Brainstorm Health: Aetna CEO on CVS Deal, Amazon Pharmacy, Halloween Candy

Yesterday’s report by the Wall Street Journal that CVS Health was “in talks” to buy health insurer Aetna sent ripples through much of the healthcare realm. The combination of CVS Health, the seventh-biggest company in the U.S. by revenue, with Aetna (No. 43 on the Fortune 500) would, if it were to go through, create a corporate behemoth with $240 billion in annual revenue across a wide swath of the healthcare continuum, from retail pharmacy and benefit management to insurance. As a rule, any creation of a new behemoth generates buzz. But this time, there has been equally…

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Amazon’s Whole Foods deal may accelerate the fresh food takeover, hurting General Mills

Jeff Bezos just drove a tank into the middle of the food fight going on between Wal-Mart and the packaged goods industry. Amazon’s $13.7 billion deal to purchase Whole Foods is expected to be disruptive for grocers and other retailers, but it couldn’t come at a worse time for big brand food companies, already hurt by the heavy hand of Wal-Mart’s discount pricing and the expansion of online shopping. Now with Amazon jumping into the grocery business with a more than 400-location retailer, the price slashing — and competition from…

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New Brunswick denounced for cutting side deal with Ottawa on health

New Brunswick is being denounced by other provinces for breaking ranks and signing a health-funding deal with Ottawa that falls far short of what the premiers had sought. The Maritime province signed a 10-year $229.4-million accord with Prime Minister Justin Trudeau’s government Thursday just days after provincial and territorial leaders rejected the offer as insufficient. In Fredericton, New Brunswick Premier Brian Gallant said “today’s agreement on funding ensures that we can access funding for home care and mental health this spring that might otherwise have been delayed or lost.” Gallant…

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Sky and 21st Century Fox agree £18.5bn takeover deal

Broadcaster Sky and 21st Century Fox have reached agreement on the terms of a takeover deal. Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox will pay £11.7bn for the 61% stake it does not already own. Sky shareholders will receive £10.75 in cash for each share, valuing the entire company at £18.5bn. The deal comes amid concerns that Rupert Murdoch, who also owns the Sun and the Times newspapers, will have excessive influence over UK media. Karen Bradley, the Culture Secretary, will have 10 days to decide whether the Fox bid raises public…

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EU-Canada trade deal: Belgians break Ceta deadlock

Belgian political leaders have reached a consensus in support of the Ceta trade deal between the EU and Canada, Prime Minister Charles Michel has said. He said they had agreed on an addendum to the deal which addressed regional concerns over the rights of farmers and governments. The changes will still have to be approved by the other 27 EU members. A signing ceremony on Thursday was cancelled after the French-speaking region of Wallonia vetoed the deal. ADVERTISING inRead invented by Teads What is Ceta? What the Ceta debacle with…

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