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POSTED February 8, 2012 7:26 p.m.

SPRINT POSTS DEEPER 4Q LOSS ON IPHONE COSTS: NEW YORK (AP) — Sprint dug deep into its pockets in the latest quarter to put iPhones in the hands of its customers. The perennially money-losing company on Wednesday posted its largest loss in three years.

Sprint Nextel Corp., once known for the worst customer service in the industry, has made progress on turning its fortunes around in the last few years. But the No. 3 U.S. wireless carrier has still found it difficult to compete with larger rivals AT&T Inc. and Verizon Wireless, both of which sell the iPhone.

So Sprint jumped for the chance to sell the iPhone starting in October, giving Apple Inc. a $15.5 billion commitment to buy phones over four years.

In the October to December period, Sprint activated 1.8 million iPhones in the quarter, compared to 7.6 million at AT&T Inc. and 4.3 million at Verizon Wireless.

Sprint said 40 percent of the iPhone users were new to the company, while AT&T usually reports a figure around 25 percent. That meant the phone helped Sprint post a rare increase in the number of subscribers on contract-based plans, which cost more than contract-free alternatives. It gained a net 161,000 such subscribers in the quarter.

FACEBOOK DISCLOSES DETAILS ON BONUSES: NEW YORK (AP) — Facebook's top executives, including CEO Mark Zuckerberg, are eligible for twice-a-year bonuses of up to 45 percent of their base salaries and other earnings, according to a recent regulatory filing.

Facebook Inc. said in a filing Wednesday it will pay Zuckerberg, 27, a base salary of $500,000 per year. Zuckerberg's 45 percent target bonus will be based on his performance.

Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg will receive a base salary of $300,000. Her target bonus is also 45 percent, the same as the other execs.

David Ebersman will continue to serve as chief financial officer and he will get a base salary of $300,000.

Mike Schroepfer, Facebook's vice president of engineering, will receive a base salary of $275,000.

SOURCE: NY, CALIFORNIA TO SIGN MORTGAGE SETTLEMENT: ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) — New York and California have agreed to sign the proposed settlement between U.S. states and the nation's biggest mortgage lenders over foreclosure abuses, according to a source close to the negotiations.

Bank of America, JPMorgan Chase, Wells Fargo, Citibank and Ally Financial agreed to the settlement — for an estimated $37 billion as of Wednesday for lowering homeowners' mortgage principal, refinancing, a reserve account, and checks to homeowners. However, they were seeking releases from further legal liability, which have been one subject of negotiations for the past several days with state attorneys general who wanted to pursue investigations.

The settlement grants immunity from civil lawsuits brought by the attorneys general against the lenders over narrowly defined "robo-signing" cases.

 

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