The Washington Post

The Circuit: Kodak’s money woes, Yahoo’s CEO, Verizon iPhone sales

LEADING THE DAY: Within weeks, Kodak is expected to seek bankruptcy protection, the Wall Street Journal reported, citing unnamed “people familiar with the matter.” The report said the company is exploring options to sell some of its patents to raise funds but has already made preparations to file for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection and could do so as early as this month or early February.

The company, founded in 1880, would focus on selling its patent portfolio through a court-supervised auction if forced to go into bankruptcy protection, the report said. The company already put some of its digital patents up for sale during the summer.

Yahoo’s new CEO: Yahoo has named eBay’s PayPal president, Scott Thompson, as its new chief executive, effective Jan. 9.

Thompson has worked at Visa subsidiary Inovant and at Barclays Global Investors, but was not on many analysts’ short lists to take over at Yahoo, likely because his background was largely based in technology and not media or advertising. Yahoo fired its former chief executive, Carol Bartz, in September. Tim Morse, who has been the company’s interim CEO, will return to his previous position as Yahoo’s chief financial officer.

Verizon iPhone sales: Verizon Wireless Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said Wednesday that the company had doubled its iPhone sales compared with the previous quarter, CNET reported, logging 4.2 million sales of the Apple smartphone. The company activated around 2 million phones in its third quarter. Shammo attributed the jump to the introduction of the iPhone 4S, which was introduced in early October, and said the company would lower its profit margins because of the subsidies associated with the phone.

The iPhone 4S has been a great success for Apple and is expected to go on sale in China in mid-January — allowing it to break into a huge market where Apple products are in very high demand.

Google E.U.: Bloomberg reported that European regulators have yet to reach a decision over whether to file a formal antitrust complaint against Google due to search practices. “The commission is to date not in a position to say whether its investigation will lead to issuing a statement of objections,” European Union Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said in a statement posted Wednesday.

The E.U. has been looking into claims that Google has been discriminating against rival companies with its search results and has blocked rivals’ ads, the report said.

Internet a human right?: Is the Internet a human right? Some have argued that it is, but Internet pioneer Vint Cerf had a different take in a New York Times opinion piece.

Designating Internet access as a human right, he said, “however well meaning, misses a larger point: Technology is an enabler of rights, not a right itself.” Human rights should have a higher bar, he said.

He also pointed out that simply granting a right to have a tool doesn’t mean people will be able to use it for a higher purpose and that it’s more important that technology creators take the responsibility to support human and civil rights.

Hayley Tsukayama covers consumer technology for The Washington Post.



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