Business News - part 43

GE Transportation Launches EPA-Compliant Train To Meet Updated Emissions Standards

GE Transportation Launches EPA-Compliant Train To Meet Updated Emissions Standards

BUSINESS

  • New GE Evolution train first to meet Tier 4 emissions standards
  • GE invested $600 million to design and test train
  • Evolution train does not require use of urea or costly fueling centers

GE Transportation, a unit of GE and one of the world’s leading railroad industry suppliers, has unveiled its new fuel-efficient, diesel-electric Evolution locomotive, which is designed to meet the US Environmental Protection Agency's (EPA) strict new Tier 4 emissions standards.

Developed by a team of multi-disciplinary engineers as well as experts who carefully consulted with many of GE’s top rail customers, the new locomotive is said to lower particulate emissions by up to 70% and NO2 emissions by 76%, representing the largest reductions in history.

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US Retail: PayPal And Discover Partner To Offer In-Store Payment Service

US Retail: PayPal And Discover Partner To Offer In-Store Payment Service

BUSINESS

  • PayPal access to be offered starting 2013 in over 7 million stores 
  • PayPal has over 50 million customers in the US, should boost Discover transaction volume
  • Discover deal to help expand PayPal offline services, offer could go global

PayPal has joined forces with Discover Financial Services to let customers make in-store purchases through smartphones or payment cards connected to their PayPal accounts. The service will launch in 2013 and be offered across 7 million “brick-and-mortar” stores that are part of Discover’s US network.

Merchants that already accept Discover cards will add PayPal as an alternate in-store payment option, and be able to accept PayPal without replacing or upgrading point-of-sale hardware or software.

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South Korean Court: Apple, Samsung Infringed On Patents

South Korean Court: Apple, Samsung Infringed On Patents

BUSINESS

    • Products from both manufacturers to be pulled from South Korean shelves
    • Apple, Samsung must pay each other damages
    • US court case not yet decided

        The world’s largest smartphone manufacturers, Apple Inc. and Samsung Electronics Co., are both guilty of patent infringement, a Seoul, South Korea court ruled.

        According to the ruling, Apple infringed on patents related to mobile-data transfer technologies, while Samsung infringed on patents related to the “bounce-back” touchscreen, technology that controls the touchscreen during scrolling.

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        Amazon Kindle E-Reader Goes To India

        Amazon Kindle E-Reader Goes To India

        BUSINESS

        • Amazon partners with Indian retailer Croma to offer Kindle e-reader tablet
        • India Kindle Store has over 1 million book titles
        • Authors in India have access to Kindle Direct Publishing service

        The world’s most popular e-reader, the Amazon Kindle, now has a billion new potential readers as Amazon and Indian electronics retailer Croma have partnered to offer the Kindle in stores across India.

        Croma is the first retailer in India to offer the Kindle, and the e-reader tablet will also be available online at the India Kindle Store.

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        Sony Axes 1,000 Jobs, Relocates Mobile Unit HQ To Japan

        Sony Axes 1,000 Jobs, Relocates Mobile Unit HQ To Japan

        BUSINESS

        • Sony to reduce mobile workforce by 15%; targets 10,000 global workforce reductions over coming years
        • 650 jobs to be cut at mobile operations HQ in Lund, Sweden
        • Company posted net loss of $5.8 billion for fiscal year ending March

        Sony is to cut around 15% of its mobile phone workforce as it attempts to reduce costs for its struggling business. Around 1,000 jobs will be cut from Sony Mobile, as the Japanese company tries to stay in touch with smartphone industry leaders Apple and Samsung.

        The bulk of the cuts – around 650 jobs – will come from Sony’s mobile headquarters in Lund, Sweden, as the company moves its base of operations to Tokyo. The relocation will begin in October, and is scheduled to be complete by March next year.

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        Online Video Views Soar In The US

        Online Video Views Soar In The US

        BUSINESS

        • 36.9 billion videos watched online in July in US
        • 85.5% of internet users in the US accessed online video content
        • Ads account for almost 10 billion videos views

        The number of online videos watched in the United States jumped to 36.9 billion in July 2012 – a sharp rise from 180 million views during the same month last year.

        Internet analytics company ComScore reported that 184 million internet users across the country accessed video content online, which represents 85.5% of people with internet connections.

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        E-Books: Barnes & Noble Slipping Despite Microsoft Deal

        E-Books: Barnes & Noble Slipping Despite Microsoft Deal

        BUSINESS

        • Barnes & Noble aims to protect its hold on 25% of US e-book market
        • Microsoft deal should help, but won’t be finalized before 2013
        • Wider distribution of e-readers may be possible with Windows 8 devices
        • Nook to launch in the UK in October

        Barnes & Noble, the largest bookstore chain in America, is struggling in a competitive market despite a deal with Microsoft intended to help it expand its share of the e-book market.

        With annual sales over $7 billion and market capitalization of $740 million, Barnes & Noble aims to protect its hold on 25% of the US e-book market, but e-book sales are slowing. At the same time, sales of print books have also fallen.

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        Major Retailers Team Up To Build Mobile Payment App

        Major Retailers Team Up To Build Mobile Payment App

        BUSINESS

        • Retailers developing Merchant Customer Exchange app have combined sales totaling $1 trillion annually
        • App to face competition from Google Wallet, Apple Passbook, Square, PayPal and others
        • Juniper Research predicts mobile payments to hit $1.3 trillion by 2017

        Fourteen major retailers – including well-known names such as Best Buy, Lowe’s, Target and Wal-Mart – are teaming up to develop Merchant Customer Exchange, a smartphone payment application for retail customers.

        Together, the members of the Merchant Customer Exchange have sales totaling $1 trillion annually and want to make their voice heard when it comes to setting mobile payment standards.

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        McDonald's Sales Stagnant, Faces Tougher Fast-Food Competition

        McDonald's Sales Stagnant, Faces Tougher Fast-Food Competition

        BUSINESS

        • McDonald’s revenue down 0.1% in US; 0.6% in Europe; and 1.5% in Asia Pacific, Middle East, Africa
        • Drop attributed to customers cutting budgets and unsuccessful advertising 
        • Competitors Burger King, Taco Bell and Wendy’s marketing aggressively to bring in sales

        Marking its poorest performance since 2003, the world’s largest restaurant chain McDonald’s Corp reported stagnant July sales as a result of the weak economy and insufficient advertising.

        Revenue at home in the US fell by 0.1%, while Europe, which accounts for 40% of the company's business, dipped 0.6% due to slow business in Germany and several Southern European markets. Although key growth areas for McDonald's, Asia Pacific and the Middle East and Africa saw a drop of 1.5%.

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        Dutch Automaker Spyker Suing General Motors For $3 Billion Over Saab Deal Damages

        Dutch Automaker Spyker Suing General Motors For $3 Billion Over Saab Deal Damages

        BUSINESS

        • Spyker claims GM blocked Saab sale to Chinese company to force Saab into bankruptcy
        • Saab now being bought out by National Electric Vehicle Sweden AB consortium
        • Analysts say it will be difficult for Spyker to prove its case

        Dutch automaker Spyker NV has filed a lawsuit on behalf of its subsidiary Saab against General Motors for $3 billion, claiming GM blocked Saab’s sale to the Chinese to force Saab into bankruptcy.

        Filed with United States District Court in Michigan and intended to cover compensatory and punitive damages as well as legal fees and interest, the lawsuit says: “When Saab found a way to secure liquidity and continue as a going concern with the help of Chinese investors, GM was determined to scuttle the deal by any means necessary, including the publication of false information about its rights under the parties' contracts."

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