The Financial Landscape: It's All Business at the Supreme Court; EU Firms Up on Greece

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A roundup of news from around the world of finance:

Cutting Big Pharma Some Slack:
The Supreme Court continues to rule in favor of corporations over the rights of individuals -- on Thursday, it was drug companies' turn, with a cameo by data-mining firms. First, in Pliva v. Mensing, the Court ruled 5-4 that generic drugmakers "may not be sued under state law for failing to warn customers about the risks associated with their products." Three-quarters of all prescriptions are filled with generics. Two years ago, the court reached the opposite conclusion with respect to brand-name drugs; the companies that manufacture generics, however, have less control over the printing of their own labels, leading the court to exempt them from responsibility.

A second case, Sorrell v. IMS Health, turned on a Vermont law that banned a practice called "detailing," whereby drug companies use prescription information obtained from data-mining companies to market medicines to particular doctors. Vermont had sought to outlaw detailing while allowing other uses of prescription data by law enforcement, insurance companies and journalists. In a 6-3 ruling, the majority "said the case presented fundamental First Amendment issues because it restricted the use of truthful information in private hands based on the identity of the speaker and the content of its speech." The dissenters pointed out the difference between private and commercial speech, to no avail.

Google Under the Gun:
Speaking of the vaunted halls of justice, Google (GOOG) finds itself dragged there by an antitrust investigation. In a blog post published Friday morning, the company confirmed a Federal Trade Commission probe into possible anticompetitive practices. Google did not go into specifics -- claiming "it's still unclear exactly what the FTC's concerns are" -- but portrayed itself as concerned above all else with the user experience, and touted its success in creating economic opportunity. The AP reports that "the inquiry is expected to focus in large part on whether Google abuses its dominance of Internet search to extend its influence into other lucrative online markets, such as mapping, comparison shopping and travel." Competitors contend that Google's algorithms are designed to direct users "to its own sites and services" and to "bury links to competitors." There seems to be a hint of Google's defense strategy in the blog post, which declares, "Using Google is a choice -- and there are lots of other choices available to you for getting information." Whether that argument will wash with the FTC -- or the European Commission, or the attorneys general of the states of New York, California, Texas, Ohio, and Oklahoma, all of whom are said to be considering investigations of their own -- remains to be seen.


Eurozone Unites Behind Greece:
As though responding to U.S. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner's call for greater solidarity in their ranks, European Union leaders pledged to prevent a Greek debt default provided the country's Parliament passes austerity measures next week. The perceived lack of resolution among eurozone members has been cited as a threat to the world economy by officials in the U.S. and China. Now, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, leader of Europe's chief economic powerhouse, has committed the continent to doing "everything to stabilize the euro overall." European bankers also considered ways of getting around ratings agencies' stated intention to treat any rollover of Greek debt as a default.




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pozboys

Does anyone now doubt the power of corporate America over us???

June 27 2011 at 11:24 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
dlnrjm

Supreme Court...on the side of Justice....NOT.

June 26 2011 at 7:02 PM Report abuse +3 rate up rate down Reply
savemycountry911

boo must be a Socialist/Communis so he is the enemy of America.

June 26 2011 at 5:03 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Dan

I guess you don't know that the United States is a Republic, not a Democracy, right?

June 26 2011 at 4:59 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
boowah

Obama needs to find ways to punish the Republicans! Maybe through the World Bank we could deprive large corporations of revenue or punish the banks thru the Federal Reserve.They won't lend anyway so what good are they? We can even start persuading foreign countries to stop supporting offshore U.S. interests. Hey! This is War, and a lot more seroius war than we have ever fought! The Republicans are the enemies of democracy and are threatening our future by trying to create an Aristocracy or even an Oligarchy! The Republicans want to destroy our way of life! We must destroy them first! Maybe we can head off an Economic Civil War, but I doubt it!

June 26 2011 at 4:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
2 replies to boowah's comment
savemycountry911

Obama has punished everyone by just being in the White House........and when he's on vacation which seems to be most of the time.

June 26 2011 at 5:03 PM Report abuse -2 rate up rate down Reply
pozboys

He is "just the president", but; we can do that at the polling place!! When people finally learn how we are getting screwed by big business, how we actually bailed them out with "our "money", and how both parties sold out the people, maybe we will get smart enough, to turn off "reality TV", and stop listening to corporate news,and start really listening to what is happening to this great country,we can vote for a real candidate! Where is he???

June 27 2011 at 11:33 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
hemipwr54

The SCAM has started , just before July 4th or any Holiday for that matter , there is always something to give fear to the Speculators and always warrants a rise in oil prices .
WAIT AND SEE !!!!!!!!!!!!!

June 26 2011 at 1:42 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PEPPER MARTIN

You can't blame the Unions for BOEING...GOING DOWNHILL PRETTY FAST! It's their Management & their Products!
The UNITED STATES MILITARY CHOSE, IN A REAL "BID" CONTRACT, THE EU REFUELER AIRCRAFT OVER AMERICAN ENTRY FROM "BOEING" ABOUT 3 YEARS AGO!! The US House and Senate went CRAZY that the MILITARY would PICK AN EU ENTRY (same Company that makes AIR BUS!) Never heard if the Penagon REBID the Contract or gave it to it's 2nd CHOICE (BOEING). BOEING HAS BEEN PROMISING IT'S "DREAMLINER" NEW
PASSENGER JET FOR AT LEAST 2 YEARS & TOOK PRE-ORDERS FOR IT...BUT THERE'S BEEN DELAY AFTER DELAY. This PAST Week-End at the PARIS AIR SHOW THE EU'S NEW AIRBUS GETS 15% BETTER MILAGE BECAUSE IT USES SOME "GREEN" TECHNOLOGY. ALL COUNTRIES BELIEVE IN "GLOBAL WARMING" & GREEN TECHNOLOGIES BUT THE REPUBLICANS (Conservative means: RESIST CHANGE.) THE 1ST SOLAR POWERED PLANE WAS ON DISPLAY. COMMUNIST CHINA SHOWED A VIDEO OF ITS COMING ENTRY PASSENGER PLANE WAS SHOWN & MANY WERE VERY IMPRESSED. CANADA IS ALSO GETTING INTO THE AIRLINER BUSINESS. NOT ONLY DOES THE NEW AIRBUS GET 15% BETTER FUEL MILAGE IT ALSO CUTS TIME OFF OF LONG FLIGHTS BUT BOEING HASN'T DECIDED IF IT'S GOING TO GIVE A MAKE-OVER TO IT'S MOST CURRENT & POPULAR JET RATHER THAN MAKE A NEW ONE. ALMOST ALL REAL PLAYERS IN THE "FREE TRADE" NATIONS ARE GRADUATING MANY MORE ENGINEERS THAN THE US. (FOX OPINIONISTS KEEP SAYING "IS EDUCATION REALLY WORTH IT--END UP WITH THAT BIG DEBT & I'M SURE THE REPUBLICANS ARE CUTTING ALL PELL GRANTS & COLLEGE LOANS....BECAUSE OUR GOVERNMENT IS NOT FOR PROFIT SO PROBABLY THEIR RATE IS 3%--MAYBE 2% NOW BUT REPUBLICANS WANT YOU TO BORROW FROM "THE PRIVATE SECTOR--FOR PROFIT...SO YOU CAN GET ONE FOR 9,12,15, OR EVEN 21%. OH WELL--WHO WON? BOEING GOT I THINK IT SAID 50+ MORE ORDERS EVEN THOUGH IT IS NOT READY YET SO I THINK THAT MAKES ABOUT 90 TOTAL. BECAUSE EVERYONE BUT THE US IS INTERESTED IN CUTTING MILAGE THE NEW AIR BUS GOT 189 NEW ORDERS & ALREADY HAD SOME PRE-ORDERS MAKING T THE HUGE WINNERINN

June 26 2011 at 8:36 AM Report abuse -1 rate up rate down Reply
RonRuthNik

Yup, the Republicans have got all the top Courts rigged. "We The People".......ARE BONED. I wonder how long "We The People" are going to let this continue, before we find the courage of our ancestors and start building guillotines.

June 25 2011 at 11:26 PM Report abuse +1 rate up rate down Reply
1 reply to RonRuthNik's comment
savemycountry911

Blame the Democrats. They are the most corrupt.

June 26 2011 at 2:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
PEPPER MARTIN

Since I have been around several years , watch C-Span, grew up when the PLEDGE did NOT have the words "UNDER GOD" inserted inserted into the PLEDGE in, I believe, 1957 & was watching the late Ted
Stevens, R-Alaska lead the Senate in the PLEDGE (right after 9-11) said: One nation, indivisable, with
Liberity & Justice for ALL. Someone whispered to him & he then said: "I meant "Under God." (I said because of the BIG DEAL made by FOX OPINIONISTS (not based on Real News according to O'Reilly &
Beck: Hannidy, Limbaugh & ALL "Opinionist" who get caught in LIES...They say that they just give their Opinion (with no fact check) because at FOX--FACT CHECKING IS ONLY REQUIRED BY THE "NEWS
DIVISION"--NOT Opinionists..) but THEY DID make a HUGE Deal about the NBC Mistake of leaving out
"Under God" in the PLEDGE. So while the US has MANY, VERY SERIOUS PROBLEMS...THIS IS SO
MUCH MORE IMPORTANT THAN WHAT IS HAPPENING TO OUR COUNTRY....!! We won't even talk about the Chief Justice of the Current Supreme Court ROBERTS MESSED UP THE SWEARNING IN OF
THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: Barack Obama so it had to be done again in an Office later
to make it official..Both memorized the OATH but Chief Justice ROBERTS would NOT have a copy with
him..TO PROUD TO DO THAT..TOO PROUD TO ADMIT "HE" MADE THE MISTAKE. That should tell you one thing about the 5 REPUBLICANS (who now always vote the same way-just like Republicans in the
House & Senate always do. Before I make the list...one more thing: This is the "NEW" REPUBLICAN
PARTY--NOT THE "OLD" REPUBLICAN PARTY. The "New" Republican Party was created when some
very wealthy Southern Men got together to find a way to take back the POWER they thought they lost
during the Civil War, States Rights to?, changed from Dixiecrats to Republican after passage of the Civil Rights of 1963 & Voting Rights Act in 1964. They came up with strategies to be able "to take control of
Government & Policy". They called it "the Southern Strategy". The 1st "Southern Stategy" President was
Ronald Reagan, who not only destroyed the AIR TRAFFIC CONTROLLERS UNION BUT FORBIDE THEM FROM RVER WORKING IN THEIR PROFESSION ANYWHERE FOR LIFE. They wanted a small raise

June 25 2011 at 11:43 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
3 replies to PEPPER MARTIN's comment
Nosamall

The US Surpreme Court HAS THEIR HEADS IN THE SAND OR MAYBE THEY DO NOT CARE ABOUT THIS COUNTRY ANY MORE. The English language does not have the correct words for what they are doing of late... The following says it all:
" Watch your words; they become actions.
Watch your actions; they become habits.
Watch your habits; they become character.
Watch your character; it becomes your destiny."

June 25 2011 at 11:40 AM Report abuse +9 rate up rate down Reply