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REWIND: International Business News #31

Posted on July 27th, 2012 | Author: admin

  • Google and the European Union are nearing a settlement deal on an antitrust investigation into the search giant’s dominance in the internet market in areas of search, travel, and other industries. The E.U. said that Google may have abused such dominance in search and advertising by promoting its own businesses at the expense of its competitors. The settlement may require changes to the company’s business practices that could have an effect on users worldwide. The Federal Trade Commission and regulators in other nations are following the case closely.
  • There is no end in sight for the world’s largest environmental litigation debacle as dissent erupts among the plaintiffs who won an $18.2 billion verdict against Chevron in an Ecuadorian court.  After an 18-year legal battle, the plaintiffs, farmers and indigenous Amazonian Indians, won the biggest single pollution judgment ever for harm caused by oil exploration and production in eastern Ecuador. Chevron, however, has stated that it will not pay the judgment as the verdict was part of a fraudulent conspiracy involving attorneys, judges, and government officials in both the United States and Ecuador.  Chevron maintains that any pollution remaining in the rainforest was caused by Petroecuador, Ecuador’s national oil company. In addition, one group of Amazonian Indians in the class of plaintiffs currently represented by New York practitioner, Steven Donziger, are filing a suit against Donziger, alleging that Donziger is not representing their group’s interests and requesting that he explain how his team plans to spend the billions of dollars from the judgment.
  • From the patent dispute between Apple Inc. and Korean manufacturer, Samsung Electronics Co., to automotive litigations involving Japanese and Korean corporations, to the increasing number of deals and disputes in emerging economies like Brazil and India, law firms are finding a need for attorneys with language skills and are hiring them in droves.  The attorneys are often brought on as temporary hires and offer the firms more bang for the buck with both legal and linguistic skills.  The mass hires typically happen when the firms are under deadline to review a large number of documents in a short timeframe.
  •  There will be many commercial interests looking to gain at this summer’s London Summer Olympics.  Indeed, the endeavor involves significant sums, including a budget of $14.5 billion from the British government, $4.87 billion in broadcast fees and sponsorship raised by the IOC for the summer Olympics and the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics and another 700 million pounds raised by the London Organising Committee of the Olympic and Paralympic Games.  The IOC has also entered large corporate sponsorship contracts with eleven global sponsors, including Coca-Cola, Procter & Gamble, McDonald’s, and Panasonic, which for the period of 2009-12 has generated $957 million. Sponsors may pay in cash or kind, so some, like French consultant firm, Atos, are providing information technology services for the games. Although such companies believe that the Olympic sponsorship will have a positive effect, some are more cautious and believe that the Olympic boost will be less than expected.