Displaying items by tag: litigation
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided to fine Facebook $5 billion over privacy violations from the Cambridge Analytica scandal as well as a $100 million penalty by the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) for releasing misleading information about user data.
Notwithstanding the highest ever fine imposed on the tech giant, the FTC said that Facebook will also have to submit new sweeping restrictions and a newly modified corporate structure which aims to hold the company accountable for their decision regarding the privacy of its users.
The FTC issued a new 20-year settlement in an effort to avoid another potential situation where Facebook deceives its users about their privacy. The settlement order will reform the way the company makes its decisions about privacy through encouraging greater transparency and holding the tech behemoth responsible through several levels and channels of compliance.
Facebook CEO, Mark Zuckerberg, stated, “The next focus for our company is to build privacy protections as strong as the best services we provide. I’m committed to doing this well and delivering the best private social platform for our community.”
The $5 billion fine accounts for around 9% of the tech company’s 2018 revenue.
In fact, the decisions came amidst Facebook’s announcement of its second quarter earnings. The company’s stock experienced a 2% decrease during this quarter in the pre-market trading.
After the fines were made official, Zuckerberg said, “Just as we have an audit committee of our board to oversee our financial controls, we’ll set up a new privacy committee of our board that will oversee our privacy program. We’ve also asked one of our most experienced product leaders to take on the role of Chief Privacy Officer for Products.”
Apple’s South Korea unit has proposed a settlement agreement with the country’ antitrust regulator, the Fair Trade Commission (FTC).
Spotify recently made an official complaint against Apple to the European Commission, accusing it of anti-competitive behavior and their complaints have now warranted an investigation.
On Thursday, WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange was arrested by British Police at the embassy of Ecuador in London.
On Tuesday, a US trade judge has called for a ban of some iPhone imports as Apple was found to have violated a Qualcomm chipmaker patent.
International Trade Commission administrative law specialist MaryJoan McNamara recommended a “limited exclusion order together with a cease and desist order” against the tech ginat.
Since the iPhone does not compeet with Qualcomm products, Apple will not be required to post a bond while US President Donald Trump and a panel of judges review the order.
Qualcomm released a statement which read: "We appreciate Judge McNamara's recognition of Apple's infringement of our hardware patent and that she will be recommending an import ban and cease and desist order.”
Apple has not replied to a request to post a comment on the matter as of yet.
The patent which is being investigated involves extending power and battery life. The issue at hand constitutes for one of the two complaints that Qualcomm officially issued against Apple to the commission.
Qualcomm shares went up by 2.4 per cent while Apple’s shares were down by at least 1 per cent as soon as the ruling was released.
The California-based tech giants have been involved in a long-term battle over patents and royalties which have taken to the courts and other administrative bodies on a global scale.
Last week, Qualcomm won a case against Apple over patented technology which was found to be used in iPhones and won $31 million. These chips were found to have been used on the iPhone 7, 8 and X.
Other patents at issue were “flashless booting” which allows for devices to connect to the internet quickly as soon as they are switch on and allows smartphone apps to move data online in an efficient manner.
In addition to this, another patent would be using rich graphics in games whilst still maintaining battery life.
Apple sued Qualcomm a couple of years ago over payments for a preliminary ruling which involved Qualcomm owing Apple around $1 billion in patent royalty rebate payments which has not been paid yet. The judge’s decision is still to be determined.
Spotify has filed a complaint against Apple to the European Commission. Spotify claims that Apple gives itself an “unfair advantage at every turn” as it takes a 30 per cent cut of digital goods sold via iOS apps.
South Africa’s MTN filed its plea in the long-running litigation where Turkcell is claiming damages against MTN as a result of MTN having acquired a 49 percent interest in Irancell, which was awarded the second GSM License in Iran in November 2005.
MTN said Turkcell's claim is “opportunistic, an abuse of the process of Court, baseless and without merit.” The company said it “will not be bullied, harassed and oppressed in this matter and have every expectation that we will prevail.”
MTN claims Turkcell was the author of its own misfortune in failing to obtain the license in Iran. “When it became clear that Turkcell was unwilling or unable to comply with the new legislative requirement that its shareholding in the license be not greater than 49 percent, the Iranian authorities offered the opportunity to MTN, which it accepted,” said MTN in a statement.
“Turkcell obviously regretted their decision and has ever since engaged in four different sets of legal proceedings, all of which have been lost,” the statement added.
Turkcell's allegations rest on a former MTN employee who has been described as a “fantasist” and a “conspiracy theorist” and whose allegations have been dismissed, according to MTN, by an independent investigation.
When the allegations made by Turkcell were first raised, MTN appointed an Independent Special Committee under the Chairmanship of the international jurist, Lord Leonard Hoffmann, to investigate the allegations. Lord Hoffmann embarked upon a thorough analysis of the investigations.
When furnishing his report into his findings, Lord Hoffmann made the point that his Committee had “received full cooperation from the company and had been given unrestricted access to all individuals, information, documents and facilities” which his Committee requested.
He observed that there had “not been the slightest attempt by the company or its management to influence the Committee in its deliberations or Report”.
He found that Turkcell's allegations, which rested upon the evidence of one Mr. Christian Kilowan, were all “a fabric of lies, distortions and inventions”; and that Mr. Kilowan was shown to be “a fantasist and a conspiracy theorist”.
Lord Hoffmann said he was satisfied that there was no conspiracy between MTN and Iranian officials to remove Turkcell from the license process in Iran, that there were no promises made to procure the South African government to supply defense equipment to Iran or to support Iran's nuclear policy, nor that MTN had advanced sham loans to its Iranian partners, nor indeed that any promises of payment to Iranian or South African officials were made or authorized by Mr. Nhleko or Ms Charnley.
Earlier this year, Dr. Mahmoud Vaezi, the Minister in Iran's Ministry of Information and Communication Technology, rejected Turkcell's allegations in an interview with Islamic Republic of Iran News Agency. Minister Vaezi was reported to have said that all relevant documents have been looked at, with nothing to establish Turkcell's claims.
The case in South Africa is the fifth time that Turkcell has attempted to pursue legal proceedings in respect of the same issues. MTN said Turkcell “continues to pursue its claims only to harass and oppress.” The company added, “We consider that it is most unjust to burden MTN with a fifth round of litigation of substantially the same matters.”
Turkcell's four previous attempts, including proceedings before reputable international arbitration panels, failed.
Nokia and Apple announced that they have settled all litigation related to their intellectual property dispute and agreed a multi-year patent license.
"This is a meaningful agreement between Nokia and Apple," said Maria Varsellona, Chief Legal Officer at Nokia, responsible for Nokia's patent licensing business. "It moves our relationship with Apple from being adversaries in court to business partners working for the benefit of our customers."
Under a business collaboration agreement, Nokia will be providing certain network infrastructure products and services to Apple. Apple will resume carrying Nokia digital health products (formerly under the Withings brand) in Apple retail and online stores, and Apple and Nokia are exploring future collaboration in digital health initiatives.
Regular summits between top Nokia and Apple executives will ensure that the relationship works effectively and to the benefit of both parties and their customers.
"We are pleased with this resolution of our dispute and we look forward to expanding our business relationship with Nokia," said Jeff Williams, Apple's chief operating officer.
"This agreement will strengthen our collaboration," said Basil Alwan, President of Nokia's IP/Optical Networks business. "We look forward to supporting Apple.
While details of the agreement remain confidential, Nokia will receive an up-front cash payment from Apple, with additional revenues during the term of the agreement.
The value of the agreement will be reflected partially as patent licensing net sales in Nokia Technologies and partially as net sales in other Nokia business groups. Nokia will follow its existing practices for disclosing patent licensing revenue in its quarterly announcements and expects that revenues for the agreement will start to be recognized in the second quarter of 2017, including an element of non-recurring catch-up revenue.
Due to the up-front cash payment from Apple, Nokia intends to provide a comprehensive update of its capital structure optimization program in conjunction with its third quarter 2017 results.