las Vegas. The transaction placed his gaming enterprise in the industry’s largest U.S. market and at the same time, broke barriers within the sector.

Barden added to his empire—he had already owned casinos in Gary, Indiana; Tunica, Mississippi; and Black Hawk, Colorado—by purchasing the Fitzgeralds properties from bankruptcy court. In fact, Barden used $ 14 million of his own money and raised $ 150 million from 40 institutional investors to seal the deal and upgrade operations.

 

The daring entrepreneur’s big gamble paid off.  It bumped revenues of Barden Cos. Inc., placing it among the top 25 of BE Industrial/Service Companies in the early 2000s. Observers hailed Barden’s move as a major victory in bringing much-needed diversity to the industry. “It has the same ramification [for the Las Vegas gaming industry] that Jackie Robinson had to baseball,” Gene Collins, president of the Las Vegas chapter of the NAACP told the Las Vegas Sun at the time.” It opens all sorts of opportunities for African Americans because someone has to be first.”

First African American to Build an Urban-Based Cable TV Company

 

Making history was nothing new for Barden. In addition to being the first African American to own a casino corporation outright, he beat the odds by controlling multimillion-dollar companies in other industries that locked out blacks from ownership participation. As such, he would become the first black businessman to build a cable TV system for urban markets as well as a major player in commercial estate development over the course of his 40-year career.

He shared his deal-making philosophy in the BLACK ENTERPRISE book, Lessons From The Top: “I have learned to look for businesses that make money while I sleep. I like to acquire any business that doesn’t require an exorbitant amount of time and capital to turn it around. Yet, I want to be able to expand the core businesses. I have been able to do that with real estate, cable, and gaming. If you find viable businesses with solid management, you are not drained by the day-to-day operations. You can scope out other opportunities.”

The ninth of 13 children raised in Inkster, Michigan, he attended Central State University in Ohio with the goal of pursuing a legal career. But he ultimately turned to entrepreneurship. His first venture was a record store that he opened in Lorain, Ohio, at the age of 21 with $ 500 in savings. From there, he launched several businesses, including a real estate development firm, a nightclub, and a weekly newspaper, The Lorain County Times, in Lorain. He was also Lorain’s first elected black city council member.

 

(Barden featured in Black Enterprise magazine, May 1998)

 

By 1981, Barden bought an interest in a cable television station in Lorain and formed Barden Communications Inc. He expanded his cable system to include communities in his hometown of Inkster and the Detroit metro area, growing gross revenues from $ 600,000 to $ 91.2 million in a decade. By 1992, BCI earned the No. 5 position on the BE INDUSTRIAL/SERVICE 100 and BE 100s Company of the Year honors—for the first time. By 1994, he sold the company to Comcast Cable in 1994 for more than $ 100 million.

Two years later, he ventured into the casino gaming industry when he acquired and operated the Majestic Star Casino, a riverboat casino in Gary, Indiana. After an unsuccessful bid to buy a casino in Detroit, he acquired the Fitzgeralds properties. In 2003, BLACK ENTERPRISE named Barden Cos. as Company of the Year—the only entrepreneur to receive such recognition in two different industries within a 10-year span.

But not all of Barden’s ventures were proven winners. In 2009, the Majestic Star Casino was forced to file for bankruptcy protection.

Such setbacks, however, did not keep BLACK ENTERPRISE from heralding his myriad accomplishments. As part of its 40th-anniversary celebration in 2010—a year before Barden’s untimely death due to complications from lung cancer—it ranked him No. 21 on the roster of “Titans: The 40 Most Powerful African Americans in Business.” That same year, he also received the A.G. Gaston Lifetime Achievement Award, BE‘s top honor for business excellence. Barden left a legacy for being one of the most honored and respected black business leaders of his generation, and mentor to several generations of black professionals and entrepreneurs.

 

Small Business – Black Enterprise

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Netflix’s first-ever acquisition is a comic-book publisher

Netflix on Monday said it has bought comics publisher Millarworld, bringing on board renowned comic book writer Mark Millar and a host of character francises it can mine for TV shows and movies. It is the first acquisition by Netflix, the 20-year-old streaming-video pioneer that is building a library of original series and films in…
Business | New York Post

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