Equifax urged to extend protections
Democratic lawmakers on a House investigative panel are asking Equifax Inc. to provide its free credit monitoring and identity theft protection for at least three years.
Equifax has offered up to one year of complementary protections after the massive data breach last year that compromised personal information for about 145 million Americans.
But the Democratic members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee argue identity thieves often wait much longer to act on stolen information.
The lawmakers said the company’s chief information security officer told committee staff in a briefing last October that data thieves would likely wait a year or more before attempting to sell the data on the black market.
The lawmakers are making their request in a letter to Equifax’s interim chief executive.
Qualcomm raises bid for NXP Semiconductors
Qualcomm on Tuesday increased its takeover bid for rival chipmaker NXP Semiconductors to about $44 billion in hopes of shoring up support for the deal, and to potentially fend off its own unwanted suitor, Broadcom.
Under the new terms, Qualcomm would pay $127.50 for each NXP share, 16 percent more than originally proposed, and the threshold for how many NXP shareholders must agree to tender their shares would be lowered to 70 percent from 80 percent.
In statements, Qualcomm officials said NXP technology would bolster their company’s products for the next-generation 5G wireless standard.
“The acquisition of NXP will enable us to accelerate our growth strategy,” Tom Horton, Qualcomm’s presiding director, said. “The board unanimously believes this is an attractive acquisition at this price for Qualcomm stockholders.”
The revised bid was enough to win over investors controlling roughly 28 percent of NXP’s shares, including Elliott Management, the activist hedge fund that had opposed Qualcomm’s initial offer as too low. Elliott had argued that NXP, whose chips are used in cars, payment terminals and other products, was worth at least $135 a share.
Gap CEO quits after four years
Gap said the president and CEO of its namesake business is stepping down and it’s looking for a replacement.
Jeff Kirwan, who joined Gap in 2004, took the helm of the retailer’s brand four years ago.
Brent Hyder, Gap executive vice president of global talent and sustainability, will serve as interim brand president.
Gap, once the cool brand in the 1990s, has lost its way as it wrestles with stiffer competition from the likes of fast-fashion players like H&M.
The brand saw improving sales in its fiscal third quarter, but Gap Inc.’s CEO said it needs a new leader to take it to the next level. The San Francisco company also operates Old Navy and Banana Republic stores.
Wynn Resorts CEO denies knowing of sexual misconduct claims
The new CEO of Las Vegas-based Wynn Resorts said he was not aware of any of the sexual misconduct accusations against casino mogul Steve Wynn before they surfaced last month.
Matt Maddox, who was appointed CEO on Feb. 6 after Wynn resigned, said in an interview Monday people should “hold off making any judgment until the investigations into the accusations are complete.”
Wynn Resorts is facing scrutiny by gambling regulators in Nevada and Massachusetts, where the company is building a roughly $2.4 billion casino just outside Boston. Regulators in Macau, the Chinese enclave where the company operates two casinos, also are inquiring about the accusations.
Wynn has vehemently denied the misconduct accusations and attributed them to a campaign led by his ex-wife. An attorney for Elaine Wynn has denied she instigated a report in The Wall Street Journal detailing the allegations.
3M settles suit on chemical release
3M Co. has agreed to pay the state of Minnesota $850 million to settle a major case alleging the manufacturer damaged natural resources and contaminated groundwater by disposing of chemicals over decades, Minnesota’s attorney general announced Tuesday.
The state was seeking $5 billion from Maplewood, Minn.-based 3M in a case that focused on the company’s disposal of chemicals once used to make Scotchgard fabric protector and other products. The lawsuit, filed in 2010, alleged 3M damaged Minnesota’s natural resources, including more than 100 miles of the Mississippi River, and contaminated drinking water, harmed wildlife and posed a threat to human health.
The company denies it did anything wrong, insisting it was acting legally at the time. The settlement did not require an admission of liability, Attorney General Lori Swanson said.
“We’re pleased with the settlement. We think the settlement will help solve a problem in Minnesota. It’s been a problem that has been a long time in the making for many decades,” Swanson said. “These chemicals, as I mentioned, were put into the ground. And we are very hopeful the settlement can help fix that.”
The settlement was announced Tuesday after jury selection was halted as the trial was set to begin.