A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with an eMark symbol to help consumers identify approved Irish online businesses.
eMark symbol for Irish online goods: attempt to stem €8.5m daily losses to economy
With Irish consumers spending more than €8.5m every day on goods online from overseas retailers, Irish-based retailers are about to fight back with an ‘eMark’ symbol – a ‘guaranteed Irish’ mark – that it is hoped will support Irish jobs and businesses.
In the coming weeks, the industry members behind the eMark symbol will be revealed.
The industry members feel that Irish firms and jobs are being threatened by large and internet-savvy online retailers, especially in the run-up to Christmas and beyond.
The eMark will enable consumers to identify approved Irish online businesses before making purchasing decisions.
570 jobs to go as pharma plant in Swords prepares to close in 2017
Swords, Co Dublin-based pharmaceutical plant MSD is to close by the end of 2017 with the loss of 570 jobs.
The closure follows a review of MSD’s worldwide manufacturing operations, resulting in sites being sold, closed and consolidated around the world.
IDA Ireland said the pharmaceutical sector is of prime importance to the Irish economy, with more than 22,000 people employed in the sector.
“IDA is committed to working intensively with MSD on finding a buyer for the facility and creating alternative employment in the area,” said IDA Ireland chief executive Barry O’Leary.
Apple confirms US$360m acquisition of PrimeSense
Consumer tech giant Apple has reportedly confirmed its acquisition of Israel-based motion sensor firm PrimeSense for US$360m.
PrimeSense creates mobile sensor technologies and its technology could find itself incorporated into future smartphones, as well as the fabled Apple television and smartwatch.
AllThingsD reported that Kristen Huguet, Apple spokeswoman, confirmed Apple’s purchase of PrimeSense. “Apple buys smaller technology companies from time to time, and we generally do not discuss our purpose or plans,” Huguet had said.
Intel looking to sell online TV unit for US$500m
Intel is reportedly planning to sell its OnCue online pay TV service for around US$500m as the company doubles down on opportunities in the mobile computing space.
OnCue is Intel’s technology that makes it possible to deliver TV content over any high-speed internet connection.
The technology delivers high-definition content to connected devices at speeds of 3Mbps and could boost US telecoms giant Verizon’s participation in the TV on demand space.
The chip giant is understood to be already in talks with a number of players, including Verizon.
Despite revenue slumps, HP ends year on ‘a high note’
Net revenue for the fourth quarter and fiscal 2013 dropped 3pc to US$29.1bn and 7pc to US$112.3bn respectively for computer-maker HP.
The figures are in comparison to the prior-year periods, when fourth-quarter net revenue totalled US$30bn and fiscal 2012 net revenue reached US$120.4bn.
Meg Whitman, HP’s president and CEO, said through improved execution, strong cost management, and with the support of its customers and partners, HP ended fiscal 2013 on a high note.
“Our Q4 results demonstrate that HP’s turnaround remains on track heading into fiscal 2014,” Whitman said.
Alan Mulally and Satya Nadella top Microsoft CEO search – report
Ford Motor Co chief executive officer Alan Mulally and Microsoft executive Satya Nadella are the frontrunners in Microsoft’s search for a new CEO, Bloomberg reports ‘people familiar with the matter’ as having said.
Another internal candidate, Tony Bates, and Stephen Elop, former CEO of Nokia, are still under consideration, although less likely to replace outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer, Bloomberg reported.
In August, Ballmer announced he would retire within the next 12 months. Microsoft’s board is reportedly aiming to have a new CEO chosen this year.
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