Business Briefs: Entrepreneurs in­sti­tute taps new di­rec­tor

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Entrepreneurs in­sti­tute taps new di­rec­tor

The Univer­sity of Pitts­burgh’s Center for En­tre­pre­neurial Excellence ap­pointed vet­eran tech entrepreneur and in­sti­tute em­ployee Robert Stein as in­terim di­rec­tor. Mr. Stein, founder of tech­nol­ogy in­for­ma­tion and news site Ac­tive Net­work Inc., as well as the in­sti­tute’s IT Con­sult­ing Prac­tice, will re­place Ann Dugan, for­mer ex­ec­u­tive di­rec­tor and founder, who is re­tir­ing.

Pennsylvania cutting workers comp rates

Pennsylvania's workers compensation rates will decline by 5.15 percent as of today, the state Department of Labor and Industry reported Monday. The decline was estimated by the state to save employers about $140 million this year and was the third rate decrease since 2012. Premiums are set based on an employer's risk classification and claims experience, so not all companies will see a decline.

Ca­t­er­pil­lar dodges $2.4B tax in Switzerland move

Caterpillar Inc. avoided paying $2.4 billion in U.S. taxes by shifting profits from a parts business to a subsidiary in Switzerland, according to a report released Monday by a Senate investigative committee. The world’s largest maker of construction and mining equipment made a “paper change” starting in 1999 that made the profits of the subsidiary subject to a Swiss tax rate as low as 4 percent, said Sen. Carl Levin, a Michigan Democrat who will question company executives at a hearing today.

GM recalls 1.5 million cars for steering defect

General Motors is recalling 1.5 million vehicles in the U.S. because the electronic power-steering assist can suddenly stop working. Included in the recall are the Chevrolet Malibu, Malibu Maxx, Chevrolet HHR, Saturn Aura, Saturn Ion and Pontiac G6. Model years vary, but all of the vehicles are from the 2010 model year or earlier.

Jury selection begins in Apple-Samsung case

The world’s two leading smartphone makers were back in federal court Monday, accusing each other of stealing ideas and features. The trial in Silicon Valley, which got underway with jury selection, marks the latest round in a long-running series of lawsuits between Apple Inc. and Samsung. If Apple prevails in the current case, the cost to Samsung could reach $2 billion. Apple’s costs, if it loses the litigation, were expected to be about $6 million.

Consumer group joins case against Google

Europe’s leading consumer rights advocacy group has joined an antitrust complaint against Google because it considers the display of some search results biased.

The BEUC will join an existing group of companies in trying to get Google to change the way it displays its search results.

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