Fillon shocked by pay
Prime Minister Francois Fillon said on Friday that he and others in the government were considering the idea of imposing extra taxes on companies that overpay their top executives. Fillon told the regional daily Nice-Matin in an interview that he was shocked by the high salaries of some executives. “I do not believe in controls on salaries. On the other hand, I am shocked to see the wage increases of a few that are completely disconnected from the economic reality of companies and wage negotiations,” Fillon was quoted as saying. President Nicolas Sarkozy’s conservative government is pushing a package of fiscal reforms through parliament that would scrap an unpopular tax shield for the rich, while also raising a wealth tax threshold to relieve middle-class households whose property has jumped in value.
J&J recalls products
Johnson & Johnson (J&J) said on Friday it has recalled 16,000 bottles of its Risperdal schizophrenia treatment and another 24,000 bottles of a generic formulation of the medicine due to consumer reports of odors in the products. The company said the latest two recalls stem from odors believed caused by trace amounts of a chemical called TBA found in pallets used to transport and store materials. J&J last year recalled a number of over-the-counter drugs — including its Tylenol and Motrin painkillers and its Benadryl allergy treatment — because of the same musty or moldy odor linked to the chemical. “While not considered to be toxic, TBA can generate an offensive odor and a very small number of patients have reported temporary gastrointestinal symptoms when taking other products with this odor,” J&J said on Friday.
Damages claim revealed
Oracle is seeking between US$1.4 billion and US$6.1 billion in a patent lawsuit against Google over the lucrative smartphone market, according to a court filing. Oracle sued Google last year, claiming the Web search company’s Android mobile operating technology infringes upon Oracle’s Java patents. Oracle bought the Java programming language through its acquisition of Sun Microsystems in January last year. A US judge last week ordered Google to make public parts of a court filing that contains details about Oracle’s damage claims. Google complied with that order on Friday and revealed the damages range sought by Oracle. Google disputes the Oracle damages amount in the court filing, calling it “a breathtaking figure that is out of proportion to any meaningful measure of the intellectual property at issue.”
GSK ordered to recall drug
GlaxoSmithKline PLC (GSK), the UK’s biggest drugmaker, was ordered to recall an antibiotic on sale in China following similar moves in Taiwan and Hong Kong after authorities detected an industrial plasticizer in the drug. China has halted sales of Augmentin manufactured by GSK after finding diisodecyl phthalate, known as DIDP, the Chinese State Food and Drug Administration said yesterday in a statement on its Web site. Taiwan and Hong Kong earlier this month also ordered a recall of Augmentin. Animal tests suggest long-term consumption of the chemical might affect the liver, according to a statement from Hong Kong’s Department of Health.