The technology business week: Irish spending on Visa cards hits €15.5bn, Google to build HQ in London

21 Jan 2013

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

Irish consumer expenditure on Visa cards reaches record €15.5bn

Annual Irish consumer spending on Visa cards – debit, credit and prepaid – has hit €15.5bn for the first time, an increase of 17pc on 2011 expenditure.

Visa Europe attributes this growth to the rollout of Visa debit cards to Irish consumers, as well as consumers growing more comfortable paying with Visa cards, particularly when it comes to lower-value, everyday purchases.

One euro in every €7 of consumer spending in Ireland is now on a Visa card, Visa Europe said, in announcing its annual results for the year ending 30 September 2012.  

The number of Visa debit, credit and prepaid cards increased by 43pc in Ireland, bringing to about 4.9m the number of Visa cards in the country.

Google to build new stg£1bn UK headquarters in London

Internet giant Google is believed to be building a new stg£1bn UK headquarters that will span 2.4 acres in the heart of London. The headquarters, which consolidates two existing buildings, is expected to be completed in 2016.

The Guardian reported that the search engine giant has completed a stg£1bn deal to buy the site in the King’s Cross area of London.

The complex will include a seven-storey building and an 11-storey building.

Data Edge secures €2.5m contract with Irish Aviation Authority

Bray, Co Wicklow-based Data Edge has won a €2.5m contract with the Irish Aviation Authority (IAA) to supply it with air traffic monitoring technology over a 10-year period.

The network and application performance management company won the EU-wide tender process to supply a new integrated voice and video recording system for the IAA, with the technology set to go live early this year.

Data Edge will also maintain and update the systems for the next 10 years as part of its contract. The company is currently installing a combination of technologies from Atis-Uher, SkySoft and Symmetricom.

Transatlantic fibre player Hibernia Networks completes US$52.5m refinancing

Transatlantic network services player Hibernia Networks has just completed a US$52.5m debt refinancing, with new lenders Fortress Investment group LLC and Bridges Bank taking part.

The proceeds of the refinancing were used to pay off existing debts and provide liquidity to continue to grow the business.

Fortress Investment Group LLC is an investment firm with more than US$50bn in assets under management.

Bridge Bank is a business bank focused on small, middle and emerging technology businesses.

Computing giant Dell is planning to delist and go private

Dell is reportedly planning to go private and is in buyout discussions with two private equity firms TPG and Silver Lake. The PC and server maker lost almost a third of its value last year.

Dell, which has a market value of close to US$19bn, is understood to have approached several large banks. The deal process is being managed by JP Morgan Chase & Co.

The decision marks a shift in the fortunes of the tech industry and a realisation that computing is no longer solely about personal computers but increasingly smartphones and tablets.

Nokia announces 300 job cuts, transfer of 820 other employees

Smartphone maker Nokia is reducing its global IT organisation by cutting 300 jobs to increase operational efficiency and reduce operating costs, and is transferring 820 other workers to other organisations.

Nokia also plans to transfer certain activities and up to 820 employees to HCL Technologies and TATA Consultancy Services.

Most of the employees affected by these changes are based in Finland.

These latest job cuts are the last anticipated reductions as part of Nokia’s focused strategy announcement of June 2012, the company added, and it said it believes these changes will create an IT organisation appropriate for the company’s current size and scope.

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