The digital business week

23 Jan 2012

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

Google Q4 revenues hit US$10.5bn – Google+ has 90m users globally

Internet search and advertising player Google reported Q4 revenues of US$10.5bn, up 25pc on the previous year. Its Android and Gmail divisions are going from strength to strength and its new social network has more than 90m users after just half a year in existence.

The company posted a net profit of US$2.7bn, up from US$2.5bn last year. Earnings per share in Google was US$8.22, up from US$7.1 last year.

Google-owned sites generated revenues of US$7.29bn and partner sites generated revenues of US$2.8bn. Revenues from outside the US totalled US$5.6bn.

Kodak files for bankruptcy

Kodak has confirmed it has filed for chapter 11 bankruptcy protection. It will continue to operate as normal during this filing, aiming to restructure the company.

In its announcement, Kodak said it will make money by selling off some of its intellectual property, resolve legacy liabilities and focus on its most valuable business lines. It hopes to complete this filing by 2013, aiming to become a much leaner digital imaging and material science company.

It has obtained a US$950m debtor-in-possession from Citigroup to keep it operating and it expects to be able to pay wages, benefits and customer programmes. It will also honour obligations to suppliers and said its subsidiaries outside the US are not subject to these proceedings.

Samsung not interested in buying RIM

Samsung has said it is not interested in acquiring BlackBerry maker Research In Motion (RIM) after reports suggested that RIM’s co-CEO Jim Balsillie had met with Samsung.

A report from BGR stated that RIM, in an attempt to reverse its fortunes, was in talks to licence its software to other companies. It said RIM was considering selling some of its divisions off or its entire company and Samsung, in particular, was targeted as a potential buyer.

However, a Samsung spokesperson told Reuters the company hasn’t “considered acquiring” RIM and is “not interested” in doing so. He also said Balsillie had not approached Samsung about a possible acquisition, though he did not say anything about Samsung purchasing some of RIM’s assets or software licences.

Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang leaves company

A boardroom upheaval, spurred on by negotiations over the sale of Yahoo!’s stakes in Asian portals, is understood to be a contributing reason as to why Yahoo! co-founder Jerry Yang has departed the company.

Yang co-founded Yahoo! in 1994 with fellow Stanford graduate David Filo.

Yang holds a 3.6pc stake in Yahoo! valued at US$720m.

While Yang is viewed as an internet ‘visionary’, he is also associated with botching up an attempted acquisition of the internet portal by Microsoft three years ago.

“My time at Yahoo!, from its founding to the present, has encompassed some of the most exciting and rewarding experiences of my life,” Yang said.

“However, the time has come for me to pursue other interests outside of Yahoo!”

Company pulls Steve Jobs action figure after legal complaints

Chinese company In Icons has removed its action figure in the likeness of late Apple co-founder and former CEO Steve Jobs from sale following a legal challenge from the consumer tech giant and Jobs’ family.

In an announcement posted on its website, In Icons cited “immense pressure from the lawyers of Apple and Steve Jobs’ family.”

“Though we still believe that we have not overstepped any legal boundaries, we have decided to completely stop the offer, production and sale of the Steve Jobs figurine out of our heartfelt sensitivity to the feelings of the Jobs family,” the announcement, signed as being from, continued.

In Icons also apologised to fans who are affected by the withdrawal of the product. The company said it would refund customers who had pre-ordered the figure, which was set to ship next month at a price of US$99.

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