The Fortune 500 comes out just once a year, but the companies on it make headlines every day. Here, then, are today’s highlights of news and happenings coming from the biggest names in business.
By Shelley DuBois, reporter
YOUR SMARTPHONE TRACKS YOU, probably. Phones made by Apple (AAPL) and Google (GOOG) send location data from the devices back to the companies. That information is valuable to Apple and Google since they’re trying to build the capability to offer users more location-based services. Security experts and government officials are concerned. [Wall Street Journal]
PG&E CEO RETIRES Peter Darbee, the Chief Executive Officer of utility company PG&E will leave at the end of April. PG&E (PCG) faced major problems in the past year including a pipeline explosion in a San Francisco suburb that killed eight people and a backlash against its rollout of “smart” meters. [Wall Street Journal]
BRATZ CASE SETTLED Mattel (MAT) lost a nearly decade-long battle over the rights to Bratz, the most popular plastic dolls to hit the market since Barbie. A court in Santa Ana, California ruled that MGA Entertainment did not steal trade secrets, nor did Mattel have a valid copyright claim on the Bratz franchise. [CNNMoney]
THRIVE NOT SURVIVE Citigroup CEO Vikram Pandit told shareholders that his company will move beyond its image of the bank that barely scraped through the financial crisis. That may be a tough makeover–Citigroup’s (C) revenue is still shrinking, and investors say it needs to shed more of its troubled assets. [Reuters]
IN OTHER BANK MAKEOVERS Morgan Stanley (MS) said it’s going to restructure itself, following a drop in profit for the first quarter of 2011. The company had to absorb $655 million in losses from its joint venture with Mitsubishi UFJ financial group. [Wall Street Journal]
CHEMICAL PUSH Dow Chemical (DOW) announced that it was going to make more ethylene and propylene so that it can profit from the increasing amount of natural gas liquids being produced from shale fields in the United States. The chemicals can be used to make products including swimming pool liners, pantyhose and diapers. [Reuters]