The technology business week: EU to give consumers powers to sue tech giants, digital products to generate most media income

17 Jun 2013

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

EU to give consumers powers to sue tech giants in anti-trust cases

A new proposal published this past week by the European Commission aims to give consumers the power to pursue legal action against tech giants and cartels found to be behaving in an anti-competitive manner and abusing their market power.

The move could see internet giants like Google and Microsoft potentially be the target of court cases taken by private individuals seeking damages if they believe they are the victim of market abuse.

The proposal points out that the enforcement of EU competition rules is best guaranteed through complementary public and private enforcement.

However, it points out that the current existing legal framework fails to regulate the interaction between the two strands of competition law.

In two years, digital products will account for 57pc of media income – report

Now is the time for media firms to invest in digital products or face being left behind when earnings from traditional media lose out to digital sales, a new report from Ernst & Young suggests.

Following a survey of more than 550 senior executives at technology, gaming, publishing, film, broadcast media and social networking companies, Ernst & Young discovered that 47pc of all revenues in media and entertainment companies currently comes from digital products.

The professional services firm then forecast 10pc growth in these revenues over the next two years, reaching 57pc of overall income by 2015.

Xtra-vision is saved: receivers sell business to Hilco Capital

High-street video and gaming rental and retail firm Xtra-vision has been saved after its receivers Ernst & Young completed the sale of the business and its assets to a number of firms backed by Hilco Capital Ireland for an undisclosed sum.

The sale includes the business, stock and head office in Tallaght, Dublin, helping to safeguard jobs across the island of Ireland and secure a future for the Xtra-vision brand. 

Hilco Capital is an international restructuring business that invests in distressed businesses across sectors like retail and manufacturing.

Google acquires sat-nav app Waze

Internet search giant Google has confirmed its acquisition of sat-nav smartphone app Waze. Terms of the purchase have not been disclosed.

Under the deal, Google expects to enhance Google Maps with some of the traffic update features provided by Waze and enhance Waze with Google’s search capabilities.

The Waze product development team will remain in Israel and operate separately for now, said Brian McClendon, vice-president of Google’s Geo products.

Irish universities forge R&D pact with Japanese drugs giant Shionogi

Ireland’s top universities have entered into a collaboration pact with Shionogi, one of the largest pharmaceutical players in Japan and maker of the cholesterol drug Crestor.

Shionogi will implement in Ireland the Shionogi Science Programme, which the company is working on as part of its globalisation of industry-university collaboration.

Shionogi’s president Isao Teshirogi said the aim of the pact is to seed vital research projects and identify vital research talent as part of its global HR strategy.

A memorandum of understanding has been signed with NUI Galway, NUI Maynooth, UCD, University of Limerick, the Royal College of Surgeons and Trinity College Dublin.

Dublin-based Keywords Studios plans stg£10m IPO

Dublin-headquartered Keywords Studios announced last week it intends to float on London’s Alternative Investment Market (AIM), and seeks to raise stg£10m in its initial public offering (IPO).

Keywords Studios provides localisation, audio and testing services to the global video-games market. Its client base includes EA, Disney, Microsoft, and Blizzard Entertainment.

The company is hoping to raise stg£10m to expand its localisation services into new entertainment markets, such as online gambling and e-learning, and to make acquisitions.

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Tech lawsuit image via Shutterstock