Credit Suisse fine spurs loss
Credit Suisse AG has posted a second-quarter net loss of 700 million Swiss francs (US$779 million) after paying the largest penalty ever imposed in a US criminal tax case. Switzerland’s second-biggest bank calls the steep loss — a striking contrast to the SF1.045 billion profit it posted in the same quarter last year —a direct result of resolving the US government’s case against the bank for helping wealthy US citizens avoid paying taxes through secret offshore accounts. The Zurich-based bank pleaded guilty in May to aiding US tax evaders and agreed to pay about US$2.6 billion to the US government and regulators. “We deeply regret the past misconduct that led to this settlement and we take full responsibility for it,” CEO Brady Dougan said yesterday.
Hit series boosts Netflix
Netflix’s second-quarter earnings more than doubled, as new episodes from hit series Orange is the New Black helped the Internet video service surpass 50 million worldwide subscribers for the first time. The gains announced on Monday include an additional 570,000 US subscribers, slightly more than Netflix’s management predicted. The quarter is typically the company’s slowest of the year, as people spend more time outdoors instead of watching video. Investors applauded the second-quarter results, pushing Netflix’s stock up US$4.05 to US$456 in extended trading. The shares have surged by 23 percent this year, while the Standard & Poor’s 500 index has increased 7 percent.
Facebook adds save button
Facebook Inc on Monday began letting people squirrel away links to check out later. The feature is being added as users increasingly connect with the social network from mobile devices while on the go, with little time to explore Internet content. Letting people save items for later scrutiny encourages people to return and spend more time on Facebook, increasing opportunities for the social network to cash in on money-making tools such as advertising. California-based Facebook said users have the option of keeping saved items private or sharing them with friends via the social network.
Toshiba sues Hynix in leak
South Korea’s SK Hynix Inc on Monday said Japanese rival Toshiba Corp is seeking ￥109.15 billion (US$1.08 billion) in damages in a lawsuit filed over the suspected leak of NAND flash memorychip technology. Toshiba is also seeking to have SK Hynix destroy all information about the technology in question, and cease production and sales of NAND memory products using that technology, according to a regulatory filing by SK Hynix. The South Korean firm said it would seek to have the lawsuit dismissed.
China users hit 632m
China has 632 million Internet users, the China Internet Network Information Center said on Monday. Its Internet population — defined as those who have gone online at least once in the past six months — has increased by 14 million since January, the center said. Mobile-phone users represent a large share of the online population, it said, with 527 million people in China accessing the Internet using mobile devices in the six months to June. However, use of social networks has dropped, with 257 million people using social networking sites during the period, down 7.4 percent from 278 million in December.