Mon, Sep 24, 2012 - Page 15 News List

World Business Quick Take

Agencies

CHIPMAKERS

SK Hynix welcomes ruling

South Korea’s SK Hynix, the world’s No. 2 memory chipmaker, yesterday “welcomed” a US court’s ruling against US chip designer Rambus that may lower compensation it must pay the US firm following a long-running patent dispute. Since 2000 Rambus has accused SK Hynix — previously called Hynix Semiconductor — of infringing upon its technologies involving dynamic random access memory (DRAM) that acts as the main memory in computers. A Californian court in 2009 ordered SK Hynix to pay US$397 million in patent damages as well as on-going royalties on its US sales to Rambus. However, the state’s northern district court reversed its existing stance on Friday and said Rambus had illegally destroyed evidence that may have helped SK Hynix defend itself, the South Korean company said in a statement. The court also ordered the two firms to submit by the end of next month proposals on “reasonable and non-discriminatory” royalties that SK Hynix should pay to Rambus, it said.

AUTOMAKERS

Fiat committed to Italy

Italian carmaker Fiat has restated its commitment to remain in Italy and says it will refocus its Italian plants on exports. Fiat, which controls US carmaker Chrysler, made the assurances on Saturday after CEO Sergio Marchionne met with Italian Prime Minister Mario Monti amid growing concerns that the crisis would force plant closures. Fiat sales in Italy dropped by 20 percent in the first half of the year, and plants have been greatly underutilized. Fiat said in a joint government statement that it would invest in Italy to prepare new products for launch when the market recovers, and that it has invested 5 billion euros (US$6.5 billion) in the last three years.

MINING

Xstrata delays response

Xstrata PLC, the largest exporter of utility-grade coal, delayed its response to a £21.6 billion (US$35.1 billion) takeover bid by Glencore International PLC to resolve issues over management and the board at the new company, according to people familiar with the situation. The surprise delay to a response due today buys time for the two sides to determine who will take a seat on the combined board vacated by Xstrata chief executive officer Mick Davis, said the people, who asked not to be identified as the talks are private. Glencore CEO Ivan Glasenberg said on Sept. 7 that he would take the top job after the deal, reversing a plan for it to go to Davis. Xstrata shareholders are probably “increasingly disillusioned that their interests are really being protected,” Paul Gait, an analyst at Sanford C. Bernstein & Co in London, said by telephone. “The extension just means a week more of uncertainty, in which more things could go wrong.”

GREECE

Austerity steps unfair: poll

An overwhelming majority of the population believes new austerity measures the government promised its international lenders in exchange for more financial aid are unfair and hurt the poorest parts of society, a poll showed on Saturday. More than 90 percent of respondents believe the planned spending cuts and reforms are unfair and burden the poor, a survey by polling agency MRB for yesterday’s edition of Realnews showed. Still, about 67 percent of those polled want the nation to stay in the euro. Only 33 percent of the 1,003 surveyed said they believed these measures could help fix Greece’s fiscal woes, while the vast majority said they were pessimistic about Greece’s future and expected more austerity measures in coming years.

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