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Accounting News Roundup: Pfizer Gives Up; Sterne Agee sues KPMG; Reminder: Don’t Threaten IRS Agents | 05.27.14

Pfizer Abandons Bid for AstraZeneca [DealBook]
Although the door could re-open in a few months: "Pfizer had indicated that it would not pursue a hostile bid, which would have allowed AstraZeneca’s shareholders to vote on the deal without the approval of AstraZeneca’s board. Under British takeover rules, Pfizer is not permitted to make another offer for AstraZeneca for six months. If AstraZeneca’s board were to agree to talks, the earliest Pfizer could offer a higher price would be in three months."

A Cable Merger Too Far [NYT
The NYT Editorial Board is getting uncomfortable with Comcast acquiring Time Warner Cable: "The merger will concentrate too much market power in the hands of one company, creating a telecommunications colossus the likes of which the country has not seen since 1984 when the government forced the breakup of the original AT&T telephone monopoly."

Bankruptcy witness: Detroit, accounting firm not sharing information [DFP]
Martha Kopacz has been in her role of "assess[ing] the viability of the city’s plan of adjustment" and is claiming that Detroit and EY are "not providing the information she needs to do her job."

The Big Idea: 21st-Century Talent Spotting [HBR]
What do you need? Potential, that's all. Or, more specifically: "[T]he ability to adapt to and grow into increasingly complex roles and environments."

Man convicted for death threat to IRS agent, wife [AP]
Andrew Calcione demonstrates how not to engage an IRS agent over a tax bill: "Prosecutors said Calcione left a voice-mail message in the Warwick IRS office last July 15 threatening that if the agent called him again he would torture the agent, rape and kill his wife and injure his daughter while the agent watched, and kill the agent."

I.R.S. Bars Employers From Dumping Workers Into Health Exchanges [NYT]
Nice try, though: "Many employers had thought they could shift health costs to the government by sending their employees to a health insurance exchange with a tax-free contribution of cash to help pay premiums, but the Obama administration has squelched the idea in a new ruling. Such arrangements do not satisfy the health care law, the administration said, and employers may be subject to a tax penalty of $100 a day — or $36,500 a year — for each employee who goes into the individual marketplace."

Sterne Agee files lawsuit against KPMG [BBJ]
Auditors out to lunch? The suit, "claims KPMG was negligent in performing its auditing duties of the firm's financial statements and failed to follow generally accepted accounting practices in the U.S. […] KPMG notified Sterne of 'KPMG's errors and omissions in KPMG's performance of the auditing services, at which time Sterne and its officers, directors, management and executives undertook extensive measures, at their expense, to cure the errors and omissions and to mitigate Sterne's damages.' "

A cartographic guide to Starbucks’ global domination [Quartz]
Should you want to put some distance between yourself and any Starbucks in the U.S., move to Circle, Montana. It's nearly 200 miles away from the nearest location.  

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