Fri, Jun 22, 2012 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

INTERNET

Yahoo, Facebook talk truce

Facebook and Yahoo are in patent war truce talks that could end a legal battle between the companies, according to court documents available online on Wednesday. “The parties are currently engaged in settlement negotiations to resolve this dispute,” attorney Kevin Smith of the Yahoo legal team said in a filing asking a federal court to allow the companies more time to negotiate. “The parties believe that a further extension will facilitate settlement.”

TECHNOLOGY

Apple fined for 4G claims

Apple was yesterday fined A$2.25 million (US$2.29 million) for misleading Australian consumers about the local 4G capability of its next-generation iPad, in a case brought by regulators. The tech giant was also ordered to pay A$300,000 in costs by the Australian Federal Court. Justice Mordy Bromberg found that Apple misled people with claims in its advertising implying that the “iPad with WiFi + 4G” could connect with fourth-generation cellular networks in Australia, when it could not.

DELIVERIES

UPS to launch TNT takeover

US delivery giant United Parcel Service (UPS) will launch a 5.16 billion euro (US$6.77 billion) takeover bid of Dutch firm TNT Express today, the two companies said in a statement. “The offer period commences on 22 June 2012 at 9:00 hours Amsterdam time (3:00 am New York time, 0700 GMT) and ends on 31 August 2012 at 18:00 Amsterdam time (noon New York time, 1600 GMT) unless extended,” the statement said.

EUROZONE

Current account plummets

The eurozone’s current account surplus dropped to 4.6 billion euros (US$5.8 billion) in April from 10.3 billion euros the previous month, European Central Bank data showed yesterday. The current account on the balance of payments, which includes imports and exports in both goods and services plus all other current transfers, is a closely tracked indicator of the ability of a country or area to pay its way. Over the 12 months to April, the current account showed a surplus of 18.8 billion euros, compared with a deficit of 18.6 billion euros in the corresponding period a year earlier, the data showed.

HONG KONG

Inflation and growth slow

The territory’s inflation cooled to 4.3 percent last month, the slowest pace since February last year, after economic growth moderated along with food and rental costs. The rise in the consumer-price index from a year earlier compared with April’s rate of 4.7 percent and matched the median estimate of eight economists surveyed by Bloomberg News. The underlying inflation rate, excluding distortions from temporary government subsidies, was 5.1 percent.

GERMANY

Tax revenue down 4.3%

The country’s Ministry of Finance says its tax revenue was down 4.3 percent last month compared with a year earlier — a drop that follows a long sequence of steady rises, but the government says was due largely to a technical changeover. The ministry said in its monthly report released yesterday that taxes collected last month totaled 40.26 billion euros. It said the year-on-year drop was caused largely by a switch in the way taxes on dividends are paid, leading to delays in collecting those taxes — and it expects much of the missing money to come in over the coming months.

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