Sony (SNE) shut down its PlayStation Network and Qriocity online movie and music service after a hacker gained access to 77 million customer accounts worldwide. The security breach, made public on Apr. 26, could strike a blow to Sony's ambitions of luring customers from Apple (AAPL), Microsoft (MSFT), and other rivals by offering games, movies, and music across its many devices. Spokesman Patrick Seybold declined to reveal how the hacker got into Sony's systems, and it remains unclear whether credit-card information was stolen. The data heist, which security experts say could rank among the largest in recent history, is being investigated by the FBI, according to The New York Times.
Sitronics: Taking on Moscow Traffic
Moscow's traffic jams are legendary, but congestion may ease by next year. Sitronics, the electronics unit of Sistema, a company controlled by billionaire Vladimir Yevtushenkov, has won a $223 million contract from the Moscow city government to tackle the problem. The contract calls for Sitronics to provide up-to-the-minute traffic-flow information online by the end of 2011. The city's trams and buses will also be outfitted with monitors so commuters can receive accurate information about schedules.
Amazon.com: Investors Tolerate Heavy Spending
Amazon.com's (AMZN) first-quarter profit dropped 33 percent, to $201 million, compared with the same quarter last year, as the retailer spent heavily to promote its Kindle electronic-book reader, build warehouses, and expand cloud computing capacity. The Seattle company more than doubled capital expenditures, to $979 million, in 2010 and will spend about $900 million more this year. Investors say they are willing to look past Amazon's spending spree because they believe it will pay off down the road.
Tokyo Electric Power: Pay Cuts All Around
Tepco workers agreed to a management proposal to cut their pay by as much as 25 percent, showing a sense of responsibility for the world's worst nuclear disaster since Chernobyl. Board members, including Chairman Tsunehisa Katsumata and President Masataka Shimizu, will take salary cuts of 50 percent. The Japanese power utility expects to save about $660 million annually from the reductions. Tepco said on Apr. 20 it will start compensating residents evaculated from areas around its crippled nuclear power station.
Delta Air Lines: Countering Rising Fuel Costs
Delta Air Lines (DAL), the world's No. 2 carrier, posted a smaller first-quarter loss than analysts estimated as higher fares helped blunt rising fuel costs. The net loss was 38 cents a share, while analysts surveyed by Bloomberg predicted average losses of 50 cents a share. Delta and other U.S. carriers raised ticket prices six times last quarter to mitigate a 41 percent jump in jet-fuel prices from a year earlier. Delta is retiring some of its oldest and least-fuel-efficient planes and will cut capacity after the peak summer season to further lower costs.
On the Move
— H&R Block (HRB): William Cobb named president and CEO.
— Bank of America (BAC): Jennifer Hill to be CFO of investment bank.
— Los Angeles Dodgers: Major League Baseball appoints J. Thomas Schieffer as overseer