5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ended June 20

This week's roundup of companies that had a rough week include a lackluster fourth-quarter earnings report from Oracle, an Android patent ruling against a French digital security company, a security breach and stolen data ransom demand against a major pizza chain, a Facebook outage and Sony's payment to settle lawsuits stemming from its own security failure.

Oracle Misses With Q4 Earnings, Flat License Sales

Oracle shares plummeted more than 8 percent in after-hours trading after the company reported fourth-quarter results that disappointed investors. Net income of $3.6 billion was down 4 percent from the same period last year while sales grew a less-than-expected $11.3 billion.

Most worrisome was the reported $3.8 billion in revenue from new software licenses, a key growth indicator. That was flat with the same period one year before, a sign that Oracle is facing stiff competition in sales of its bread-and-butter database, middleware and application software products. While Software-as-a-Service and Platform-as-a-Service revenue grew 25 percent in the quarter, they still account for only 3 percent of Oracle's revenue.

Facebook Suffers Brief, But Widespread, Outage

Millions of users were unable to check or update their Facebook pages early Thursday when the popular social media site suffered an outage that was apparently global. While the service was only interrupted for less than an hour, reports said it was the site's longest outage in four years.

Facebook said the outage occurred when the company tried to update the configuration of one of its software systems. Unable to connect through Facebook and post their latest selfies, many users took to Twitter to vent their frustration at #facebookdown.

Domino's Pizza Hit With Security Breach, Ransom Demand

Domino's Pizza this week became the latest business to be hit with a security breach. But this time the incident had a twist with the hackers demanding a ransom for the allegedly stolen data.

Early this week, hackers operating under the name Rex Mundi claimed to have stolen data from 650,000 customers in France and Belgium, including passwords, names, addresses, phone numbers and delivery instructions -- even customers' favorite pizza toppings! The hackers threatened to publish the sensitive information (who likes anchovies?) unless a ransom of 30,000 Euros (about $41,000) was paid. So far, Domino's has refused to meet the hackers' demands.

Sony Agrees To $15 Million Payout In PlayStation Breach Case

Speaking of security breaches, Sony this week agreed to pay $15 million to users of its services impacted by a massive 2011 data breach and nearly monthlong outage of its popular PlayStation Network and Qriocity music services.

The payment, plus free games and free subscriptions, are part of a settlement that will put to rest 65 class action lawsuits filed against Sony Computer Entertainment America following the April 2011 security incident. The company will also reimburse out-of-pocket expenses up to $2,500 that any customers incurred relating to actual identity theft associated with the breach.

U.S. Court Dismisses French Company's Android Patent Claims

The U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit this week rejected claims by Gemalto NV that Android applications developed by Google and Android handset makers Motorola, Samsung and HTC infringed Gemalto patents.

Gemalto, a France-based digital security company, filed a lawsuit in October 2010 claiming that the vendors' Android phones had memory-utilization features that it held three patents on, according to an Ars Technica story.

A Reuters story quoted an ING analyst as saying a ruling in Gemalto's favor could have generated annual payments of 30 million to 50 million Euros.