- - Tuesday, May 22, 2012

NEW YORK — Google says it has completed its acquisition of phone-maker Motorola Mobility and it has appointed a Google executive as the new CEO of the business.

Google says Dennis Woodside, previously president of Google’s Americas region, is Motorola’s new CEO. Departing CEO Sanjay Jha will help to ensure a smooth transition.

Google Inc. and Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. announced the $12.5 billion deal last summer, expecting it would close late last year or early this year.

Approval from Chinese regulators was slow in coming. On Saturday, China approved the deal, on condition that Google Inc.’s Android software would remain free for other phone-makers for at least five years.

Google is buying Motorola, a pioneer in the cellphone industry, to prop up its patent portfolio and help defend phone-makers who use Android against litigation.


Motel 6 chain being sold to group for $1.9 billion

NEW YORK — French hotel company Accor SA is checking out of Motel 6 and a prominent U.S. investment firm is moving in.

Accor said Tuesday that it reached a deal to sell the U.S. motel company, including its extended-stay chain Studio 6, to the Blackstone Group LP for $1.9 billion.

Motel 6, known for low prices and the slogan “We’ll leave the light on for you,” encompasses 1,102 hotels and 107,347 hotel rooms in the U.S. and Canada.

Accor said the deal, which it expects to close in October, will give it the resources to grow faster in Asia and the Pacific, Central and South America, and Europe.

The company will continue to own and operate luxury and upscale flagship hotels in the U.S. under the Sofitel and Novotel brands.

New York-based Blackstone said in the companies’ joint statement that it will operate Motel 6 independently, as it does its other hotel chains. But it plans to invest in Motel 6’s properties and speed the expansion of its franchise base.

The private equity firm’s other hotel companies include Hilton Worldwide.

Shares of Blackstone rose 29 cents, or 2.5 percent, to $11.99 by midday.


CEO: Generics, economy to make 2012-13 tough

TRENTON — Merck & Co. CEO Kenneth Frazier told company shareholders Tuesday that 2012 and 2013 will be difficult years, but he’s confident the company can weather them.

Speaking at the company’s annual meeting, Mr. Frazier noted the drugmaker’s top seller, asthma and allergy drug Singulair, gets U.S. generic competition soon. The Aug. 3 patent expiration will sharply reduce revenue from Singulair, which brought in $5.5 billion last year.

“There’s little doubt that the global economy will remain uncertain,” Mr. Frazier added.

But he said Merck has a history of overcoming big patent expirations by developing new medicines and increasing sales of existing ones.

Merck did so when generic competition hit for two prior best-sellers, osteoporosis drug Fosamax in February 2008 and cholesterol pill Zocor in June 2006. This time, the pharmaceutical industry is facing new challenges, including less-productive research operations and foreign government health programs pushing for lower drug prices, particularly in Europe.

Mr. Frazier noted the company’s Januvia family of diabetes pills has become No. 1 worldwide among branded diabetes medicines. It’s been buoyed by the approvals last year of Juvisync, the first combo pill for people with diabetes and cholesterol problems, and of an extended release form of Janumet, which combines Januvia with widely used generic diabetes pill metformin.


Designer says Facebook bride wore her dress

DENVER — Los Angeles-based designer Claire Pettibone says Priscilla Chan was wearing one of her dresses when she married Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.

Ms. Pettibone wrote on her blog that she didn’t know Ms. Chan was wearing one of her most popular creations until she saw one of the photos released from Saturday’s surprise ceremony.

Ms. Pettibone’s publicist said Tuesday that based on a review of sales records, the designer believes Ms. Chan used a different last name to buy the dress with an Italian lace overlay at a Denver bridal shop in October. It sells for $4,700.

Facebook representatives didn’t return emails seeking confirmation.

The owner of the Little White Dress Bridal Shop, Cate Malone, tells KMGH-TV that Ms. Chan returned to the store to buy accessories in April and that she didn’t know who Ms. Chan was.

From wire dispatches and staff reports

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