Dish Network buys Blockbuster at bankruptcy auction
NEW YORK – Dish Network Corp.’s agreement to buy Blockbuster Inc.’s assets out of bankruptcy could keep the movie-rental chain and its blue-and-gold logo from disappearing.
But whether the No. 3 pay TV company can use Blockbuster’s brand, stores and streaming-video capabilities to create services more relevant to the age of Netflix and Hulu remains to be seen.
Dish, headed by billionaire Charles Ergen, won a two-day bankruptcy auction for Blockbuster that stretched into the early hours of Wednesday morning with a bid valued at $228 million in cash.
Dish has so far been mum about specific plans for Blockbuster, but in its announcement, the company highlighted the 1,700 stores that will remain and “multiple methods of delivery.”
Dish spokeswoman Francie Bauer said the Englewood, Colo.-based company would not comment further since the deal must receive bankruptcy court approval.
Enron CEO Skilling’s appeal for new fraud trial fails
NEW ORLEANS – An appeals court has refused a new trial for former Enron CEO Jeff Skilling on charges arising from the once-giant Houston-based energy company’s downfall.
Skilling’s attorney, Daniel Petrocelli, argued that a June Supreme Court ruling that an anti-fraud law was used improperly to help convict Skilling in 2006 demanded a new trial. Petrocelli argued the jury that convicted Skilling of 19 counts received bad instructions that could have tainted their decision-making.
A three-judge panel of the 5th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the convictions Wednesday. The court ruled that whatever errors occurred in the jury instructions were harmless.
Cloud-computing deal pairs Microsoft, Toyota
LOS ANGELES – Microsoft Corp. and Toyota Motor Corp. announced Wednesday that they were teaming to build a cloud-based telematics system that would handle GPS, energy management and multimedia applications in Toyota cars.
The system will be build on Microsoft’s Windows Azure cloud-computing platform and will be available in select Toyota cars beginning in 2012, said Celeste Migliore, a Toyota spokeswoman.
As part of Microsoft and Toyota’s partnership in developing the new telematics system, the companies will invest a total of about $12 million in Toyota Media Service Co., a Toyota-owned subsidiary that handles the automaker’s digital information services. Microsoft and Toyota did not offer a breakdown of how that investment would be split between the two companies.
Reports say settlement reached in WaMu securities lawsuit
SEATTLE – The Western District Court of Washington says it’s been informed of a pending settlement in the lead class-action securities lawsuit against Washington Mutual Inc. and its directors.
The case, filed in early 2008, was scheduled to go to trial in 2012. After being notified of the pending settlement, the court halted discovery and canceled the trial date, according to a court filing.
Those seeking damages include individual shareholders, public employee pension funds and other institutional investors.
Attorneys for the plaintiffs could not be reached for comment. An attorney for Washington Mutual Inc. declined to comment.
Besides Washington Mutual Inc., other defendants include former WaMu Chief Executive Kerry Killinger; David Schneider, former head of WaMu’s home loans division; and Stephen Rotella, former chief operating officer.