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Business, Financial & Legal Posts - Page 9

China warns Microsoft not to meddle in antitrust investigation

China has issued a stark warning at Microsoft not to meddle in an ongoing antitrust investigation into the company, following a series raids in four of the company's Chinese offices.

 

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China's State Administration for Industry and Commerce posted a harshly worded warning online, demanding that Microsoft obey the law and "not to interfere with or hinder the investigation in any way," the New York Times reports. The government previously announced it was investigating Microsoft over neglecting to disclose product information and the way that it bundles its services.

 

Microsoft said in a statement that its business practices in the country are "designed to be compliant with Chinese law". But the Chinese government insisted that Microsoft's ending of support for Windows XP - used by 200 million in China - amounts to the company "abusing its dominant market position".

Square to announce Caviar purchase this week says source

Square is the mobile payment firm that made a name for itself in the credit card processing industry with a tiny card reader that works with the iPhone. The company is set to make a big purchase of a food delivery company called Caviar this week. The tip comes from a source claiming to be familiar with Square's plans.

 

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Caviar is a food delivery firm located in San Francisco that allows customers to order meals that are delivered to the home or office. The meals ordered come from restaurants that don't normally offer food delivery.

 

The deal is reportedly valued at $90 million and is a being funded with stock only. That means no cash is changing hands. Square already has a food pickup feature called Square Order. The Caviar tech could be integrated into Square Order allowing users to browse pickup and delivery options in their area.

Court gives preliminary approval on $450 million Apple eBook settlemen

Apple has been granted preliminary approval on a proposed settlement for an eBook price fixing case brought against it by states and consumers. The main charge in the case is that Apple led a conspiracy to fix the prices of electronic books. The judge presiding over the case said that the proposed $450 million settlement is "within the range of those that may be approved as fair and reasonable."

 

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The settlement will see Apple pay $400 million to states and consumers with $50 million in attorney's fees. The settlement still requires final approval from courts. Apple is currently appealing the decision, and if it does win, it will pay nothing under the settlement.

 

If the case is kicked back to judge Denise Cote for a retrial, Apple will pay $50 million plus $20 million in attorney's fees. A judge had previously ruled that Apple conspired with five major publishers to fix prices of e-books in response to competition from Amazon.

Microsoft sues Samsung for failing to pay patent royalties

Microsoft has filed suit against Samsung in the US after Samsung failed to make a patent royalty payment last fall. The missed payment came after Microsoft announced that it intended to purchase Nokia's handset business. The suit was filed in a Manhattan federal court.

 

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Microsoft is seeking monetary damages from Samsung, but it is unclear what those damages are. The suit alleges that Samsung refused to make the agreed to payments to Microsoft once the intention of buying Nokia was announced.

 

Samsung had made payments for an entire fiscal year before the Nokia purchase was announced. Samsung claims that the Nokia purchase violated the licensing agreement in place with Microsoft. Samsung apparently paid the payment late, but has refused to pay interest.

Snapchat rumored to be worth $10 billion after failed Facebook bid

It wasn't that long ago that rumors were circling that Facebook tried to acquire Snapchat for $3 billion, and then Google took a turn offering up $4 billion, but now it looks like we're finding out why Snapchat held off.

 

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Snapchat Inc. is reportedly in talks with investors including Alibaba Group Holding Ltd. for a round of funding that would see the company valued at $10 billion. This might not seem like that high of a number thanks to Snapchat seeing over 700 million "snaps" per day, and over 500 million stories viewed daily. Snapchat competes directly against Facebook, and even more so now that it was adding mobile messaging features to its service.

 

Snapchat's previous round of funding saw the company raise over $100 million with investors such as Lightspeed Venture Partners, Benchmark, Institutional Venture Partners, General Catalyst Partners and SV Angel.

Two ex-Naughty Dog employees land jobs with Infinity Ward

Two developers have left the arms of The Last of Us developer Naughty Dog, jumping over to the Infinity Ward camp. Naughty Dog lost its Lead Game Designer Jacob Minkoff, as well as its Narrative Designer lead Taylor Kurosaki.

 

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The duo will take on roles at Infinity Ward of Design Director and Narrative Director, respectively. Kurosaki had been with Naughty Dog in the 90s, left and came back in 2004. Minkoff had joined Naughty Dog in 2009, but left the company back in January. This isn't the only high up talent to leave Naughty Dog, as the Uncharted developer also lost its Creative Director to Visceral Games and EA earlier in the year.

 

While this might be the best news for Naughty Dog, it could be a resurgence for Infinity Ward after the very public departure of its co-founders Jason West and Vince Zampella left to form Respawn Entertainment, which released Titanfall earlier this year.

Trading games in at GameStop? You'll need to provide your fingerprint

Some GameStop customers have had to provide their fingerprints when they traded in their used games in some of the Philadelphia-based stores in the US. GameStop is using fingerprints to help authorities track criminals who trade-in used games.

 

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One employee at GameStop talked with Kotaku, where they said that the new anti-crime measure has been in place for around a month now. One of the reasons behind the new system is that GameStop stores in the city received a mandate from GameStop's corporate HQ after Philadelphia police asked if they could offer stronger security measures.

 

This employee said that customers of GameStop in these fingerprint scanning equipped stores can no longer trade in games if they don't provide their fingerprints. The fingerprints that are collected are uploaded onto the online database Leads Online, according to the Philadelphia Police Department, reports CBS Philadelphia. According to customers of these GameStop stores that CBS Philadelphia interviewed, they aren't happy with these '1984' style measures, which makes them all feel like they're being treated like criminals.

Google Barge in Portland heads to the scrap heap

Remember that massive barge that Google was working on that had so many people wondering what the firm was up to. The thing was envisioned as a sort of floating party house and showroom that would allow Google to show off its products to various people.

 

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It appears Google has had second thoughts about its floating palace for tech and is sending the four-story structure on the barge to the scrap heap. The massive barge has been sitting in Portland Harbor since October of last year and has a four-story structure made from shipping containers.

 

The barge in Portland was supposed to be towed to NYC once finished for its unveiling. This week the barge was towed from the dock where it has been moored with reports indicating the barge itself had been purchased while the shipping containers will be scrapped. There is no word on why Google is abandoning the project.

French firm Iliad stock falls 13% after T-Mobile US bid

Over the last few years, several firms have tried to buy wireless operators in the US with varying degrees of success. We have seen mergers of US telecom firms blocked by courts while firms from outside the US have had more success moving into the US market, such as Sprint and Softbank. A French company called Iliad has made a bid for T-Mobile US and a result of that bid is that its stock price has dropped 13% in trading.

 

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Iliad made a cash offer for T-Mobile US of $15 billion for 56.6% of the wireless firm. Iliad says that T-Mobile has a "disruptive position" in the US that is very similar to the position Iliad has in France.

 

Sprint parent company Softbank and T-Mobile have already reportedly agreed to broad terms for a deal that would see Softbank buy into T-Mobile. The Iliad deal may be easier for T-Mobile to pull off since it will have no red flags for regulators concerned about competition in the US market.

US judge orders Microsoft to turn over email stored in Ireland

Microsoft is currently in the middle of a legal campaign that sees a US court trying to force the software giant to turn over email that is stored on servers housed in Ireland. The catch for Microsoft is that to comply with the US law and court order, it will have to break European Union law. EU law says that only local courts can make the decision to release data stored on local servers.

 

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The court order issued by the US court requires Microsoft to turn over any data it controls, regardless of where that data is stored. The crux of the argument form the US court is that even though the data is physically stored outside the US, the company that controls the data is in the US and therefore must obey US law.

 

In the end Microsoft is in a bad place, turning the data over to the US court will violate EU law and not giving it to the US court will violate law in the US. Microsoft will likely appeal the ruling so it's not clear yet if it will have to turn the data over.

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