Fourth settlement deal falls through, deal not likely before departure of head
European Commission anti-trust head Joaquin Almunia has called for Google to improve its proposal to mitigate concerns that the search engine is abusing its industry-leading position and manipulating search results. The previous deal struck has now apparently collapsed, leaving the Mountain View, CA company to start negotiation a new one, or face fines of up to $6 billion if the complaint moves to formal monopoly charges.
Change in focus to high-end smartphones follows Sony financial guidance warning
Sony is effectively giving up on the low and mid-range smartphone market, in order to focus on high-end mobile devices like the Xperia Z3 range, a report claims. The manufacturer is apparently making the change after releasing new financial guidance it would make a loss of $2.1 billion for the fiscal year, itself partly caused by dismal smartphone sales throughout the year.
Mark Hurd, Safra Catz both named as CEO of Oracle following exit
Surprisingly, Oracle has announced that founder and CEO Larry Ellison will be stepping down, effective immediately. The outgoing CEO will be replaced by Mark Hurd and Safra Catz, who will both be named CEO of the company, but not use the title co-CEOs. Ellison is remaining on the board as executive chairman, and in a business capacity as chief technology officer for the company.
Starting price expected to be set between $65 and $67, may break records
Chinese e-commerce behemoth Alibaba will officially launch its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange under symbol "BABA" Friday morning at commencement of trading. Executive Chairman of the company, Jack Ma, will be on hand to ring the opening bell on the start of trading, which is expected to reach between $20 and $25 billion.
Move essentially guarantees Sony will take massive loss on the year
Sony has revised -- downwards -- its financial guidance for the quarter, and intends to take a 180 billion yen ($1.7 billion) "impairment charge" as a result of overestimating smartphone sales. The revision will take a serious bite out of earnings, with the company now expecting to take a loss for the fiscal year of $2.1 billion dollars, versus the possibility of returning to profitability.
Acquisition cost pinned at eight times Minecraft's 2013 sales
More details are emerging from Microsoft regarding the rumored deal for Mojang deal. According to sources familiar with the matter, the software giant could announce the deal which would net it the Minecraft developer as soon as Monday, for $2.5 billion in cash. The acquisition cost is about eight times the developer's sales for 2014, and there is no clear known heir to the Minecraft throne in the pipeline.
Bribery of Russian prosecutorial office at heart of matter
Hewlett Packard has pleaded guilty to international bribery charges, as part of a plea arrangement it had previously negotiated. As part of the deal. the company's Russian subsidiary has admitted to charges that it violated the Foreign Corrupt Practices Act in a transaction arranged with Russia's top prosecutorial office. The company will pay an additional $58.7 million to settle the charges on top of the $108 million it agreed to pay in April.
Company may be forced to liquidate if relief not found
Following a 10th-straight quarterly loss, electronics retailer Radio Shack noted that it may need to file for bankruptcy protections. The company, with its stock in danger of New York Stock Exchange delisting, is also reportedly evaluating other options for the future, including an outright sale, or a call for investors to boost cash stocks to survive until the generally lucrative holiday season.
Qualcomm 'nearly done,' Microsoft well underway
Following international criticism, China's antitrust regulators vigorously defended ongoing antitrust actions. With concern from other nations growing over 30 multinational firms coming under fire for alleged anti-trust activity, the three heads of China's anti-trust regulatory agencies stood fast with their convictions that what they are doing is being accomplished "legally, transparently and fairly," according to China's Premier Li Keqiang.
Cantor Fitzgerald, Piper Jaffray push expections to $120 and beyond
The long-awaited but finally-approaching arrival of larger-screen iPhone models and Apple's probable entries into health, home automation and mobile payments have some Wall Street analysts believing Apple's oft-repeated mantra that its forthcoming product and services pipeline is the strongest the company has had in years, if not ever. In new notes to clients, both Cantor Fitzgerald and Piper Jaffray have raised targets for AAPL to new all-time highs.
Companies from US, China said to be interested in buying Ouya
Ouya may be acquired in the not-too-distant future, a report claims. The company behind the Kickstarter-funded Android game console is said to be in talks with a number of companies, both located in the United States as well as in China, though apparently discussions are at an early stage and no offers have been made by any potential suitors.
Suit likely to span years, covers most all of Cox's in-home networking
After what AT&T calls "years of protracted negotiations," it has filed suit against Cox Communications, alleging that the cable company has violated seven patents covering general networking, digital video recorders (DVR), and packet loss mitigation. In a change from "normal" patent suits, AT&T is not seeking sales embargoes, but instead looks for a "compulsory ongoing royalty" for products that use the patents in question.
Sprint merger appears dead; Dish and France's Iliad expected to bid
Parent company of T-Mobile, Deutsche Telekom, has reportedly put a price to a possible acquisition. According to industry sources familiar with the matter, the company will entertain offers and begin discussions of a potential merger for a bid between $35 and $40 per share, more than $5 per share than its current offering price of $29.84.
Head of China SAIC declares target, investigation expected to expand
Mirroring similar complaints in the EU and United States from a decade ago, the current antitrust investigation in China has been confirmed to be over the bundling of Internet Explorer and Microsoft's Windows operating system. The investigation, and target of China's antitrust State Administration for Industry and Commerce, was confirmed at a press briefing by the head of the agency Zhang Mao earlier today.
Attorney fees guaranteed to be nixed, rest of deal at risk of scuttling by Judge
US District Judge Charles Breyer has rejected the proposed HP deal to end shareholder litigation against it, at least in part. In yesterday's hearing to move the settlement forward, the judge did concede that "something went terribly wrong" with the HP and Autonomy deal from 2011 and subsequent $8.8 billion write-down of the firm in 2012, but rejected millions of dollars in attorney fees to be paid by HP, by saying "that's out. I'm not going to approve the fee arrangement, period"
Costs are up 18.5 percent year-over-year, signaling additional products
An analyst with RBC Capital Markets has told investors that a strong increase in Apple's manufacturing costs means that the company is gearing up for more than just refreshes of existing products. Amit Daryanani has noted that Apple's component and manufacturing costs are up 18.5 percent despite generally-falling component prices, suggesting both Apple's raised expectations about the success of the iPhone 6 (which may or may not comprised two new models) and the alleged "iWatch."
Stock is up 27.29 percent for 2014 thus far, new products ahead
Apple's stock closed on Friday at an all-time record high, on a straight split-adjusted basis, cracking $101 per share. The 74-cent rise on Friday rang down the curtain on a week that saw the stock gain just over $3 per share, culminating in the record-breaking performance weeks ahead of anticipated new product announcements, and months before the start of the holiday buying season, which is again expected to favor Apple over its primary rivals. Thus far in 2014, AAPL is up 27.29 percent.
Charter swept up in FCC info dragnet, September 11 deadline for submissions
A request for information from the US Federal Communications Commission (FCC) has been submitted to Comcast and Time Warner Cable, demanding the pair detail its Internet and programming agreements before the merger is approved. Information sought includes broadcast deals with sports leagues, Internet network management such as that with Netflix traffic, consumer data caps, and other information deemed vital which may impact relations with customers should the deal be approved.
Firm has worked with Dell, HP, Logitech on a wide variety of consumer electronics
Google has acquired design firm Gecko, in an effort to bolster its Google(x) product manufacture efforts. The firm has previously done industrial design work for OLPC, Logitech, Sling Media, Herman Miller, Hewlett-Packard, and contributed to the Fitbit design, pre-launch.
Amazon hopes contract will pave the way for cloud-based confidential data
Amazon Web Services has received the first-ever US Department of Defense level three through five provisional authorization for the AWS GovCloud (US) region under the Defense Information Systems Agency's (DISA) codified Cloud Security Model (CSM). This new authorization allows Department of Defense users to conduct development and integration activities for everything but classified workflows with Amazon's service.
HP continues to struggle in number of areas despite revenue improvement
HP's quarterly revenue in the last three months has gone up, according to its Q3 financial results announcement. Net revenue in the third quarter reached $27.6 billion, representing a 1-percent gain on the same period last year, and an improvement on the previous quarter's $27.3 billion, though elsewhere in the figures, it continues to struggle.
Compelling endorsement from Morgan Stanley may encourage buyers
Apple's stock closed on Tuesday with a new 52-week high, and at one point in the day threatened to top its all-time highest stock price (based on straight split-adjustment). It officially closed at $100.53, not far from its all-time split-adjusted high of $100.72, though it hit $100.68 in intra-day trading. The company's valuation also rose to a market cap of $602 billion.
New division encompasses 44,000 patents, three major technologies
BlackBerry has spun off a new business unit, collecting the majority of its unique technologies under one roof -- the BlackBerry Technology Solutions (BTS) division. Dr. Sandeep Chennakeshu will lead the new group, which encompasses embedded software group QNX, "Internet of Things" division Project Ion, cryptography division Certicom, RF antenna tuning group Paratek, and 44,000 associated patents.
Prediction makes assumptions on launch availability, but based on supplier data
Amit Daryanani of RBC Capital Markets, who currently forecasts sales of 56 million iPhones in the December quarter, has told investors that depending on availability and features, the next generation of iPhones could sell as many as 75 million units in the final quarter of the year, which would be an all-time record for any manufacturer, even Apple itself. By comparison, last year Apple ordered 60 million units ahead of the iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c debut.
Lenovo on track to buy IBM server unit for $2.3 billion
IBM has gained a US national security regulatory agency's approval in one of its first steps to sell its server division to Lenovo Group, a Chinese company. The Committee on Foreign Investment in the US has deemed that the $2.3 billion dollar sale can continue with little or no risk to US security interests, despite rising conflicts about Internet issues and continued espionage allegations between the nations.
London-based Vedanti Systems Limited allege post-it notes prove misdeeds
London firm Vedanti Systems Limited (VSL) is suing Google over the compression algorithms used in YouTube. According to the complaint, filed on August 10, Google uses the technology across a wide swath of Google offerings, with YouTube being the primary violator. VSL attorney Adam Levitt wrote in the complaint that "this case is yet another of the many occasions on which Google has unlawfully taken, rather than developed for itself or paid for, valuable technology that is core to the functioning of its many businesses and products."
Directors, executives accused of bringing company into legal trouble
A new lawsuit, filed on behalf of plaintiff R. Andre Klein, is seeking damage compensation for Apple shareholders as a result of alleged misconduct by the company's directors and executives. Lawyers for Klein accuse former CEO Steve Jobs, current CEO Tim Cook and others of "breach of fiduciary duty, gross mismanagement, corporate waste, and breach of the duty of honest services." Specifically, by engaging in anti-poaching practices, Apple leaders are said to have caused the company to break antitrust laws, issue misleading proxy statements, and suppress workers' wages.
Terms of Ask.fm purchase involves exit of founding brothers
Ask.fm, the controversial question-and-answer site, has been acquired by the parent company of Ask.com and Tinder. InterActiveCorp picked up the service for an undisclosed amount, though under one of the terms of the purchase, founding brothers Mark and Ilja Terebin have been forced to cash out and leave the company entirely.
Reminds consumers Internet currency is a target for hackers, comes with additional cost
The US Federal Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) issued a warning on virtual currencies like Bitcoin and Dogecoin on its website today. In the warning, the CFPB sounds off some well-known issues that generally circle around Internet currencies, such as the risk of hacking, fraud and lack of regulation in holding houses.
Company records expected to be broken next quarter
Video card maker Nvidia yesterday reported revenue for the second quarter of its 2015 fiscal year ended July 27. It reported revenue of $1.10 billion, up 13 percent from $977 million a year earlier, and in line with the previous quarter. Revenue for the first half was up 14 percent, to a record $2.21 billion from $1.93 billion a year earlier. In line with record revenue, the company also posted record gross margin of 56.1 percent.
John Legere predicts T-Mobile will overtake Sprint in total customer numbers this year
T-Mobile is the largest pre-paid wireless provider in the United States, the carrier has revealed. In an announcement proclaiming the high figures, president and CEO John Legere claims the customer increases will continue to a point where it will overtake Sprint and become the third-biggest carrier in the country in terms of total subscriber numbers.
Consolidation deal dead in the water due to alleged non-response
Rupert Murdoch and 21st Century Fox has rescinded its offer for its consolidation deal for Time Warner. Murdoch himself took to the airwaves, blaming Time Warner for the breakdown. He said that "Time Warner management and its board refused to engage with us to explore an offer which was highly compelling."
Numerous S&P companies may be reclaiming stock to avoid selloffs
Apple's most recent stock buybacks set a record for "the highest four-month returns among the 20 biggest quarterly repurchases by any company since 1998," says Bloomberg, using data gathered in collaboration with Standard & Poor's. The publication notes that Apple's stock value has increased 77 percent during the last 15 months, and 25 percent since last year's $18 billion buyback. It adds that "the ratio of Apple's per-share profit growth to its overall earnings has increased due to buybacks;" in the last quarter, per-share profit grew 19.6 percent year-over-year, versus a net income growth of 12.3 percent.
Chen expects profitability before the end of the year for BlackBerry
According to an internal memo circulating around the company, BlackBerry has exited its internal reorganization process. CEO John Chen told the remaining staff that "the workforce reduction that began three years ago is now behind us." The memo declares that the company is now on the path to profitability, and will start making strategic acquisitions to boost the company's growth.
Caviar purchase fills out Square restaurant service range
Payment processing service Square has acquired a food delivery service. The purchase, estimated to be worth around $90 million in stock, sees Square take control of Caviar, a start-up delivery firm which allows restaurants and other food-related establishments to offer deliveries of orders to customers, even if the business does not typically offer any delivery service at all.
'Catch 22' generated by court, US copyright office
Aereo is "figuratively bleeding to death," according to a court filing made last night by the Supreme Court-impacted Internet video service. The filing cites "staggering costs" that it is still paying to stay alive as a business entity while the court and the US Copyright Office debate if it should be treated like a cable company, as the Supreme Court alluded in its ruling against Aereo.
Acquisition proceeds while still waiting for final US approval
(Updated with Apple welcoming page) Vivendi's Universal Music Group has completed a sale of its 13 percent stake in Beats to Apple, in a deal worth $404 million, according to an official statement. The company hasn't released any other details. In all, Apple is paying about $3 billion to acquire Beats.
T-Mobile surpasses 1M customer additions for fifth successive quarter
T-Mobile is continuing to enjoy high customer growth in the United States, with the carrier receiving more than 1 million total branded net customer additions in the last quarter, according to its latest quarterly financial report. Taking into account unbranded net customer additions as well, T-Mobile now has just over 50 million subscribers using its network.
Revenues down from previous year, quarter, second half of year 'will remain a challenge'
Results for Samsung's second quarter of the 2014 fiscal year were posted today, showing declining revenues for the third straight quarter. Samsung warned investors at the beginning of the month that it expected a drop of 24 percent from 2013, missing projections in the area of $1 billion. The second quarter, which ended June 30, saw net income of only $6.1 billion (6.25 trillion won).
Analyst talks of iOS 'everywhere,' Cook's bold strategies
Six weeks after it rebutted a New York Times editorial that cast doubt on Apple's CEO, investment firm UBS has again praised Tim Cook's vision and leadership of Apple in a note to clients. In particular, analyst Steven Milunovich was taken with Cook's plans to expand iOS to automotive, gym, medical and home markets through its CarPlay, HealthKit and HomeKit initiatives, as well as the continuing growth of the entire OS X and iOS eco-systems, which the company refers to as "the Applesphere."
Struggling chain attempting to reinvent itself to survive the modern market
In an interview, electronics retailer Best Buy CEO Hubert Joly believes that the day of the tablet may already be over. Citing observations at his stores, the CEO claims that the company has "actually had a revival of the PC business at Best Buy," giving credit to Microsoft for discontinuation of Windows XP, and to Apple for continuing to innovate for consumers.
Revenues up more than $170 million compared to last year, posts $145 million loss
Twitter released its quarterly results today, showing a strong surge in business during the second quarter of its 2014 fiscal year. The company posted revenues of $312 million, compared to only $139 million during the year-ago quarter. The increase represents a 129 percent increase year-over-year. The social media company also saw an increase in users compared to the results from the previous year.
Company turnaround underway, says CEO in wake of deal
At its annual BlackBerry summit, the beleagured smartphone manufacturer has announced a deal that will see it acquire Germany's Secusmart to enhance its own security offerings. BlackBerry CEO John Chen said of the deal that it "creates that much more distance between [BlackBerry] and competitors" in the battle for corporate and governmental business share.
Investigation centered on technical issues, bank actions marring launch
As part of Facebook's quarterly financial disclosures, the social networking giant reported that the US Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) has ended its investigation involving Facebook conduct surrounding the initial public offering in 2013. In its quarterly report, Facebook claims that the SEC ""notified us that it had terminated its inquiry and that no enforcement action had been recommended." Shareholder lawsuits against Facebook and affiliated banks are unaffected by the disclosure.
Total of $28B spent in fiscal 2014, average price $85 per share
Regulatory filings with the SEC have revealed that Apple spent another $5 billion during the June quarter as part of its share-repurchase program to retire an additional 58 million shares of stock at an average (split-adjusted) price of $85.23 per share, still well below the current trading average, and about the same price per share as well CEO Tim Cook first announced the buyback plan just over two years ago. The recent expenditure is less aggressive than seen in quarters where the share price was lower, signalling reduced buyback activity.
Apple now on the hook in another patent infringement case
In a court filing discovered today, audio equipment maker Bose is suing headphone rival Beats over noise cancellation headphone technology. Bose claims that Beats has knowingly infringed on "50 years of signficant investment in the research, development, engineering, and design" on the technology, with the Beats lineup for sale now using "36 US patents and applications" that Bose now owns or has filed for.
Company ramps up ahead of fall launches
Data from Apple's 10-Q filing with the SEC indicates that Apple spent $15.4 billion on manufacturing and components during the June quarter, a 22 percent increase quarter-over-quarter, notes Morgan Stanley analyst Katy Huberty. Apple put another $5.6 billion towards other commitments including advertising, R&D, Internet/telecommunications, and product tooling/manufacturing equipment. Combined the company's commitments totaled $21 billion, a 36 percent increase quarter-over-quarter, and 46 percent year-over year. The former is said to be the highest sequential growth for any Apple Q3 since the build up to the iPhone's launch in the summer of 2007.
Growing losses troubling investors, stock down six percent in an hour
Amazon today announced financial results for its second quarter. The company reports that net sales increased 23 percent to $19.34 billion in the second quarter, compared with $15.70 billion in second quarter 2013. However, despite the increase in sales, the company's net loss was $126 million in the second quarter, or $0.27 per diluted share, compared with a net loss of $7 million, or $0.02 per diluted share, in second quarter 2013.
Expects 'busy fall' with new iPhone, long-awaited 'iWatch' debuts
Despite some disappointments in Apple's latest quarterly earnings report, analysts appear to be satisfied that the company's overall financial picture is in order, particularly on the strength of rising margins and strong developing market sales. The stock closed up $2.47 on Tuesday (an increase of 2.61 percent) to close at $97.19, not far from its 52-week high. On Tuesday, RBC Capital Markets raised its year-end target price to $110, joining Barclays and Morgan Stanley in predicting the company would hit an all-time high this year.
Revenues beat industry projections and earnings per share, user counts increase
Facebook released its quarterly earnings for the second quarter of 2014, showing a large increase year-over-year. Revenues topped out at $2.9 billion, a staggering $1.1 billion, or 61 percent, increase from 2013. The revenue jump is due largely to advertising revenue and an increase in daily and monthly active users.