Business in Brief

Suny wins contract extension as Samsung’s local distributor despite going concern warning

Samsung renewed Suny’s license yesterday to be the cell phone company’s Israeli distributor through the end of 2014, despite the fact that Suny’s financial reports bear a going concern warning. Samsung, the world’s largest cell phone manufacturer, had sales of NIS 1 billion in Israel in 2012, and sold a record 60,000 devices last month alone, thanks to the launch of its Galaxy 4S model. Suny, controlled by Ilan Ben Dov, has been Samsung’s official Israeli distributor since 1988, and has renewed its contract every two years since then. (Amitai Ziv‏)

U.S. malware company FireEye launching development, sales in Israel

U.S.-based network security company FireEye is planning to launch a development center in Israel and to start selling its products locally. The company, which raised $50 million last year and apparently is planning an IPO this year, hired former McAfee Israel country manager Alik Haik to lead its local operations. The company offers dynamic malware protection against cyber threats that bypass traditional defenses, it explains. ‏(Orr Hirschauge‏)

Bill to cap legal fees on apartment sales passes preliminary reading in Knesset

Attorneys would not be able to charge more than NIS 5,000 for representing an apartment seller, under a draft bill approved by the Knesset plenum in its preliminary reading yesterday. The bill calls for capping the fee that an apartment seller can demand from the buyer at half a percent of the apartment’s sale price, up to a limit of NIS 5,000. MK Meir Sheetrit ‏(Hatnuah‏), who drafted the bill, explained that contractors charge buyers huge sums on the pretense of covering legal services − as much as 1.5% to 2.5% of the home’s price. There’s no justification for this, he said, adding that these lawyers represent the sellers only and not the buyers. (Zvi Zrahiya‏)

Maariv vetoes 30 employees’ requests  to accept popular layoff package

Some 150 Maariv employees are looking to leave the struggling newspaper under the terms of a layoff package offered by management, but the latter vetoed 30 of the requests to leave, arguing that these employees are crucial. The newspaper’s new owner, Shlomo Ben-Zvi, offered employees the chance to resign and receive an extra two months’ pay; otherwise, he said, he’d have to lay off 135 workers, on top of plans to close the newspaper’s printing press and fire all 60 workers there. Apparently he won’t have to lay anyone off, since enough people are voluntarily leaving. The 150 include 60 workers from local papers that were shuttered, plus administrative workers resigning because of a planned relocation of offices to Jerusalem. After the downsizing, Maariv will have about 220 employees. When it was controlled by Nochi Dankner it had 1,800. Maariv declined to comment. ‏(Nati Tucker‏)

Reuters