November 17, 2012 in Business

Nike to sell Cole Haan to private equity firm

From Wire Reports
 

BEAVERTON, Ore. – Nike is selling its Cole Haan brand to private equity firm Apax Partners for $570 million, part of its effort to focus on core brands.

The sneakers, clothing and sports gear maker said in May that it wanted to sell the leather shoe and bag division and its Umbro soccer jersey brand to cut costs.

Nike is focusing on its namesake brand, Jordan, Converse and Hurley.

Judge likely to OK fine in Google privacy suit

SAN FRANCISCO – A proposed $22.5 million fine to penalize Google for an alleged privacy breach is on the verge of winning court approval, despite a consumer rights group’s cry for tougher punishment.

U.S. District Judge Susan Illston told lawyers during a Friday court hearing in San Francisco that she is likely to approve the fine, which is the cornerstone of a settlement reached three months ago between the Federal Trade Commission and Google Inc.

The rebuke is meant to resolve allegations that Google duped millions of Web surfers who use the Safari browser into believing their online activities couldn’t be tracked by the company as long as they didn’t change the browser’s privacy settings. That assurance was posted on Google’s website earlier this year, even as the Internet search leader was inserting computer coding that bypassed Safari’s automatic settings and enabled the company to peer into the online lives of the browser’s users.

The FTC concluded that the contradiction between Google’s stealth tracking and its privacy assurances to Safari users violated a vow the company made in another settlement with the agency last year. Google had promised not to mislead people about its privacy practices.

Georgia bank failure brings 2012 total to 50

WASHINGTON – Regulators say they have closed a bank in Georgia, bringing to 50 the number of U.S. bank failures this year.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. on Friday seized Hometown Community Bank, based in Braselton, Ga.

The bank had roughly $124.6 million in assets and $108.9 million in deposits as of Sept. 30.

The failure of Hometown Community Bank is expected to cost the deposit insurance fund $36.7 million.

Government sues eBay over pact with Intuit

WASHINGTON – The Justice Department alleged Friday that Meg Whitman, the former CEO of eBay Inc., was intimately involved in making an anticompetitive agreement that prohibited eBay and Intuit Inc. from hiring each other’s employees.

In a lawsuit, the government said Whitman and Scott Cook, Intuit’s founder and executive committee chairman, were involved in forming, monitoring and enforcing the anticompetitive agreement.

Cook was a member of eBay’s board of directors at the same time he was making complaints about eBay’s recruiting of Intuit employees.

“EBay’s agreement with Intuit hurt employees by lowering the salaries and benefits they might have received and deprived them of better job opportunities at the other company,” said acting Assistant Attorney General Joseph Wayland, who is in charge of the Justice Department’s antitrust division. The division “has consistently taken the position that these kinds of agreements are per se (on their face) unlawful under antitrust laws.”


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