5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

For the week ending July 26, CRN looks at IT companies that were unfortunate, unsuccessful or just didn't make good decisions.


The Week Ending July 26

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is Equifax, which has agreed to pay up to $700 million to settle litigation stemming from its massive 2017 data security breach.

Also making the "Rough Week" list are GitHub and the legions of developers who rely on it following a widespread service outage. Apple, meanwhile, learned via a tweet from U.S. President Donald Trump that the White House will not grant the company any tariff waivers for Mac Pro components manufactured in China.

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Equifax wasn't the only company paying fines to settle charges of bad behavior. Facebook is paying $5 billion to settle Federal Trade Commission charges of poor data privacy practices. And Microsoft is paying more than $25 million in fines to the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission and the U.S. Department of Justice to settle charges of alleged foreign corruption.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves – or just had good luck – check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Equifax Data Breach Settlement Of Up To $700 Million Largest Ever

Credit reporting agency Equifax will pay as much as $700 million to federal and state agencies to settle litigation around the massive 2017 data breach that affected 147 million people, the Federal Trade Commission said this week. The settlement, subject to court approval, would be the largest ever paid by a company as the result of a data security breach.

Equifax will pay $300 million to provide affected consumers with credit monitoring services and reimburse consumers who themselves paid for credit or identity monitoring services as a result of the incident. Equifax will pay another $125 million if the initial amount isn't enough to compensate consumers for their losses.

The credit reporting agency also will pay $175 million to 48 states, Washington D.C. and Puerto Rico, as well as $100 million to the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau in civil penalties.

Major GitHub Outage Briefly Halts Developers

It was a tough week for GitHub, the Microsoft-owned code repository, and for the developers who depend on it when the online service suffered a major outage for more than 40 minutes on Monday.

Several services for accessing source code were inaccessible on the hosted repository and the site's status page described the event as a "major outage."

Developers took to Twitter to voice frustration, with many writing the outage forced a premature break.

Facebook To Pay Record $5 Billion Fine Over Its Privacy Policies

Equifax isn't the only company this week that got slapped with a big fine for poor data protection practices. Facebook will pay a $5 billion penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission allegations that the social media giant mishandled user privacy practices and lost control over huge amounts of user data, according to reports published by CNN Business, Reuters and other media outlets.

The settlement stems from a series of incidents in which Facebook allegedly failed to take adequate measures to protect data submitted by millions of subscribers. Last year the political analysis firm Cambridge Analytica was able to access data on as many as 87 million Facebook users.

In addition to the fine, the settlement also calls for Facebook to create a board committee on privacy and must certify every three months that the company is properly safeguarding user privacy, according to the Reuters story.

As if the $5 billion fine wasn't enough, the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission said Facebook had agreed to pay a $100 million fine to settle allegations that it failed to disclose to investors the potential risks created by its data privacy practices, according to Reuters.

Trump: No Tariff Waivers Or Relief For Apple

President Trump, in a tweet Friday, said his administration will not grant Apple any relief on tariffs on Mac Pro parts manufactured in China. Trump said those parts should be manufactured in the U.S. instead, according to a CNBC story.

Apple had requested the tariff waiver on some parts the company builds into the new Mac Pro that was unveiled in June and is expected to go on sale this fall. Apple said there are no other sources for the proprietary, Apple-designed parts, including a power supply unit, the stainless-steel enclosure, circuit boards, mice and trackpads, according to CNBC.

In the waiver request Apple said the tariffs, if left in place, would make Apple less competitive globally and reduce the company's contribution to the U.S. economy.

Hands counting cash

Hands counting cash

Microsoft To Pay $25 Million To Settle Corruption Charges

Microsoft will pay more than $25 million in fines to settle federal corruption charges involving a bribery scheme in Hungary and other foreign offices, according to the Associated Press.

Microsoft will pay about $16.6 million to settle charges brought by the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that the software vendor violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act.

The SEC charged that Microsoft's subsidiary in Hungary provided discounts to resellers, distributors and other third parties that were intended for government customers, but were used to fund improper payments to government officials to secure software license sales for Microsoft, according to an SEC statement. The SEC said it found similar improprieties at Microsoft subsidiaries in Saudi Aradia, Thailand and Turkey.

Microsoft will also pay an $8.75 million criminal fine to the U.S. Justice Department stemming from the alleged bid-rigging and bribery scheme, according to the AP story.