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Amp’d Mobile Files for Bankruptcy

Filed under: — 11:53 pm

On June 1 Amp’d Mobile filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. Nearly half of their customers don’t pay, and that became a problem.

Source: BusinessWeek


Memory Price-fixing Suspicions Bolstered

Filed under: — 10:33 am

Things are looking up for Rambus, as is their stock. “Newly disclosed e-mails from computer chip makers Micron and Hynix provide details that point towards a global price-fixing conspiracy that could support allegations made by Rambus, the Wall Street Journal reported.”

WSJ: “The emails, mainly among sales personnel at Micron and Hynix, refer to other messages, phone calls, lunches and meetings among direct competitors in the memory-chip business. In some cases, the messages suggest competitors traded information in an effort to keep chip prices up.

Other messages, involving a competitor to Rambus technology known as DDR, for double data rate, suggest some companies wanted to temporarily keep prices down to discourage the use of Rambus technology.”

Read More: CNNMoney
Source: Wall Street Journal: Emails Emerge in Memory-Chip Antitrust Case”>


Jury Finds Lay, Skilling Guilty in Enron Case

Filed under: — 12:30 pm

BREAKING NEWS: “Former Enron Corp. Chairman Kenneth Lay was found guilty on all six counts against him for his role in the former energy giant’s collapse. Former President Jeffrey Skilling was found guilty on all counts except for those related to insider trading.”

Source: WSJ


Symantec Sues Microsoft Over Storage

Filed under: — 10:34 pm

Symantec sued Microsoft on Thursday, citing a misappropriation of trade secrets and breach of contract. The lawsuit “seeks an injunction that would block the further development, sale or distribution of Vista - the already-delayed next version of Windows - and other products until all Symantec intellectual property is removed.”

“The suit … involves Symantec’s Volume Manager product, software it acquired with its purchase of Veritas Software Corp. Volume Manager allows operating systems to store and manipulate large amounts of data and protect systems from data loss when storage hardware fails.

Symantec alleged that Microsoft, which had licensed the Volume Management technology from Veritas, violated terms of its license agreement by using the technology to develop competing features and products. Microsoft improperly incorporated the technology into its operating system products, including Vista, and then concealed its use of the technology, Symantec said.”

We’ll find out whether this has an effect on the Windows Vista release, considering there was recently a Supreme Court decision that was not in favor of lawsuits seeking injunctions. Though in that instance they were talking about companies that make no products and hold onto patents for the sole purpose of extorting money from other companies.

Sources: WSJ, CNNMoney

disclaimer: I own some Microsoft stock. Though I would probably be better off personally not telling you this news.


30% of Business Owners Don’t Believe in Lawyers

Filed under: — 2:36 am

I love statistics like the following:

In a survey of small-business owners conducted by the National Federation of Independent Business, 30% of the owners say they little or no confidence in lawyers.

Does this come as a surprise? By coincidence this article from Forbes was right above the ZDNet piece: “Newmont Denies Blame for Baby’s Death

The trial is being closely watched by business leaders, who say a guilty verdict could set back Indonesia’s foreign investment climate, and environmentalists eager to see if the government will crack down on a multinational company accused of pollution.

I’m studying business law right now and there are some things that definitely amaze me… I’ll have to share some contract law stories some time.

Source: ZDNet Research,


Samsung Fined For Price Fixing

Filed under: — 1:17 pm

The Justice Department said that Samsung will pay a $300 million criminal fine for fixing prices in the computer chip market. Samusung is to enter its guilty plea into U.S. District Court today in San Francisco. Victims of Samsung’s behavior includes Dell, Compaq, HP, Apple, IBM and Gateway and dates back to 2002 when prices roses despite poor industry performance. Contrary to the plea Samsung said it “strongly supports fair competition and ethical practices and forbids anti-competitive behavior”.

Fact of the Day: This is the second-largest criminal antitrust fine in U.S. history and the largest criminal fine since 1999.

Source: WSJ


Delphi Files For Bankruptcy

Filed under: — 2:16 am

Auto-parts maker Delphi Corp. filed for bankruptcy on Saturday, hurt by high wage and benefit costs. It was the biggest bankruptcy filing in U.S. automotive history and promises to have a broad impact across the industry. The supplier plans to emerge from its protection in the first half of 2007… if the country’s auto industry still exists at that point. Delphi claims it’s international operations won’t be affected; they say they have over $1 billion for global funding. There were mentions of “a significant reduction” in U.S. employment.

Delphi was spun-off of GM back in 1999 and the WSJ notes that “GM nonetheless appeared willing to let Delphi tumble into bankruptcy”. GM’s response to the filing? “It’s not going to kill GM”… but it will “create operating and financial risks…”.

Sources: Yahoo, WSJ


Google Goes To Washington

Filed under: — 10:47 pm

Online search engine leader Google Inc. has hired a lobbyist in Washington, D.C. to influence the nation’s laws governing the Internet, telecommunications and copyrights. Yahoo, Google

Google itself says it’s mission is to “Defend the Internet as a free and open platform for information, communication and innovation.”

I’ll point out that Google says it’s “a neutral tool that allows users to find information posted by others”.

A quick search for google censor paints a slightly different picture…


Oracle’s Ellison to Pay Charity

Filed under: — 1:55 pm

Speaking of Oracle, from the New York Times:

Oracle’s chief executive, Larry Ellison, has reached a tentative agreement under which he would pay $100 million to charity to resolve a lawsuit charging that he engaged in insider trading in 2001, a lawyer involved in the case tells the New York Times.

Fact of the Day: According to the Times this will be one of the largest payments made to resolve a derivative lawsuit.

Go ahead, impress your friends with that little tidbit…

Delta Airlines Heading For Chapter 11

Filed under: — 1:50 pm

From the WSJ:

After tottering on the edge of solvency for much of this year, Delta Air Lines is expected to seek bankruptcy-court protection as early as this week, and it’s possible the spike in prices for refined fuel caused by Hurricane Katrina is what pushed the carrier over the edge.

There’s some voting required, fees to discuss, etc. Thursday is a good bet…


Big Three Say ‘Don’t Poach KPMG’

Filed under: — 12:03 am

With the recent issues the audit firm is facing, the other big four see some issues with poaching (going after the clients and employees):

The three largest U.S. accounting firms ordered their partners not to poach clients or personnel from smaller rival KPMG LLP while it is under federal scrutiny for allegedly selling abusive tax shelters, people familiar with the matter said. (Bloomberg)

Doing so would contribute to the firm’s collapse which would in-turn shake the accounting industry. Anti-trust would actually become one of the issues at that point.

…think of the additional burden. It’d be like Andersen all over again.


Disney Investigating Labor Issues in China

Filed under: — 2:34 pm

Also from the WSJ:

Walt Disney Co. said Friday that it hired an auditor to investigate claims its Chinese contractors pay workers below minimum wage, demand excessive overtime and cheat labor monitors by faking pay slips.

In addition, a worker was apparently compressed to death by a machine…

…but hey, in other news, Hong Kong Disneyland is opening in a month!


Atkins Files for Chapter 11 Protection

Filed under: — 12:02 pm

WSJ- Atkins said it filed for bankruptcy due to falling demand for low-carb products. Atkins is generally credited with sparking the low-carb craze, but in recent years the diet’s popularity has waned.

…does anyone else realize this guy weighed something like 300 pounds? People are just now realizing that taking advice from him is a little flawed? Sigh.


Microsoft Infringes Upon Vista Name?

Filed under: — 11:30 am

Microsoft announces its new operating systems name to be ‘Vista’. It’s supposed to be this nice, friendly name. Apparently there’s another company with the name right down the road from Microsoft. Wow, from a company that likes to protect it’s name ( this may put it in hot water… just look at this quote from the Seattle PI:

Microsoft’s choice of Vista has some intellectual-property experts wondering if a company that has fiercely protected its own trademarks will get hauled into court. There’s already a line of sewing machines, an elevator monitoring system, even a brand of detergent used to clean dairy equipment — all bearing the brand name Vista.

This is where most people stop reading the article. They think “haha Microsoft should have thought this through, it’s so dumb and evil!” Sad. If one were to re-read the statement it may become a little more clear. If there’s already a line of sewing machines, where was the lawsuit against the detergent? When did Vista go attack the elevator monitoring system? The point is, they haven’t gone to court and never will. Why not? Becuase under the trademark lawthese un-related products with similar names will in no-way confuse consumers.

People still argue: “what about all those other computer-related Vista products out there? They’ve all got a case against Microsoft!”

“They’re all coexisting and have been coexisting for a long time, and they haven’t been challenging each other,” said Russell Pangborn, a Microsoft lawyer.


Ebbers Sentenced to 25 Years

Filed under: — 12:32 pm

WSJ- Bernard J. Ebbers, the founder and former chief executive of WorldCom, was sentenced to 25 years in prison today for his role in an $11 billion accounting fraud at WorldCom.

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