Roundup: Yahoo to release IDs of inactive email accounts; Pfizer settles Protonix patent case for $2.15B; more
Yahoo to release IDs of inactive email accounts
Yahoo is trying to breathe new life into inactive email accounts by giving away the identifications beginning next month. The program, announced Wednesday, will give Web surfers an opportunity to claim a new handle that had been unavailable. It also represents a last chance for Yahoo users who haven't logged in for at least a year to keep the address. Yahoo Inc. plans to release the inactive accounts unless the current owner logs in before July 15. After that, the identifications will be available to all comers and will be ready to use in mid-August. The Sunnyvale, Calif., company isn't specifying how many emails are in the dead pool. A Yahoo spokeswoman predicted a substantial number of IDs will be freed up. The attempted revival of the dormant accounts coincides with Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer's nearly yearlong effort to create a bigger buzz around an Internet pioneer that had fallen out of fashion. Yahoo's email subscriber base has declined as more people embrace Google Inc.'s alternative, Gmail.
Pfizer patent case settled for $2.15B
Two generic drugmakers will pay $2.15 billion to Pfizer and Takeda Pharmaceutical to settle a patent fight over the heartburn treatment Protonix. Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd., one of the world's largest generic drugmakers, will pay $1.6 billion, while India's Sun Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. will pay $550 million for selling their versions of Protonix before the patent protecting the drug expired. Pfizer Inc., based in New York, said Wednesday that it will receive 64 percent of the settlement proceeds. A jury had decided in 2010 that the patent protecting Protonix was valid, and the U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey upheld that decision. The companies reached their settlement shortly after the start of a federal trial to determine damages.
Indian firm to buy Cooper Tire for $2.22B
India's Apollo Tyres Ltd. is buying Ohio's Cooper Tire & Rubber Co. for about $2.22 billion, boosting its presence in North America and other key markets around the world. Apollo said Wednesday that the combined company will be one of the world's largest tire makers, with a strong presence across four continents and combined 2012 sales of $6.6 billion. Their tire brands include Apollo, Cooper, Roadmaster and Vredestein. Under the terms of the deal, Cooper shareholders will receive $35 per share in cash. The price represents a 42 percent premium over Cooper's closing stock price on Tuesday. Based on the company's 63.3 million outstanding shares, the deal is worth about $2.22 billion. The companies valued the sale at about $2.5 billion. Findlay, Ohio-based Cooper said the deal is in the best interests of its shareholders. Apollo didn't say if any jobs would be eliminated as part of the sale, but said it expects Cooper to continue to operate out of its facilities around the world.
Heritage Valley nurses to vote on strike
The 500 unionized nurses at Heritage Valley Health System's hospital in Beaver were considering Wednesday whether to authorize union leaders to call a strike as contract negotiations dragged into a second month. Their contract expires at the end of this month, and SEIU Healthcare Pennsylvania, which represents the nurses, said in a statement that changes being pushed by Heritage Valley could “compromise patient safety, and our safety.” Among concerns are proposals from the hospital that nurses work in multiple medical areas, some of which they may not be trained in, said Molly Romigh, president of the local union. The union also is opposed to plans to cut raises for the next three years and institute a performance bonus, as well as increasing payments for health insurance, Romigh said. Results of a strike authorization vote were not expected until late Wednesday. Heritage Valley spokesman Daniel Murphy said the union's claims that patient safety could be diminished are untrue. Murphy, who declined to comment further, said five meetings are scheduled before the June 30 contract-expiration date.
BP: Global demand for energy slows
Global demand for oil, gas, coal and nuclear power grew at a slower pace last year because of weak economic growth, recession and increased efficiency, energy company BP said Wednesday. In an annual review of the world energy market, BP PLC said growth in energy consumption slowed to 1.8 percent from 2.4 percent in 2011. Demand continued to grow in China and India, which together accounted for almost 90 percent of the global increase. But even growth in developing countries was slower than it has been over the past decade. Energy demand in the United States fell 2.8 percent, leading an overall decline of 1.2 percent in developed countries.
Other business news
• Excela Health said it will increase the size of its family medicine residency program at its hospital in Latrobe to eight physicians a year, up from six. Excela, the owner of three Westmoreland County hospitals, said the three-year program will gradually expand over the next three years. The program is dually accredited with Jefferson Medical College of Thomas Jefferson University, the Philadelphia College of Osteopathic Medicine and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine.
• Schneider Downs accounting firm, which will relocate its 270 employees into the 17th and 18th floors of One PPG Place on Nov. 1, has sold its building at 1133 Penn Ave., Downtown, to NEXT Architecture for $2.3 million. Schneider Downs has leased back the building until it relocates, said Dan Delisio, owner and principal of NEXT, which plans to rent out office space to several tenants.
— Staff and wire reports