The digital business week

12 Sep 2011

A digest of the top business and technology news stories from the past week.

575 jobs to go as Talk Talk plans to shutter Waterford facility

Ireland’s southeast region has been dealt a cruel blow with the news that 575 jobs are to be lost with the closure of Talk Talk’s call centre in Waterford.

The facility is to close in the next month. There is clearly little consolation in the news that some 80 jobs may be available for workers willing to relocate to the UK.

Talk Talk began operating in the southeast in 1998, with 30 workers at its Waterford facility.

The telecoms company Talk Talk was formerly a subsidiary of Carphone Warehouse but demerged from the company in 2010. The company provides broadband services in the UK.

The company has around 5m customers in the UK, where it serves TV, broadband and mobile products.

Bartz ousted as CEO of Yahoo – CFO Tim Morse to take helm

Yahoo CEO Carol Bartz has been fired as part of a major reorganisation of the internet portal company. She revealed the situation in an email to staff.

She wrote: “I am very sad to tell you that I’ve just been fired over the phone by Yahoo’s chairman of the board. It has been my pleasure to work with all of you and I wish you only the best going forward.”

Bartz’s tenure at Yahoo! has been if anything difficult and she presided over difficult and alarming decisions for shareholders such as search advertising deals with Microsoft’s Bing search engine. The last few months have been marked by difficult relationships with Yahoo!’s trading partners in Asia.

In a statement, Yahoo!’s board of directors have appointed Timothy Morse interim chief executive officer, effective immediately.

Facebook revenue doubles to $1.6bn – report

Social networking giant Facebook’s revenue doubled to $1.6bn during the first half of 2011, news service Reuters reported an anonymous source with knowledge of Facebook’s financials as saying.

Since Facebook is a privately held company, it does not disclose its financial results.

The company’s net income from January-June 2011 reached nearly $500m, the source said.

The news comes as investors placed Facebook’s valuation at about $80bn in private markets, Reuters reported, adding that many industry observers expect the company to go public in 2012.

HTC sues Apple after Google sells patents

Smartphone maker HTC has filed a new complaint against consumer electronics giant Apple with the US International Trade Commission.

In its third complaint against Apple, HTC alleges that Apple’s computers and mobile devices infringe patents regarding Wi-Fi capability and processor communication technology.

HTC bought tech patents from internet search giant Google just last week.

HTC uses Google’s Android operating system in most of its smartphones.

Microsoft, Acer sign patent licence agreement

Microsoft Corp. and Acer Inc. have signed a patent licence agreement that includes broad coverage under Microsoft’s patent portfolio for Acer’s tablets and smartphones running Google’s Android platform.

“We are pleased that Acer is taking advantage of our industry-wide licensing program established to help companies address Android’s IP issues,” said Horacio Gutierrez, corporate vice-president and deputy general counsel of Intellectual Property and Licensing at Microsoft.

“This agreement is an example of how industry leaders can reach commercially reasonable arrangements that address intellectual property.”

The patent agreement is an example of the important role IP plays in ensuring a healthy and vibrant IT ecosystem, Microsoft said.

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