February 11, 2014 in Business

Business Briefs: Apple antitrust monitor restored, ordered to heed judge’s limits

From Wire Reports

NEW YORK – A court-appointed monitor evaluating Apple’s antitrust policies can resume his work but must adhere to the strict limits on his duties spelled out by the judge who appointed him, a federal appeals panel said on Monday.

A three-judge panel of the 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Manhattan issued the order after hearing oral arguments last week on Apple’s request that the monitor’s work be suspended until the appeals court decides whether it was proper to appoint him. That ruling could be months away.

A Manhattan judge appointed the monitor, Washington lawyer Michael Bromwich, after concluding Apple colluded with book publishers in 2010.

GM announces salary of new chief executive

DETROIT – New General Motors CEO Mary Barra will earn $14.4 million this year, the company said Monday.

GM released the figure to counter reports that said Barra, the first woman to lead a major automaker, would be paid less than former Chairman and CEO Dan Akerson, who received $9.1 million in 2013.

Barra will get $1.6 million in salary, $2.8 million in short-term incentives, and long-term stock compensation worth $10 million, the company said in a statement. The long-term amount is part of a new incentive plan that still has to be voted on by shareholders.

Advocates challenge U.S.-JPMorgan deal

WASHINGTON – A public advocacy group filed a legal challenge Monday to block implementation of a record $13 billion civil settlement between Attorney General Eric Holder and Wall Street powerhouse JPMorgan Chase & Co.

The group, Better Markets, argued that reaching a settlement 300 times the nearest similar settlement without any sort of judicial review amounted to a power grab by the executive branch.

Holder negotiated privately with JPMorgan Chase CEO Jamie Dimon to reach the November deal.

United, flight attendants avoid furloughs

CHICAGO – United Airlines and one of its unions have struck a deal to avoid involuntary furloughs April 1 for nearly 700 flight attendants.

United said in January it would furlough the 688 flight attendants because it had too many United flight attendants but sometimes too few on the Continental side. The two sets of flight attendants belong to the same national union but work separately under different union contracts. Joint labor talks continue with United.

United and Continental merged in 2010 but have yet to merge all aspects of the airlines.

Kraft cheeses dropping artificial preservatives

NEW YORK – Kraft is removing artificial preservatives from its most popular individually wrapped cheese slices, in the latest sign that companies are tweaking recipes as food labels come under greater scrutiny.

The change affects the company’s Kraft Singles in the full-fat American and White American varieties. Sorbic acid is being replaced by natamycin, which Kraft says is a “natural mold inhibitor.”

Google reaches second in market capitalization

NEW YORK – Google has passed Exxon to become the second-most valuable U.S. firm by market capitalization.

According to FactSet data, the Internet company’s market capitalization surpassed that of oil company Exxon Mobil Corp. last week. As of Friday’s market close, it sat at $395.42 billion compared with the oil company’s $392.66 billion.

Apple is No. 1, with a value of $463.55 billion.

Market capitalization is the number of outstanding shares multiplied by their value.

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