Microsoft Corp. must pay more than $140 million for infringing on software patents owned by a Michigan-based technology company, a federal appeals court has ruled. Z4 Technologies Inc. sued Microsoft and Autodesk Inc., maker of drafting software, in 2004, claiming the technology they used to activate newly installed software and deter piracy infringed on patents created and owned by David Colvin, the owner of privately held Z4.
Virgin Group eyes Northern Rock
Northern Rock PLC will hold accelerated takeover discussions with a consortium led by Virgin Group, the battered lender said Monday. Virgin, which wants to re-brand Northern Rock as part of its Virgin Money business, says its consortium would repay $22.7 billion of the $50 billion the Bank of England has loaned to Northern Rock on the completion of the transaction.
More job cuts at Citigroup?
Citigroup Inc., bracing for big credit-related losses in the fourth quarter, is looking to lower costs — which could mean another round of job cuts at the nation’s largest bank. Citigroup, which has about 320,000 employees, earlier this year reduced its workforce by 17,000 before the credit crisis. Its shares fell $1, or 3.15 percent, to close at $30.70 Monday. The bank is still looking for a new CEO. Charles Prince stepped down as chairman and chief executive Nov. 4, the same evening the bank announced that it will likely write down the value of its portfolio by another $8 billion to $11 billion in the fourth quarter.
OPEC guess lowers crude price
Oil futures retreated Monday on a widening belief that OPEC ministers will agree to raise crude production during a meeting next week. The falling dollar helped limit crude’s decline. At the pump, meanwhile, gas prices fell further from their recent highs now that Thanksgiving travel demand has faded. The average national price of a gallon of gas slipped 0.1 cent overnight to $3.085 a gallon, according to AAA, and is off 2.7 cents in less than two weeks, officials said.
Dubai’s ruler invests in Sony
Dubai International Capital, an investment company owned by the ruler of this booming Persian Gulf city-state, has acquired a stake of undisclosed size in the Japanese electronics and media company Sony Corp. Sony’s U.S. shares rose 1.9 percent Monday following the announcement, gaining 93 cents to $50.01.
T-bill rates drop in Monday auction
The Treasury Department auctioned three-month bills at a discount rate of 3.175 percent, down from 3.39 percent last week. Six-month bills were auctioned at a discount rate of 3.34 percent, down from 3.46 percent last week. For a $10,000 bill, the three-month price was $9,919.74, while a six-month bill sold for $9,831.14. The Federal Reserve said the average yield for one-year Treasury bills, a popular index for changing adjustable rate mortgages, fell to 3.3 percent last week from 3.58 percent.