Data-loss policy launched
Hitachi Ltd and Sompo Japan Insurance Inc developed an insurance policy for companies wanting to shield themselves from damages due to losses of personal data, the Nihon Keizai newspaper reported. Hitachi and Sompo Japan will offer a package, which includes the costs of press meetings to announce details, restoring lost data, repairing damage caused by viruses and compensation paid to individuals and companies, the paper said without saying where it obtained the information. The companies aim to sign contracts with more than 100 companies in the next 12 months, the paper said. They will announce the new package on Tuesday, the paper said. Schemes to steal personal information have become more frequent and sophisticated, prompting Japanese companies to look for ways to improve protection of customers.
News Corp forms Web unit
News Corp, the media conglomerate controlled by Rupert Murdoch, is launching a new unit grouping together the Internet properties owned by its Fox entertainment, news and sports businesses. The new unit, to be called Fox Interactive Media, will be headed by Ross Levinsohn, formerly chief of Fox's online sports business. In addition to sports, the group will also oversee the online operations of the Fox television network, cable TV's Fox News Channel and the Web sites of Fox's local TV stations. The division will coordinate back-office functions such as advertising sales across the Web sites, and also make it easier for browsers to move from one Fox-owned site to another, personalize what they see and get access to a greater variety of content such as video.
Maytag sets merger vote
Maytag Corp, the US appliance maker that's the subject of a bidding contest, said it expects a potential second bidder to complete its due diligence by July 22. China's Haier Group (海爾) and two buyout firms made a preliminary offer last month to buy the third-largest US appliance maker for US$1.28 billion, or US$16 a share, about a month after a group led by Ripplewood Holdings LLC offered US$1.12 billion, US$2 more per share. The Haier group said it needed to examine Maytag more closely before making a final offer. Maytag shareholders are scheduled to vote on the Ripplewood offer Aug. 19.
■ Energy industry
Enron to pay for gouging
Bankrupt energy company Enron Corp has agreed to pay US$47.5 million in cash in a settlement that could eventually top US$1.5 billion to resolve claims that it gouged California and other western states during the 2000-2001 energy crisis. The settlement will end claims of market manipulation and price gouging against the once high-flying Houston-based company, California Attorney-General Bill Lockyer said on Friday. The agreement requires approval by the bankruptcy court and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission. In addition to the cash payment, Enron will provide California with an unsecured claim for US$875 million in the energy company's bankruptcy proceedings. Oregon and Washington would be entitled to US$22.5 million each from that unsecured settlement. The settlement also calls for the company to pay a US$600 million penalty to the three states. The deal will allow California to "squeeze justice from this corporate turnip," Lockyer said.
From the customer’s perspective, car rental is a straightforward business. The only uncertainty is whether the hire company will charge you for the scratch they discover when you hand back the vehicle. Hertz Global Holdings Inc’s bankruptcy protection filing on Friday last week was a reminder that today even the simplest business models are underpinned by a lot more financial complexity than meets the eye. The proximate cause of Hertz’s demise was of course the sudden collapse in bookings caused by COVID-19 travel restrictions. The company’s monthly revenue last month fell 73 percent year-on-year, a shortfall that even the most resilient
Uber Technologies Inc, Lyft Inc and Airbnb Inc have slashed thousands of jobs. Salesforce.com Inc and Visa Inc are letting employees work remotely for months; Twitter Inc and Square Inc are allowing them to do so for good. For the companies’ hometown of San Francisco, the moves are early signs of a dire blow. In a city with a long history of booms, busts and natural calamities, the COVID-19 pandemic has suddenly upended nearly a decade of prosperity. While municipalities across the US are grappling with economic fallout from the virus, San Francisco stands to take a deeper hit given its high
BULK PURCHASE: The French chain and Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International reached a deal covering 224 stores, which is expected to be finalized by year’s end Carrefour SA yesterday announced it would acquire Wellcome Taiwan Co (惠康百貨) for 97 million euros (US$108.33 million), and bring all the Wellcome supermarkets (頂好超市) and Jasons Market Place stores nationwide under its banner within 12 months of the deal closing. The France-based hypermarket chain reached an agreement with Hong Kong-based Dairy Farm International Holdings (牛奶國際控股), the pan-Asian retailer that launched Wellcome Taiwan in 1987. The transaction involves 199 Wellcome supermarkets, which have average sales areas of 420m2 and 25 high-end Jasons Market Place stores, which have an average sales area of 820m2, as well as a warehouse in Taoyuan, Carrefour Taiwan (家樂福)
‘ONE-STOP SHOP’: A Miaoli official said that the factory in the Jhunan section of the Hsinchu Science Park would create more than 1,000 jobs and boost prosperity A new high-end IC packaging and testing plant planned by contract chipmaker Taiwan Semiconductor Manufacturing Co (TSMC, 台積電) in Miaoli County is expected to start operations in the middle of next year, Miaoli County Commissioner Hsu Yao-chang (徐耀昌) said. Hsu wrote on Facebook that TSMC, the world’s largest pure wafer foundry operator, would invest NT$303.2 billion (US$10.1 billion) to build the plant, the largest-ever single investment in Taiwan. However, TSMC declined to disclose the financial terms of the deal, while a company board meeting on May 12 approved a spending plan worth NT$168.2 billion as part of its investment plans. Construction of the