EU goes after Gazprom, and Teva eyes Mylan — 5 things to know today
Hello friends and Fortune readers.
Wall Street stock futures are gaining again this morning, adding to strong market gains yesterday. European shares are also ahead, and Asian markets also closed the day up.
Here’s what else you need to know about today.
1. Gazprom facing EU scrutiny.
Gazprom, the Russian gas giant, faces increased scrutiny from EU officials who are expected to bring antitrust charges against the company today. The regulators say Gazprom abused its dominance in the natural gas market, resulting in inflated prices and reduced competition. Any move against Gazprom would only escalate tensions between Western nations and Moscow following the imposition of economic sanctions during the Ukraine crisis. (The Kremlin earns significant income from the gas company.)
Meanwhile, Gazprom CEO Alexei Miller is meeting with Greek Prime Minister Alexis Tsipras to consider lending the cash-strapped nation 5 billion euro ($5.4 billion) in cash. Greece has been negotiating financial assistance from its EU brethren without success so far and faces several loan payments in the next few weeks.
2. Teva’s pulling out its check book.
Teva Pharmaceutical Industries (TEVA) is prepping an unsolicited bid for generics rival Mylan (MYL), reports Bloomberg Business. The takeover attempt would be the drug industry’s largest so far this year given Mylan’s $33.3 billion market value. Israel-based Teva could make the bid as soon as today, although the company is still finalizing details of the bid and any attempt could fizzle out, sources said. The combination would create a generic drugs powerhouse with more than $27 billion in revenue.
3. Yahoo reports quarterly earnings.
Yahoo (YHOO) reports its first quarter earnings after the market close today. Investors will be looking for any word on how the Internet company plans to grow following its decision to create a tax-free spinoff of its $40 billion Alibaba (BABA) stake. Yahoo has been trying to strengthen its core business as of late, including updating the terms of its search partnership with Microsoft (MSFT) in order to gain greater control over growing its web search. Analysts expect Yahoo to post earnings of 18 cents a share, down from 38 cents a year earlier.
4. Google to add mobile friendliness to its search ranking criteria.
Google (GOOG) adds “mobile friendliness” to its criteria for website rankings today. That means that its search engine algorithm will boost rankings for sites that prioritize mobile display and bury those that don’t. The Internet search giant is trying to get better at mobile and gain an edge on search and ad serving in that realm. The changes only apply to searches on smartphones and only to organic results — advertisements won’t be affected. Websites are scrambling to keep up: one market research company found that 40% of the 25,000 sites it reviewed didn’t meet Google’s standards.
5. Blue Bell sweeps its ice cream products off the shelves.
Blue Bell Creameries is pulling all of its products off shelves nationwide after the company found that its products were contaminated with listeria, a dangerous food-borne disease. Three people have died and five others were sickened from listeria after eating the company’s ice creams. The decision to pull its products comes after tests revealed that more products contained the bacteria. “This means Blue Bell has now had several positive tests for Listeria in different places and plants,” the company said.