O Sears Canada! The Unfortunate Consequences of a Retailer’s Downfall

By: Andrew Homer *| Staff Writer

SimonP at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

SimonP at the English language Wikipedia [GFDL (http://www.gnu.org/copyleft/fdl.html) or CC-BY-SA-3.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/3.0/)], via Wikimedia Commons

The demise of Sears Canada began in 2017. In June of that year, the company signaled a warning that the retailer would have to restructure or seek a buyer. In its first quarter of 2017, Sears Canada had a net loss of $144.4 million up over 50% from its loss of $63.6 million from the corresponding quarter in 2016.

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What the NLRB’s Overturning of Obama Era Employer Liability Rules Means for Employers in the Piedmont

By: Patrick Wilson *| Staff Writer

https://www.goodfreephotos.com

https://www.goodfreephotos.com

Across the board, the Trump administration has moved quickly to roll back existing regulations in its quest to scale back government intrusion into the workplace. In a move that will benefit small business owners in the Piedmont, the National Labor Relations Board (“NLRB”) has lessened the liability a franchise may face for the actions of a staffing or contracting company it utilizes.

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Corporate Buyouts: What Are They and What Do They Accomplish?

By: Juliana S. Inman *| Staff Writer

By LG Electronics [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By LG Electronics [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

On Thursday, February 8, 2018, Qualcomm Technologies, Inc., based in San Diego, California announced that its Board of Directors (“Board”) had unanimously rejected a 121 billion dollar buyout offer from Broadcom Limited. Broadcom’s 121 billion dollar offer was actually a revised offer, which increased the price per share from 70 dollars to 82 dollars. However, this increase was not enough to sway Qualcomm’s Board to accept the offer. The Board decided that Broadcom’s offer “materially undervalue[d]” Qualcomm and “fell short of the firm regulatory commitment the deal would demand, given the significant downside risk of a failed transaction.” Although Qualcomm adamantly rejected this offer, Broadcom remains committed to closing the deal and acquiring Qualcomm, as this acquisition of Qualcomm “would be the technology industry’s biggest-ever takeover, creating a tech giant whose products would be used in nearly all of the world’s smartphones.”

So, what exactly is this thing we call a “buyout”? As the name suggests, one company/corporation “buys out” or purchases some percentage of another company/corporation. When this type of purchase takes place, the acquired, or target company (i.e., the company being purchased) experiences a change of ownership and control. Often, the term “buyout” is used as a very general term to describe what is actually a merger, acquisition, or takeover. For example, in causal day-to-day conversation “buyout” may be used to describe what is actually a “merger”. Legally speaking, a merger occurs when two companies combine to form a single company. Mergers typically occur between “two business that are about the same size and which recognize advantages [that] the other offers in terms of increasing sales, efficiencies, and capabilities.” Furthermore, mergers are often a result of friendly negotiations and mutual agreement between the two companies, and sometimes the two companies become equal partners or stockholders in the “new” company.

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How The Race to Building a Self-Driving Car Became a Legal Battleground

By: Christopher Lewis *| Staff Writer

By Steve Jurvetson (originally posted to Flickr as Hands-free Driving) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Steve Jurvetson (originally posted to Flickr as Hands-free Driving) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

The business world is predominantly focused on profitability and finding new ways to turn a profit; Uber and Waymo share in this focus. In their quest to build a self-driving car, their respective trade secrets are of the utmost importance as, in most contexts, trade secrets provide a powerful tool that when used properly can exponentially grow the profitability of a business. Trade secrets are often hard to quantify, however, particularly when the accused party did not show a bad faith intent to take the information and use it to their advantage. To help decipher this area of the law, there are many different definitions that have been promulgated by various Restatements. One of the most predominant definitions comes from the Uniform Trade Secrets Act, which states that a trade secret exists when two factors are met: the material derives independent economic value from not being readily ascertainable and the material is under reasonable efforts to keep it secret. This gives the general framework that courts will use in examining these trade secret issues.

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Unknown Inside Traders: What is Insider Trading and How Does the SEC Bring Actions Against Inside Traders?

By: Juliana S. Inman *| Staff Writer

By Harshitha BN (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

By Harshitha BN (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0)], via Wikimedia Commons

On January 26, 2018, in the U.S. District Court in Manhattan, the United State Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) filed an insider trading lawsuit against “unknown traders” who allegedly engaged in “highly suspicious trading” ahead of an announcement about Sanofi’s acquisition of Bioverativ Inc. According to the SEC, the purchase and sale of options on Bioverativ stock began through a foreign brokerage firm, Credit Suisse (Switzerland) Ltd., and were executed through Credit Suisse Securities (USA) LLC. These sales and purchases generated a profit of about 4.9 million dollars. Aside from the profits and potential benefits to the market as a whole, the SEC is seeking “an order to freeze the assets of the traders, require the identification of defendants, and the repatriation of assets.”

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AbbVie Wins U.S. Trial in Lawsuit Over AndroGel’s Risks

By: Andrew Homer *| Staff Writer

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One out of four middle-aged men over 30 years of age suffer from low testosterone levels (“Low T”). The number of middle-aged men who are prescribed hormone treatment to increase testosterone levels have ballooned since 2001 and began to deflate after 2013.

This rise in Low T treatment might be due to the marketing strategies of the manufacturers of these hormone treatments. Or at least, that is one of the arguments made by the plaintiff in a case recently decided in Notle v. AbbVie, Inc., et al.

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From Napster to Spotify: How the Music Industry is Winning the Legal Battle Over Music Streaming

By: Christopher Lewis *| Staff Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/cute-female-girl-headphones-15719/

The arrival of cheap music streaming services like Spotify has created a growing discontent between the music industry and those wishing to stream the music; however, this started long before Spotify became the predominant streaming service. Napster changed how people around the world accessed music on the internet, consequently, the music industry had to derive a new way to profit from these services. Instead of buying physical CDs, people were listening to music on the internet, and the music industry was missing out on a valuable source of income. While Napster was not technically a streaming service, it did help propel the music industry into this new age as people began to realize the immense potential that the internet contained in the music industry. However, the problem has now gone beyond artists simply trying to receive a wage for their work as artists now are tasked with obtaining a fair wage. The music industry has only slowly begun to realize the immense power that they hold within these discussions, as can be seen through their petitions to then President-elect Trump where they asked for tougher intellectual property laws in the music industry.

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AmEx and Ripple Creating Waves with Blockchain B2B Payments

By: Whitney Hosey *| Staff Writer

https://pixabay.com/en/cyberspace-data-wire-electronic-2784907/

American Express is partnering with Ripple, a fintech startup, to introduce the option of instant blockchain secured payments between U.S. based businesses and U.K. businesses who bank with Santander UK.

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The Ethical Crisis in Programming

By: Jamie Burchette *| Staff Writer

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Computers and technology are continually advancing. To match this advance, the programming techniques utilized by programmers have had to evolve to keep up. Sometimes these changes have been small and sometimes they have been large. Recently, a new project management software, Manuscript, has been released, which hopes to once again change software development by squashing bugs that may otherwise be ignored.

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Puerto Rico’s Controversial Electrical Contract Fizzles Out

By: Greg Volk *| Staff Writer

By Roosevelt Skerrit [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

By Roosevelt Skerrit [CC0], via Wikimedia Commons

When Hurricane Maria hit Puerto Rico last year, it caused billions of dollars of destruction, but among the costly collateral damage is a highly controversial repair contract that has been called bad for Puerto Rico. No fewer than five governmental bodies, including the FBI, launched inquiries into the $300 million agreement between the Puerto Rico Electrical Power Authority (PREPA) and Whitefish Energy, an inexperienced Montana-based startup with two full-time employees, to restore the island’s devastated power grid. The whole ordeal could serve as a case study in how not to negotiate a contract. (Hint: Ignore advice from lawyers and accept all terms).

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