Diane's Feed
Mar 18, 2014

Jim Beam buy helps Japan’s Suntory latch onto U.S. bourbon craze

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – If anyone should find it odd that a Japanese distillery was planning to merge with a U.S. bourbon brand steeped in the history of the American South, the answer could be found on a cocktail menu.

Suntory Pacific Ltd SUNTYA.UL won U.S. antitrust approval this month to buy Jim Beam, the No. 4 premium spirits company in the world, just as the liquor known as “America’s whiskey” is enjoying a surge in U.S. interest — and sales.

Mar 12, 2014

Herbalife says FTC opens inquiry long sought by Ackman

By Diane Bartz and Phil Wahba

(Reuters) – Herbalife Ltd said on Wednesday that the U.S. Federal Trade Commission had opened an inquiry into its operations, news that briefly sent the nutrition and weight loss company’s share price down more than 16 percent.

Billionaire investor William Ackman, who has a $1.16 billion short bet on Herbalife, has for months called on regulators to investigate Herbalife’s distribution model, which he calls a “pyramid scheme,” where a company makes most of its money by recruiting new distributors rather than selling products to real customers.

Mar 10, 2014

U.S. Justice Department, American Airlines dispute value of slots

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department said on Monday that American Airlines Group made $425 million by selling takeoff and landing slots at two busy East Coast airports, as required to win approval for the merger that set up the company.

The company’s chairman challenged that figure.

The department, in a routine filing, also asked a federal judge to approve with no changes the settlement it reached with US Airways and American Airlines. That settlement ended a fight over whether the government would allow the two to merge.

Mar 10, 2014

U.S. Justice Dept, American Airlines dispute value of slots

WASHINGTON, March 10 (Reuters) – The U.S. Justice Department
said on Monday that American Airlines Group made $425 million by
selling takeoff and landing slots at two busy East Coast
airports, as required to win approval for the merger that set up
the company.

The company’s chairman challenged that figure.

The department, in a routine filing, also asked a federal
judge to approve with no changes the settlement it reached with
US Airways and American Airlines. That settlement ended a fight
over whether the government would allow the two to merge.

Mar 6, 2014

ADT settles with U.S. over paying for endorsements

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – ADT Corp has settled with U.S. regulators who accused the home security company of paying safety experts to endorse its products without disclosing the arrangement, the Federal Trade Commission said on Thursday.

The commission said in its complaint the Boca Raton, Florida-based company paid three people a total of about $313,000 to publicly endorse their product and gave two of them free security systems.

Feb 28, 2014

U.S. Sen. Franken sees higher prices if Comcast buys Time Warner Cable

WASHINGTON, Feb 27 (Reuters) – U.S. Senator Al Franken
warned telecommunications regulators on Thursday that Comcast
Corp’s proposed acquisition of Time Warner Cable Inc
could mean “higher prices, fewer choices, and even worse
service for consumers.”

Comcast, the largest U.S. cable company, said on Feb. 13 it
had agreed to acquire No. 4 Time Warner Cable for $45.2 billion.
The proposal faces reviews from U.S. regulators who will study
its effect on competition.

Feb 26, 2014

U.S. top court considers the ‘patent troll’ problem

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – A dispute between two fitness equipment makers landed at the U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday, giving justices a chance to consider how to deal with so-called patent trolls, companies that acquire patents to sue for infringement or extract licensing fees.

It and a second related case come to the court after Congress, the White House and the Federal Trade Commission attempted to address the issue for more than a decade.

Feb 26, 2014

U.S. FTC’s top anti-scam cop: Fraud, mobile payments in our sights

WASHINGTON, Feb 26 (Reuters) – American consumers are wide
open to some of the most sophisticated scam artists ever as vast
troves of their personal information are collected by data
brokers and sometimes sold with no questions asked, according to
the Federal Trade Commission’s consumer protection chief.

Jessica Rich, director of the FTC’s Bureau of Consumer
Protection, also told Reuters the commission was looking closely
at the mobile device market, and especially at scams involving
mobile payments and apps, but would continue to investigate data
breaches and bread-and-butter ploys such as fraudulent credit
repair and mortgage foreclosure relief schemes.

Feb 20, 2014

U.S. takes steps to bolster patent system, cut frivolous lawsuits

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The White House announced steps on Thursday designed to reduce frivolous patent lawsuits by trying to make it easier to identify who owns patents and by updating review processes to ensure that fewer weak patents are granted.

Major technology companies such as Google Inc. and Apple Inc. have for years sought protection against companies that typically do not invent anything, but instead buy or license patents from others and then extract licensing fees or file infringement lawsuits.

Feb 14, 2014

Massive cable deal would make Comcast too powerful for some

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Consumer advocates and U.S. lawmakers are worried that Comcast Corp’s proposed $45 billion takeover of Time Warner Cable Inc will create a company with too much power to decide what Americans can watch on television and do online, and they expect intense regulatory scrutiny of the deal.

Their concerns are intertwined with a recent court decision to overturn U.S. open Internet rules, which enforced the principle that Internet service providers should treat all Web traffic equally and should not give preferential treatment to their own movies, websites and content. Comcast, a major provider of Internet services, is committed to network neutrality until 2018.