|Oh No, Sony |
Spyware bugs people
1. DelugeMusic buyers got hosed this week by Sony BMG.
The joint venture of Japan's Sony ( SNE) and Germany's Bertelsmann soaked its loyal customers by sneaking some anticopying software onto music compact discs.
The software was aimed at bolstering sales by preventing CD-copying on Windows-based personal computers, but it didn't end up working quite that way. Rather than protecting the precious intellectual property of
|Conscience Is His Guidant |
Dollens knows when to go
2. HeartthrobsThe heartache is over for Guidant ( GDT) and Johnson & Johnson ( JNJ).
Only a week ago, the big medical device companies appeared well on their way to an ugly legal standoff. But on Tuesday, they came to terms on a
Last December, when the companies first announced merger plans, J&J projected a third-quarter completion date. Dollens, who by then was looking to head off into the Indianapolis sunset, said he would retire at closing. "The complementary strengths of both firms ... should allow for a very smooth transition," Dollens said during a Dec. 16, 2004, conference call. But the transition turned rough indeed after safety concerns pushed Guidant to recall a bunch of defibrillators and pacemakers. Those problems, and Guidant's handling of them, led to the last-minute wrangling that had J&J backing away from the table, and Guidant
|Seeing Stars |
Sternlicht disgusted by hotels' unloading
3. Fallen StarFormer Starwood ( HOT) chief Barry Sternlicht has some stern words for his successor.
Starwood, the lodging giant that Sternlicht built over 10 years before his departure this spring, said Monday it would
Heyer, of course, is the former Coca-Cola ( KO) second-in-command who fled the sugar-water giant after he was passed over for CEO in favor of Neville Isdell. When Heyer joined Starwood last year, Sternlicht -- a notoriously hard-to-please boss who remains the company's largest shareholder -- was anything but stingy in his praise. "Steve embodies all that we were searching for in a new CEO," said Sternlicht in a Sept. 20, 2004, press statement. "I believe this will be a momentous day in the company's short history as we bring in an executive of Steve's caliber from outside the industry to look at Starwood, explore new avenues for growth globally and approach our core hotel business with a fresh set of eyes." Judging by this week's events, though, Sternlicht is tired of fresh eyes. "This is a very black day for Starwood shareholders and its board," Sternlicht told The Wall Street Journal. "I am 100% certain that private-equity interests would have paid more for these assets," he added, calling the deal "amateur hour." Just another momentous day at Starwood. Dumb-o-Meter score: 85. It sounds like the the Sternlicht-Heyer partnership may have lost its fizz.
|Agarn and O'Rourke Online |
With commercials, too!
4. Ad InfinitumAmerica Online bounced back in a big way this week.
Just days after the Time Warner ( TWX) unit suffered a
Viewers everywhere wept tears of joy as AOL and corporate sibling Warner Bros. unveiled plans to team up on