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Crikey! Three can buy O2, EU regulator says

The European Commission has approved Telefonica’s sale of O2 in Ireland to mobile network operator Three, in a deal originally proposed in June. This makes the network the second largest in the country behind Vodafone, but, as ever in these deals, the Hutchison Whampoa-owned Three - which paid €850m for the network - claims …
Simon Rockman, 2 Jun 2014
management regulation2

Oi, ebook price fixer. Yes, you, Apple – stop whinging and get your chequebook out

A US appeals court has rejected Apple’s attempt to delay the damages trial over its ebook price-fixing scandal. The iPhone maker had hoped to postpone the hearings until after it’s had a chance to appeal its guilty verdict. In a very short order, seen by The Register, the Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit in New York …

About to make a big bet? Don't crash out, cash in with the power of maths

Big Data's Big 5 When and how to make change to a successful business or popular website can be a huge risk. Get things right and - at best - nobody notices. Get things wrong, however, and you run the risk of losing business and suffering a damaged reputation. A good recent example is that of film and TV service Netflix, whose fluffed …
Mark Whitehorn, 29 May 2014
Cisco CEO John Chambers speaking at Cisco Live! 2014

John Chambers sold millions of shares on first day of Cisco Live!

Update Paperwork filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission show that as Cisco's CEO was wandering around the Moscone Center keynote room delivering his annual address to the Cisco Live! Conference, his brokers were selling shares in the company hand over fist. According to the latest SEC Form 4 filing, Chambers sold 2,050,000 …
Iain Thomson, 24 May 2014

HP says 'turnaround remains on track', cuts thousands of workers

HP has handed in a tepid set of financial results with a surprise note saying it expects to lay off even more employees, as the company trudges down an unknown path into a new IT world. The company reported revenue of $27.3bn and earnings per share of $0.88 on Thursday, meeting analyst earnings expectations but narrowly missing …
Jack Clark, 22 May 2014
Salesforce.com protest at Oracle OpenWorld

'I run my business from my phone' says Benioff as Salesforce shovels $93m into the furnace

Salesforce is in the fortunate business where it can simply raise its cloud-coated hand in the air and a fraction of the trillions of dollar bills being blown around the global economy will stick to it. At least, that was the message on the enterprise software-as-a-service company's first quarter earnings call for its fiscal …
Jack Clark, 20 May 2014
GoPro HD Hero

Strap-on gumble biz GoPro files for stock market debut in US

Video Wearable camera-maker GoPro has filed with US regulators to raise at least $111m in an initial public offering. The firm, which markets its rugged wee point-and-shoots to sports enthusiasts, is breaking the mould for startups that want to go public by actually being profitable. The firm earned $60.6m in 2013, after it almost …
Vodafone UK booster brolly

Vodafone: Soz investors, we wrote down £6.6 BEELLION on Euro ops

+Analysis Vodafone’s disappointing results pulled down the share price today after it announced a whopping £6.6bn writedown of its Europe operations. The impairment charges – which resulted in a group revenue slippage of 1.9 per cent from £43.8bn to £43.6bn – were due to competition and regulatory changes in Europe, said the telco. We …
Simon Rockman, 20 May 2014

Gee thanks, Ofcom! BT 'pleased' to hang onto pricing 'freedom' for Openreach fibre product

BT claimed this morning to be chuffed with a series of regulatory proposals from Blighty's communications watchdog. They include a push for faster repair times from its Openreach arm and a decision not to impose price restrictions on the telecoms giant's fibre products. Ofcom also confirmed today that it planned to cut wholesale …
Kelly Fiveash, 20 May 2014

Bolshy investor takes another bite of Apple, ups stake to $4.4 BEEELLLION

Carl Icahn has now slurped more than 7.5 million Apple shares, raising his stake in the fruity firm to a whopping $4.4bn. According to a recent Securities and Exchange Commission filing, Carl the Conqueror bought 2.8 million shares worth almost $1.65bn during March. Apple stock is now worth $588.82. Big Carl is referred to as …
Jasper Hamill, 16 May 2014
Google_Hummingbird

Builder could lose golden ticket to Google's King Cross chocolate factory

Google will not start work on its swanky London headquarters for another three years, the head of the firm which won the main contract for its construction has admitted. It is now likely that BAM Construct will lose the contract to build the Kings Cross HQ, as it may be put out to tender. In the annual report, Graham Cash, …
Jasper Hamill, 16 May 2014
Uber logo

WORLD LOSES MIND: Uber valued at TEN BEEELLION DOLLARS, Pinterest pegged at $5bn

San Francisco-startup and bane of taxi drivers Uber is in talks for funding that would value the startup at an astronomical $10bn. Despite its increasing trouble with regulators and cabbies, the upstart must still look like a pretty good bet to investors, since it’s hoping to raise a little less than $1bn from private equity …

Shazam! Record labels shovel $9m into name-that-song app

Three of the world's biggest record labels have clubbed together to invest in London-based name-that-tune firm Shazam. Access Industries, the company which owns Warner Music Group, and Universal Music Group owners Vivendi have teamed up with Sony Music Entertainment to each take a rumoured $3m stake in Shazam. Recent estimates …
Jasper Hamill, 15 May 2014
Max Headroom

TalkTalk broadband growth WANES as it reports surge in pay-TV customers

TalkTalk watched its broadband growth slip in the budget telco's final quarter, with 136,000 Brits signing up to the service compared with 193,000 new customers in the same three-month period in 2013. The company said in its Q4 results, ended 31 March, that its total broadband base now stood just shy of 4.2 million punters. …
Kelly Fiveash, 15 May 2014
Dixons Carphone Warehouse

Dixons and Carphone Warehouse confirm £3.7bn MEGA-BORG

Dixons Retail and mobile phone shop Carphone Warehouse have confirmed their £3.7bn merger after months of talks, creating one of the biggest retailers in Blighty. Dixons, which already owns Currys and PC World, will combine with the mobe-purveyor to form Dixons Carphone in a 50:50 merger, rather than an acquisition of one side …

Optus buries nasty for NBN Co in its annual results

A strong – almost stunning – rate of 3G-to-4G conversion hasn't stopped Australia's number two mobile carrier Optus losing mobile customers to market leader Telstra, and only its rigorous cost-cutting has allowed the carrier to return a profit for FY 2013-2014. Although the carrier's 4G base shot up from 785,000 people in 2013 …
Ciscoblood

Battered Cisco weathers another stormy quarter

Cisco CEO John Chambers said he was "pleased" with the company's performance for the third quarter of its fiscal 2014 – and it beat analysts' expectations yet again – but the networking titan's actual earnings were not much better than last quarter's gloomy results. Revenues for the three months ending on April 26 were $11.55bn …
Neil McAllister, 15 May 2014
Scotland

Tick-tock, Jock: Dock schlock for mock-stock in ad-hoc shop squawk

As the great and the ghastly of Britain's political class row over which currency Scotland will use if it splits from the kingdom, one firm has proposed a way to settle the argument. Secondhand electronics trader CeX will, from 13 May, turn one of its shops in Scotland into a "pound-free zone" for three days – and instead accept …
Jasper Hamill, 13 May 2014
Sony Vaio P

Sony bosses will return bonuses as firm preps for BILLIONS in losses

Sony's top brass are set to return their bonuses as the limping Japanese company struggles with predicted billion-dollar losses. Some 40 execs will hand back their Brucies*, which account for between 30 and 35 per cent of their total pay, on the suggestion of chief executive Kazuo Hirai. The Japanese giant is due to unveil its …
Jasper Hamill, 13 May 2014

Yee-haw! Rackspace shares soar on – gasp – healthy results

When Rackspace's chief executive Lanham Napier shocked analysts with his resignation last quarter, things looked bad for the company. But its latest financial results indicate that the company has weathered the transition. Napier's outgoing comments that the company's numbers looked "pretty darn formidable" have been borne out …
Jack Clark, 12 May 2014
The Winklevoss twins, Cameron and Tyler

Winklevoss twins eye up NASDAQ: Publicly traded Bitcoin fund... what could go wrong?

The Winklevoss twins have set out plans to list their Bitcoin trust exchange on the NASDAQ to create what would be the world's first publicly traded cryptocurrency biz – if it were approved. The news comes just two days after the SEC issued an investor alert warning the public about the risks of virtual currency investments. In …
Jasper Hamill, 9 May 2014
Photo of a stack of $100 bills

Skype co-founder's VC firm sues ex-staffer and consultant

The London-based venture capital firm of Skype co-founder Niklas Zennstrom is suing a former employee and one of its consultants for allegedly diverting investors towards their own VC firm. Atomico Partners’ lawsuit alleges that employee Pogos Saiadian and consultant Wouter Gort used its name to get in the door with potential …

Acer fairly sure it made a profit in Q1. Assuming it got the office tea-bag account right

Ailing Acer has told us "transformation plans" are on track despite generating a profit after tax of just NT$1m - or £19,600 - in the first calendar quarter of 2014. This titchy cash haul would cover a small bunch of non-golden parachutes for execs that want to bale: or equates to a £2.80 handout for each employee in the company …
Paul Kunert, 8 May 2014
Candy Crush Saga

King's stocks are candy-crushed as its top toy suffers splurge slump

More than 13 per cent of Candy Crush game-maker King Digital's stock price was wiped off overnight – after it admitted players of its wildly popular mobile app were spending less and less money. King’s results for Q1 2014, the quarter in which it launched its rather poor market debut, revealed a couple of wobbles: net profit …
Decaying red telephone boxes

Chucking cash at sport and broadband starts to pay off for BT

BT shares climbed three per cent this morning off the back of decent end-of-year results from the one-time national telco, which saw its sales growth outshine market predictions. But, despite being buoyed by its unexpected achievement of flat revenues of £18.3bn as well as a six per cent rise in adjusted pre-tax profit of £2.8bn …
Kelly Fiveash, 8 May 2014

Yeah, suck it, Foxconn. 'Pegatron' 'nabs' '15%' of 'iPhone 6' 'production'

Whispers among the iChattering classes today claim Taiwanese factory giant Pegatron has received orders from Apple to crank out a share of iPhone 6 handsets. According to a report in Taiwan's Industrial and Commercial Times, it's rumoured Pegatron will build 15 per cent of all 4.7-inch iPhone 6 devices, which are likely to be …
Jasper Hamill, 8 May 2014
wall_street

Whoops! Nvidia lets slip Q1 earnings early – and they're solid

An internal communications cockup forced Nvidia to release its first-quarter 2015 results two days early, surprising Wall Street with revenues and earnings that beat analysts' estimates. Nvidia had earlier announced that it would release this quarter's earnings report on Thursday, but when a preliminary draft of its results was …

Investors eye Yahoo!'s future as China's Alibaba files for US IPO

Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba filed paperwork with the US Securities and Exchange Commission on Tuesday for its much-anticipated initial public offering, a move that could have dramatic implications for Yahoo! and other US businesses. Tuesday's SEC filing indicated that Alibaba is seeking to raise $1bn, but that's just a …
TwitterIPO

Twitter jitters: Investors turn into quitters as shares hit the sh...

Shares in Twitter fell more than 11 per cent today as the six month lock-up period for early investors and staff expired. The end of the lock-up period, restricting the sale of 82 per cent of the company's equity, introduces 470 million shares to the market. It comes at a time when Twitter's share price has been falling off the …
Simon Rockman, 6 May 2014

Nokia: What to do with our euro BEELLIONS... Eh, let's spaff some on connected cars

Nokia has just announced that one of the things it is going to do with its newly acquired money mountain is to invest $100m of it (€71.7m, £58.9m) in connected cars. This is a bit of a change of heart for the Finnish firm, which six years ago sold its automotive business to the German VC Novero. But these are different times …
Simon Rockman, 6 May 2014

Sony on the ropes after revising losses UP to $1.3 BEEELLION

Japanese electronics stalwart Sony has posted a preliminary net income loss of ¥130 billion ($1.3bn, £770m) for the year to March 31, 2014 – its third downward revision in less than 12 months, and another blow to CEO Kazuo Hirai’s attempts to turn the company around. The figure [PDF] was significantly worse than the ¥110bn (£ …
John Legere

T-Mobile US added more subscribers in last quarter than top three competitors combined

Shares in US mobile operator T-Mobile rose by more than 7 per cent on news that the firm added 2.4 million customers to its books and increased its revenues by 47 per cent in the last quarter. The news moved its outspoken CEO John Legere to profanity. We have outpaced the competition AGAIN – 12 times over! I shit you not! http …
Iain Thomson, 1 May 2014
Sky 3D football

BSkyB broadband growth chopped in HALF

BSkyB saw its broadband customer growth halved in the company's third quarter, for which it partly blamed its takeover of O2's home broadband network where as many as 30,000 subscribers quit the service. The pay-TV giant said that operating profit tumbled 8.5 per cent to £910m for the nine months ended 31 March, after the …
Kelly Fiveash, 1 May 2014

eBay cops $3 BILLION tax bill after moving its profits back onshore

Online tat bazaar eBay has copped a $3bn tax bill after bringing $9bn of cash held overseas back to the US. The firm hopes to use the remaining money to fund potential acquisitions at home. The firm announced as part of its first quarter earnings that it had paid a discrete tax charge of around $3bn to bring the cash pile back …

Systemax CEO: Can't get consumer biz out of the crapper

It is a new calendar and financial year for shape-shifting box-shuffler Systemax but the same problem remains: it is hamstrung by a "weak" consumer division that is a burden on the relatively fit B2B operation. The New York-listed reseller last night reported Q1 results ended March with sales declining one per cent to $873.4m, …
Paul Kunert, 30 Apr 2014

Cash slump a Seagate problem, or a hard disk industry problem?

Analysis Seagate revenues and profits have slumped in its third fiscal 2014 quarter, reflecting ongoing difficulties in the disk drive market and product transitions. Revenues of $3.4bn were reported in the quarter ending 28 March, and these were 4 per cent down year-on-year. Net profits were $395m, 5 per cent lower than a year ago. …
Chris Mellor, 30 Apr 2014
TwitterIPO

Twitter investors squawk as user growth, income disappoint again

Twitter reported first-quarter revenue growth of 119 per cent over the year-ago period, but profitability continues to elude the microblogging network and it still isn't gaining new users as fast as investors would like. Revenues for three months ending on March 31 were $250.49m, more than double what they were for the same …
Neil McAllister, 29 Apr 2014

Nokia, new CEO Rajeev Suri, and BEELLIONS of euros burning a hole in the bank

Nokia Oyj begins a new chapter in its 149-year history today with new CEO Rajeev Suri – and a massive pile of cash in the bank. Last week the venerable Finnish industrial combine finally cast off the mobile phones division that made Nokia a household name across the world. What's left at Nokia today is an oddball combination of …
Andrew Orlowski, 29 Apr 2014

Sueball-slingers seek stake in bankrupt Bitcoin blunder bunker MtGox

US and Canadian Bitcoin investors have offered to settle their class-action lawsuits against the bankrupt MtGox exchange in return for a stake in the firm and the return of any of the digital currency it still holds. The Bitcoin traders told the courts that they support a plan by Sunlot Holdings to buy up MtGox and will drop …

Hot summer of football to stir Samsung's profits after slow Q1

Samsung Electronics, the mobes, slabs, screens, domestic appliances and chips arm of the industrial giant, has posted results showing a decline in operating product. The company hauled 53.68 trillion Korean won (about $US50 billion) through the doors between January 1 and March 30 2014, 8.49 trillion won (about $US7 billion) of …
Simon Sharwood, 29 Apr 2014
Measuring up Apple

Will Apple's $130bn cash infusion keep investors onboard?

Analysis Apple may be cash-rich, but it's in a product-release quiet period – which may be why it's accelerating its efforts to return capital to its investors in the forms of steadily increasing dividends and a more aggressive stock-repurchase program, and will again "access the debt markets" to pull it off. You'd think that with $150. …
Rik Myslewski, 25 Apr 2014
Barracuda

Hungry Barracuda Networks gobbles a profitable quarter at last

After several quarters of losses, Barracuda Networks has made a profit in its final three months of fiscal 2014, ended 28 February, paving the way for a profitable 2015. Revenues were $60m in the quarter, up 15 per cent year on year, and a sliver up on the third quarter’s $59.4m. Net income for Q4 2014 was $3m, which compares to …
Chris Mellor, 25 Apr 2014