Diane's Feed
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.

Jan 31, 2014

Sticker shock key to antitrust approval for Sysco, US Foods deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The antitrust battle over whether food giant Sysco Corp (SYY.N: Quote, Profile, Research, Stock Buzz) will be allowed to buy rival US Foods Inc USFOO.UL will likely focus on whether the merger will drive up costs for thousands of restaurants, hospitals and hotels that they supply on nationwide contracts.

The Federal Trade Commission will examine Sysco’s $3.5 billion deal to buy debt-ridden US Foods from private equity, which was announced in December and would combine the only two food suppliers with a nationwide reach.

Jan 31, 2014

Experts predict Lenovo’s U.S. buys will pass regulatory muster

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – U.S. officials are likely to allow China’s Lenovo Group to buy IBM’s low-end server business and Google Inc’s Motorola Mobility handset business if it agrees to concessions aimed at protecting U.S. national security, experts said.

Computer maker Lenovo has advantages over other Chinese companies that should help it overcome the mutual suspicion between the United States and China over industrial spying and cybersecurity, such as its track record of successful U.S. acquisitions in the past. And importantly, it is not directly controlled by China’s government.

Jan 28, 2014

American folk singer and activist Pete Seeger dies at 94

Jan 28 (Reuters) – Pete Seeger, who helped create the modern
American folk music movement and co-wrote some of its most
enduring songs such as “If I Had a Hammer”, died on Monday at
the age of 94, U.S. media reported.

He was variously hailed in social and traditional media as a
“hero”, “America’s conscience” and “A man of the people”.

Jan 17, 2014

Time Warner Cable deal likely to have strings attached by regulators

WASHINGTON, Jan 17 (Reuters) – Any expansion by cable
provider Comcast, including a deal with Charter Communications
to split provider Time Warner Cable between them, would get a
tough review from U.S. regulators, who might use the proposal to
force Internet providers to treat all traffic equally, antitrust
experts said.

Charter Communications Inc reached out to Comcast
Corp this week about teaming up to buy Time Warner
Cable Inc, according to people familiar with the matter.

Jan 16, 2014

Exclusive: Florida, Indiana, others probing Sysco, US Foods deal

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Florida, Indiana and other U.S. states are reviewing food distributor Sysco Corp’s proposed deal to buy rival US Foods Inc, offices of state attorneys general said on Thursday.

Sysco said in December that it would buy US Foods for about $3.5 billion from its private equity owners in a deal that would combine the two largest U.S. food distributors and create a company commanding at least a quarter of the $235 billion North American market.

Jan 16, 2014

Florida, Indiana, others probing Sysco, US Foods deal

WASHINGTON, Jan 16 (Reuters) – Florida, Indiana and other
U.S. states are reviewing food distributor Sysco Corp’s
proposed deal to buy rival US Foods Inc, offices of
state attorneys general said on Thursday.

Sysco said in December that it would buy US Foods for about
$3.5 billion from its private equity owners in a deal that would
combine the two largest U.S. food distributors and create a
company commanding at least a quarter of the $235 billion North
American market.