Icahn group bids $310 million to buy Blockbuster rentals

Investor Carl Icahn and a group of liquidators made a $310.6 million bid for Blockbuster’s movie rental business, bettering a $307.1 million bid from Dish Network.

SK Telecom, based in Seoul, won’t place another bid and said its prior cash bid of $284.5 million is superior to other bids because it takes on more liabilities for movie studios and covers other costs.

Icahn’s offer was from a group that included Great American Group, Tiger Capital Group, Hudson Capital Partners and SB Capital Group, Karotkin said.

Icahn, who attended the auction, declined to comment when asked what he’ll do with the company if he wins it.

Verizon settles suit alleging it overbilled government

Verizon Communications Inc. has paid $93.5 million to settle allegations that it overcharged the federal government, the Justice Department said Tuesday.

The lawsuit was filed by Stephen Shea, a whistleblower, in 2007, and alleged overbilling as far back as 1999, first by MCI Communications, and later by Verizon, which bought MCI in 2006.

The lawsuit alleged that Verizon had billed the government for “tax-like” surcharges that it wasn’t entitled to impose on the government, according to the law firm representing Shea, Phillips & Cohen LLP.

“This settlement concludes efforts by both parties to resolve this dispute amicably, without further litigation,” said Verizon spokesman Peter Lucht.

Judge overturns huge award against Apple over patents

A federal judge has overturned a federal jury’s order that Apple Inc. pay $625.5 million in damages for violating patents held by Mirror Worlds LLC, a small technology company.

The decision by U.S. District Judge Leonard Davis in Tyler, Texas, which was disclosed in a Monday court filing, dismisses one of the largest-ever patent infringement verdicts.

In his ruling Monday, the judge said that “Mirror Worlds may have painted an appealing picture for the jury, but failed to lay a solid foundation sufficient to support important elements it was required to establish under the law.”

In October, a federal jury in Tyler determined that Apple infringed on three of Mirror Worlds’ patents, which cover several features on Apple’s Mac computers, iPhones and iPods.

Halliburton to build plant to employ 150 in Louisiana

Halliburton Co. plans to build a $65 million plant in Lafayette, La., to manufacture oilfield service components, employing 150 people.

Halliburton said the construction on the 200,000-square-foot plant will begin by July and will need 250 construction workers.

Halliburton is getting a state incentive package, including a $2 million grant for site acquisition.

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