The digital business week

15 Aug 2011

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

Is self-professed ‘Facebook co-founder’ hiding in Galway?

Paul Ceglia, who sued Facebook claiming he owns half of the company, is reportedly living in Galway as the lawsuit continues. However, his Irish uncle denies this.

Ceglia claims to have a major stake of Facebook following a contract he said Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg signed with him in 2003.

However, Facebook hit back saying it found the “authentic contract” between Ceglia and Zuckerberg which disproves his claims. It said Ceglia was hired in 2003 for work on Zuckerberg’s StreetFax company which was unrelated to Facebook.

Irish Central reports that court documents stated that Irish-American Ceglia is living in Galway at present. Facebook is charging him for keeping electronic storage devices from it and alleges he intentionally tried to hide them.

Chinese authorities find 22 more fake Apple stores

An investigation in China has unearthed 22 more shops in the southwestern city of Kunming selling products under Apple branding without permission to do so.

China’s Administration for Industry and Commerce in the Yunnan provincial capital have ordered all 22 shops to stop using Apple’s branding after Apple China accused the retailers of unfair competition and of violating its registered trademark, Reuters reported.

The agency is also setting up a hotline for consumers to call if they spot a questionable Apple store.

The crackdown on the iffy shops also comes after blogger BirdAbroad last month had posted photos of a store in Kunming, which, from a distance, looked like a genuine Apple shop.

Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1 blocked in Europe

A German court has granted Apple a preliminary injunction against the Samsung Galaxy Tab 10.1, preventing the sale of the recently released tablet across Europe, excluding the Netherlands.

FOSS Patents reports that the temporary order was granted due to an alleged infringement of the iPad’s design.

Samsung can appeal this, but the injunction will still stand in the meantime. The same judge could hear an appeal in four weeks.

The Netherlands has different laws in place for this matter and Apple is filing a separate case there.

eBay completes acquisition of Zong

Online auction giant eBay has completed its acquisition of Zong, a provider of payments through mobile carrier billing.

In accordance with the terms of the acquisition agreement announced on 7 July, 2011, eBay acquired Zong for about US$240m.

Zong leverages connections with more than 250 mobile network operators worldwide, offering localised, secure and easy-to-use payments for digital goods and services in 21 languages and 45 countries.

Zong is now part of PayPal and adds complementary technology and talent to help strengthen PayPal’s leadership position in mobile payments and digital goods.

Twitter acquires start-up Bagcheck

Microblogging site Twitter has acquired social start-up Bagcheck for an undisclosed sum.

Bagcheck is a website where people collect and share lists or “bags” of products, hobbies and other things in categories such as photography, sports, cooking or computers.

People can share the products and talk about why they love certain items.

A spokesperson for Twitter told CNET the company wouldn’t comment on its plans for Bagcheck, saying it is too soon to share any details on how and whether Bagcheck will be incorporated into Twitter.

HTC invests US$300m in Beats Electronics

HTC will invest US$300m in Beats Electronics for a major stake in the company in order to incorporate its sound technology into its future products.

Speaking to AllThingsDigital, Beats Electronics CEO Jimmy Iovline said this partnership was the latest step in improving the sound quality in modern electronics, as the shift from listening to music on stereos to MP3s on computers has led to “an entire generation lost to bad-sounding music.”

The first HTC device with Beats technology will be released later this year.

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