The U.S. Treasury and Internal Revenue Service said they are extending some Affordable Care Act reporting deadlines to help companies meet the requirements.
Employers will have two more months past Feb. 1 to give individuals forms for reporting on offers of health coverage and the coverage provided. The deadlines to report this information to the IRS are extended by three months past the previous Feb. 29 due date for paper filings and the March 31 date for electronic returns, the Treasury said Monday.
The Obama administration has repeatedly extended deadlines for implementation and insurance enrollment under the ACA, sometimes drawing criticism from opponents.
Last year, Republicans sued the administration, saying President Obama exceeded his authority by delaying a requirement that most employers provide insurance to workers.
Obama said in 2013 that employers wouldn’t have to comply with the requirement until 2015. Then in 2014 the president further delayed the rule until 2016 for companies with fewer than 100 workers.
A federal judge in Washington declined in September to dismiss the lawsuit.
— Bloomberg News
A U.S. appeals court cleared Cisco Systems of infringing another company’s WiFi technology, reversing a nearly $64 million judgment against the networking equipment maker in the long-running patent dispute.
After eight years of litigation that also included a trip to the U.S. Supreme Court, the decision from the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said Cisco was not liable for directly infringing or inducing others to infringe a patent held by Commil USA on a way to help spread wireless signals over a large area, where multiple access points are needed.
Commil sued Cisco in 2007. In 2011, a federal jury in Texas found that Cisco induced infringement by encouraging its customers to use Cisco products that infringe Commil’s patent. The jury awarded Commil almost $63.8 million in damages. A judge subsequently added $10.3 million in interest.
● Sandwich chain Subway said it would stop using eggs laid by caged hens in its North American outlets by 2025, joining a number of companies that are going cage-free amid pressure from consumers and animal-rights groups. Subway, which already serves eggs laid by cage-free hens at its outlets in Europe, said it has begun using such eggs in select areas in the United States and Canada. The restaurant chain, owned by Doctors Associates, has more than 30,000 outlets in North America.
● More U.S. companies have defaulted on their debt this year than issuers from any other country or region, S&P analysts wrote in a Dec. 24 report. As of last week, 111 companies worldwide had defaulted on their obligations, the highest tally since 2009 when the figure hit 242 for the same period. About 60 percent of this year’s global defaults have come from U.S. borrowers, up from 55 percent a year ago, when 33 of 60 defaulters were American.
● FedEx attributed its failure to deliver some Christmas packages to volumes that “far exceeded all previous records” after warning last week that bad weather would be to blame for some gifts showing up late. “An unprecedented surge of last-minute e-commerce shipments” flooded in ahead of the holiday, FedEx said Monday in a statement, going beyond the company’s focus on storms in a Dec. 24 forecast of tardy Christmas deliveries. United Parcel Service reported completing all the deliveries it had promised ahead of Dec. 25.
● Beijing ordered offices to cut heating to as low as 57 degrees Fahrenheit in response to a natural-gas shortage that resulted from import delays by PetroChina. Gas supplies have dwindled in northern China as heavy fog and wind delayed unloading tankers carrying liquefied natural gas imports meant to satisfy peak winter demand, PetroChina’s parent, China National Petroleum, said on its website. Heating in public buildings including offices, malls and supermarkets in the capital was curtailed, and authorities are working with PetroChina to restore deliveries.
● The company responsible for a decade-old oil leak in the Gulf of Mexico will hold a public meeting next month to disclose details of its efforts to stop chronic slicks from forming off Louisiana’s coast. The Jan. 20 forum in Baton Rouge was a requirement of Taylor Energy’s settlement in September with environmental groups, which accused the company of withholding information about the leak. In 2004, waves whipped up by Hurricane Ivan triggered an underwater mudslide that toppled a Taylor-owned platform and buried a cluster of its wells. Oil is still leaking at the site more than 11 years later, with slicks often stretching for miles. Federal regulators estimate the leak could last a century or more if left unchecked.●
— From news services
● 9 a.m.: Standard & Poor’s releases S&P/Case-Shiller index of home prices.
● 10 a.m.: The Conference Board releases the Consumer Confidence Index for December.