Tuesday's Breakfast Briefing: Credit Suisse pleads guilty in criminal case

Everything you need to know to start your day.

Credit Suisse pleads guilty in tax evasion case
Credit Suisse has pleaded guilty to helping thousands of Americans evade US taxes and has agreed to pay $2.6 billion in penalties. The Justice Department said it was the largest penalty imposed in any criminal tax case as well as the largest bank to plead guilty in more than 20 years. The settlement follows a year-long criminal investigation into allegations that for decades Credit Suisse helped wealthy American clients open Swiss bank accounts and conceal them from the Internal Revenue Service. The case is part of a broader crackdown by the Obama administration on foreign banks that have helped US taxpayers hide assets.

NFL rights crucial to AT&T's deal for DirecTV
AT&T can walk away from its proposed $49 billion acquisition of DirecTV if the satellite-TV provider is unable to renew its Sunday Ticket offering with the NFL, according to a securities filing. DirecTV's deal with the NFL, which expires at the end of the 2014 football season, allows the company to broadcast every out-of-market NFL game on Sunday afternoons to TVs and mobile devices. One out of 10 DirecTV subscribers has the Sunday Ticket package, which starts at $240 a year. By taking control of Sunday Ticket through the acquisition, AT&T would become a major broadcasting partner of the NFL and be better able to compete with Verizon, which last year signed a $1 billion deal to air more NFL games on Verizon phones.

Target cut CEO pay
Target cut former CEO Gregg Steinhafel's pay by more than 37% in his final year as chief executive, according to regulatory documents filed Monday. The move came after shareholders complained that Steinhafel was making too much money relative to the company's performance. Steinhafel resigned earlier this month in the wake of Target's holiday-season data breach that potentially left tens of millions of customers exposed. He will receive a $15.8 million severance package and remain eligible for a bonus.

New McDonald's mascot doesn't go over well
Many customers reacted negatively to McDonald's new mascot, an animated Happy Meal box with teeth, arms, and legs. The company wants to position the mascot, called Happy, as an ambassador for healthy eating, but some customers called the character "creepy." McDonald's debuted the mascot in 2009 in France, but this was the first time US consumers met him.

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