Business News at a Glance
Posted February 11, 2018 9:36 p.m. EST
Weinstein Co. Sale Halted by Attorney General’s Suit
The fire sale of the Weinstein Co. hit a last-minute snag Sunday, when Eric T. Schneiderman, New York state’s attorney general, filed a lawsuit against the studio and its fraternal founders alleging that they repeatedly violated state and city laws barring gender discrimination, sexual harassment, sexual abuse and coercion. The lawsuit, filed electronically in state Supreme Court in Manhattan, appeared timed to at least delay a sale, which had been expected to be finalized Sunday. Schneiderman’s move could ultimately kill the proposed deal, especially if financiers get spooked, putting the Weinstein Co. on an almost certain path to bankruptcy.
Latino Business Group Considers Harassment Allegations Against CEO
Directors of an influential Latino business organization met Sunday to discuss allegations that their chief executive had engaged in sexual harassment and financial impropriety, according to people close to the board. At the meeting, the board of the U.S. Hispanic Chamber of Commerce reviewed allegations that its chief executive, Javier Palomarez, sexually harassed an employee and improperly padded his pay, said two people close to the board. The board said Friday that it had hired an outside law firm to investigate “various allegations,” but did not offer details. Palomarez has disputed the accusations.
Vietnam Pulls U.S. Aid Request for Coal-Fired Plant
A Vietnamese company is no longer seeking U.S. financial support to build a coal-fired power plant in Vietnam, bringing to an abrupt end a closely watched test of whether Washington would back international projects that could potentially contribute to climate change. On Thursday, the Export-Import Bank of the United States, a lender run by the U.S. government, said the Vietnamese state-controlled company, PetroVietnam, had withdrawn its application for financial support. It isn’t clear why PetroVietnam withdrew the application for U.S. financial support for the Vietnamese coal plant, Long Phu 1.
San Diego Sees Losing Qualcomm as Woeful
For corporate success, no story in San Diego is as good as the story of Qualcomm. The company was founded in a living room and became the world’s largest maker of smartphone chips, one of the area’s largest employers and its chief corporate benefactor. Residents are so accustomed to everything that comes with being Qualcomm’s home that they’re having a hard time imagining the city without that distinction. But suddenly that’s the prospect they are confronting. With its profits sagging and a growing thicket of legal and regulatory disputes, Qualcomm has gone from a lion of the cellphone industry to a plum takeover target.
After Uber, Waymo May Need to Find Its Place in a Self-Driving World
Nearly a year after accusing Uber of stealing its driverless car technology, Waymo agreed Friday to settle a closely watched lawsuit filed against the ride-hailing company. Now for Waymo, which grew out of Google’s seminal autonomous vehicle project, a much bigger fight looms outside the courtroom. Waymo’s competition extends well beyond Uber — and a good part of that competition is directed by engineers it used to employ. Much of the artificial intelligence technology that has come out of Waymo’s work is now available from other sources, making it easier for companies, even startups, to compete.
Facial Recognition Works Best If You’re a White Guy
Facial recognition technology is improving by leaps and bounds. Some commercial software can now tell the gender of a person in a photograph. When the person in the photo is a white man, the software is right 99 percent of the time. But the darker the skin, the more errors arise — up to nearly 35 percent for images of darker skinned women, according to a new study. These disparate results show how some of the biases in the real world can seep into artificial intelligence, the computer systems that inform facial recognition.