The technology business week: Tech firms in Ireland donate €5.3m, M&A deals in Ireland drop 11.5pc in Q1

27 May 2013

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

Tech firms in Ireland donate €5.3m to charities and community groups

Tech giants AOL, eBay, IBM, Intel, Microsoft and Oracle contributed more than €5.3m to local community groups and charities in 2012, according to Business in the Community Ireland, which has compiled an online interactive ‘Business Impact Map’ of the activities of 46 socially minded Ireland-based companies.

National statistics show that more than €21m was contributed by business to the community and voluntary sector in Ireland. Some €11.9m was given in cash donations, €6m was contributed through in kind donations and €3m was raised through employee fundraising.

Employees also volunteered more than 139,000 hours to local groups and projects during the year.

The map and details on all the projects may be viewed online.

Number of M&A deals in Ireland down 11.5pc in Q1

Despite the increase in value of deals, the number of merger and acquisition (M&A) deals in the Irish economy are down 11.5pc year-on-year, according to new data from the Investec M&A Tracker, which shows transactions of more than €5.5bn in the first quarter of 2013.

“The first quarter of the year saw the number of reported deals increase from the 51 reported in Q1 2012 to 54 deals, a decrease from the 61 reported in Q4 2012,” said Jonathan Simmons, director of Investec Corporate Finance.

“However, despite the fall in the number of reported deals from Q4 2012, the total disclosed value reached €5,574m, up from the €792m reported during the same quarter of 2012 and an increase on the €1,659m of deal value recorded in Q4 2012.”

It’s official: Yahoo! to acquire Tumblr for US$1.1bn

Internet giant Yahoo! has ended days of speculation and announced its intent this past week to acquire online blogging platform Tumblr for US$1.1bn.

Under the deal, Tumblr can deploy Yahoo!’s personalisation technology and search infrastructure to help its users discover creators, bloggers and content. The two companies will also work together to create advertising opportunities.

Tumblr brings 50bn blog posts (and 75m more arriving each day) to Yahoo!’s media network and search experiences.

Yahoo! said in a statement it expects the acquisition to increase Yahoo!’s audience by 50pc to more than 1bn monthly visitors and to grow traffic by about 20pc.

Yahoo! also stated that David Karp will remain as CEO of Tumblr.

Accenture boosts digital offerings with Fjord acquisition

Technology consulting firm Accenture has wrapped up its acquisition of Fjord, a London-based global service design consultancy, for an undisclosed sum.

Fjord specialises in creating digital services and experiences for customers, such as new ways to shop, communicate, collaborate, and even manage their health across platforms, including mobile devices.

Under the deal, Accenture can expand the digital and marketing capabilities it offers its clients, as well as be better able to help chief marketing officers and digital leaders create customer experiences and bring them swiftly to market.

Vodafone reports 4.4pc fall in full-year revenues to stg£44.4bn

Challenging economic conditions in Europe have hit telecoms giant Vodafone’s annual revenues for the year ended 31 March, dropping 4.4pc to stg£44.4bn, after the company cut prices in Europe to try and retain customers.

Vodafone wrote down the value of its businesses in Italy and Spain by a further stg£1.8bn, taking the total writedown for the year to stg£7.7bn. Service revenue in Italy sank 12.8pc and in Spain service revenue decreased by 11.5pc.

The writedowns translated into a drop in earnings after taxation to stg£673m, compared with stg£7bn in 2011-2012.

The number of mobile of customers with Vodafone Ireland totalled 2.2m in the quarter ended 31 March, and its total customer base amounted to 2.41m.

Most consumers would like a wallet-less existence – PayPal survey

Eighty-three per cent of consumers surveyed in five countries would like to forego their wallets and pay for purchases in a less bulky fashion, a survey by online payments giant PayPal suggests.

The survey polled consumers in the UK, the US, Canada, Germany and Australia, with consumers in Germany wanting to ditch their wallets the most, at 90pc.

Instead of a wallet, many consumers would choose to carry a smartphone instead. Survey respondents in the UK were most likely, at 32pc, to choose a smartphone over a wallet as the one item they would bring out with them.

Wakefield Research conducted the survey, polling 1,000 debit and credit card holders 18 and older in each of the five countries.

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