At The Motley Fool, we know our readers like to be informed. We have scouted out today's most relevant news items and brought them to you all in one page. We hope you find this midday edition informative and useful.
Google stocks up on patents
The company has faced various patent lawsuits, especially concerning its Android platform. Google general counsel Kent Walker has argued that patent-infringement lawsuits are stifling innovation, and simply represent a business strategy designed to hurt competition. The patents Google purchased from IBM run the gamut from chips to search engines.
Some close to the matter say that Google, with its $40 billion in cash, has been in talks to acquire InterDigital, a company that owns thousands of patents, but produces no products. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.
Moody's puts Spain under the microscope
With rumblings that Spain may be at risk of catching the debt bug, Moody's decided to put the nation's long-term debt under review for a downgrade. The agency could lower the grade to Aa2, which would still leave Spanish bonds a healthy investment. After the announcement, the Euro and Spanish bond prices fell.
Spain's main problem is high financing costs, which push companies to transfer up to 10% interest rates to their borrowers. Banco Santander
Merck to cut as many as 13,000 jobs
The second largest drugmaker in the U.S., Merck
The cuts are part of a restructuring plan that will save as much as $4.6 billion a year. It also includes expansion in emerging markets and spending on research, mainly because Merck will lose patent exclusivity on its asthma drug Singulair next year.
The cuts will come from non-revenue-generating positions and the closing of animal-health plants Merck deems unnecessary. The company already cut 11,500 jobs last year. Read more at Bloomberg.
French Banks get hit by Greek default
After passing a rescue plan for Greek debt, French banks are tallying up the losses they'll have to take. Banks and insurers could lose around $4.23 billion in the second quarter. BNP Paribas, which doesn't have a Greek subsidiary, holds more Greek debt than any other bank. Expertsexpect the bank will show a negative impact when it announces its results next week.
Credit Agricole and Societe General, France's other largest banks, are expected to suffer as well. Moody's has put all three banks under watch. Read more at The Wall Street Journal.
BSkyB to pay up to investors
The British broadcaster will pay investors $1.6 billion after many of them endured losses in a failed deal with News Corp
The company also agreed to keep James Murdoch as its chairman, despite criticism and political pressure. BSkyB reported better-than-expected earnings, but analysts are concerned that the lack of addition of new customers could be a sign of weakness in the business. Read more at Reuters.
So there you have it -- the top financial stories for this afternoon. Check Fool.com throughout the day for commentary on these and other stories. Also, follow us on Twitter, on Facebook, or through our email digests.
Michelle Zayed owns no shares of any companies mentioned in the story. The Motley Fool owns shares of Microsoft, Apple, Google, and International Business Machines. Motley Fool newsletter services have recommended buying shares of Apple, Microsoft, and Google; creating a bull call spread position in Apple; and creating a covered collar position in Microsoft. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services free for 30 days. We Fools may not all hold the same opinions, but we all believe that considering a diverse range of insights makes us better investors. The Motley Fool has a disclosure policy.