Standard & Poor's to fight case
Standard & Poor's is prepared to spend years beating back a federal lawsuit that accuses the company of giving falsely high ratings to mortgage investments that helped trigger the financial crisis, executives said Tuesday. The government in a civil complaint filed last week in Los Angeles federal court said it may seek up to $5 billion — several years' worth of profits for parent company McGraw-Hill. The company believes the charges lack merit, but the case is likely to drag on for three or more years, general counsel Ken Vittor said in a conference call with analysts.
Dell rebellion gains support
A shareholder rebellion against Dell's proposed $24.4 billion sale to its founder and other investors is gaining support, fueling a belief that the struggling personal computer maker will have to wrangle a higher price to get the deal done. Mutual fund firm T. Rowe Price joined the opposition Tuesday. Price and shareholder Southeastern Asset Management believe founder and CEO Michael Dell and the investment firm Silver Lake are seizing control and ending Dell Inc.'s 25-year history as a publicly held company on the cheap. T. Rowe Price and Southeastern, the two largest independent shareholders, own nearly 13 percent of the company combined. Michael Dell has committed his 14 percent stake toward the deal. He is the only investor who owns more of the stock.
Intel plans TV set-top service
Intel Corp. said Tuesday it will sell a set-top box that brings Internet-delivered movies and shows to a TV this year. Various boxes today bring Internet content to TV sets, with popular ones made by Roku and Apple. But Intel wants to go further and make its box and streaming service a replacement for cable. Intel didn't say what the box and service would cost.
Oklahoman sentenced in scheme
TRENTON, N.J. — Federal prosecutors say an Oklahoma woman who admitted running a mortgage fraud scheme in New Jersey that generated $4.7 million in fraudulent loans has been sentenced to four years in prison. Taya Romano, 36, also will have to serve three years of supervised release once she's freed from prison and make restitution. Romano pleaded guilty in January 2011 to a federal charge of mail fraud affecting a financial institution. Prosecutors say that between 2008 and 2009, Romano conspired with her then-husband to solicit and obtain money from two sets of family friends in New Jersey. They say Romano solicited investments in what were purported to be purchases of apartment complexes and undeveloped land in Oklahoma.
GE will sell 30 Rock to Comcast
NEW YORK — General Electric is saying goodbye to 30 Rock — the building and the TV business born there. It's a step in GE's efforts to focus on theoretically more profitable ventures such as manufacturing medical imaging equipment, airplane engines and electrical generators. The Fairfield, Conn., company announced Tuesday it is selling its 49 percent stake in NBCUniversal to Comcast Corp., the nation's largest cable TV operator, for $16.7 billion. Comcast had bought a majority stake in the television and movie company in January 2011 and was expected to buy out GE's remaining stake over the next several years. General Electric will use the money to accelerate its share repurchase program to about $10 billion in 2013.
Lean Cuisine recalled in Alaska
ANCHORAGE, Alaska — Alaska environmental regulators say Nestle Prepared Foods Co. has issued a recall of Lean Cuisine mushroom ravioli after consumers reported glass shards in the product. Affected packages of Culinary Collection Mushroom Mezzaluna Ravioli have productions codes of 2311587812 and 2312587812. Both codes have a “best before” date of December 2013. The Alaska Department of Conservation says the product was distributed in November. Officials say there have been no reports of injuries or illnesses.
Yahoo eyes fewer phone apps
SAN FRANCISCO — Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer thinks the Internet company will be able to please more people with fewer smartphone applications. She told investors during a Tuesday presentation that she thinks Yahoo will be better served with 12 to 15 mobile applications, down from a “scattered” portfolio of as many as 75 programs in recent years. By jettisoning some mobile applications and combining some elements in the same program, Mayer thinks Yahoo's services will become more deeply ingrained as daily habits that will “delight and inspire” its 200 million mobile users.
Barclays CEO pledges changes
Be honest. Or be gone. That's the message from the new chief executive at Barclays, the British bank that paid a $453 million fine for manipulating a key global interest rate. As he tried to put a brave face on 3,700 new job cuts and growing financial losses, CEO Anthony Jenkins said Tuesday that ethics matter as much as a given quarter's bottom line. “Barclays is changing,” Jenkins said at a news conference in London. “There will be no going back to the old ways of doing things.” Jenkins has good reason to embrace the high road. Even though Barclays avoided a government bailout during the global financial crisis, the lender has faced scandals that are costing it billions of pounds.
From Wire Reports