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Apple slapped with tax bill, melted merger for Mondelez, United Continental’s stock gains altitude

Apple (AAPL) is lower after the European Union slapped the US tech giant with a $14.5 billion tax bill. European regulators say Ireland illegally slashed Apple’s tax bill. CEO Tim Cook says, “This claim has no basis in fact or in law.” Both Apple and Ireland have vowed to fight the decision. Last week US Treasury officials said the EU is overreaching its authority.

Hershey (HSY) investors are having a bittersweet day. The stock tanked ahead of the open following news that Oreo-maker Mondelez ended its pursuit of the US chocolate maker. This comes after Hershey turned down its $23 billion offer two months ago.

United Continental (UAL) is gaining altitude today. The company is dealing with an executive shuffle in the skies after Scott Kirby left his job as president of American Airlines to take on the same role at rival United. The change will take place immediately. United said Kirby will be in charge of “operations, marketing, sales, alliances, network planning and revenue management” at the airline.

Southwest Airlines (LUV) reached a tentative agreement with its pilots’ union following four years of talks. Under the new contract, 8,000 pilots will get a 15% raise. The deal includes retroactive pay increases from 2013 and a compensation package comparable to pilots of other major airlines.