The torrent of mergers in the health-care industry kept flowing. IMS Health and Quintiles agreed to combine in a 9 billion transaction that will integrate the wide range of data services they provide to drug companies, from tracking medical claims to advice on clinical trials. Another big deal was Abbott Laboratories' 25 billion takeover of St Jude Medical, which brings together two of America's biggest makers of medical devices for hearts.
A civil lawsuit in Brazil was filed against Vale and BHP Billiton seeking 44 billion in damages for the collapse of a dam last November that was run jointly by the two mining companies. The disaster killed 19 people and polluted hundreds of miles of rivers. Said to be Brazil's worst environmental disaster, lawyers say the claim for damages has been calculated by comparing the costs from BP's oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico in 2010.
Despite a brewing political crisis Brazilians have not been crying into their beer as much as AB InBev would like. The beer maker, which counts Budweiser among its labels, posted a steep fall in profit for the first quarter, to 844m, partly because sales in Brazil drooped.
Comcast announced that it would buy DreamWorks Animation, which includes the “Shrek” films in its stable of hits, for 3.8 billion.
Little problems in big China
The world's most valuable company, Apple, lost an unusual trademark case in China when a court in Beijing found in favour of Xintong Tiandi, a seller of leather goods with the name “IPHONE” emblazoned on them. The court ruled that Apple had failed to prove that the iPhone was well-known in China before Xintong Tiandi filed its trademark application in 2007.
Craig Steven Wright, an Australian computer scientist, claimed that he was “Satoshi Nakamoto”, the reclusive creator of bitcoin. Mr. Wright released what he claimed was cryptographic proof that he is Mr. Nakamoto, five months after he was outed in an investigation by two tech publications. But his initial proof was swiftly debunked and doubts remain if he is the right man.
Being and nothingness
In France an executive sued his former employer for making his job too boring. The man claims he suffered from “bore out” when his superiors downsized his role as general service director and asked him to perform non-work-related tasks, such as picking up their children from lessons. The existential strain of doing nothing led to months of sick leave, after which the man was let go. He wants 360,000(415,000) in damages.