P.F. Chang’s diners have card data stolen; Priceline to buy OpenTable

June 13
P.F. Chang’s diners have card data stolen

P.F. Chang’s confirmed Friday that data from credit and debit cards used at its restaurants was stolen.

The company learned about the security breach Tuesday from the U.S. Secret Service and began investigating the breach with the agency and forensics experts.

While it knows that customers were exposed, it doesn’t know how many, when it happened or which restaurants were affected.

The company is working with credit card companies to determine which cards may have been affected. All P.F. Chang’s restaurants are using manual credit card imprinting devices to process card payments while the investigation continues. There are 209 locations across the country.

— Associated Press

Priceline to purchase reservation service

Priceline has negotiated a $2.6 billion entree into the restaurant business.

The global travel booking king announced Friday it is acquiring OpenTable in a deal that would put Priceline into a new business doing for restaurant reservations what it does for hotel bookings.

The deal should give Priceline a new way to cater to its increasingly mobile-savvy customers, while parlaying Priceline’s global reach to expand OpenTable to other countries. Priceline generated sales of $6.8 billion in 2013.

“Travelers are diners,” Darren Huston, Priceline Group chief executive and president, said on a conference call. “It’s the same customers. There’s opportunity to cross-promote brands.”

In a statement, OpenTable chief executive Matt Roberts cited Priceline’s expertise in online marketing globally on all types of devices. “They have an exceptional track record of customer service in dozens of languages around the world,” he said.

Priceline, based in Norwalk, Conn., will pay $103 per share, which is a 46 percent premium to OpenTable’s closing price Thursday of $70.43.

Shares of OpenTable soared 33.05, or nearly 47 percent, to $103.46 in midday trading Friday. Priceline shares fell $22.16, or 1.8 percent, to $1,203.84.

— Associated Press

Also in Business

General Motors recalled 511,528 Chevrolet Camaros for an ignition switch problem similar to the defect linked to at least 13 deaths in Chevrolet Cobalts and other models. GM said Friday it was aware of minor accidents but no fatalities from its sporty Camaro. It said the switch defect differed from the problem in Cobalts, but a consumer advocate said GM still should have recalled the Camaros sooner. The defect was first observed by GM engineers in 2002. GM said a driver’s knee could bump the key fob and move the Camaro’s ignition switch out of the “run” position, causing the engine to shut off. The earlier recall involved an ignition switch in which a bump of the key fob could turn off the engine, disabling power steering and airbags.

U.S. stocks edged up Friday, boosted by bullish news from the tech sector, but major indexes fell for the week as unrest in Iraq kept investors on edge. Intel was one of the S&P 500’s biggest gainers and one of Nasdaq’s most active names, but overall gains were capped as investors kept a close watch on violence in Iraq that drove oil prices to their highest since September.

A federal judge said LinkedIn must face a lawsuit by customers who claimed it violated their privacy by accessing their external e-mail accounts, downloading their contacts’ e-mail addresses and soliciting business from those contacts. U.S. District Judge Lucy Koh in San Jose found that while customers consented to LinkedIn’s sending an initial “endorsement e-mail” to recruit contacts, they did not agree to let the professional networking Web site operator send two reminder e-mails when the initial e-mail is ignored. This practice “could injure users’ reputations by allowing contacts to think that the users are the types of people who spam their contacts,” Koh wrote.

FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler on Friday recused himself from the agency’s review of AT&T’s tests of a transition of networks to digital because of his past affiliation with participant EarthLink Holdings. EarthLink, a managed network and cloud services provider, has applied to participate in AT&T’s proposed trials in which it would test switching telephone services from existing circuit-switch technology to an alternative Internet protocol-based one.

The U.S. economic recovery should accelerate in coming months as an energy boom, steadily falling unemployment and a rebound in investment push growth to its fastest pace in a decade, the Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development said Friday. In its latest overview of the U.S. economy, the Paris-based group said gross domestic product would expand 2.5 percent this year, a touch below a forecast it released last month. But it maintained its 3.5 percent growth projection for next year. It would be the strongest advance since 2004.

— From news services

Coming Monday

9:15 a.m.: Federal Reserve issues the industrial production index for May.

9:30 a.m.: IMF releases its annual checkup of the U.S. economy.

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