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Kraft, Heinz merge, and Facebook hosts a conference — 5 things to know today

March 25, 2015, 12:32 PM UTC

Hello friends and Fortune readers.

U.S. stock futures are little changed this morning after yesterday’s market decline, the biggest in two weeks. European shares are also flat in mid-day trading, while Asian markets closed with slight gains.

Here’s what else you need to know today.

1. Meet the new Kraft Heinz Company.

Kraft Foods Group (KRFT) will merge with ketchup maker H.J. Heinz after Brazilian private-equity firm 3G Capital teamed up with Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway to purchase the maker of packaged foods such as Philadelphia Cream Cheese and Velveeta. Kraft’s shareholders will receive 49% of shares in the combined company, plus a special cash dividend of $16.50 a share, the companies said. Berkshire and 3G will also invest another $10 billion in the combined company. Kraft has recently faced sluggish growth in the U.S., its main market, as consumers turn to natural and organic ingredients. Its also had to contend with a massive recall of its namesake Macaroni and Cheese and a shakeup in its top leadership in recent months.

2. Facebook hosts its annual F8 developers conference.

The social networking giant kicks off its annual conference in San Francisco today and is expected to unveil new ways for developers to work with its products. Many are anticipating new initiatives for Facebook’s Messenger communication app and its Instagram photo sharing platform. CEO Mark Zuckerberg will take the stage at 10 a.m. PT to deliver a keynote address. The F8 annual meeting has traditionally focused on consumer-facing initiatives, but in recent years Facebook (FB) has shifted its focus to developers as it finds better ways to help app creators interact with the social network’s nearly 900 million users.
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3. Hong Kong-based Hutchison Whampoa buys Britain’s O2.

Hutchison Whampoa, owned by billionaire Li Ka-shing, Asia’s second-rich man, agreed to buy the wireless network O2 from Spain’s Telefonica for 10.25 million pounds ($15.3 billion). The purchase will create Britain’s biggest wireless provider by customers. Hutchison had been in exclusive talks with the company for nearly two months and will merge the O2 with its Three business. Li has been working to diversify Hutchison’s portfolio and find ways to insulate the retail-to-ports group’s sales from the ups and downs of economic cycles.

4. Clean air regulations hang in the balance.

Clean air regulations put in place by President Obama are being challenged in the nation’s highest court, where arguments for the case will be heard today. Opponents say new regulations that control levels of mercury and other airborne pollutants would cost businesses billions of dollars to implement and that wasn’t taken into consideration by the Environmental Protection Agency as it should have. According to the Clean Air Act, the EPA was given power to regulate electric utilities as it was deemed “appropriate and necessary.” Opponents believe that “appropriate” should include cost estimates, though the agency made the decision without regard for expense.

5. Happy 5th birthday, Obamacare.

The Affordable Care Act was signed into law by President Obama five years ago this week, and the president is making the rounds today speaking at a meeting public and private health care providers and meeting with the health and human services secretary. Since its approval, the act has expanded insurance access to more than 16 million new people, according to government tallies. That includes 14 million adults that gained coverage either through the exchanges established by the ACA or via expanded access to Medicaid. Another 2 million young adults under age 26 gained coverage because of a provision that allows them to remain on their parents’ plan.