Five times businesses butted heads with the authorities

(3) Nintendo vs. the KGB

In the late 1980s, when Nintendo was preparing to launch the first ever Gameboy, the firm’s management were keen to secure a license to make Tetris available on the handheld gaming device. But despite a proliferation of copies of the game being sold in the US, its creator had lent the rights to the government of his home country.

When videogame licensor Henk Rogers travelled to the USSR to try and secure the rights that Nintendo needed, he was trailed by the KGB, who sat in on negotiations and questioned his intentions for hours.

Rogers eventually convinced the Russians to let his colleagues create a Game Boy version of the arcade game – and the rest, as they say, is history.


(4) IBM vs. Direction Generale de la Securite Exterieure

American intelligence operatives had their suspicions that members of the French espionage service were spying on the burgeoning tech giant, but it took months before either side would acknowledge this, even after L’Express reported on the rumours in May 1990.

The spies are thought to have infiltrated the company’s foreign offices in order to try and steal corporate secrets, with the aim of passing them on to Compagnie des Machines Bull, a flailing tech company Compagnie des Machines Bull.

An FBI agent told the New York Times in 1990 that the US had taken action on the matter. Suffice to say, IBM continues to go from strength-to-strength, while Compagnie des Machines Bull languishes in obscurity.

Lessons to be learnt from the mismanagement of the FIFA scandal


(5) Uber vs. Nevada Department of Business and Industry

Since launching in March 2009, Uber has made plenty of enemies all over the world, and been bombarded with restrictions. But after a lengthy court battle, a court in Reno, Nevada banned the ridesharing company from operating in the state in 2014.

The decision was made on the grounds of public safety, because Uber refused to make drivers comply with state licensing requirements. The judge who delivered the verdict choose the opportunity to declare himself a fan of the tech firm, describing its app as “a wonderful product” – a statement unlikely to provide much consolation for partygoers in the state who still have to wander around late at night trying to flag down traditional cabs.

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