Business briefs – October 28, 2018

Istanbul to Unveil New Airport, Seeks to Be World’s Biggest

ISTANBUL (AP) – Recep Tayyip Erdogan has held plenty of grand opening ceremonies in his 15 years at Turkey’s helm. On Monday he will unveil one of his prized jewels — Istanbul New Airport — a megaproject that has been dogged by concerns about labor rights, environmental issues and Turkey’s weakening economy.

Erdogan is opening what he claims will eventually become the world’s largest air transport hub on the 95th anniversary of Turkey’s establishment as a republic. It’s a symbolic launch, as only limited flights will begin days later and a full move won’t take place until the end of the year.

Trump Administration Squares Off With Drugmakers Over Plan

WASHINGTON (AP) – Less than two weeks before the midterm elections, President Donald Trump says he’s acting to lower some prescription drug prices. His plan is drawing the ire of drugmakers because it would tie what Medicare pays for some medications to lower prices paid overseas. Consumers shouldn’t look for immediate price cuts. The complex plan will take at least a year to put in place. And it doesn’t cover drugs you buy from a pharmacy, just ones administered in a doctor’s office.

IBM Set to Acquire North Carolina-Based Red Hat in $34B Deal

RALEIGH, N.C. (AP) – IBM announced Sunday it will acquire North Carolina-based open-source software company Red Hat in a $34 billion stock deal that the technology and consulting giant’s chief executive says will advance the company to the next step in cloud computing.

IBM and Raleigh-based Red Hat said in a joint statement that IBM would buy all Red Hat common shares at $190 apiece — 63 percent above Red Hat’s closing price Friday.

Ginni Rometty, IBM’s chairman, president and CEO, says the acquisition would make IBM the world’s No. 1 hybrid cloud provider — that’s when companies use a mix of on-site, private and third-party public cloud services.

Facebook Removes Iran-Linked Accounts Spreading False Info

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) – Facebook says it has removed 82 pages, accounts and groups linked to Iran from its service and from Instagram for spreading misinformation. The company says the accounts were targeting U.S. and U.K. citizens and typically represented themselves to be American and in some cases British citizens. They posted about politically charged topics such as race relations and opposition to President Trump.

Trump Says Twitter Removed Followers — But He’s Gained Them

NEW YORK (AP) – President Donald Trump is claiming that Twitter has removed “many people” from his account and that the company has “seemingly done something that makes it much harder to join.” But according to archived snapshots of his Twitter account, he has gained followers since the beginning of October. The company didn’t address Trump’s claim directly, but says “many prominent accounts” have seen follower counts drop as it works to remove malicious accounts and bots.

What’s at Stake as Italy Plays Chicken With Markets, EU

MILAN (AP) – Italy is on a collision course with the European Union over its plans to spend big on social welfare and tax cuts. Despite repeated warnings that the spending boost will make it difficult to pay down Italy’s high debt, the country’s populists are refusing to back down. The risk is the dispute could revive investors’ dormant concerns about the country’s stability and the future of the euro.

Watchdog Looks to Rescind Crucial Part of Payday Loan Rules

NEW YORK (AP) – The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau is saying it will revisit a crucial part of the bureau’s regulations over the payday lending industry. The move by the Trump-controlled agency will likely make it more difficult to protect consumers from potential abuses if changed.

GM Proposes Nationwide Zero-Emissions Vehicle Sales Mandate

DETROIT (AP) – General Motors says it will ask the federal government for one national gas mileage standard, including a requirement that a percentage of auto companies’ sales be zero-emissions vehicles. GM, the nation’s largest automaker, will spell out the request Friday in written comments on a Trump administration proposal to roll back Obama-era fuel economy and emissions standards, freezing them at 2020 levels instead of gradually making them tougher.