PHARMACEUTICALS

Pfizer to raise prices on 41 drugs in January

Pfizer said Friday that it plans to raise U.S. prices on 41 of its medicines in January, after walking back its previous price increases this summer under pressure from President Trump.

The company said in a statement that the prices of about 10 percent of its drugs will increase. Pfizer said it will raise the list price of most of the drugs by 5 percent, while prices for three will rise by 3 percent, and the price of another will rise by 9 percent.

Pfizer said it expects that rebates to insurance companies and pharmacy benefit managers will offset the increases, and it expects the higher prices will not boost its revenue in the United States next year.

Pfizer rolled back a set of price increases in July after Trump tweeted that the drugmaker “should be ashamed” and that his administration would respond.

Pfizer said then that it would defer price increases until the end of the year or until the president’s drug pricing plan went into effect — whichever was sooner.

— Reuters

CRYPTOCURRENCY

Firms settle with SEC in digital tokens case

The Securities and Exchange Commission settled charges Friday with two technology companies for improperly offering digital tokens, mandating that they register their offerings as securities and reimburse investors.

The action was the first time the SEC has imposed penalties against tech start-ups that skirt its registration rules when making “initial coin offerings.” It also underscores a ramping up of the SEC’s oversight of the cryptocurrency space as it looks to protect investors from potential scammers.

The SEC had warned in March that it would hold most token offerings to the same standards as securities offerings and impose fines on bad actors that violated securities laws.

After raising a combined $27 million from investors, CarrierEQ (Airfox) and Paragon Coin agreed to pay investors back, and each will pay $250,000 in fines as part of the settlement, the regulator said in a statement.

The companies did not admit or deny the SEC’s charges.

— Reuters

TECHNOLOGY

Google Cloud's Greene to step down as CEO

Google Cloud chief executive Diane Greene will step down from her post and be succeeded by former Oracle executive Thomas Kurian.

Greene, 63, will remain CEO through January, working with Kurian, who will join the Alphabet unit Nov. 26. Greene said in a blog post she will stay as an Alphabet board member.

While in charge of one of the Internet giant’s central units, Greene rapidly expanded the business, hiring a major new sales force and investing hundreds of millions of dollars in data centers and undersea cables. Still, Google Cloud is seen by analysts as a distant third in the United States, after Amazon and Microsoft, in the market for running apps and storing data.

— Bloomberg News

Also in Business

Viacom on Friday announced a multipicture deal with Netflix and vowed to make more films and TV shows for other companies. The company also said it beat profit and revenue expectations in the quarter ended Sept. 30. “All of the recent activity around vertical integration only serves the demand for high-quality producers,” Viacom chief executive Bob Bakish said on a post-earnings conference call. Revenue from TV production across Viacom, owner of cable networks MTV, Comedy Central and Nickelodeon, is expected to double to about $1 billion in a couple of years, executives said.

Outstanding student loan debt rose by $37 billion in the third quarter and stood at $1.44 trillion as of Sept. 30, according to newly released data from the Federal Reserve Bank of New York. According to the data, 11.5 percent of student debt was more than 90 days delinquent or in default in the past quarter, a substantial increase from the second quarter. A 2012 report noted the delinquency rates for student loans are likely to be understated because about half of the loans are in deferment, in grace periods or in forbearance.

Airbnb had its best quarter ever, the San Francisco lodging service said Friday. Revenue during the third quarter breezed past the $1 billion level as guest reservations boomed internationally in places like Beijing, Mexico City and Birmingham, England. Airbnb said it expects a record 1 million guests to stay at Airbnb listings across the United States during the Thanksgiving holiday.

— From news services