Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 3 2014: Net Neutrality Gutted; Google Buys Nest; “First World Problem Delegation” Platforms Exec and Handybook; Retailer Data Security Woes Continue

Net Neutrality Under Pressure after Court Ruling

The US Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit issued an opinion this week that substantially undermines net neutrality. The ruling essentially said that Verizon Communications was exempt from treatment as a common carrier, and thus free to restrict use on the networks it owns. The argument for net neutrality generally is that it protects consumers and small businesses, since it prevents companies from slowing service to sites who don’t pay a toll to the providers. This is especially important since internet service providers have come to look a lot like monopolies in some places. The general argument against net neutrality is that it is inefficient, stifles innovation, and prevents companies from exercising control over the networks their investors...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 2 2014: Snapchat, Target, and Customer Data; Harvard Law Expellee Again Behaving Badly?; Russian Venture Capital

Public Outrage Over Data Security Breaches: Take Care of (Likely) Your Company’s Most Valuable Asset

Snapchat’s Continuing PR Fails (Victories?) To follow up with our readers on Snapchat’s data breach PR difficulties that we discussed last week, CEO Evan Spiegel battled with Forbes staff regarding comments he made to the magazine for its cover article about the Snapchat leader. The comments suggested that the 23 year old CEO had made Facebook’s Zuckerberg acquiesce to his whim by coming to Los Angeles just before Spiegel turned down Zuckerberg’s $3 billion buyout offer. At least Snapchat managed to come around to issuing an apology for the data breach that caught our attention last week.

Target’s Customer Data “Floodgates” Apparently Open  Speaking of data breaches, Target announced that its original...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 1 2014: Jos. A. Bank Updates Poison Pill; Acquisitions: Bump and PopCap Fallout; Snapchat Data Security Fail; 2014 Economic Boost?

Mergers and Acquisitions

Jos. A. Bank Amends Poison Pill in Response to Men’s Wearhouse’s Unsolicited Bid The clothing retailer Jos. A. Bank amended its shareholder rights plan today to prevent rival retailer Men’s Wearhouse from acquiring it without a “level playing field.” The amendment came in response to Men’s Wearhouse’s unsolicited bid to purchase Jos. A. Bank in November, which followed an attempt by Jos. A. Bank to takeover Men’s Wearhouse via an unsolicited bid in October.

After Jos. A. Bank’s $2.3 billion October bid, which Men’s Wearhouse rejected, Men’s Wearhouse amended its shareholder rights plan to alter the poison pill threshold to apply if an outside investor acquires 10 percent or more of its common stock, or if an institutional investor takes...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 52: Acquisitions; Antitrust Chief Confirmed; Gates Gets Richer

Mergers and Acquisitions

Avis Purchasing Zipcar for $500 Million The Avis Budget Group announced Wednesday that it will purchase Zipcar for $500 million cash. The deal signals a new direction for Avis. The car rental industry has become more and more competitive with Hertz recently purchasing Dollar Thrifty, and several car rental companies jumping on the hourly rental bandwagon.

Avis is seeking to attract a younger, progressive market with its recent acquisition of Zipcar, as Zipcar members tend to be younger, more urban  individuals as opposed to the traditional business or tourist market that Avis currently targets. Zipcar currently has over 760,000 members in 20 metropolitan areas in the U.S., Canada, and Europe, many of which are located near college campuses. Avis offered...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 50: UBS Settles; Knight Capital Merges; Amazon Buys; Instagram Frustrates; NYSE Sells

Securities Regulation

UBS Settles for $1.5 Billion We reported last week about the Swiss banking giant’s proposed settlement with global authorities. Well, the settlement is now final. UBS agreed to pay $1.5 billion in fines to settle claims against it for a multi-year scheme to manipulate interest rates, so called “rate-rigging.”

This settlement is the largest to date related to rate-rigging. The fine is one of the biggest sanctions ever levied by both American and British authorities, falling just below the $1.9 billion settlement levied against HSBC last week over money laundering claims.

Mergers and Acquisitions

Knight Capital and Getco Announce Merger Plan Knight Capital nearly collapsed last summer after a $440 million trading glitch. Getco, a major shareholder of Knight, was one of the many...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 49: UBS Fraud, Sprint Acquisition, Nordstrom Sells, Best Buy Delays

Mergers and Acquisitions

Sprint Offers $2.1 Billion for Clearwire The mobile giant Sprint Nextel Corp. offered $2.1 billion to purchase the remaining 50 percent of Bellevue-based Clearwire Corp. Who owns the other 50 percent? Sprint.

Sprint is offering $2.90 per share to buy the 700 million outstanding shares, according to the SEC filing. As a result, Clearwire’s shares jumped during early trading, up 35 cents to $3.10. This offer comes just months after Sprint purchased Clearwire’s co-founder, Craig McCaw’s shares.

Best Buy Gives Founders More Time to Bid The electronics retailer, Best Buy, announced that it plans to give its founder, Richard Shulze, until February 28 to make a takeover bid for the company. Schulze and his private equity partners will have the chance to...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 48: Crowdfunding Platforms Raise Capital; Insider Trading Scandal; Proposed Arena Images; Costco Criticized

Crowdfunding News

WeFunder Becomes the Latest Crowdfunding Platform to “Get Funded”

A recent article on The Crowd Cafe, a crowdfunding-centric blog published by Jonathan Sandlund, lists the crowdfunding platforms that have raised capital. WeFunder, the latest platform to close its seed round, raised $550,000 from 58 different investors. According to WeFunder’s email blast, the investments ranged from $100 to $100,000, and half of the investors were un-accredited.

What does this mean? It signals that people are excited for the changes that are on the horizon for the funding landscape. Look at FundersClub, they’ve raised more than $6.5 million between their pre-seed and seed round. That’s serious money!

Securities Regulation

Ex-Rochdale Securities Trader Arrested for $1 Billion Trade in Apple

According to a criminal complaint filed Tuesday by the U.S. attorney...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Weeks 45 & 46: Tully’s Sells; Costco Pays; SEC Cracks Whip

Regional News

Tully’s Selling Coffee Shops to Kachi for $4.3 Million

Tully’s Coffee Corp. has seen its ups and downs recently. The company filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection in October, and announced Wednesday that it will sell its coffee shops in Washington and California to Kachi Partners, a Colorado-based entrepreneurial financial group. Kachi was one of 13 companies that expressed interest in purchasing Tully’s, and one of the 56 potential buyers that were contacted.

Subject to court approval, the acquisition will close by the end of December. Kachi plans to continue to operate the existing coffee shops under the Tully’s name.

Business Booming for Costco; Announces Special Dividend of $7 Cash

Costco Wholesale Corp., headquartered in Issaquah, announced the dividend as a result of...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 44: Law Firm Merger, Starbucks Acquisition, BP Oil Spill Resolution

Mergers and Acquisitions

Starbucks Acquires Teavana for $620 Million Cash On Thursday, the Seattle-based coffee giant announced its plan to acquire Atlanta-based tea company, Teavana Holdings Inc. This acquisition comes as part of Starbucks’ general strategy of moving into non-coffee areas, including juice and tea. The U.S. tea industry is a  $95 billion market.

The acquisition certainly doesn’t break the bank for Starbucks, as it is sitting on roughly $1.5 billion in cash.

Mega Law Firm Merger Announced What do you get when you combine two of the larger law firms in the world? 3,800 lawyers and 55 offices around the world (perhaps a nightmare to some folks). Houston-based law firm Fulbright & Jaworski and British firm Norton Rose announced that the two firms will...

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Business Startup

iVLG News Roundup Week 43: Whistleblower Wins, Google Venture, Dodd Frank, etc.

Regional News

Whistleblower Receives Multi-Million Dollar Settlement The former CFO of Seattle-based biopharmaceutical company Omeros Corp., Richard Klein, received nearly $4 million in settlement to resolve a wrongful termination and whistleblower lawsuit. According to Klein’s attorney, the former CFO alleged that Omeros falsified timekeeping records on a National Institute of Health research grant. Klein alerted Omeros’ audit committee and was subsequently fired from Omeros.

Omeros denies any wrongdoing, and stated its reason for settling as, “given a ruling by the court that deprived Omeros of evidence that Omeros would have offered at trial, the inherent uncertainty in a jury trial that could have resulted in an award to Mr. Klein that significantly exceeded the limits of Omeros’ insurance policy…the overall costs of a...

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