As part of a settlement agreement with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), Dell will pay a civil monetary penalty of $100 million, the PC maker announced.
"We are pleased to have resolved this matter," company chairman Michael Dell said in a statement. "We are committed to maintaining clear and accurate reporting of our periodic results, supporting our customers, and executing our growth strategy."
Both the company and Michael Dell entered into the settlement without admitting or denying any wrong doing. In addition, the company has agreed to a permanent injunction against future violations, and is required to retain an independent consultant and enhance its disclosure processes, practices, and controls, Dell said.
Fredrik Neij, Gottfrid Svartholm, and Peter Sunde, the three outspoken founders of the popular torrent tracking site The Pirate Bay, have been told to take their shenanigans out The Netherlands, or face the consequences. Failure to do so will result in fines of 50,000 euros (around US$64,590) per day.
This is the second time in two summers the trio have been told get out of Dodge, so to speak. Last summer, an anti-piracy outfit took TPB's founders to court, where a judge ultimately ordered them to remove a list of torrents linking to copyrighted works and to ban Dutch users from accessing the site.
Sunde and company opted to appeal the case, and this latest ruling confirms the one from a year ago. The judge did not, however rule that TPB is guilty of copyright infringement, but did say that the site's operators assist in copyright infringement by both allowing and encouraging users to share torrents.
While TPB and its founders will likely remain ever defiant, the case sets a precedent that might be used against other torrent sites.
Dell, the world's second largest PC maker (behind Hewlett-Packard), is hoping the SEC accepts its settlement proposal and ends its long-term investigation into the OEM's accounting and financial reporting practices.
According to Dell, SEC staff did react favorably and has agreed to recommend the settlement to commissioners. The next step would be for the SEC and a district court to give their stamp of approval.
The settlement calls for the SEC to hit Dell with a civil penalty for alleged violations of negligence-based fraud provisions of federal securities laws. Under terms of the proposed settlement, Michael Dell would retain his position as chairman and CEO.
In addition, Dell wouldn't have to admit or deny the SEC allegations if the proposal were to be accepted.
According to a lawsuit filed this week in a Delaware federal district court, a company called XPRT Ventures thinks eBay's PayPal transaction system infringes on their e-commerce technology.
"The inventors listed on XPRT's patents shared their patent applications and ideas on how to implement such concepts taught therein, with eBay in confidence," XPRT's legal team explains. "eBay incorporated such inventive concepts and ideas into its auction payment process during current California gubernatorial candidate meg Whitman's tenure as eBay's CEO. eBay's unauthorized incorporation was a misuse of inventors' confidential and proprietary material."
As XPRT charges, eBay's implementation of PayPal infringes on no less than six patents, all of which XPRT says were filed back in 2003. eBay isn't the only one XPRT is going after, however, as BillMeLater, Shopping.com, and StubHub were also named in the lawsuit.
Adeniyi Adeyemi, a 27-year-old former IT worker for the Bank of New York, made away with some $1.1 million from charity bank accounts after stealing personal information for 2,000 bank employees, and now must face the legal repercussions for doing so.
According to a press release issued by the York City District Attorney, Adeyemi came clean with what he'd done and pleaded guilty to grand larceny, money laundering, and computer tampering. As the press release tells it, Adeyemi used his position as a computer technician at the bank's headquarters to steal the personal identifying information of 2,000 employees, almost all of which worked in the IT department.
This went on for eight years, during which time he set up dummy bank accounts used to transfer stolen funds from no less than 11 charities worldwide. After using publicly available routing numbers for the charities, he would then transfer the funds to a second tier of dummy accounts to better hide his tracks, the press release said.
Show of hands, who didn't see this one coming? Anyone? Like you, your neighbor, the local convenience store owner, and even little Billy who's more interested in what SpongeBob is up to than the world of tech, we could see the class action lawsuit(s) coming, and they've now arrived.
Defect in Design, Manufacture, and Assembly (Apple)
Breach of Express Warranty (Apple)
Breach of Implied Warranty for Merchantability (Apple and AT&T)
Breach of Implied Warranty of Fitness for a Particular Purpose (Ajpple and AT&T)
Deceptive Trade Practices (Apple and AT&T)
Intentional Misrepresentation (Apple and AT&T)
Negligent Misrepresentation (Apple and AT&T)
Fraud by Concealment (Apple AT&T)
Lawsuits over the iPhone 4's well documented antenna problems have also come from Washington, Massachusetts, and probably a few other places. One of the suits says "the refusal of Apple and AT&T to both acknowledge and offer to fix users' phones is incredulous."
For those of you who may have been abducted by aliens and just now returned to Earth, Apple has been catching heat for what many are saying is a defect in the iPhone 4's design that causes the device to lose a signal when covering the antenna, most often when holding it with the left hand. Steve Jobs called it a "non issue" and suggested holding the device a different way.
According to the court documents, Dell employees were aware that the OptiPlex PCs sold to customers between May 2003 to July 2005 were likely to fail. During that time period, Dell shipped about 11.8 million OptiPlex computers.
The cause of the problems has been identified as bad capacitors, which not only affected Dell, but several other PC makers and mobo vendors as well. According to court documents, Dell salespeople were told to say "don't bring this to customer's attention proactively."
According to Dell, however, the OEM had addressed the problem at the time, and current customers have nothing to worry about either.
"Dell worked with customers to address their issues, and Dell extended the warranties on all OptiPlex motherboards to January 2008 in order to address the Nichicon capacitor problem," said David Frink, a Dell spokesman. "The AIT lawsuit does not involve any current Dell products. Dell is responsive to customer issues and we continue to remain focused on our customers, their needs, and our growing record of superior customer service."
It's said that breaking up is hard to do, but have you ever had an ex take you to court to prevent you from seeing someone else? That's not uncommon in the business world, and as former IBM senior executive Joanne Olsen is finding out, breaking up is indeed hard to do.
After serving 31 years with IBM, Oracle managed to dangle a big enough carrot in front of Olsen to lure her away from IBM just as the rivalry between the two companies hit an all time high following Oracle's $5.6 billion buyout of Sun Microsystems. The move has IBM crying foul, which contends that Olsen has violated the terms of the non-competition agreement she signed with IBM. Under terms of the agreement, Olsen must wait a year after leaving IBM before rendering services for a competitor.
"Joanne Olsen possesses valuable confidential information about IBM and our operations. As a result, she cannot undertake a senior position at Oracle without violating her obligations to IBM," said IBM spokesman Doug Shelton.
Olsen, Oracle, and each one's legal team has yet to respond to the accusations.
Thirty-three states, including California, Florida, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania, and others, will receive $173 million from six DRAM makers to settle a suit accusing them of fixing prices for products between 1998 and 2002. Companies named in the suit include Micron, NEC, Infineon, Hynix, Elpida, and Mosel Vitelic.
"These companies conspired in an illegal global scheme to fix prices on chips used in computer equipment sold to consumers, schools, and government offices," California Attorney General Edmund 'Jerry' Brown Jr. said in a statement. "The large price tag of this settlement should serve as a warning that we will crack down on any manufacturers around the world that choose to gouge consumers through illegal price-fixing schemes."
It is yet to be determined how much each company will pay towards the $173 million collective settlement, which is to be doled out over the course of two years plus interest to the affected consumers, schools, and government offices.
"The settlement money is welcome, but the illegal overcharging never should have happened in the first place," Brown added. "Especially when times are tight, schools and government agencies can't afford to be ripped off by companies that violate our anti-trust laws to keep profits high."
An antitrust lawsuit filed against Intel by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission may not go to court after all, not if the two sides can agree on a settlement.
That seemed unlikely just a short time ago, but in a statement earlier this week, Intel said lawyers for both sides have gone and filed a joint motion to suspend trial proceedings while the two parties try to hammer out a settlement they each can live with.
Terms of the proposed order are considered confidential, and neither side is willing to comment any further. What is known, however, is that the motion gives Intel and the FTC until July 22 to review the case and cut a deal.
The original complaint dates back to late 2009. Shortly after Intel settled antitrust and patent disputes with AMD for $1.25 billion, the FTC filed complaints of their own charging the world's largest microprocessor player with anti-competitive business practices.