Acer licenses trademark
Taiwan’s personal computer maker Acer Inc (宏碁) said it will pay US$67.5 million for a license to use Founder Technology Group Corp’s (方正) PC-related trademarks for seven years. Acer will pay a further 51 million yuan for information technology systems, copyrights and patents from Shanghai-based Founder’s PC business, and 68 million yuan for customer-service and retail operations, the Taipei-based company said in an exchange filing. Acer unveiled its tie-up with Founder earlier this month.
Yen surge raises concerns
Finance Minister Yoshihiko Noda said Japan will take “bold” action if necessary to curb the yen’s surge to a 15-year high and called on the Bank of Japan (BOJ) to do more to spur economic growth. The comments echoed those on Friday by Prime Minister Naoto Kan, who is pushing the central bank to ease monetary policy given persistent deflation and the yen’s impact on export earnings. Kan said he expects to speak with BOJ Governor Masaaki Shirakawa soon. The BOJ, which is scheduled to hold its next policy meeting on Sept. 6-7, may hold an emergency session early next week to consider more easing, Nikkei English News reported yesterday.
Vale to cut iron ore prices
Brazilian mining giant Vale SA is slashing its price for iron ore by about 10 percent, saying the cut is in line with a drop in spot prices in China. The world’s largest producer of iron ore did not give more details in a statement issued on Friday. O Estado de S. Paulo newspaper said Vale’s iron ore currently sells for US$150 per ton and that should now drop to US$135. It added that since 20 percent of the world’s steel is manufactured with iron ore from Vale, the price reduction should have a significant impact in Asia and Europe.
BHP mulls coking coal cut
BHP Billiton Ltd, the world’s largest mining company, may agree with Japanese steelmakers to cut coking coal prices by between 4 percent and 10 percent in the fourth quarter, Nikkei English News reported yesterday. BHP proposed a price of about US$215 a metric tonne, down from US$225 in the third quarter, for the coal used to make steel, Nikkei said. The company raised the price of coking coal in the third quarter by more than 10 percent from the April-to-June period.
DOJ probes Google
Federal regulators are taking a closer look at Google Inc’s plans to buy travel technology company ITA Software Inc in a US$700 million all-cash deal announced last month. In a blog post on Friday, Google said the Department of Justice has asked it for more information about the proposed acquisition, which could position the search giant to compete with popular travel sites such as Expedia, Travelocity and Orbitz. ITA Software, provides technology that helps run the reservation systems of several airlines.
Ford recalls vehicles
Ford Motor Co says it is recalling 575,000 older model Windstar vans in the US and Canada because of the possibility that the rear axles can corrode and break. The recall covers vehicles from 1998 to 2003 sold in states where the heavy use of road salt can cause more corrosion. That includes Canada, New England, the Mid-Atlantic states and the Great Lakes region. Ford says it plans to start notifying owners on Sept. 27.