Today in the Fortune 500: Court ruling protects Chevron, Google faces app security challenges and Subway has more stores than McDonald’s

March 8, 2011, 8:08 PM UTC
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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

VICTORY IN ECUADOR for Chevron, which won’t have to give up assets to Ecuadorian citizens that were suing the company for environmental damage. An Ecuadorian court ruled that Chevron (CVX) owed $9.5 billion for cleaning up pollutants released in the 70s and 80s, but a judge in Manhattan said the ruling doesn’t apply anywhere outside of Ecuador, which is good for Chevron, because it has no assets there. [Wall Street Journal]

ANDROID SECURITY BREACH has put Google (GOOG) in the line of fire. Some 58 bad apps were uploaded to Google’s Android Market–the place where apps designed for Google’s Android operating system are sold–then downloaded to 260,000 mobile devices. Security experts believe that the incident shows why Google should do more to screen apps designed for Android. [Wall Street Journal]

SUBWAY OPENS STORES IN WEIRD PLACES, DOMINATES Subway just passed McDonalds (MCD) in terms of the number of its stores–33,749 restaurants worldwide to the 32,737-store spread of the golden arches. Part of that is because of Subway’s willingness to open new restaurants in non-traditional locations such as a Taiwanese zoo and a German riverboat.

While Subway may beat McDonald’s in the number of stores, McDonald’s still wins in sales. [Wall Street Journal]

GM’S PRICE DISCOUNT PROBLEM could end up hurting both the company and the industry. GM (GM) has captured more market share by selling vehicles on the cheap, which the company says is a short-term strategy to kickstart winter sales. But if Ford (F) drops its prices to compete, both automakers could flood the market, hurting the industry long-term. [Fortune]

A TANGLED WEB of insider trading within Fortune 500 companies could be revealed during the trial of Raj Rajaratnam, scheduled for Tuesday. Rajaratnam’s hedge fund Galleon could have ensnared IBM (IBM), Intel (INTC), AMD (AMD), Goldman Sachs (GS) and Morgan Stanley (MS) if prosecutors find that executives at these companies, not a rogue employee, intentionally leaked sensitive data. [Bloomberg]

TODAY IN UNSURPRISING EXEC SHAKEUPS the president of DePuy Orthopedics, the unit of Johnson & Johnson (JNJ) that produces the hip replacements that the company just had to expensively recall, is leaving. DePuy’s departing president, David Floyd, has been in his position since 2007. [Wall Street Journal]