Six things for PR pros to know Wednesday morning

Walgreens says it will keep US tax base despite Alliance Boots takeover; Potential Sprint-T-Mobile, 21st Century Fox-Time Warner deals fall apart; BuzzFeed names Coleman president; Apple, Samsung call off international patent suits.

Pharmacy chain Walgreens said early Wednesday that it has agreed to acquire the outstanding stake in UK counterpart Alliance Boots for $10.1 billion. However, the Deerfield, Illinois-based company said it will not use the deal as an opportunity to move its tax base outside the US to avoid higher rates. Recent "tax inversion" deals have included US-based pharmaceutical company AbbVie’s July takeover of Irish rival Shire.

Two potential megadeals fell apart on Tuesday. First, Sprint called off its courtship of T-Mobile, a deal that could have dawn the attention of US antitrust regulators. 21st Century Fox also ended its pursuit of Time Warner, with one Fox source telling The Wall Street Journal the HBO-owner "refused to engage with us." 21st Century Fox’s Wednesday afternoon quarterly earnings call played a prominent role in the company’s decision to drop its bid, according to Bloomberg News.

A group of Russian hackers has stolen more than 1 billion username and password combinations, as well as 500 million credit-card numbers. IT security firms say the latest major security breach is another reason why consumers should change their passwords.

The Hatfields and McCoys of the smartphone industry, Apple and Samsung, have called off patent suits in eight countries outside of the US. Cases in American courts, began in 2011, will go on.

BuzzFeed named digital advertising veteran Greg Coleman as its new president on Tuesday. He most recently served as president of advertising technology firm Criteo and had a stint in the same role at The Huffington Post.

Government officials revealed Tuesday that they have another Edward Snowden on their hands, saying they believe a government employee leaked sensitive documents to Glenn Greenwald’s site, The Intercept. The files were said to be not as highly classified as those leaked by Snowden, but they did detail the expansion of terrorist watch lists created by the federal government. 

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