Sat, Oct 15, 2011 - Page 10 News List

World Business Quick Take



Suzuki riled at Volkswagen

Suzuki Motor Corp says it has sent Volkswagen AG a notice accusing it of numerous breaches of their 2009 alliance agreement. Suzuki is seeking “remedies” from Volkswagen or a return of its shares. Volkswagen owns 19.9 percent of Suzuki under the partnership inked two years ago. Suzuki’s board of directors decided last month to dissolve the alliance. Chief executive Osamu Suzuki says the deal was intended to give Suzuki access to Volkswagen’s technologies. He says he is “disappointed that we have not received what we were promised.” However, Volks-wagen said it has no plans to sell its stake in Suzuki.


Hulu wants to stay single

The owners of the popular video-streaming Web site Hulu have decided against selling it despite the reported interest of heavy hitters including Apple, Yahoo, Google and Microsoft. News Corp, Disney and the private equity firm Providence Equity Partners announced in a joint statement late on Thursday that they would hang on to the site, which streams free television episodes with ads. NBC Universal, another owner, was not named in the statement. Hulu, which broadcasts television shows through on-demand streaming, said in July that it had 875,000 paid subscribers and was on track to approach half a billion US dollars in revenue this year.


Hedge fund tycoon jailed

Raj Rajaratnam, a self-made hedge fund tycoon convicted in the biggest Wall Street trading scandal in a generation, was ordered on Thursday to serve 11 years in prison, one of the longest sentences ever in an insider-trading case but far less than prosecutors sought. The sentencing caps a prosecution, marked by secret wiretaps of Rajaratnam and his associates, that shocked the investment world. Rajaratnam once ran a US$7 billion hedge fund, but was found guilty of running a network of informants who provided him with corporate secrets. The sentence was lighter than the 19-and-a-half-year minimum term that prosecutors had sought.


Apple looking for movie deal

Apple is in talks with Hollywood studios about offering its new iCloud services for movies. That would allow people to buy movies on iTunes and then watch them on any Apple-made device without needing to transfer or save files. That’s according to two people familiar with the situation who spoke on condition of anonymity because talks are ongoing and Apple has not finalized agreements with all of them. Movies were a big omission from the system Apple launched on Wednesday. In a free update to its iOS mobile operating system, the update allows for music, books and apps bought through iTunes to be automatically synced on multiple Apple devices without the need for a physical connection.


Sony Ericsson breaks even

Mobile phone maker Sony Ericsson has posted a break-even third quarter, with profits shrinking because of lower margins, partially offset by lower operating expenses. Net profit fell to 0 from 49 million euros (US$67.6 million) in the same quarter last year, while sales dipped slightly to 1.59 billion euros, from 1.6 billion euros a year earlier. Sony Ericsson yesterday said its Android-based Xperia smartphones now account for more than 80 percent of its sales. It said it would shift its entire portfolio to smartphones next year.

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