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The daily business briefing: April 20, 2016

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Harold Maass
Intel offices
Reuters/Ronen Zvulun
The daily business briefing newsletter
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1.

Intel cutting 12,000 jobs in shift away from PCs

Intel announced Tuesday it is laying off 12,000 employees, about 11 percent of its workforce worldwide. The company said the staff reduction was necessary to cut costs as the chip maker moves away from the shrinking PC market to smart devices and cloud computing. Half of the cuts will come by the end of 2016. "I am confident that we’ll emerge as a more productive company with broader reach and sharper execution," CEO Brian Krzanich said in an email to employees. [USA Today]

2.

Mitsubishi says employees falsified mileage tests for 'minicars'

Japan's Mitsubishi Motors on Wednesday said some of its employees had intentionally falsified fuel mileage test data on several "minicar" vehicles. The models include Mitsubishi eK wagons and eK Space cars, and Dayz models the company makes for Nissan. The main draw of these vehicles is their fuel economy. "It is clear the falsification was done to make the mileage look better," company president Tetsuro Aikawa said. Mitsubishi shares dropped by 15 percent on the news. [The New York Times, MarketWatch]

3.

Kuwait oil strike ends, driving down crude prices

Oil prices slid down by 2 percent early Wednesday — taking U.S. stock futures down with them — after Kuwaiti oil workers called off a three-day strike that had driven up crude prices by 3 percent a day earlier. The strike had cut the OPEC nation's production by 1.5 million barrels a day, a little more than half its typical output. The sudden decline came as power outages in Venezuela reduced the South American nation's daily output by 200,000 barrels, and a pipeline fire in Nigeria took another 400,000 barrels off the daily market. [MarketWatch, Reuters]

4.

UnitedHealth pulls out of most ObamaCare exchanges

UnitedHealth Group announced Tuesday that it plans to withdraw from federal health insurance marketplaces in all but "a handful" of the 34 states where it now participates. UnitedHealth is the nation's largest insurer, and its decision shows how hard many companies have found it to make money in ObamaCare marketplaces. Analysts said other companies are unlikely to follow suit, though. UnitedHealth was slow to enter the exchanges, but other big insurers, such as Anthem and Aetna, have a greater proportion of their business to lose if they quit the exchanges. [The Washington Post]

5.

E.U. regulators accuse Google of abusing Android mobile dominance

European Union antitrust regulators on Wednesday charged Google with using its Android mobile operating system's dominance to pressure mobile-phone makers into installing Google Search and the Google Chrome browser on their devices. Regulators said Google is stifling competition and innovation, and denying consumers more app choices. Google's general counsel, Kent Walker, said open-source Android software "is good for competition and good for consumers." [Reuters]