The tech business week: ARM acquires Duolog, Apple buys Beats, and B&L makes job cuts

2 Jun 2014

Image via Beats by Dre on Facebook

A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the news that Irish technology company Duolog has been snapped up by a semiconductor provider whose chips are found in almost every smartphone.

World’s biggest smartphone chipmaker ARM acquires Ireland’s Duolog

ARM, one of the biggest providers of semiconductors to the smartphone industry, acquired Irish technology company Duolog Technologies last week for an undisclosed sum.

Duolog is involved in IP integration and assembly for system-on-a-chip (SoC) semiconductor designs and its technology has been used by seven of the top 10 semiconductor manufacturers in the world, while almost every smartphone on the planet uses ARM processors.

Cambridge-headquartered ARM said that the acquisition, which is expected to be completed by the third quarter of this year, will enable it to strengthen its IP configuration and address increasing SoC complexity. The agreement will extend ARM’s reach across mobile, enterprise and internet of things (IoT) markets.

Bausch and Lomb to cut up to 200 jobs in Waterford plant

One of the country’s largest pharmaceutical employers is due to seek up to 200 redundancies and pay-cuts to ease its financial woes.

Having been acquired by Canadian pharmaceutical manufacturer Valeant last year, Bausch and Lomb (B&L) has been under increasing pressure from its new owners to make significant cuts to its budget.

B&L employs 13,000 people worldwide with 1,200 of those based at its Waterford plant. It is understood that the first course of action will be to seek voluntary redundancies before making an executive decision to let up to 200 employees go, along with other cost-saving measures.

Apple confirms US$3bn acquisition of Beats Music and Beats Electronics

Apple’s deal to buy music streaming service Beats Music and headphone maker Beats Electronics consisted of an initial purchase price of US$2.6bn plus a further US$400m that will vest over time. Beats co-founders Jimmy Iovine and Dr Dre, considered pioneers in the music industry, will join Apple.

Apple said that the acquisition is subject to regulatory approval and will close in the company’s fiscal fourth quarter.

One of the first results of the acquisition will be the inclusion of Beats’ product line-up in many more countries through Apple’s retail stores, authorised resellers and the Apple Online Store.

Siemens strengthens leadership team in health

Siemens Limited is enhancing its customer relations and emphasising its commitment to the Irish market by making four new appointments within its healthcare sector in Ireland.

Denis O’Faherty has been appointed head of healthcare sector in Ireland, Ronan Kirby is now head of customer service, Laurence Hayes takes up the role of commercial head for healthcare, and Peter Corr heads the Projects Group and is responsible for all aspects of equipment installation and refurbishment works for healthcare imaging systems.

Twitter reveals US$230m advertising deal with Omnicorp

Twitter has made its latest push into mobile advertising in a deal with Omnicorp for US$230m. As part of the deal, Twitter’s ad exchange service MoPub will integrate with Omnicorp’s ad buying unit Accuen as well as locking in ad rates and advert inventory, according to the The Wall Street Journal.

Omnicorp will also be given a first look at any future developments on the micro-blogging site in terms of new opportunities and ad units that become available over time.

This will mark the second major advertising deal struck between Twitter and other large advertising corporations including last April’s deal with Publicis, which also this month struck a deal with Twitter’s social media competitor, Facebook.

Sony readies PlayStation 4 launch in China, prepares for a profitable 2015

In its most recent earnings call, Sony revealed that losses had tripled to US$1.26bn but, now that its floundering PC business has been cut loose, it’s hoped that sales driven by the next-generation PlayStation will result in a turnaround by next year.

The PlayStation 4, which is already turning a profit, will soon be released in China following the State Council’s decision to suspend a ban on foreign-made video-game consoles. Like Microsoft, Sony will partner with a Chinese company for its Far East release, forming a joint venture with Shanghai Oriental Pearl Culture Development (OPCD), which is part of Shanghai Media Group.

Two new companies will be established through this partnership. Sony Computer Entertainment (Shanghai), 70pc owned by Sony China, will manage software services including sales, licensing, distribution and R&D, while Shanghai Oriental Pearl Sony Computer Entertainment Culture Development (49pc owned by Sony China) will manage the manufacture and sales of PlayStation hardware.

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Elaine Burke is the host of For Tech’s Sake, a co-production from Silicon Republic and The HeadStuff Podcast Network. She was previously the editor of Silicon Republic.