Breakfast Briefing: Walmart and Humana start acquisition talks

The news PR pros need to know on Friday morning.

By MikeMozartJeepersMedia - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0
By MikeMozartJeepersMedia - Own work, CC BY-SA 3.0

Walmart and Humana have started early acquisition talks. The deal would be yet another major shift for the healthcare industry, after other blockbuster deals like the Amazon, Berkshire Hathaway, and JPMorgan Chase venture and the CVS-Aetna merger. This comes about a year after Humana’s planned merger with Aetna was blocked by the Department of Justice.

Laura Ingraham apologizes after advertisers boycott her show. After taunting Parkland survivor and activist David Hogg, Ingraham issued an apology on Twitter. Hogg’s response? #ShutUpAndBeObjective. The apology came too late, advertisers had already began pulling ads from her show, including Hulu, Johnson & Johnson, Nestle, Tripadvisor, Nutrish, Wayfair, and Expedia.

Amazon fired its lobbyists as President Trump bears down. Amazon cut ties with two top lobbying firms, Akin Gump Strauss Hauer & Feld and Squire Patton Boggs. These firms were replaced with Federal Street Strategies and Holly Strategies to help out Amazon as Trump continues his beef with the company over taxes.

Sorry California coffee drinkers, your morning cup comes with a cancer warning now. A California judge ruled that coffee chains, including Starbucks and Peet’s, were in violation of Prop. 65, which required companies to disclose whether products contain certain cancer-causing chemicals. Starbucks and 90 other coffee companies were named in the lawsuit, but failed the prove that amount of the chemical, acrylamide, was harmless.

NBCUniversal promoted Tracy St. Pierre to SVP of communications at NBCUniversal Cable Entertainment. St. Pierre will oversee comms for USA, Syfy, Universal Cable Productions, and Wilshire Studios. Last month, Edelman’s Krystyna Hall was hired as corporate comms VP for another NBC brand, NBCUniversal Telemundo Enterprises.

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