Sprint shares fall as Dish misses deadline for offer

Wall Street took a step back from Sprint Nextel Corp. on Wednesday after potential acquirer Dish Network Corp. backed off.

Sprint shares fell 4.4 percent, a drop of 32 cents, to $7, and one analyst downgraded the stock.

Dish failed to meet a late deadline Tuesday to submit its “best and final offer” for Sprint and blamed the target for putting up barriers to a fresh offer. Sprint had rejected its April buyout proposal of $25.5 billion.

An exit by Dish would eliminate the principal obstacle to Tokyo-based SoftBank Corp.’s deal to acquire 78 percent of Sprint for $21.6 billion. Sprint shareholders are set to vote on that proposal Tuesday.

SEC chief: Agency to seek more admissions of guilt

The Securities and Exchange Commission will seek more admissions of wrongdoing from defendants as a condition of settling enforcement cases, the agency’s chairman said.

SEC Chairman Mary Jo White said the change in policy would probably apply to cases in which investors were significantly harmed and the alleged fraud was egregious.

The SEC’s practice of settling cases without requiring admissions has been criticized by lawmakers, consumer groups and jurists including U.S. District Court Judge Jed Rakoff, who in November 2011 rejected a proposed $285 million settlement with Citigroup.

Kodak creditors to invest as much as $406 million

Bankrupt Eastman Kodak Co. said creditors agreed to invest up to $406 million through a rights offering, which will be used to fund distributions under a revised Chapter 11 reorganization plan.

Proceeds of the offering will be used to pay Kodak’s second lien creditors, who won’t receive equity under the revised reorganization plan, the company said. Kodak’s committee of unsecured creditors is supporting the backstop commitment and rights offering, according to a statement.

Airline merger would cut competition, GAO says

A government analyst says the merger of American Airlines and US Airways would reduce competition on more than 1,600 routes traveled by more than 53 million passengers.

A researcher for the Government Accountability Office said Wednesday that the loss of competition would be greater than occurred in the 2010 merger of United and Continental airlines.

American and US Airways executives have defended their combination, noting that they overlap on only 12 nonstop routes.

But the GAO also considers connecting routes. GAO researcher Gerald Dillingham said that competition would decline because there would be one less airline flying those connecting routes.

The Department of Justice is still studying the merger.

New indictments issued against two in BP oil spill

Federal prosecutors have secured new indictments against a former BP engineer and a former BP executive charged separately with obstructing investigations of the company’s 2010 oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

Wednesday’s indictment of former BP executive David Rainey adds language alleging that he knew of the pending congressional investigation he is charged with obstructing. A federal judge had dismissed the obstruction of Congress charge from Rainey’s original indictment, in part because it didn’t contain that allegation.

A grand jury also issued a new indictment Wednesday against former BP engineer Kurt Mix, who is charged with deleting text messages about the company’s response to the spill. The new indictment makes few substantive changes to the version it replaces and doesn’t add any new counts.

— From news service reports