Recap: Snowden is out at Booz Allen after leaking NSA secrets

The consulting firm Booz Allen Hamilton fired Edward J. Snowden, the self-confessed source of leaked classified National Security Agency documents about secret U.S. surveillance programs. ¶ Booz Allen said Snowden, employed for less than three months, was paid $122,000 a year for his work as a systems administrator on contract to the NSA. Snowden leaked documents to news media regarding the NSA’s collection of data from U.S. phone call records and its surveillance of online communications to and from foreign targets. ¶ In its 10-K filing, Booz Allen notes: “We depend on contracts with U.S. government agencies for substantially all of our revenue.” ¶ It is majority-owned by the Carlyle Group, the Washington-based private-equity company. ¶ Booz has 24,500 employees, $5.8 billion in revenue for its 2013 fiscal year, $219 million in profits and a stock market value of $2.5 billion.

Business

Apple senior executive Eddy Cue said in an antitrust case in federal court that popular e-book titles may have cost more after his company got into the business but that Apple was not to blame for those price increases. Cue, the head of Apple’s iTunes business, has been portrayed by the government as the “chief ringleader of the conspiracy” between Apple and major publishers to force all retailers to increase e-book prices.

Dole Food’s chief executive David Murdock, 90, offered about $645 million to buy out other shareholders of the fresh fruit and vegetable producer, saying stock markets are too concerned with short-term results. Murdock will pay $12 a share in cash for the 60 percent stake that is not owned by him or his family.

Coda Holdings, parent of an electric-car maker that sold fewer than 100 vehicles, won court approval of a $25 million sale to a group led by a Fortress Investment Group unit.

Exxon Mobil was sued by the Justice Department and Arkansas over the Pegasus pipeline oil spill in March, which contaminated 22 homes.

Monsanto, the world’s largest seed maker, had its shares climb the most in 17 months after Argentina and Brazil said China agreed to accept imports of its genetically modified Intacta soybeans.

Goldman Sachs accepted almost 15,000 bottles of fine wine — primarily from the Burgundy and Bordeaux regions of France — as loan collateral from Andrew Cader, a former senior director at its specialist-trading unit, according to a regulatory filing.

Switzerland cleared the first hurdle toward ending a long-running U.S. tax probe after one chamber of lawmakers voted to allow banks to sidestep strict secrecy laws to end the threat of criminal charges for helping wealthy Americans evade taxes.

Lululemon Athletica said that chief executive Christine Day will step down. The yoga-wear retailer has tripled sales in three years but faltered this year when a production defect forced it to pull black Luon pants that were too sheer.

Revlon was charged by the SEC with misleading shareholders about a transaction with its controlling shareholder, billionaire Ronald Perelman, and the cosmetics company agreed to pay a fine of $850,000.

The U.S. government has sold $3.2 billion worth of General Motors stock this year, so far recovering about $32.4 billion of the $49.5 billion bailout it provided.

Five US Airways executives will follow chief executive Doug Parker when he takes control of the new American Airlines after the airlines complete their proposed merger.

Airbus, after years of delays and a revamp that cost billions, sent the A350 wide-body plane into the skies, setting the stage for intensifying competition with U.S. rival Boeing.

McDonald’s said global sales rose 2.6 percent in May at restaurants open at least a year, helped by the Dollar Menu and its new chicken wraps and egg-white breakfast sandwiches.

Apple introduced an online radio service — iTunes Radio — aimed at rivals such as Spotify, Pandora and Google.

Best Buy is partnering with Microsoft to feature a store-within-a-store for its Windows products.

Facebook hopes to become more of a public forum by introducing hashtags — # — on the social network, following the lead of rival Twitter.

ESPN will stop broadcasting in 3-D because there are too few viewers to make it pay.

Deals

SoftBank, of Japan, said it has sweetened its offer for No. 3 cell carrier Sprint Nextel by $1.5 billion, raising it to $21.6 billion. SoftBank would own about 78 percent of Sprint. Satellite TV broadcaster Dish Network has launched a competing bid that it values at $25.5 billion.

Gannett, the publisher of USA Today, is buying TV station owner Belo for about $1.5 billion. If approved, the all-cash deal will make Gannett the fourth-largest broadcast group in the United States.

Apollo Tyres, of India, agreed to buy Ohio-based Cooper Tire & Rubber for $2.5 billion in a deal that would make it the world’s seventh-largest tire maker.

Safeway, the second-largest U.S. grocery-store chain, agreed to sell its Canadian stores to Sobeys for $5.7 billion in cash.

Earnings

Smithfield Foods’ quarterly profit sank 63 percent, to $29.7 million, from a year ago. Last month, Smithfield agreed to a $4.72 billion takeover offer from China’s largest meat processor.

Economy

Chances for a broad trade deal between the United States and the European Union have faded after recent revelations about U.S. electronic surveillance programs, oversight of genetically modified food and other issues.

U.S. oil production saw its biggest-ever annual increase in 2012 — up 13.9 percent to 8.9 million barrels a day — while the world’s demand for energy grew at a slower pace than the year before, BP said in its Statistical Review of World Energy.

S&P’s upward revision of its outlook on U.S. credit raised questions about the relevance of sovereign ratings.

More Americans quit their jobs in April, suggesting that many are growing more confident in the job market.

30-year fixed mortgage rates rose for the sixth week, to 3.98 percent. The average on the 15-year loan advanced to 3.10 percent from 3.03 percent.

The number of borrowers who owe more than their homes are worth fell again during the first quarter, another sign of a rebounding housing market.

U.S. wholesalers increased their stockpiles in April and their sales rebounded from a big decline in March, positive signs for economic growth.

Thirty states, including Maryland and Virginia, are on course to post budget surpluses, and 10 others are right on target with revenue, a report said.

Washington

President Obama nominated longtime aide Jason Furman as chairman of the White House Council of Economic Advisers.

The Senate voted 66 to 27 to pass a massive farm bill that will set the course of U.S. food policy for the next five years.

Transitions

Irene Pollin, who with her husband, D.C. sports team owner Abe Pollin, lost two children to heart defects, gave $10 million to Johns Hopkins University’s cardiology unit.

Robert W. Fogel, a Nobel Prize-winning economic historian who used empirical data in innovative and iconoclastic ways, most notably to dispute long-held assumptions about why slavery collapsed as an institution in the United States, died at age 86.

Global emissions of carbon dioxide from energy use rose 1.4 percent in 2012, setting a course for temperature gains well above climate goals.

Technology developed to enhance the safety of texting while driving isn’t very effective, a study found.

Britain lost a third of its honeybee colonies last winter, the highest rate since an annual survey began, after adverse weather prevented bees from leaving hives to seek pollen. Pollination, mainly from honeybees, makes possible an estimated one-third of all food and beverages, the Environmental Protection Agency has said.

— From The Post and news services

$1.03 billion

estimated value of Waze

Google bought the mapping application Waze, an Israeli company’s social mapping app that displays real-time traffic information by gathering data from its users. “Wazers” can flag bad road conditions, traffic accidents or other disasters to other drivers. Reports indicated that Facebook and Apple were also interested in the company.

 
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