The technology business week: EC fines consumer tech giants, Eircom says 300k more homes and firms to get fibre

10 Dec 2012

Samsung, Philips, LG and others fined €1.47bn for TV price-fixing cartel

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

Samsung, Philips, LG and others fined €1.47bn for TV price-fixing cartel

Major consumer tech giants Samsung, Panasonic, LG, Toshiba, Philips and a number of other firms have been fined €1.47bn by EU antitrust regulators for fixing the prices of TV and CRT monitors over the course of a decade.

The fines administered by the European Commission were as follows: Panasonic €147.4m; Samsung €150.8m; Toshiba €28m; and Technicolour €38.6m. Two Panasonic subsidiaries were also fined.

Taiwanese firm Chunghwa escaped fines because it blew the whistle on the cartel. Otherwise its fines would have been €8.3m for the TV cartel and €8.5m for the computer monitor cartel.

The European Commission investigation also revealed that the companies were well aware they were breaking the law.

Eircom says 300k more homes and firms to get fibre, Q1 revenues fall 7pc to €363m

Eircom has revealed the locations of the next 300,000 homes and businesses in Ireland that will receive fibre broadband and claims the network, which will reach 1m premises by December 2014 will be the largest in the country.

The 300,000 additional homes and premises are in the key towns and districts in Carlow, Cavan, Clare, Cork, Donegal, Dublin, Kerry, Kildare, Kilkenny, Laois, Leitrim, Longford, Louth, Mayo, Meath, Monaghan, Offaly, Roscommon, Sligo, Waterford, Westmeath, Wexford and Wicklow.

Eircom also said revenues for its first quarter ending 30 September declined by €26m to €363m, and operating costs were €160m for the quarter, a 4pc improvement on the previous year.

EBITDA decreased by €14m on the prior year to €124m for the quarter, down 10pc on the same period in 2011.

Eircom’s total customer base stood at 2,058,000 on 30 September 2012 and includes 1,079,000 mobile customers.

Med-tech exports up 10pc to €3.9bn in first half of this year

Ireland is a global powerhouse for the medical-technology sector and proof of this can be seen in the export performance of the sector, which grew exports 10pc in the first half of 2012 to €3.9bn.

The figures were captured on the Eurostat International Trade Database.

There are 200 medical technology companies in Ireland that employ 25,000 people – the highest number of people working in the industry in any country in Europe, per head of population.

Exports of medical devices and diagnostics products now represent 8pc of Ireland’s total merchandise exports; and growth prospects for the industry globally remain good.

Zynga eyes up real-money gambling in Nevada

Social gaming company Zynga has confirmed it has filed a preliminary application with the Nevada Gaming Commission to offer real-money gaming in the state, as the company seeks new revenue opportunities.

Zynga, which is behind Facebook games such as FarmVille, CityVille and ChefVille, plus virtual gambling games such as Zynga Poker and the casino game Go Slots, said it had filed an “Application for a Preliminary Finding of Suitability” from the Nevada Gaming Control Board to hold a gaming licence in the state.

According to The Wall Street Journal, Zynga’s filing does not seek permission to offer specific types of online games.

Zynga said the expected timing of a decision from the Nevada Gaming Control Board could take between a year and 18 months.

Sharp receives US$120m investment from Qualcomm

Electronics firm Sharp has received a US$120m investment from Qualcomm in a move that will help bolster its battered balance sheet. It is understood that Dell and Intel were also considering investing in the Japanese display giant.

Under the deal, Sharp will issue new shares to Qualcomm and will form a partnership with Qualcomm subsidiary Pixtronix to develop MEMS displays using Sharp’s exclusive Indium Gallium Zinc Oxide (IGZO) technology.

IGZO doesn’t consume as much power as most LCD displays, makes touchscreens more accurate and sensitive and increases the number of pixels per inch for sharper resolution.

The investment will make Qualcomm a minority shareholder of Sharp.

Citrix to acquire mobile device management player Zenprise

Citrix, a provider of server and desktop virtualisation, networking, SaaS and cloud computing technologies, has signed a definitive agreement to acquire mobile device management (MDM) provider Zenprise for an undisclosed sum.

The deal will enable Citrix to offer a comprehensive product line for managing mobile apps, mobile data and mobile devices, and it plans to integrate the Zenprise solution for mobile device management with its Citrix CloudGateway and Me@Work solutions for managing mobile apps and data.

The acquisition is expected to close during the first quarter of 2013.

EU Parliament image via Shutterstock

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