Allow me to shamelessly plug our event from yesterday. In case you missed it, The Deal, TheStreet's sister publication, hosted its third annual corporate governance conference: Corporate Governance 2018: Understanding the Changing Agenda. The star-studded line-up included activist investors Paul Singer and Nelson Peltz, CEOs like Jeff Gennette of Macy's (M)  and Steve Mollenkopf of Qualcomm (QCOM)  and big time Wall Street advisers from firms including Blackrock (BK)  and State Street (SST)  . While the focus of the conference was activism, some arbitrageurs may have also picked up some tidbits. Qualcomm looks poised to clinch NXP Semiconductor (NXPI)  while Time Warner (TWX)  and AT&T (T)  and Sprint (S)  , T-Mobile (TMUS)  are still up in the air.

Mollenkopf addressed news that Commerce Secretary Wilbur Ross announced a deal to end sanctions on China's ZTE Corp. on Thursday and how it related to the pending NXPI acquisition. "I was happy to see it," Mollenkopf said. The implication is that resolving the dispute with ZTE could prompt Chinese regulators to clear Qualcomm's purchase, The Deal's Chris Nolter writes. Jim Cramer chimed in this morning with his thoughts: "Remember the Chinese are holding up that deal, ostensibly, it seems, because we have withheld parts to the Chinese cellphone maker and until that changes, the regulators won't bless a Qualcomm-NXPI tie-up." It may have just changed.

Makan Delrahim was less forthcoming when it came to addressing pending deals, for obvious reasons, and the regulator's comments did little to sway investors one way or the other. Delrahim, the top antitrust enforcer at the Department of Justice, did say that the antitrust division strives to instill "predictability" and "consistency" in the merger enforcement process, which could mean reviews of AT&T-Time Warner and Sprint-T-Mobile will likely paint the dealscape in media and telecom for years to come. All that said, Delrahim also mentioned that the agency wouldn't allow one person to influence their decision making. Paging Donald Trump on Qualcomm-Broadcom (AVGO)  ?

Markets today: Stocks were higher on Friday, June 8, as markets braced for what promises to be a fiery meeting of G-7 leaders in Quebec City that could ignite another series of trade war skirmishes among the world's biggest economies. The Dow Jones Industrial Average was led by Procter & Gamble (PG)  and Travelers (TRV) .

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