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Google vs. Oracle: End result, $0 damages
What a doozie. This turned out to be one almighty calamitous failure for Oracle, which brought the case against Google for using Java APIs in the Android mobile operating system. After Oracle bought Sun, the database and cloud giant failed (just as Sun failed) to reach an agreement on licensing Java in Android. Oracle sued Google, which bought Android some years before, for copyright and patent infringement.
One of the more confusing trials of the decade, the jury eventually found that Google didn't infringe Oracle's Java patents and the Java APIs used by Google were not copyrightable. Google only copied a small amount of code, and the two parties agreed to a $0 settlement in statutory damages.
All that fuss for practically nothing.
HP accuses Autonomy of fiddling finances
Another mess for computer maker HP, which is struggling in the face of rival PC makers, such as Lenovo and Apple, as the firm had to swallow a $5 billion charge in its latest quarterly earnings. What happened? HP claims Autonomy "inflated" the value of the company before HP bought it out, a claim the Autonomy management team flat-out denied.
HP's Meg Whitman said during a conference call that Autonomy was "smaller and less profitable than we had thought," suggesting the U.K.-based firm had fiddled its numbers and misstated its revenues before HP bought the company for $1.1 billion.
U.K. and U.S. authorities are now investigating the claims, but this clunker isn't going to be resolved until next year at the very earliest.
The world's largest social network, with more than 1 billion active monthly users, filed its initial public offering in May for $38 a share, valuing the firm at more than $100 billion. This was the largest valuation of any newly listed public company to date. But things turned badly wrong as soon as chief executive Mark Zuckerberg hit the magic "let's go public" button at the firm's headquarters in Palo Alto.
The Nasdaq reported technical difficulties at market opening on the day Facebook went public and delayed trading by half an hour. While trading shot up to $48 a share, the closing price was only $0.23 above the IPO price. Many considered this a massive disappointment. Since then, Facebook's shares have dropped significantly to a low of $17 a share only three months after it first went public.
More than 40 lawsuits have been filed in the wake of the IPO, and the IPO is also under investigation by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission. The whole public offering debacle was a mess from start to finish, and frankly overhyped by the entire industry.