business news in context, analysis with attitude

...with brief, occasional, italicized and sometimes gratuitous commentary…

• The Wall Street Journal reports that Campbell Soup plans to acquire "organic-soup maker Pacific Foods for $700 million, the food stalwart’s latest effort to meet demand for fresher, more natural foods ... Adding Pacific’s butternut-squash soup to Campbell’s familiar line of chicken-noodle and vegetable soups continues a turn toward healthier foods that Campbell has been making since 2011," according to Campbell CEO Denise Morrison.

• The Wall Street Journal reports that "longtime rivals QVC and the Home Shopping Network have agreed to merge as two retailers built around cable television adapt to a world where impulse buying and video watching is moving to smartphones. The companies, famous for pitching products such as the Miracle Mop and George Foreman grill, said Thursday they have agreed to combine in an all-stock transaction valued at about $2.1 billion. QVC parent Liberty Interactive Corp., controlled by cable magnate John Malone, already owns a 38% stake in HSN."

• Yesterday, MNB took note of Volvo's decision to begin phasing out the internal combustion engine ... and now France has announced that its goal is to end the sale of gasoline and diesel cars there by 2040.

"The target is less ambitious than ones set by countries like Norway and India," the New York Times writes. "Still, coming from a major car-producing country, France’s declaration gave additional momentum to efforts to fight climate change and urban smog by promoting the use of electric cars." In addition, the Times points out, setting a goal is different from coming up with strategies and tactics to achieve it.

"The timing of the announcement was also significant, a day after the automaker Volvo said it would phase out the internal combustion engine, and during a visit to Europe by President Trump. The announcement by Nicolas Hulot, the French environment minister, was an expression of European leaders’ determination to pursue an environmental agenda despite Mr. Trump’s repudiation of the Paris agreement on climate change."

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