Cybersecurity firm bought by EMC-Dell affiliate

Carbon Black, one of Greater Boston’s newest public tech companies, has reached a deal to be sold to VMware, the Silicon Valley enterprise software company. VMware announced the deal on Thursday afternoon alongside a separate acquisition of Pivotal Software, and values both deals together at $4.8 billion. Waltham-based Carbon Black, a cybersecurity company originally known as Bit9, went public in May 2018. Bit9 eventually adopted the name after acquiring Carbon Black, then a startup based in Texas, in 2014. VMware said Carbon Black’s software will provide important protection services that can be sold to clients. Carbon Black shareholders will get $26 per share, a payout from VMware that totals $1.9 billion. Dell Technologies owns a majority stake in VMware as well as a stake in Pivotal, both obtained through its acquisition of Hopkinton-based EMC in 2016. Pivotal, a California software firm formed as a spinout in 2012 of both VMware and EMC, became publicly traded in April 2018. Both transactions are supposed to close by the end of January. “These acquisitions address two critical technology priorities of all businesses today – building modern, enterprise-grade applications and protecting enterprise workloads and clients,” said Pat Gelsinger, chief executive of VMware. — JON CHESTO


New Apple credit card is delicate

Apple tried to make the new Apple-branded credit card attractive, copying the heft and sleekness of higher-end cards like the Chase Sapphire. But cardholders are discovering that with such a design, they'll have to give it special care. Leather wallets and loose change pose danger for new Apple Card, for instance. In fact, Apple says its Apple Card shouldn’t come into contact with other credit cards for fear of scratching the white finish. Apple issued special instructions this week: Keep away from ‘‘hard surfaces or materials.’’ Your leather wallet or jeans pocket ‘‘might cause permanent discoloration.’’ Don’t let it touch another credit card or ‘‘potentially abrasive objects’’ like coins or keys. There’s also a two-step cleaning process involving microfiber cloths and isopropyl alcohol and a list of inappropriate cleaners. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Phone industry agrees to block robocalls

All 50 states are teaming up with a dozen phone companies in a partnership to tackle the epidemic of illegal robocalls that can often lead to fraud, New York Attorney General Letitia James said. The companies, which include the biggest telecom providers in the country, agreed to adopt eight principles that will help protect consumers and make it easier for law enforcement to investigate and prosecute, James said Thursday in a statement. The principles include offering customers free call-blocking, confirming the identity of commercial customers, and cooperating in so-called traceback investigations, according to James. Americans get nearly 5 billion calls from scammers, telemarketers, debt collectors, and others every month. The agreement echoes some steps already taken by regulators and Congress, which is working on anti-robocall bills. The Federal Communications Commission has called on phone companies to block unwanted calls and expects carriers not to charge. It also calls on them to make sure caller ID numbers are real, not faked. The agreement doesn’t have a timeline. — GLOBE WIRE SERVICES



A rocket’s last ride

A rocket that’s the last of its kind delivered the newest, most powerful GPS satellite to orbit for the Air Force on Thursday. United Launch Alliance’s Delta IV medium-class rocket blasted into a hazy morning sky from Cape Canaveral Air Force Station. It was a fitting swan song for the rocket. Company President Tory Bruno tweeted that the liftoff was ‘‘hot, straight and normal.’’ Two hours later, the satellite separated from the upper stage and the company declared success. The Delta IV Medium ended its 17-year run with 29 launches. Denver-based United Launch Alliance said it will be replaced by the still-in-development Vulcan rocket. The newly launched GPS satellite is the second in a series of next-generation navigation spacecraft. It’s nicknamed Magellan after the 16th-century Portuguese explorer. Lockheed Martin, also based in Colorado, built the satellite. — ASSOCIATED PRESS



Feds claim bust of huge fraud ring

US authorities on Thursday unsealed a 252-count grand jury indictment charging 80 people in a major conspiracy to steal millions of dollars through fraud schemes and launder the money through a Los Angeles-based network. Most of the defendants are Nigerians, the US Attorney’s Office said. ‘‘We believe this is one of the largest cases of its kind in US history,’’ US Attorney Nick Hanna told a news conference. The conspiracy included frauds involving business e-mail, romance scams, and schemes targeting elderly people. Victims were targeted in the United States and around the world, and some lost hundreds of thousands of dollars. Fourteen defendants were arrested, mostly in the Los Angeles region. FBI agents could be seen processing suspects in a downtown Los Angeles parking lot. Six other defendants are believed to be fugitives in the United States and the others are abroad, mostly in Nigeria. Authorities said they hope to extradite them. The investigation began in 2016 with one victim and a single bank account, said Paul Delacourt, assistant director in charge of the FBI’s Los Angeles office. —ASSOCIATED PRESS



Fake accounts in Hong Kong protests disabled

Google said it disabled 210 YouTube channels involved in “coordinate influence operations” around the Hong Kong protests, following similar measures earlier this week by social media companies Facebook Inc. and Twitter Inc. YouTube did not specify which channels were shut down in Thursday’s blog post announcing the decision. But the post said the company discovered accounts “consistent with recent observations and actions related to China” from Facebook and Twitter. The social media companies said earlier this week that they had removed hundreds of accounts linked to the Chinese government that were pushing messages meant to undermine the legitimacy of the protests in Hong Kong. Twitter also blocked advertising from state-controlled media. Facebook and Google have not made similar moves on advertising. YouTube, like Google search and other social media services, does not operate in China. — BLOOMBERG NEWS


CEO caught up in Russian scandal resigns

The chief executive of Overstock.com resigned Thursday, saying he was ‘‘far too controversial’’ after disclosing he had aided in a ‘‘deep state’’ investigation into the 2016 election and was romantically involved with a Russian agent. Patrick Byrne, who had led the e-commerce retailer for two decades, disclosed last week that he had been romantically involved with Russian agent Maria Butina, who is in prison for allegedly plotting to gain access to the conservative elite. He also said he had been aiding federal authorities, since 2015 in their ‘‘Clinton investigation’’ and ‘‘Russia investigation.’’ The investigation ‘‘turned out to be less about law enforcement and more about political espionage conducted against Hillary Clinton and Donald Trump (and to a lesser degree, Marco Rubio and Ted Cruz),’’ he said in a statement last week. He did not provide more specifics. Overstock got its start in 1997 as an Internet marketplace for excess inventory. Byrne took it over in 1999 and turned it into an e-commerce giant that specializes in home goods, furniture, and decor. The Salt Lake City-based company posted sales of $1.8 billion in 2018. — WASHINGTON POST



Volkswagen chief not chasing Tesla

Volkswagen AG denied a report that its chief executive officer would be interested in buying a stake in Tesla Inc., calling it unfounded speculation. A VW spokesman rejected the report by Manager Magazin, which had said the company’s CEO, Herbert Diess, would invest in Tesla immediately if he could, citing unidentified managers at the German carmaker. Buying a stake in Tesla would undercut Diess’ stated aim to compete head-on with the electric-car maker. Volkswagen’s namesake brand alone is targeting sales of 1 million battery-powered vehicles by 2025, an executive reiterated earlier Thursday. The Volkswagen group has budgeted at least 30 billion euros in spending on electric cars. “We see Volkswagen as the company that can stop Tesla, because we have abilities Tesla doesn’t have today,” Diess said in a July 2017 interview. This isn’t the first time Volkswagen has denied reported interest in Tesla. Chief financial officer Frank Witter said in September that there was “no substance” to a Wall Street Journal report a month earlier that said the company was one of the potential investors bankers had lined up to support Tesla CEO Elon Musk’s short-lived effort to take the carmaker private. — BLOOMBERG NEWS