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US Chamber of Commerce endorses tougher plan to fight climate change

Al Grillo/Associated Press


US Chamber of Commerce endorses tougher plan to fight climate change

The Chamber of Commerce on Tuesday embraced tougher action to combat climate change through carbon taxes, emissions caps, or other “market-based” policies — the latest shift by the nation’s biggest business lobbying group as it pivots to a Washington dominated by Democrats. In an updated position statement being released Tuesday, the Chamber of Commerce says it supports “durable climate policy” that is made by Congress, including “a market-based approach to accelerate greenhouse gas emissions reductions across the US economy.” The group is also preparing to announce its support for using federal regulations to directly limit oil and gas industry emissions of methane, a potent greenhouse gas. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Supreme Court may allow FCC to ease restrictions on local ownership

The Supreme Court suggested it will let the Federal Communications Commission ease limits on the ownership of local media outlets, giving the broadcast industry and President Trump’s administration a mostly favorable reception in a long-running fight. Hearing arguments by phone Tuesday, the justices questioned a federal appeals court decision that blocked the changes. The appeals court told the FCC to first study the potential impact on female and minority ownership in the media industry. Republicans and the broadcast industry have been seeking to relax the ownership limits for decades, saying the restrictions are badly outdated given the proliferation of new information sources. Easing the rules could mean a wave of consolidation affecting TV stations nationwide. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Royal Caribbean sells one of its brands as pandemic continues to crush the industry

Royal Caribbean Cruises is selling its Azamara brand to private equity firm Sycamore Partners, the latest example of a cruise company shedding assets during the COVID-19 pandemic. The $201 million cash deal includes Azamara’s entire three-ship fleet and intellectual property, Royal Caribbean said in a statement Tuesday. Royal Caribbean chief executive Richard Fain said the company will focus its growth on its Royal Caribbean International, Celebrity Cruises, and Silversea brands. For the better part of a year, the coronavirus has mostly shuttered the cruise industry, prompting companies to reassess their fleets and raise billions of dollars in debt to stay solvent. Carnival Corp., the world’s biggest cruise company, is speeding up the removal of 19 ships. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Supreme Court denies bid by Merck to revive verdict against Gilead

The Supreme Court rebuffed a bid by Merck & Co.’s Idenix to revive a record verdict against Gilead Sciences Inc. in a dispute over a patent for a hepatitis C treatment. The justices declined to hear arguments by Merck and its Italian partner, Universita Degli Studi di Cagliari, that an appeals court improperly invalidated its patent for a group of compounds that Merck’s Idenix unit contends is the basis for all major treatments for hepatitis C, including ones made by Gilead. A jury in 2016 had sided with Merck against Gilead and awarded $2.5 billion in damages, the largest patent verdict in US history. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


GM and Microsoft team up on electric self-driving cars

General Motors is teaming up with Microsoft to accelerate its rollout of electric self-driving cars. In the partnership announced Tuesday, the companies said Microsoft’s Azure cloud and edge computing platform would be used to “commercialize its unique autonomous vehicle solutions at scale.” Microsoft joins General Motors, Honda, and other institutional investors in a combined new equity investment of more than $2 billion in Cruise, bringing its valuation to about $30 billion. Cruise, which GM bought in 2016, has been a leader in driverless technology and got the go-ahead from California late last year to test its automated vehicles in San Francisco without backup drivers. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



FedEx to cut more than 6,000 jobs in Europe

FedEx is planning to cut as many as 6,300 jobs in Europe as the courier completes the process of integrating its TNT Express unit. Plans to address the duplication from operating two large delivery networks have been presented to European employee representatives, FedEx said in a regulatory filing Tuesday. The company expects the cuts to generate a pretax cost of $300 million to $575 million from severance benefits as it merges the TNT air network with FedEx’s overnight Express operation. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


Goldman Sachs caps a record year

Goldman Sachs’ dealmakers capped their record year with a fourth-quarter revenue jump that helped the bank double its profit. Investment-banking revenue climbed 27 percent from a year earlier as fees from equity underwriting nearly tripled. The firm’s stock traders delivered a 40 percent revenue increase, making up for fixed-income trading that fell short of analyst estimates. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


MGM Resorts International abandons bid for British company

US casino operator MGM Resorts International said it decided not to make a firm offer for Entain Plc after the UK gambling company dismissed its takeover attempt for about $11 billion. A merger would have given MGM full control of BetMGM, its UK joint venture with Entain and a beachhead in a market seeing rapid growth. Under the proposed terms, Entain investors would have exchanged stock for 0.6 of a share of MGM and would have held about 42 percent of the combined business. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


MTA delays planned fare hike on hope of more federal aid

New York’s Metropolitan Transportation Authority will delay planned fare increases for several months as the subway and bus operator anticipates that President-elect Joe Biden and a Democratic-led Congress will deliver additional federal aid. The MTA, the largest mass-transit provider in the nation, was set to discuss and possibly vote on a potential 4 percent fare boost Thursday during its monthly board meeting. The agency implements such fee hikes every two years. — BLOOMBERG NEWS



Cell-based fish could be offered in US this year

US consumers may be able to dine on cell-based fish as soon as this year. BlueNalu Inc. raised $60 million as the San Diego-based startup seeks to open a trial factory and start testing cultured products at food outlets across the United States by year-end. The company is working on completing a regulatory review with the Food and Drug Administration, which could see it become the first to start selling cell-based fish in the $200 billion global seafood market. Cellular agriculture, which aims to make meat or fish production more environmentally sustainable, is slowly making its way toward consumer plates. A string of startups are building pilot plants to test meat produced in factories for the first time, with the sector attracting record venture-capital funding last year. Eat Just Inc., another California startup, is already selling laboratory-created chicken in Singapore after getting approval last month. — BLOOMBERG NEWS