News Roundup 2012 Week Four: Apple, Executive Compensation, Online Privacy, Venture Capital
Apple in the News
Apple has huge quarter; launches revolutionary textbook platform; includes draconian terms in book publishers’ end user license agreement
Lots of Apple news this week. The technology giant posted its best quarter ever with revenues of $46.3 billion per quarter and a $13.87 net profit per share. The company sold 37 million iPhones and over 15 million iPads.
Apple also had exciting news about launching a new platform for textbooks. Apple has partnered with text book producers such as McGraw-Hill to make interactive textbooks for iPads. Textbooks in this format will be cheaper, easier to update, more environmentally friendly, and more portable. The interactivity and format will surely be a better and more exciting platform for those trying to learn new material. I wish I could have traded all my law school textbooks in for an iPad.
On a much less positive note, a number of commentators have pointed out that Apple’s end user license agreement for its new iBook author program is one of the most draconian licenses around.
Details on Compensation for Clear Channel’s CEO Including Payment for Relocation from London to New York City
In Clear Channel’s January 24th 8-K filing, the company releases details on the executive compensation agreement for its CEO C. William Eccleshare. Mr. Eccleshare will receive an annual salary of $1 million dollars. The agreement also has performance incentives that could reach an additional $2.3 million. Additionally Mr. Eccleshare will receive $4 million worth of restricted stock units. One million of which are tied to incentives and the other three million of which are set to vest over a four year period. In order to assume his position as CEO Mr. Eccleshare will have to relocate to New York from London. The company agreed to pay for all moving costs plus $200,000 for costs that aren’t otherwise covered by the company’s relocation policy. The last notable part of the compensation plan is a housing allowance of $20,000 per month for housing in New York City.
Merrill Lynch to Pay One Million in Clawbacks
Merrill Lynch reached a settlement agreement with FINRA to settle claims that relate to bonuses the company awarded to its key employees during the height of the financial crisis. Under the agreement Merrill Lynch will pay $1 million in fines.
Online Privacy Regulation
European Law Makers Considering “Right to Be Forgotten” Legislation
New European laws could set problematic standards for data privacy. The new legislation is intended to give users greater control over their online data, but critics fear that the new laws will be stifling for small companies and ignored by the giants of social networking.
VC Investment Up 10% in 2011
2011 was a good year for companies seeking venture capital. It was an especially good for companies in the tech industries. VC investment was up 10% over 2010, and up 23% for Internet companies. In all there were 452 VC deals worth a total of $5.2 billion for Internet and mobile companies.
Andreesen Seeks $1.5 Billion in Fundraising
The New York Times Dealbook Blog is reporting that Silicon Valley giant Marc Andreesen is seeking an additional $1.5 billion of funds for his firm which already has $1.2 billion in assets across three funds. The $1.5 billion of new capital is believed to be set to create two additional funds, one of $900 million and one of $600 million.