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Houston Business & Commercial Law Blog

Soccer world cup fuels massive mergers

Texas was as much witness to the phenomenon of big business acquisition as the rest of the U.S. during the soccer World Cup this year. Announcements were made about two of the world's largest business acquisitions recently in the country. The proposed acquisitions involve four renowned U.S. telecommunications companies.

AT&T proposed a buyout of DirecTV on the condition that the latter renews its (American) football package for Sunday nights. Time Warner Cable is selling because it has lost customers due to rising cable bills; the cause of the rise in cable costs is partially due to the high cost involved in obtaining rights to televise sports. The recent announcements are important due to the sheer enormity of the total amount of money involved in the two acquisitions, which running in hundreds of billions of dollars.

Couple sues Harley-Davidson over product liability claim

Texans are aware that operating any business involves risks. It may be profitable one day; another day may provide huge financial losses. Also, business disputes seem to be unavoidable, mostly due to miscommunication, incorrect understanding of product specifications or a variety of other reasons, all of which may eventually lead to business litigation. Recently, Harley-Davidson was sued by customers claiming a product liability issue.

The complaint filed by a married duo states that the husband was driving the vehicle on a Texas highway in Mount Pleasant with his wife on the back when the driver applied the front and back brakes to avoid a car which had cut in front of the bike. The motorcycle's wheels locked and a fishtail resulted. The bike pitched in the opposite direction and the couple was thrown off, suffering injuries, including a skull fracture.

Antitrust concerns emerge in potential acquisition

Various concerns arise when deciding whether to expand a business, including business profits, acquired debt, and antitrust concerns. Such is the case involving a potential acquisition related to Texas Industries and Martin Marietta Materials.

According to reports, antitrust concerns arose over Martin Marietta's potential $2.7 billion acquisition of Texas Industries. The United States Department of Justice and Martin Marietta may enter an agreement to resolve these concerns. Although the clauses of the agreement are not clear at this time, the company assumes that it may include terms that divest the company of two rail yards in Dallas and Frisco, Texas and its North Troy quarry in Mill Creek, Oklahoma.

Texas family-owned business acquired by Ram Tool

Otto Dukes Construction Supply, founded in 1962, is based in Texas and deals in all types of power tools. Its customer base includes many residential and industrial construction firms. Recently, the family-owned business was acquired by an Alabama-based company, Ram Tool and Supply Co. Original management of Otto Dukes will maintain its operations after the transaction is complete.

Once the deal is finalized, Ram Tools will have 31 branches in 11 states. Ram Tool's headquarters is located in Birmingham, Alabama. With the acquisition, they now enter the Texas market with their branches located in San Antonio, Houston, Chantilly, Dallas, Austin, Corpus Christi and Fort Worth, Texas.

Starting a new business requires meticulous planning

An entrepreneur can start a business from any place, home, office, or local coffee shop. The only things required to start a successful business are correct planning, will power and motivation. Many Houston Texas, entrepreneurs have a detailed plan to start a new business. While some people meet immediate success, others may take some time to achieve their goals.

Some people may spend years thinking about a good plan for their business, others may face a particular situation in their lives that provides inspiration to help others and they develop that idea into a business. A young woman who moved to Houston after immigrating to the United States, is a fine example of an entrepreneur who started with a small idea that grew into a $20 million business.

Electrical system supplier alleges breach of contract in Texas

Texans know that starting a business is not easy. It depends on effective deals and contracts at every stage, and a business owner may also have to deal with people supplying goods or providing services. During every transaction, the parties come to an agreement whereby they decide to work with each other. This often takes the form of a formal contract, which is enforceable by either party.

Acceptance of an offer is the main requisite to form a contract. An offer implies that the party offering the terms is willingly bound by them. The parties, on acceptance of the deal, may decide on the consideration, which can either be money or something of value exchanged between the parties. When one of the parties fails to perform its end of the agreement, a contract dispute may arise. The parties may try to enforce the contract and protect their rights against such breach. A mediator may be approached to resolve such a dispute. Alternatively, if negotiations do not yield results, a lawsuit may be filed.

Breach of contract alleged against Oculus

Texans may have read about plans of an online social networking service to buy Oculus VR for $2 billion dollars. Oculus is well known for its virtual reality headset, Oculus Rift. After a few weeks, however, it was revealed that ZeniMax alleged that a video game programmer who switched jobs from id Software to Oculus, used technology developed by Zenimax.

According to sources, id Software and ZeniMax Media filed a lawsuit and allege that Oculus and its founder have illegally misappropriated their trade secrets. The lawsuit was filed in a Texas court. It alleges that the ZeniMax technology was used by Oculus and its founder to build development tools of the Oculus Rift. This implies unfair competition, copyright infringement and breach of contract. It is also stated that the founder of Oculus had signed a non-disclosure agreement related to the VR technology. The lawsuit also claims that Oculus hired many of its former employees. These employees had knowledge of the proprietary and confidential information of ZeniMax, including technologies and inner workings of the company.

Closely held business from Texas may be sold for $1.1 billion

Residents of Texas may have read about the auction of Dave & Buster's Inc., an American restaurant and entertainment chain. The restaurant and entertainment business is based in Dallas, Texas, and operates in 68 locations across the United States and Canada.

This closely held business has earned revenue of more than $630 million in the last fiscal year. The securities filings also showed an increase in the company's earnings in that year compared with the previous year.

Some business disputes are best solved by negotiations

While many Texans dream of owning a business, existing business owners are planning to grow their businesses. Every businessperson is concerned about sales, profits and losses. Marketing teams are set up to spread information about products and services, innovative ideas are encouraged and expenses are watched carefully. At the same time, the thought of impending business litigation can stress an owner.

Though most business owners dread the thought of a lawsuit, sometimes it cannot be avoided. It may be a contract dispute, land title dispute or intellectual property dispute. Any dispute can lead to a lawsuit, which can seriously affect a company. Recently, a Dallas jury awarded $3 million to a family who alleged they suffered from health problems due to an oil company's behavior.

Two oil companies choose to merge to meet business goals

Houston is a hotbed for business. In certain instances, business goals can only be met via complex business transactions such as mergers. There can be many reasons for companies to plan a business merger. It could be to cut expenses, decrease competition, increase recognition, or make greater profits. One thing that is certain when acquiring a new business is that these deals can be rife with technical, practical, and legal issues that must be smoothed over before the merger is complete.

An oil company with mounting debt and the need to sell assets to cover their losses has decided to merge with another privately held oil and gas company. The deal will be for stock and is expected to be completed by the fourth quarter of this year. The shareholders of the privately held company will hold 73.5 percent of the new company. Headquarters will be in Houston and stocks will be traded on the New York Stock Exchange.

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