Blogscoped: Whatever the motivation of Germany’s prime time news and public affairs program ‘Tagesschau” may be – one thing is for sure: no matter how superior Google (GOOG) products are – the co. can’t seem to be doing anything without fierce criticism. On Saturday, the news station gave an official warning against Google’s new browser: Chrome, by announcing that “the Federal Office for Information Security warned internet users not to use Google’s browser since it was said to be problematic and distributed as an unfinished advance version”. The German program also added that “with its search engine, email program and the new browser, Google now covers all important areas on the internet.” Microsoft’s (MSFT) which is also launching its latest upgrade, IE8 – dominates the browser market, with nearly a three-quarters share, yet it didn’t receive this kind of strong warning. [Blogscoped]
Businessday: Australia’s second largest power retailer, Origin Energy – has unveiled a $9.6 billion liquefied natural gas (LNG) joint venture with ConocoPhillips (COP). The Texas-based international energy corporation will have a 50% share in the contractual agreement, making an initial payment of $5 billion to Origin. The joint venture proposes the development of four LNG trains, or processing plants in Queensland, AU, with production from the first two 3.5 million tonne per annum trains expected by 2014. Origin managing director Grant King expressed his optimism regarding the deal and said the transaction would “transform” the co. and provide the group with the “financial strength to fund a decade of growth”. Origin Energy is currently fighting an hostile takeover bid of nearly $14 billion from the British BG Group Plc., a bid rejected by the Australian co. pretending its business is worth a lot more than what UK’s BG has previously put on the table. [BusinessDay]
WSJ: Kerry Killinger, Washington Mutual (WM) chief executive has been ousted. This comes as no surprise really. The shares of the largest U.S. savings and loan association, have literally experienced a meltdown of nearly 90% in the past four quarters, and analysts say bank’s financial position is among the worst of any major U.S. financial institution. The company’s second-quarter results reflected a $3.33 billion loss, bringing its total loss reserve to $8 billion. Succeeding Mr. Killinger will be Alan Fishman, currently chairman of New York’s Meridian Capital Group, one of the nation’s largest mortgage brokerage firms. Mr. Fishman was previously President and COO of Sovereign Bank, the 16th largest banking institution in the United States. In recent weeks, WaMu has offered unusually high interest rates. Usually an indication of urgent bid to shore up deposits. [WSJ]
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