Facebook launches ad network for mobile applications

April 30
Facebook launches mobile ad network

Facebook rolled out a service that it sees as a system for distributing ads across a network of mobile applications, opening the door to a new source of revenue for the social network.

The service, which the world’s No. 1 social network has been working on for some time, allows mobile-app makers to insert various types of ads within their software, with Facebook sharing advertising dollars with the developers.

“This is really the first time that we’re going to help you monetize in a serious way on mobile,” Facebook Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said at the company’s developer conference in San Francisco on Wednesday.

Facebook also described new features that make it easier for users to limit how much personal information they share with third-party mobile apps, and that let users log into social apps without providing their identities.

A revamped Facebook log-in screen for independent mobile apps will let users select which bits of personal information stored on the social network, such as their e-mail addresses, birthdays and items that they have “liked” on Facebook, can be accessed by any particular app.

— Reuters

Bailout of GM cost taxpayers $11 billion

A new report says taxpayers lost $11.2 billion on the government’s bailout of General Motors.

The estimate comes from a quarterly report Wednesday to Congress by a government watchdog that oversees the bailout, and is up from a previous estimate of $10.5 billion.

The Detroit automaker needed the $49.5 billion bailout to survive its bankruptcy restructuring in 2009. The company went public again in November 2010, and the government sold its last shares of GM in December. The report says the Treasury Department wrote off an $826 million administrative claim against GM in March, ending its involvement with the company.

In an interview last year, Special Inspector General Christy Romero said there was “no question” the department and the taxpayers would lose money on GM.

In July, the agency said the government lost $2.9 billion on the bailout of Chrysler, which cost $12.5 billion.

Only one auto-related company is still partly under government control: auto lender Ally Financial. Ally is the former financing business of GM, and last month it went public again with an IPO that raised $2.38 billion. The Treasury Department owns a 17 percent stake in the company.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

Time Warner, owner of the HBO and TBS networks, beat first-quarter profit estimates as it continued to reap lucrative licensing fees thanks to its popular shows such as “Game of Thrones.” Earnings rose to 97 cents a share, excluding one-time items and the results of Time, the New York-based company said. Analysts predicted 88 cents on average. Sales increased to $6.8 billion, excluding Time, surpassing the average estimate of $6.63 billion. The licensing fees Time Warner gets for its cable channels increased 7 percent at Turner and 8 percent at HBO.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac could require an additional bailout of as much as $190 billion in a severe economic downturn, according to the results of stress tests released by the regulator for the U.S.-owned companies. The two mortgage-finance giants, which have already taken $187.5 billion in taxpayer aid since 2008, would need more funds to stay afloat if home prices plummeted in a severe downturn, the Federal Housing Finance Agency said in a report. The stress tests, mandated by the Dodd-Frank Act, use the same assumptions that the Federal Reserve does in gauging the ability of the nation’s largest banks to withstand a recession.

Fashion designers Domenico Dolce and Stefano Gabbana were each given a reduced, suspended sentence of 18 months in jail for a conviction on charges of hiding hundreds of millions of euros from Italian tax authorities. Italy’s appeals court upheld a verdict issued last June against the pair, whose label, Dolce & Gabbana, is as famous as the stars they dress, on charges of using Luxembourg holding company Gado to avoid paying taxes on royalties of about $1.38 billion.

Cheniere Energy’s Charif Souki emerged as the highest-paid U.S. executive in 2013, receiving $142 million. Souki’s compensation last year included a $133 million stock award that vests as his company hits certain financial and operational goals, according to a regulatory filing from the Houston-based natural-gas exporter, which has never posted an annual profit. He also received a $3.68 million cash bonus and a salary of $800,000, the filing shows.

— From news services

Coming Today

Daylong: Motor vehicle sales for April.

8:30 a.m.: Weekly jobless claims and personal income for March.

10 a.m.:Weekly mortgage rates and ISM manufacturing index for April.

Earnings: Ally Financial, Exxon Mobil, Kellogg, Kraft Foods, LinkedIn.

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