Business recap: Week of July 9

Business

Papa John’s founder John Schnatter resigned as chairman of the company’s board Wednesday, after touching off a firestorm of criticism when he confirmed that he had used a racial slur during a conference call with a marketing agency. Schnatter, a Trump donor who had already stepped down as his company’s chief executive in January after he said that National Football League player protests were hurting his pizza sales, apologized after saying that the report that he had used the n-word in the May call, in the business magazine Forbes, was not in error.

A federal appeals court approved a $10 billion settlement between Volkswagen and car owners caught up in the company’s emissions scandal.

Motel 6 has agreed to settle a lawsuit that alleges the motel chain discriminated against some Latino customers at two Phoenix locations by giving their whereabouts and personal information to immigration agents who arrested seven guests.

Pfizer chief executive Ian Read said his company would delay increasing the prices of dozens of drug products after President Trump publicly berated the firm one day earlier. The company said the price increases would effectively be postponed at least until the beginning of 2019 “to give the president an opportunity to work on his blueprint to strengthen the healthcare system and provide more access to patients.”

Walter Higgins, the chief executive of Puerto Rico’s bankrupt power company, resigned just months after he was chosen to oversee its privatization as the U.S. territory struggles to restore power to those who remain in the dark nearly 10 months after Hurricane Maria.

Johnson & Johnson was ordered to pay $4.69 billion in damages to 22 women who claim the company’s talcum powder products caused ovarian cancer.

Deals

The Justice Department filed an appeal challenging its loss in the AT&T-Time Warner antitrust trial, according to court documents, a potential warning for the deals that are expected in the wake of the $85 billion acquisition.

Economy

The U.S. economy is in a sweet spot where it’s growing but not overheating, the Federal Reserve said in its latest official report to Congress. Growth is solid, unemployment is low, and price increases are modest, the Fed said. The only real notes of caution in the 63-page report were sharply rising oil prices and the escalating trade war, but so far, the Fed said, it sees little sign either of those factors is likely to derail the economy.

Washington

President Trump escalated his trade war with China, identifying an added $200 billion in Chinese products that he intends to hit with import tariffs. China had retaliated for U.S. tariffs on $34 billion in Chinese goods.

Read More at The Washington Post