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Thursday, Dec 12 09:19 PM
Lawsuit accuses IBM of hiding China risks amid NSA spy scandal
By Jonathan Stempel NEW YORK (Reuters) - IBM Corp has been sued by a shareholder who accused it of concealing how its ties to what became a major U.S. spying scandal reduced business in China and ultimately caused its market value to plunge more than $12 billion. IBM lobbied Congress hard to pass a law letting it share personal data of customers in China and elsewhere with the U.S. National Security Agency in a bid to protect its intellectual property rights, according to a complaint filed in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan. The plaintiff in the complaint, Louisiana Sheriffs' Pension & Relief Fund, said this threatened IBM hardware sales in China, particularly given a program known as Prism that let the NSA spy on that country through technology companies such as IBM. The Baton Rouge pension fund said the revelation of Prism and related disclosures by former NSA contractor Edward Snowden caused Chinese businesses and China's government to abruptly cut ties with the world's largest technology services provider.
Friday, Dec 13 10:10 AM
BlackBerry extends deadline to boost capital increase
BlackBerry Ltd, which recently concluded a $1 billion convertible debt offering, said it has agreed with its debtholders to extend an option deadline attached to the deal, giving potential investors a chance to buy up to a further $250 million in convertible debt. The struggling smartphone maker last month shelved plans to sell itself and instead opted to raise funds via a $1 billion notes offering led by Fairfax Financial Holdings, its largest shareholder. In a brief statement late on Thursday, BlackBerry said the earlier announced investor option to purchase up to an additional $250 million of convertible debentures, as part of the offering, has now been extended to January 13. BlackBerry, which reports quarterly results next Friday, has been in quiet period since the closing of the initial offering.
Friday, Dec 13 12:03 PM
Qualcomm names COO Mollenkopf CEO, ending Microsoft talk
Qualcomm Inc promoted Chief Operating Officer Steve Mollenkopf to chief executive in a surprise move that follows investor pressure on the phone chipmaker to return capital and speculation that he might be poached to run Microsoft. The replacement of current CEO Paul Jacobs, the 51-year-old son of a Qualcomm co-founder, comes a day after Bloomberg News reported that Microsoft has been considering Mollenkopf as a candidate to replace retiring CEO Steve Ballmer. "I think the consideration of Microsoft of Mollenkopf may have prompted a bit of a speedier announcement." Mollenkopf, 41, will take the reins at the world's biggest maker of cellphone chips in March, as Qualcomm faces an antitrust investigation in China, its largest market.
Friday, Dec 13 12:40 PM
ARM shares rise on report Google may use its chip designs
British chip designer ARM Holdings Plc's shares rose as much as 5.7 percent after Bloomberg reported on Thursday that Google Inc may use ARM's technology to design its own server processors. ARM's chief executive, Simon Segars, said in March after taking the helm that he saw big opportunities in servers, an area where the company was just getting started. ARM licenses its designs to chipmakers such as Qualcomm and Texas Instruments, whose chips are used in Apple Inc's iPhone and Samsung Electronic Co's Galaxy devices. ARM's strength in designing low-power processors has enabled it to dominate the mobile devices sector, while Intel Corp is by far the leader in chips used in servers and personal computers.