Oracle makes concessions
The EU’s competition watchdog on Monday welcomed concessions made by US business software giant Oracle over its bid for Sun Microsystems, saying the deal is now likely to be approved. EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes “is optimistic that the case will have a satisfactory outcome, while ensuring that the transaction will not have an adverse impact on effective competition in the European database market,” the EU’s executive arm said in a statement. “Today’s announcement by Oracle of a series of undertakings to customers, developers and users of MySQL [open source database] is an important new element to be taken into account in the ongoing proceedings,” the commission said. The commission is particularly impressed by Oracle’s extension for up to five years of the terms and conditions of existing commercial licenses.
Google sued by Netlist
Google Inc, the owner of the most-used search engine, was sued by computer-memory systems maker Netlist Inc over a patented invention designed to increase the speed of memory modules. Google’s computer servers infringe a patent for a memory module that increases capacity and improves energy efficiency, Netlist said in a complaint filed on Dec. 4 in federal court in San Francisco. Netlist is seeking cash compensation and a court order that would prevent further use of its invention.
Mexico downgraded to BBB
Ratings agency Standard & Poor’s downgraded Mexico’s sovereign debt to BBB status on Monday on concerns about the country’s fiscal outlook sparked by the global economic crisis. The downgrade for the Latin American and emerging-market powerhouse from BBB+ comes as the country continues to wrestle with the fallout from the international credit crisis. The downgrade spells more expensive borrowing for the country as it tries to kick-start the economy. Although still investment grade, S&P said the downgrade reflected concerns that Mexico’s tax base will be slashed and on slumping petrol revenues, that make up about 35 percent of the national budget.
Kirchner tackles debt
Argentina announced on Monday it had set aside US$6.5 billion to guarantee the payment of its public debt for next year, as the country sought to end its isolation from global credit markets. The message, broadcast nationally by Argentine President Cristina Kirchner, sought to reassure international investors, who are still skittish after the country’s massive 2001 sovereign debt default. The Bicentennial Fund for Debt Repayment and Stabilization, backed by 14 percent of the central bank’s US$47 billion in foreign currency reserves, “gives international markets security that the debt is covered,” Kirchner said.
Joblessness rises to 7.1%
Unemployment in the Philippines rose to 7.1 percent in October, up from the 6.8 percent posted for the month last year, the government’s National Statistics Office said yesterday. However, this rate was down from the 7.6 percent posted in July, the last unemployment figure released by the statistics office. Underemployment, defined as those working fewer than 40 hours a week, rose to 19.4 percent in October, down slightly from the rate posted in July. However, this was sharply up from the 17.5 percent posted in October last year.
Swedish Member of Parliament Hampus Hagman is pushing for changing the name of the nation’s trade office in Taipei to signal improved relations with “Asia’s perhaps foremost democracy.” Hagman on Wednesday last week proposed renaming the Swedish Trade and Invest Council to “Sweden’s Office in Taipei,” following similar changes by other nations. The Swedish Trade and Invest Council, part of Business Sweden, is owned by the Swedish government and Swedish industry. Taiwan and Sweden share important values such as respect for democracy, human rights, the rule of law and freedom of speech, Hagman said in the motion, adding that the two nations
TWO CASES: The five allegedly conspired with conglomerates, threatening the nation’s governance and subverting the rules of ethical conduct, a deputy chief prosecutor said Taipei prosecutors yesterday charged three legislators and one former lawmaker with contravening the Anti-Corruption Act (貪污治罪條例) in a case linked to former Pacific Distribution Investment Co (太平洋流通) chairman Lee Heng-lung’s (李恆隆) battle with the Far Eastern Group (遠東集團) over ownership of the Pacific SOGO Department Store (太平洋崇光百貨) chain, while independent Legislator Chao Cheng-yu (趙正宇) was indicted in a separate case involving two funeral services companies and a plot of land in a national park. Chinese Nationalist Party (KMT) legislators Chen Chao-ming (陳超明) and Sufin Siluko (廖國棟), Democratic Progressive Party (DPP) Legislator Su Chen-ching (蘇震清) and former New Power Party legislator
PENGHU INSPECTION: Taiwan cannot let its enemies strut around in its airspace, Tsai said, one day after a Chinese spokesman denied a median line exists in the Taiwan Strait Following China’s assertion on Monday that there is no “median line” in the Taiwan Strait, President Tsai Ing-wen (蔡英文) yesterday pledged to defend the nation’s airspace during a visit to an air force base in Penghu, saying that Taiwan cannot allow others to flex their military muscle in its territorial airspace. Tsai praised the “heroic performance” of the pilots of the Indigenous Defense Fighters who have been intercepting Chinese People’s Liberation Army Air Force planes in recent days. “I have a lot of confidence in you. As soldiers of the Republic of China [ROC], how could we let enemies strut
EFFICIENCY: The rules for Philippine arrivals were revised after 17.6% of arrivals with symptoms tested positive, compared with 0.7% of those with no symptoms Starting today, Chinese spouses who hold a reunion permit can apply to enter Taiwan and travelers without symptoms from the Philippines do not need to be tested for COVID-19 upon arrival, but are to be tested after a 14-day quarantine, the Central Epidemic Command Center (CECC) said yesterday. Minister of Health and Welfare Chen Shih-chung (陳時中), who heads the center, said that from today, Chinese who are married to a Taiwanese citizen and hold a reunion permit can apply to the National Immigration Agency for entry into Taiwan. Chinese who are married to a foreign national and hold an accompanied reunion permit