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Shoppers found bigger sales, smaller crowds

NEW YORK (AP) — Shoppers who waited until the final days before Christmas were rewarded with big bargains and lighter crowds. But their last-minute deal hunting may hurt stores.......

China to crack down on "malicious" trademark registrations

BEIJING (Reuters) - China plans to change the law to crackdown on "malicious" trademark registrations, state media said on Monday, after a series of cases in which well-know international brands and individuals have had their names or copyright misused. Foreign governments, including the United States, have for years urged China to take a stronger stand against intellectual property rights violations on products ranging from medicines to software to DVD movies. .........

Greece not doing enough against rich tax dodgers, say EU/IMF

ATHENS (Reuters) - Greece's drive to crack down on flagrant tax evaders such as doctors and lawyers is flagging and must be reinvigorated, a report by the European Union and International Monetary Fund said on Monday. Athens has collected just half the tax debts and conducted less than half the audits it was supposed to under the targets set by its lenders, according to a survey by the country's international lenders which was compiled in November. .........

Carlyle takes on KKR in race for Reynolds and Reynolds: sources

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Private equity firms Carlyle Group LP and KKR & Co LP have emerged as the lead contenders to take over Reynolds and Reynolds, a software company hoping to sell itself for $5 billion, three people familiar with the matter said. Dayton, Ohio-based Reynolds, which provides business management software for auto dealers in North America and Europe, had hired technology-focused investment bank Qatalyst Partners to run a sale, people familiar with the matter told Reuters in October. .........

Start of "Santa Claus rally" dampened by "cliff' worries

NEW YORK (Reuters) - U.S. stocks edged lower on Monday as caution over the potential for volatility driven by worries about the U.S. "fiscal cliff" dampened enthusiasm at the start of a seasonally strong period for equities. Investors are betting Congress will reach a deal to avert most of the austerity measures due to come into force at the start of next year. That has led to the best year for stocks since the post-financial crisis rebound. But those gains may be quickly reversed if a deal is n......

Retailers hope late Christmas shoppers bring good cheer

CHICAGO/WHITE PLAINS, New York (Reuters) - Retailers limped into Christmas with last-minute blowout deals on everything from TVs to celebrity-branded clothing, after a disappointing few weeks of sales led many analysts to lower their expectations for the holiday season. Some industry watchers said shoppers were making smaller purchases, even though they are still visiting stores and browsing online. Since the holiday quarter can account for about 30 percent of annual sales and half of profit for......

Mundie, one of Gates' successors, to retire from Microsoft

NEW YORK (Reuters) - Craig Mundie, one of two Microsoft Corp executives who took over Bill Gates' role at the company, has relinquished control of Microsoft's large research organization and is to retire from the company in 2014. Mundie is taking on a new role as a senior adviser to Chief Executive Steve Ballmer, according to a memo circulated internally earlier this month but only made public on Monday. Eric Rudder, another Microsoft veteran, is taking on responsibility for Microsoft Research, ......

New Jersey pension fund sues NYSE Euronext on ICE deal

NEW YORK (Reuters) - A pension fund that holds shares of NYSE Euronext has sued the exchange operator over its proposed $8.2 billion sale to IntercontinentalExchange Inc , saying the deal undervalues the company's stock. The New Jersey Carpenters Pension Fund late on Friday filed a complaint in New York State Supreme Court in Manhattan contending that NYSE Euronext breached its duty to maximize returns for shareholders. The lawsuit seeks class action status on behalf of other NYSE Euronext share......

Instagram furor triggers first class action lawsuit

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook's Instagram photo sharing service has been hit with what appears to be the first civil lawsuit to result from changed service terms that prompted howls of protest last week. In a proposed class action lawsuit filed in San Francisco federal court on Friday, a California Instagram user leveled breach of contract and other claims against the company. "We believe this complaint is without merit and we will fight it vigorously," Facebook spokesman Andrew Noyes said ......

Chevron to buy stake in Kitimat LNG from Encana, EOG

CALGARY, Alberta (Reuters) - Chevron Corp said on Monday it will enter the Canadian liquefied natural gas business with the acquisition of the 50 percent stake in the Kitimat LNG project held by Encana Corp and EOG Resources Inc. Chevron will take Encana's and EOG's 30 percent stakes in the LNG-export project for an undisclosed price as the No.2 U.S. oil company looks to jumpstart North American natural gas exports. .........
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