Facebook: Clearing Its Slate Before an IPO
Facebook announced on Nov. 29 that it had reached a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission that requires the social networking giant to get permission from users before overriding their personal privacy preferences about sharing information with third parties. The settlement also requires Facebook to submit to an annual, independent review of its privacy practices for a period of 20 years. The social networking firm’s efforts to resolve privacy complaints should help smooth its path to an IPO, which it aims to hold sometime between April and June of next year, according to the Wall Street Journal. Facebook plans to raise about $10 billion, valuing the company at more than $100 billion.
Lions Gate Entertainment: Eyeing the Studio Behind Twilight
Independent film and TV company Lions Gate Entertainment (LGF) has restarted merger talks with Summit Entertainment, the studio behind the wildly successful Twilight vampire film franchise, according to people with knowledge of the matter. The companies’ earlier discussions broke down over price and control issues. A deal would give Lions Gate access to profits from Twilight, which has already grossed $2.3 billion in international box office sales. Summit is considering additional suitors. Both companies declined to comment.
Ohio State: A New Head Coach for the Buckeyes
Ohio State University signed football coach Urban Meyer to a six-year contract that will pay him a salary of $4 million annually plus bonuses—more than triple the $1.3 million earned by school president Gordon Gee in 2010. Ohio State’s football program had an operating profit of about $18.2 million last year under coach Jim Tressel, who resigned over a scandal involving players selling team memorabilia. Meyer, an Ohio native, previously led the University of Florida to a 65-15 record over six seasons and has two national titles to his name.
Research In Motion: BlackBerry Software for iPhones
Research In Motion (RIMM) will soon offer enterprise clients software to manage the iPhones and Androids that are increasingly displacing its once-dominant BlackBerry. BlackBerry Mobile Fusion will be available in the first quarter and can run alongside or replace the highly secure BlackBerry Enterprise Server networks that RIM currently operates for companies and government agencies. The software should make it easier for employers to let workers securely use their own devices, instead of corporate-issued handsets.
Pfizer: A Lucrative Patent Expires
Pfizer’s (PFE) long dependence on the cholesterol pill Lipitor, the world’s top-selling medicine, which produced almost one-fifth of the company’s revenue, began eroding on Nov. 30 when the drug came off patent protection in the U.S. To compensate for the loss, Pfizer plans to restructure itself as a smaller company focused on the development of biologic drugs and specialty medicines. It will also expand sales of existing products, including Lipitor and the erectile dysfunction drug Viagra, in emerging countries such as China.