5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending Aug. 25

Topping this week's roundup of those having a rough week is IT services giant Infosys, for the second week, which is undergoing a very public fight for control of the company's board of directors.

Also making the list this week are Microsoft for having to promise that it will stop downloading Windows updates without explicit user permission – in Germany, at least; Google for having to remove hundreds of applications from Google Play because of potential spyware problems; AT&T, whose bid to acquire media giant Time Warner for $85.4 billion may have hit a roadblock in Brazil; and Samsung heir and acting chairman Lee Jae-yong, who was sentenced to five years in prison Friday after being convicted on charges of bribery, perjury and embezzlement.

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 5 Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Turmoil Continues On Infosys Board As Co-Founder Takes Control

IT services giant Infosys was thrown into turmoil last week when CEO Vishal Sikka (pictured) suddenly resigned in a public dispute over management and governance issues with company co-founder and former CEO Narayana Murthy.

This week the tumult only got worse. With the backing of 12 institutional investors, Nandan Nilekani, who co-founded Infosys with Murthy, returned to the company's board and on Thursday was named board chairman.

That prompted the resignation of board member and current chairman R Seshasayee; board member Sikka, who had remained on the board; and two other board members.

A Bloomberg story, citing unnamed sources, said the moves were part of a plan by Infosys' founders to retake control of the Bengaluru, India-based company and remove most of its current board members. In addition to co-founding Infosys, Nilekani served as its CEO from 2002 to 2007 and retains a 2.3 percent stake in the company.

Microsoft Bows To Pressure From Germany To Halt Forced Windows Upgrades

Microsoft has been hit with complaints in the last 18 months for downloading Windows upgrades to users' PCs without permission.

This week, under pressure from a consumer rights group in Germany, the software giant capitulated and promised that in Germany it would no longer download Windows upgrade files to PCs unless it had explicit permission to do so.

Microsoft's decision was in response to a complaint brought by the Baden-Wurtenberg consumer rights center in Munich in early 2016 when consumers began complaining about Microsoft's aggressive – some said deceitful – efforts to get users to upgrade to Windows 10.

The consumer rights center announced Microsoft's response in a statement Monday. It was unclear if Microsoft's decision applied only to Germany or if it would change its practices worldwide.

Google Scrambles To Remove 500-Plus Android Apps That Could Install Malware

Google removed more than 500 Android mobile applications from its Google Play online store this week after it was discovered they contained embedded advertising software development tools from a Chinese company that could be used to install spyware on devices.

The embedded SDK, called Igexin, may have been used to install malware that could exfiltrate logs from devices, among other uses, according to a story on the Threatpost website this week.

Researchers at mobile security company Lookout discovered the problem. This week they said the 500-plus Android applications with the Igexin SDK had been downloaded more than 100 million times, according to the Threatpost story. They included games for teenagers, plus applications for weather, Internet radio, education, travel, and health and fitness.

AT&T Bid To Acquire Time Warner Hits Potential Roadblock In Brazil

AT&T's effort to acquire media giant Time Warner for $85.4 billion may have hit a speed bump this week when an anti-trust agency in Brazil said it considers the merger to be a threat to competition and may oppose the deal, according to a Bloomberg report.

AT&T was reportedly close to closing the acquisition before the anti-trust agency, Cade, issued its opinion this week. The agency said the merger should be rejected unless the deal includes asset sales, without specifying what assets.

The Bloomberg story said the merger would create a "TV powerhouse" in Brazil that could be in violation of a Brazilian law that prohibits pay-TV providers from owning programming content. AT&T also owns a 93 percent stake in Sky Brazil as part of AT&T's $48.5 billion buyout of DirectTV in 2015.

Samsung Heir Sentenced To Five Years In Corruption Case

It was a tough week for Lee Jae-yong, Samsung's acting chairman and heir-apparent to the Samsung business empire, who was sentenced to five years in prison Friday after being convicted on charges of bribery, perjury and embezzlement.

Billionaire Lee was accused of making large donations to foundations run by a close friend and confidante of deposed South Korean president Park Geun-hye in return for political favors, according to a report on The Guardian's website.

The guilty finding also presents challenges for Samsung, according to a New York Times story, which by itself accounts for almost one-fifth of South Korea's exports. The company has said Lee was responsible for Samsung's long-range strategic vision and helped establish alliances with Apple and Google.