Corporations avoid billions in taxes

Updated: Friday, September 21 2012, 09:19 AM EDT
Corporations avoid billions in taxes story image
WASHINGTON D.C. (NEWSCHANNEL 3) - A Senate investigation has found that offshore havens have saved some corporations from paying billions of dollars in taxes.

The panel is looking into tax avoidance in the technology sector and looked specifically at Microsoft and Hewlett Packard as tests cases.

It found from 2009 to 2011 Microsoft shifted $21 billion offshore, almost half its U.S. retail sales revenue, saving the company up to $4.5 billion in taxes.

There were similar numbers for HP.

Executives of both companies said they have complied with American tax laws and worked within the loopholes.

Corporations avoid billions in taxes
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WORLD MARKETS

SEOUL, South Korea (AP) -- Asian stock markets posted moderate gains today, bolstered by solid U.S. earnings and home sales.

Indonesian stocks advanced after the official vote count showed Joko Widodo the clear winner of a bitterly contested presidential election.

Markets have been roiled the past week by heightened tensions between Russia and the West after a Malaysia Airlines jet was shot down over an area of eastern Ukraine controlled by pro-Russia separatists, killing all 298 people on board. The tensions eased Tuesday after the separatists released a train packed with bodies and handed over the aircraft's black boxes.

The focus of investors was returning to earnings, with hundreds of U.S. companies set to report quarterly results this week. Many of the U.S. earnings reports have been positive so far.

Benchmark crude oil fell to just above $102 a barrel.

The dollar edged up against the euro and fell against the yen.

SEC-MONEY MARKET FUNDS

WASHINGTON (AP) -- Regulators are expected to vote Wednesday to end a longtime staple of the investment industry -- the fixed $1 share price for money-market mutual funds -- at least for some money funds used by big investors.

The idea is to minimize the risk of a mass withdrawal from the funds during a financial panic. The Securities and Exchange Commission may also vote to let money funds block withdrawals during periods of stress or impose new fees for withdrawals.

The "breaking of the buck" by a large money fund during the 2008 crisis stoked a run on some other funds and forced the government to intervene to restore confidence.

Under the new rules, the share prices of the funds involved will be required to "float," just as with other mutual funds. Big institutional investors could lose principal if the value of the shares falls below $1. Individual investors likely won't be affected.

STUBHUB-CYBERTHEFT CASE

NEW YORK (AP) -- A law enforcement official and the company say cyber thieves got into more than 1,000 StubHub customers' accounts and fraudulently bought tickets for events through the online ticket reseller.

The official says arrests are expected in a case that sprawled across international borders.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance Jr. is expected to hold a news conference today with London and Royal Canadian Mounted Police officials. The case comes amid growing concern about data thieves targeting retailers and other consumer giants.

StubHub, which is based in San Francisco, says that the thieves didn't break through its security -- rather, they got account-holders' login and password information from data breaches at other websites and retailers or from key-loggers or other malware on the customers' computers.

The company detected the unauthorized transactions last year, contacted authorities and gave the affected customers refunds and help changing their passwords.

APPLE

SAN FRANCISCO (AP) -- Apple's growth prospects are looking brighter as anticipation builds for the upcoming release of the next iPhone, a model that is expected to cater to consumers yearning for a bigger screen.

The latest evidence of Apple's mounting momentum emerged Tuesday with the release of the company's fiscal third-quarter report.

Earnings rose at the highest rate in nearly two years as Apple Inc. sold 35.2 million iPhones during the period. The iPhone shipments climbed 13 percent increase from the same time last year, even though many people are believed to be holding off on new device purchases until the next version comes out this fall.

Apple earned $7.7 billion, or $1.28 per share, for the three months ending June 28. That represented a 12 percent increase from income of $6.9 billion, or $1.07 per share, at the same time last year. It's the first time that Apple's earnings have increased by more than 10 percent since the quarter that included the September 2012 release of the iPhone 5 -- the last time that the company boosted the device's screen size.

CHRYSLER-IGNITION-SWITCH-RECALL

DETROIT (AP) -- Chrysler is recalling up to 792,300 older Jeep SUVs worldwide because the ignition switches could cause engine stalling.

Tuesday's recall covers 2005-2007 Grand Cherokees and 2006-2007 Commanders.

Chrysler says it's not sure exactly how many will be recalled. The company says an outside force such as a driver's knee can knock switches out of the "run" position, shutting off the engine. This disables power-assisted steering and braking and the front air bags might not inflate.

Engineers are working on a fix. Chrysler says it knows of no injuries and only one accident. The company says only a few complaints have been filed. Owners should keep clearance between their knees and keys until repairs are made.

The recall comes as U.S. safety regulators investigate ignition switch problems across the auto industry.

EXXON MOBIL-GAY RIGHTS

IRVING, Texas (AP) -- Exxon Mobil Corp. has said that it will comply with the new protections for gay and transgender employees required of federal contractors, while still sidestepping the question of whether it will formalize that by changing the language of its corporate policy.

Following President Barack Obama's signing of an executive order Monday expanding protections for federal workers and contractors from discrimination based on sexual orientation or gender identity, the Labor Department has 90 days to issue regulations for how employers must comply.

According to government records, Exxon has won more than $480 million in federal contracts in 2013 and more than $8 billion since 2006. The company has long resisted pressure from civil rights groups and shareholders to enumerate such protections in its formal policy.

OBAMA-JOB TRAINING

WASHINGTON (AP) -- President Barack Obama says that as the economy adds new jobs, Americans must have the skills to fill them

At a signing ceremony for bipartisan job-training legislation aimed at improving business engagement and accountability in federally funded programs. Obama said that it will give states and cities more flexibility in managing their job-training programs.

The White House used the occasion Tuesday to release a six-month review of federal job-training programs. The review concludes that the government needs to better engage U.S. employers, improve the use of data, and boost apprenticeship programs so workers can earn while they train. The report said the government is working to tailor training and grants to better match jobs that are in demand.

SAUDI-STOCK MARKET

RIYADH, Saudi Arabia (AP) -- The Saudi government has approved a measure that will open the region's largest stock market to direct foreign investment next year, news that sent the exchange surging to its highest level in nearly seven years.

The Tadawul All Share Index closed up nearly 3 percent.

The Cabinet's decision Monday, reported by the official Saudi Press Agency, paves the way for foreign financial institutions to directly buy and sell stocks listed on Saudi Arabia's $530 billion Tadawul All Share Index starting sometime in the first half of 2015.

Foreign investors outside the six-nation Gulf Cooperation Council currently can buy Saudi stocks through swaps and exchange-traded funds.

LINKEDIN-BIZO

NEW YORK (AP) -- LinkedIn Corp. is spending $175 million to buy Bizo, a provider of advertising technology and measurement services aimed at professionals.

LinkedIn said Tuesday that it is paying 90 percent in cash and the rest in stock for San Francisco-based Bizo. The deal is expected to close in the third quarter. Founded in 2008, Bizo lets marketers target professionals with ads they want them to see, and helps measure the effectiveness of the ad campaigns.

LinkedIn, a professional networking service based in Mountain View, California, has more than 300 million users. The deal comes a day after Yahoo Inc. announced that it is buying Flurry Inc., which helps companies make mobile apps and design mobile ad campaigns.

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