Diane's Feed
Feb 5, 2015

U.S. House takes up bill aimed at fighting ‘patent trolls’

WASHINGTON, Feb 5 (Reuters) – Key Republicans in the U.S.
House of Representatives joined with a smattering of Democrats
to introduce a bill on Thursday aimed at reducing frivolous
patent litigation.

The bill is identical to a measure that passed the House
overwhelmingly in December 2013 but stalled in the Senate
because of objections from Senator Harry Reid, who set the
chamber’s agenda. With the Senate now in Republican hands, the
bill’s chance of becoming law has improved.

Feb 4, 2015

Staples, Office Depot expect second time a charm in merger

By Yashaswini Swamynathan and Diane Bartz

(Reuters) – Staples Inc (SPLS.O: Quote, Profile, Research) and Office Depot (ODP.O: Quote, Profile, Research) should find the second time is a charm as the top two U.S. office supply chains once again test the views of antitrust regulators in the rapidly changing retail landscape, experts said on Wednesday.

Staples, the No. 1 U.S. office supplies retailer, and No. 2 Office Depot Inc announced on Wednesday a $6.3 billion plan to join forces to compete against big box stores and online rivals.

Feb 2, 2015

Sysco would sell 11 US Foods centers to win deal approval

Feb 2 (Reuters) – Food distributor Sysco Corp said
it would sell 11 distribution centers run by takeover target US
Foods Inc to far smaller rival Performance Food Group
if skeptical antitrust regulators approve the merger with US
Foods.

Sysco’s $3.5 billion offer for US Foods has been pending
approval from the Federal Trade Commission for over a year but
is viewed as problematic given the dominance of both companies
as suppliers to hospitals, hotel chains and restaurants.

Jan 31, 2015

Exclusive: Sysco, US Foods offer to divest 11 facilities to win FTC deal approval

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Food distributor Sysco Corp (SYY.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and its biggest rival, US Foods Inc USFOO.UL, have offered to sell a smaller competitor 11 facilities in order to convince skeptical antitrust regulators to approve their $3.5 billion merger, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The deal, proposed in December 2013, is seen as problematic because Sysco and US Foods are the only companies with the geographic reach to offer nationwide contracts to deliver a wide range of goods to customers ranging from hotel chains to hospitals to fast food chains and fine restaurants.

Jan 30, 2015

Sysco, US Foods offer to divest 11 facilities to win FTC deal approval

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Food distributor Sysco Corp
and its biggest rival, US Foods Inc, have offered to
sell a smaller competitor 11 facilities in order to convince
skeptical antitrust regulators to approve their $3.5 billion
merger, a source briefed on the matter told Reuters.

The deal, proposed in December 2013, is seen as problematic
because Sysco and US Foods are the only companies with the
geographic reach to offer nationwide contracts to deliver a wide
range of goods to customers ranging from hotel chains to
hospitals to fast food chains and fine restaurants.

Jan 29, 2015

Revenge porn website permanently barred by FTC

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The owner of a “revenge porn site,” IsAnybodyDown.com, has agreed to not publish any nude pictures without the consent of the subject and to destroy his collection, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday.

Craig Brittain, who opened his website in 2011 and closed it in 2013 after a blast of publicity, had solicited pictures of women he met on sites such as Craigslist, the FTC said in its complaint. Men also gave him photos of naked women, presumably as a way to take revenge for being spurned.

Jan 29, 2015

U.S. net neutrality rules expected to cover interconnection deals

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – New U.S. “net neutrality” rules are expected to regulate for the first time deals in which content companies such as Netflix Inc pay broadband providers to connect with their networks for smooth downloads, according to people familiar with the plan.

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Tom Wheeler next week will reveal the latest draft of new rules that would guide how Internet service providers (ISPs) such as Comcast Corp manage traffic on their networks, aiming to ensure all web content is treated equally.

Jan 28, 2015

TracFone to pay $40 million to settle deceptive ad allegations

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – TracFone, owned by America Movil SAB, has agreed to pay $40 million to reimburse customers who purchased prepaid unlimited data plans that turned out to have maximum limits, the U.S. Federal Trade Commission said on Wednesday.

The FTC alleged that TracFone advertised unlimited data plans for $45 a month but either cut off or slowed, or “throttled”, the data once a fixed limit was hit. The agency said millions of customers had been affected by the practice.

Jan 15, 2015

Dollar General seen losing Family Dollar bid

By Sruthi Ramakrishnan and Diane Bartz

(Reuters) – Dollar General Corp stuck to its estimate of divesting 1,500 stores to win approval for its bid to buy Family Dollar Corp, a move that analysts said could end up handing the company to Dollar Tree Inc.

Dollar General’s statement comes a day after two influential proxy advisory firms changed their stance, advising Family Dollar’s shareholders to vote for a deal with Dollar Tree as it offered more certainty of closure.

Jan 9, 2015

20 states join U.S. antitrust probe of Family Dollar merger

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Some 20 state attorneys general have joined the federal antitrust investigation of competing bids by Dollar General Corp (DG.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) and Dollar Tree Inc (DLTR.O: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) to buy Family Dollar Stores Inc (FDO.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz), a development that potentially complicates the companies’ efforts to win U.S. approval for a deal.

The attorneys general concern focuses on the likelihood that the loss of one of the chains would lead to higher prices for discount store customers, many of whom are poor, said two sources who spoke privately because they were not authorized to speak to reporters.