DOJ files antitrust lawsuit to block Visa’s Plaid acquisition

first_imgThe DOJ cited Visa CEO Al Kelly’s description of the deal as an “insurance policy” to neutralize a “threat to our important US debit business.” Plaid is a San Francisco-based financial technology firm that uses APIs to connect consumer bank accounts to popular finance apps such as Venmo and Robinhood. It’s linked to more than 11,000 U.S. banks and according to the complaint, has been developing a product that could emerge as substitute for Visa’s debit services.In a statement, Visa said it “strongly disagrees” with the Department of Justice, “whose attempt to block Visa’s acquisition of Plaid is legally flawed and contradicted by the facts.” Plaid declined to comment on the suit.“This action reflects a lack of understanding of Plaid’s business and the highly competitive payments landscape in which Visa operates,” Visa said in a statement.- Advertisement – The U.S. attorneys pointed to Visa’s 70% share of the debit market in the U.S., and rival Mastercard’s inability to “gain significant share” or “restrain Visa’s monopoly.” They also highlighted the barriers to entry in building a new debit product.“Visa rarely faces any significant threats to its online debit monopoly. Plaid is such a threat,” according to the lawsuit. “Plaid is planning to leverage that technology, combined with its existing relationships with banks and consumers, to facilitate transactions between consumers and merchants in competition with Visa.”The DOJ outlined potential concerns with the deal last week with a complaint filed against Bain & Company, which worked as a consultant on the deal. The agency said Bain was withholding documents and “stymying” its investigation. The Wall Street Journal previously reported that the deal could face legal troubles.Visa’s Plaid acquisition is one of many high-profile deals that could face pressure from the DOJ this year.Credit Karma is reportedly in talks to sell its tax-preparation business to Square to fend off antitrust concerns, according to the Wall Street Journal. Intuit announced it would buy Credit Karma for $7 billion earlier this year, and also owns TurboTax. Regulators may have concerns that the combination would leave consumers for fewer choices in online tax filing. Mastercard announced it planned to buy Finicity, a Plaid competitor, for roughly $1 billion earlier this year. – Advertisement – The Department of Justice is looking to block Visa‘s planned acquisition of fintech start-up Plaid on grounds that it would limit competition in the payments industry.U.S. attorneys for the DOJ outlined potential for the deal to extend a Visa “monopoly” on debit transactions. For antitrust reasons the $5.3 billion acquisition, which was announced in February, “must be stopped,” according to the complaint.“By acquiring Plaid, Visa would eliminate a nascent competitive threat that would likely result in substantial savings and more innovative online debit services for merchants and consumers,” the Justice Department said in the complaint, which was filed in a Northern California federal court.- Advertisement –center_img Plaid co-founder and CEO Zach Perret.Plaid – Advertisement –last_img read more

US election 2020: Could it be decided in courts?

first_imgIt was a tight race between Democrat Mr Gore and Republican Mr Bush. On election day, Gore won the popular vote, but things were closer in the electoral college. Everything hinged on how Florida doled out its 25 electoral votes. What are the challenges issued by Trump? Lawmakers appointed a bi-partisan commission to decide the winner. And so came the Compromise of 1877: Hayes won – by a margin of one electoral vote – by negotiating with southern Democrats. The election was resolved just two days before Inauguration Day. – Advertisement – Section divider

Canadian beef mislabeling leads to US recall

first_img The class III recall carries no health risk in part because the meat came from cattle younger than 30 months old, which are considered too young to have BSE, Matt Baun, an FSIS spokesman, told CIDRAP News. In BSE-infected cattle, central nervous system tissue is considered likely to contain the misshapen proteins, or prions, associated with the disease. US beef import rules are aimed at keeping spinal cord material and other high-risk cattle tissues out of the food supply. Consumers with food safety questions can phone the toll-free USDA Meat and Poultry hotline at 1-888-MPHotline (or 1-888-674-6854) weekdays from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Eastern Time. The products also contain “Est. 2748” inside the USDA inspection mark, according to a Jul 28 news release from FSIS. The patties were produced on July 15, 16 19, and 20 and were shipped to distribution centers and stores in Florida, Maine, New Jersey, North Carolina, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Virginia, and Wisconsin. Jul 28 FSIS news release The Canadian government, which discovered the problem, has temporarily prohibited Quaker Maid’s beef supplier in Canada from exporting to the United States, according to Reuters. Imports of Canadian beef have been restricted since the discovery of a case of bovine spongiform encephalopathy (BSE) in Canada in May 2003. Ground beef is among the items still not allowed into the United States.center_img Reuters news service quoted USDA officials as saying the mislabeling occurred in Canada and the incident poses no risk to human health. USDA said the recalled beef was safe to eat because, although it was made using hydraulic pressure, central nervous system tissue had already been removed from the carcasses, according to news reports. See also: The USDA banned all imports of Canadian beef and live cattle after the BSE case was discovered in 2003. The agency reopened the border to boneless meat (but not ground meat) from cattle younger than 30 months old, boneless veal from calves younger than 36 weeks, and fresh or frozen beef liver in August 2003. Live cattle and other categories of beef are still banned. Quaker Maid Meats, Inc., of Reading, Penn., is recalling 5-pound boxes of “Philly-Gourmet, 100% pure beef, homestyle patties” with packaging codes of 1974 or 2024; 3-pound boxes of “Philly-Gourmet, 100% pure beef, homestyle patties” with packaging codes of 1974 or 2024; and 3-pound boxes of “The Philly Homestyle Beef Patty” with packaging codes of 1984 or 2014. Aug 3, 2004 (CIDRAP News) – A Pennsylvania firm has voluntarily recalled about 170,000 pounds of ground beef patties made partly from Canadian beef that was mislabeled and ineligible for import to the United States, the US Department of Agriculture’s (USDA’s) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) announced recently.last_img read more

HHS allots $75 million to states for pandemic planning

first_imgAug 30, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – The Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) today announced a one-time allocation of $75 million in grants to help states, territories, and four metropolitan areas prepare for an influenza pandemic.In a news release, HHS said the money is to be used to establish or expand stockpiles of critical medical equipment and supplies; continue developing plans for maintaining, distributing, and sharing those resources; plan for and develop alternative sites for providing healthcare in a pandemic; and conduct medical surge exercises.The funding will supplement the $430 million allocation HHS announced on Jun 28 to help hospitals and other healthcare facilities prepare to respond to bioterrorism attacks, infectious disease outbreaks, and natural disasters that could cause mass casualties, the agency said.”The additional funding will provide our nation’s health care community with a means to continue planning, training and acquiring needed equipment for an effective pandemic response,” HHS Secretary Mike Leavitt said in the news release.The grants for states range from $352,673 for Wyoming to $5.48 million for California. The metropolitan areas with separate grants include Washington, DC, $364,024; Chicago, $836,685; New York City, $1.9 million; and Los Angeles County, $2.27 million.See also: Aug 30 HHS news release 18 CIDRAP News story “HHS, DHS fund public health preparedness and emergency response”Jul 11 CIDRAP News story “HHS to give states $430 million for hospital preparedness”last_img read more

Ground beef recall expands as more E coli illnesses probed

first_img “Because the health and safety of our consumers is our top priority, we are taking these expansive measures,” said Geoffrey Livermore, vice president of operations at Topps, in a press release. Sep 29 USDA press release Sep 28 New York Health Department press release Oct 1, 2007 (CIDRAP News) – A New Jersey meat company recently expanded a recall of its ground beef to include 21.7 million pounds of frozen products that have been linked to as many as 25 Escherichia coli O157:H7 infections in eight states. Following a massive ground beef recall in 2002, the USDA required meatpacking plants to review their safety systems and take specific steps to reduce E coli contamination. The agency said the steps led to declines in contamination found by USDA sampling and fewer ground beef recalls. Jun 11 CIDRAP News story “Six-state E coli outbreak blamed on ground beef” Health officials are investigating 25 E coli O157:H7 illnesses that may be linked to the Topps ground beef, the USDA said. The cases include patients from Connecticut, Florida, Indiana, Maine, New Jersey, New York, Ohio, and Pennsylvania. Recent major outbreaks of E coli O157:H7 have been linked with fresh produce, but overall the pathogen has more commonly been found in ground beef. The strain produces a toxin that causes diarrhea—often bloody—and abdominal cramps but typically no fever. The illness usually resolves in 5 to 10 days, but it can cause hemolytic uremic syndrome, potentially leading to kidney failure or death, in 2% to 7% of patients. Products that are the subject of the recall were distributed to grocery stores and food service institutions throughout the United States, the company statement said. The recalled products have “sell by” or “best if used by” dates ranging from Sep 25, 2007 to Sep 25, 2008. All recalled products have the USDA establishment number EST 9748 printed on the back panel of the package or within the USDA label, according to the USDA statement. Topps said it believes that most of the recalled product has already been consumed. The recall was first announced by Topps Meat Company, based in Elizabeth, on Sep 25 but was expanded on Sep 29 after the New York Department of Health (NYDH) found more of the company’s product samples were positive for E coli O157:H7, according to the US Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS). Additional reports of illnesses and a food safety assessment from the FSIS also contributed to the expanded recall, according to the USDA statement. See also: The initial recall of 331,582 pounds of the company’s frozen ground beef products was prompted by an investigation by the NYDH and the US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) into a reported cluster of illnesses in northeastern states, according to a Sep 25 press release from the USDA. However, industry and health officials are concerned that some of the safety gains have eroded. US meat producers have issued eight recalls related to E coli contamination so far this year, which is more than they issued during all of 2006, according to previous news reports. Sep 25 USDA press releaselast_img read more

Interpretation Center for Maritime Heritage of the Island of Krk Opened

first_imgThe Maritime Heritage Interpretation Center has been opened in Krk, presenting and interpreting the island’s long and rich maritime tradition in a modern and interactive way.Located in the old town, the new Interpretation Center for Maritime Heritage of the Island of Krk, which presents and interprets the long and rich maritime tradition of this area in a modern and interactive way, was designed by Sanjin Kunić based on a study of the museological concept made by the Maritime and Historical Museum. Croatian coast Rijeka. The center consists of a model shop, an equipped workshop and an exhibition space containing exhibits, which in his gallery and workshop “Leut” has so far been presented to visitors to Krk by the famous and award-winning Krk ship model and collector Željko Skomeršić. In addition, the space is enriched with multimedia content, more precisely a didactic application with sailing simulation and projection of photo and video content from regattas of traditional vessels and sailors’ meetings.The primary goal of the Project is to preserve, protect and promote the maritime heritage of the border area of ​​the northern Adriatic, ie Istria, Kvarner and the Slovenian coast, through tourism valorization on the principles of sustainable tourism. The project primarily aims to protect the existing tangible and intangible maritime heritage and through a number of measures to systematically use it to develop and revive a common tourism product based on the tradition and story of maritime heritage.Interpretation Center for Maritime Heritage of the Island of Krk, co-financed by the Primorje-Gorski Kotar County, the City of Krk and the European Union through the Interreg VA Slovenia-Croatia 2014-2020 Cooperation Program, as part of the Small Boat 2 Project – Preservation of the Northern Adriatic Maritime Heritage.last_img read more

A conference of travel agencies of the Split-Dalmatia County was held in Imotski

first_imgJoze Tomas, Ivan Budalic / Photo: HGK As part of his visit to Imotski, the president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce – ŽK Split, Joze Tomaš, also met with the mayor of Imotski, Ivan Budalić. They discussed the possibilities of cooperation with an emphasis on ways to take advantage of the tourist boom of this area to encourage and expand the development of the economy, especially small and medium enterprises. Activities such as this conference, networking of entrepreneurs and similar joint actions can contribute to the development of entrepreneurship in all parts of Split-Dalmatia County and stop the emigration of the local population, which is crucial, the meeting concluded. PRESENTATION STRATEGY FOR TOURISM DEVELOPMENT OF IMOTSKA KRAJINA PRESENTED Last year, almost 10 tourist arrivals were recorded in the Imota area, which is an increase of 23 percent compared to the year before, and there were almost 74 overnight stays, or 27 percent more than in 2017. The conference was attended by about 30 providers of household accommodation services, representatives of family farms and agencies that deal with mediation in the sale of excursions. The providers of family accommodation services were especially interested in the advantages of working with travel agencies, while the offer of adventure tourism in Split-Dalmatia County, presented by the President of the Adventure Tourism Association HGK – ŽK Split, Iris Prebeg showed what guests can offer and what they can experience in our county throughout the year. In individual conversations at the end of the meeting, participants were able to find out directly about cooperation with intermediary agencies and adventure providers. In order to maintain growth and raise the destination’s offer to an even higher level, such conferences connect travel agencies and organizers of adventure forms of tourism from the Split-Dalmatia County with other stakeholders in tourism, in this case from the Imotski area. The conference called “Travel Agencies Partners” was organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce – Split County Chamber and the Imotski Tourist Board. ESTATE KRAJINA TOURIST BOARD ESTABLISHED – IMOTA  INITIATIVE LAUNCHED TO DECLARE IMOT LAKES UNESCO GEO PARK “This is the fifth in a series of conferences organized by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce in Split in major county tourist centers, in order to introduce local actors in tourism with the possibility of expanding the offer and improving business. Imotski and the surrounding area have become increasingly interesting to tourists in recent years, and record a constant, double-digit growth in tourist arrivals and overnight stays”, Said welcoming the meeting, the president of the Croatian Chamber of Commerce – Split County Chamber, Joze Tomas. RELATED NEWS:last_img read more

Air France is introducing another direct route to Split in the summer season

first_imgLast weekend, a new part of the passenger terminal of Split Airport was opened, which now has 50.000 m2 of passenger space, which provides a high standard of service for 2.500 passengers during peak hours, while the total capacity of the passenger terminal has been increased to 5 million passengers a year. It should be noted that Air France introduced two direct flights to Dubrovnik in 2018, but this year they increased the number of weekly flights (from 2 to 5) in the period from April to September 2019 to Dubrovnik and add flights on weekends during the summer season . Air France has increased the number of weekly flights Paris – Split and vice versa. The third regular summer line will take place three times a week during July and August. AIRPORTS CONTINUE TO RECORD GROWTH. 6% GROWTH IN MAY By the way, the Air France and KLM Group has regular routes from Zagreb to Amsterdam, Zagreb to Paris and vice versa throughout the year. And as a kind of “gift” for expansion, great news for Split Airport comes from the airline Air France – KLM, which is introducing another direct route to Split in the summer season. RELATED NEWS:last_img read more