Roundup: Walgreens prepares to unload stores; Mazda recalls 2.2M vehicles for faulty rear hatches; more
Walgreens believes that it will probably have to unload more stores than expected to ease antitrust concerns over its pending, $9.41 billion acquisition of Rite Aid, a deal that would make the nation's largest drugstore chain even larger.
While it still expects to complete the acquisition this year, the Deerfield, Ill., company said Thursday that it will probably have to divest more than 500 stores.
The company previously said that it expected to divest 500 or fewer.
Walgreens Boots Alliance Inc. says it remains “actively engaged” with the Federal Trade Commission as it reviews the deal.
Mazda recalls 2.2M vehicles worldwide
Mazda is recalling 2.2 million cars and SUVs worldwide because the rear hatches can fall on people and injure them.
The recall covers certain 2010 through 2013 Mazda 3 compact cars, as well as 2012 through 2015 Mazda 5 vans. Also included are certain 2013 to 2016 CX-5 and 2016 CX-3 SUVs.
Mazda says it has no reports of accidents or injuries caused by the problem.
Door latch recall to cost Ford, cut into profits
Ford will spend $640 million to replace door latches on nearly 2.4 million cars, trucks and vans this year because the doors can pop open while the vehicles are moving.
On Thursday, the company announced it would add 1.5 million vehicles to the pesky and growing recall, which has become so costly Ford had to cut its estimated full-year pretax profit to $10.2 billion from at least $10.8 billion.
Customers have been complaining about the problem, which has affected much of Ford's North American model lineup, since 2014. At least 3 million vehicles have been recalled because of the problem.
Amazon slashes price, adds Alexa to tablet
Amazon wants to be under the Christmas tree this year. It has cut the price of its new Fire tablet almost in half and added its popular voice assistant, Alexa, in hopes of making it a hot holiday item, despite a slump in overall tablet sales.
The new Fire HD8 tablet will cost $90, down from $150. Mixed-use battery life is up to 12 hours from 8, and the base storage is doubled to 16 gigabytes.
The biggest change is that the tablet will have Alexa functionality. That means that when users tap and hold the tablet's home button, they can ask the assistant for anything from weather reports to news queries, and also get the device to do things like adjusting the lights or temperature on compatible smart-home devices.
Soda display stacked like twin towers removed
Wal-Mart says a display of Coke cans stacked to look like the World Trade Center has been removed from a Florida store, and was not meant to be disrespectful near the anniversary of the Sept. 11 terrorist attack.
The display was mocked online after a photo was posted on Twitter, and Buzzfeed wrote about it.
The photo showed the World Trade Center towers built of Coke Zero packages. A backdrop of the American flag was made with red regular Coke, silver Diet Coke and blue Sprite. A banner above the display said: “We will never forget.”
Wal-Mart said the display was removed Wednesday.
Jimmy John's sells majority stake to Roark
Sandwich chain Jimmy John's Sandwiches says it sold a majority stake in the company to private equity firm Roark Capital Group.
Financial terms of the deal were not disclosed.
Roark Capital of Atlanta has invested in several fast food companies before, including pretzel seller Auntie Anne's and sandwich restaurant chain Arby's.
Founded in 1983, Jimmy John's has more than 2,500 Jimmy John's locations across the country and plans to open 1,100 more in the next few years. As a comparison, rival sandwich chain Subway has more than 44,000 shops.
Jimmy John's says founder Jimmy John Liautaud will remain as chairman of the company's board. James North will remain as president and CEO of the privately held company, which is based in Champaign, Ill.