Rajan introduces stimulus
New Reserve Bank of India Governor Raghuram Rajan started his first day in office on Wednesday by announcing short-term measures to boost confidence as the troubled Indian economy slows and the currency tumbles. Rajan had not been expected to make specific policy changes on the day he was sworn into office, but he announced the measures at a televised news conference. Among the measures he promised for the coming months were that existing banks would be able to open new domestic branches without the central bank’s permission and that long-awaited new banking licenses would be issued by January. The central bank will also soon issue inflation-indexed savings certificates and take steps to encourage financial services for the poor, including making payments easier through mobile banking, he said.
Caracas told to pay Conoco
An international arbitrator has ruled that Venezuela made no genuine effort to fairly compensate ConocoPhillips after seizing the US oil company’s assets in the country. The World Bank’s International Center for Settlement of Investment Disputes effectively ruled on Tuesday that Caracas is bound to pay Conoco fairly for the assets, which were nationalized in 2007 by the government of then-president Hugo Chavez. Venezuela “breached its obligation to negotiate in good faith for compensation for its taking of the ConocoPhillips assets in the three projects on the basis of market value,” the tribunal said.
Motorola loses patent case
Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility did not act in good faith when it demanded patent royalties from Microsoft Corp for use of video-compression and Wi-Fi technology, a federal jury said on Wednesday. The jury in Seattle acted in its first day of deliberations. Microsoft was awarded about US$14.5 million in damages, the Seattle Times newspaper reported in a blog post. The verdict could help the two companies resolve a dispute over patent royalties for both fundamental technologies in electronic devices and features that make them easier to use. More broadly, the case is one front in a global debate on how to handle patents that relate to technology included in industry standards used by all manufacturers.
Yahoo unveils new logo
Yahoo has adopted a new logo for the first time since shortly after the Internet company’s founding 18 years ago. The redesigned look unveiled late on Wednesday is part of a makeover that Yahoo has been undergoing since the company hired Google executive Marissa Mayer to become its CEO 14 months ago. Mayer has already spruced up Yahoo’s front page, e-mail and Flickr photo-sharing service, as well as engineered a series of acquisitions aimed at attracting more traffic on mobile devices. The logo was shown both with purple letters and in white with a purple background spelling out the word Yahoo!, with no letters touching and ending with an exclamation point.
Xbox coming in November
Microsoft’s new Xbox One console will go on sale on Nov. 22 in 13 launch countries, the US tech giant said on Wednesday. The company had previously said the entertainment and gaming console would be available sometime in November. In June, Microsoft said the launch would be in 21 countries, but last month cut that back to 13, saying the plan had been too ambitious.