Morning Business Memo…
The long $1 billion patent fight between the world’s top two smartphone makers resumes today in federal court. The companies will square off again in San Francisco over rights to vital technology, with Samsung seeking to overturn a jury verdict reached in August. It found the Korean company copied Apple’s designs for the iPad and iPhone. The jury ordered Samsung to pay Apple $1 billion after finding close to two dozen of its products used technology controlled by its rival. Apple, in turn, is looking to add $500 million more to the award. The companies’ lawyers will present a host of legal arguments including allegations that the jury foreman committed misconduct. Apple has been criticized for its policy of outsourcing manufacturing. Company CEO Tim Cook told NBC News one of the existing Mac lines will be manufactured exclusively in the US next year, but Cook gave no other details of the plan. Apple shares plunged 6.4 percent yesterday, the biggest one-day loss in four years, on worries it’s losing tablet market share to Google and its smartphone market share in China may be slipping.
How’s this for a business model? Every time you add a customer your company loses a bit more money. Shares in Pandora, the Internet radio firm, plunged 18 percent yesterday. The Wall Street Journal reports Pandora’s music royalty costs are soaring. “The more successful Pandora becomes, the more it loses,” says the Journal. With a recent surge is usage, the streaming company has to pay record companies and music publishers each time a user listens to a piece of music. According to Pandora’s quarterly report, its “content acquisition” costs rose nearly 75 percent, while the number of active users rose 47 percent. So subscriber success could equal revenue failure, mainly because it’s streaming more music to mobile devices, where ad revenue is half that of desktops.
A jump in home foreclosures during the third quarter. New data from RealtyTrac shows foreclosure sales jumped 22 percent compared with the previous quarter, and they were also well up on a year ago. The firm’s Vice President Daren Blomquist tells ABC News Radio: “It’s still not up to the heights of the foreclosure sales that we were seeing back in 2009 and 2010, but there does appear to be a resurgence of banks releasing some of their foreclosure inventory for sale in the last couple of quarters.”
More economic misery for Greece, where the unemployment rate rose to 26 percent in September, as the country heads toward a sixth year of recession. The Greek Statistical Authority announced today 1.295 million people were recorded as being unemployed in September — pushing up the jobless rate from the previous month. Greek unemployment has surged as a result of harsh austerity measures imposed in return for international rescue loans.
Richard Davies Business Correspondent ABC NEWS Radio ABCNews.com twitter.com/daviesabc