The digital business week


18 Apr 2011

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

Google revenues up 27pc – company adds 2,000 staff

Web giant Google reported Q1 revenues of US$8.5bn, which were up 27pc year-on-year. The company said investments made in the past are serving it well today and in the current quarter Google’s workforce has grown by almost 2,000 people.

Google-owned sites generated revenues of US$5.88bn, or 69pc of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2011. This represents a 32pc increase over first-quarter 2010 revenues of US$4.44bn.

Google’s partner sites generated revenues, through AdSense programs, of US$2.43bn, or 28pc of total revenues, in the first quarter of 2011. This represents a 19pc increase from first-quarter 2010 network revenues of US$2.04bn.

Revenues from outside of the US totalled US$4.57bn, representing 53pc of total revenues in the first quarter of 2011, compared to 52pc in the fourth quarter of 2010 and 53pc in the first quarter of 2010.

Revenues from the UK totalled US$969m, representing 11pc of revenues in the first quarter of 2011.

On a worldwide basis, Google employed 26,316 full-time employees as of 31 March 2011, up from 24,400 full-time employees as of 31 December 2010.

Google most reputable company in Ireland – study

Internet search giant Google has been named the most reputable company in Ireland for the second year in a row in the second annual Ireland RepTrak 2011 study.

Cadbury, Kellogg’s, Nokia and Volkswagen were the next most reputable firms, and An Post emerged as having the best reputation for an indigenous Irish company.

The Ireland RepTrak 2011 study looked at 119 of the largest organisations in Ireland.

Facebook saga not over as Winklevoss twins told to accept US$65m

Just as it seems Mark Zuckerberg had finally dispensed with Cameron and Tyler Winklevoss, who were told to accept a US$65m settlement, a new lawsuit has been filed citing compelling evidence against the Facebook founder.

Last week, a US appeals court ruled the Winklevoss twins – who claim Zuckerberg allegedly stole their idea during their time at Harvard – had to accept the cash and stock settlement with Facebook. However, it seems they have no intention of giving up and their attorney is understood to be seeking a hearing before a larger group of judges.

The moment of victory for Facebook, however, seems mired by a new development.

New York businessman Paul Ceglia last year filed a lawsuit against Zuckerberg, claiming a contract with Zuckerberg to design a website entitled him to an 84pc stake in Facebook.

In an amended lawsuit filed last week, Ceglia claims new evidence, in the form of an email sent by Zuckerberg in 2003 in which he wanted a website built in a hurry before a group of upperclassmen – the Winklevoss twins with their ConnectU site, perchance – got there before him.

Facebook has in the past dismissed Ceglia’s claims as fraudulent.

Twitter turned down a US$10bn offer from Google

Twitter is understood to have turned down a US$10bn purchase offer from Google and a US$2bn offer from Facebook, according to reports.

Fortune magazine writer Jessi Hempel claims the offers were made to Twitter in the autumn of last year.

Today, the microblogging site is valued at around US$5bn and has 200m users worldwide.

Hempel’s article presents Twitter in a state of disarray and alleges that despite having 200m users worldwide, less than 20m of them are active users.

PC shipments drop by 3.2pc

Global PC shipments dropped by 3.2pc during the first quarter of 2011, according to analysts at IDC.

IDC originally expected a small growth of 1.5pc, however, the rise in fuel and commodity prices along with the earthquake in Japan impacted this expectation. Mature regions were more focused on buying PCs as necessary replacements, rather than new purchases.

Analysts also said PCs face stiff competition from netbooks and tablets and that vendors must consider highlighting what a more heavy-weight machine can offer consumers.

Cisco to shutter Flip camera business

As part of a major realignment of its consumer electronics business, Cisco is to close the Flip video camera unit it acquired only two years ago for US$590m.

The closure of the Flip unit will lead to the loss of 550 jobs at Cisco.

The company plans to refocus its home networking business and tie it closer to its core networking and infrastructure business.

The EOS business which enabled media companies to provide a digital gateway to the home is also being closed.

Sales of consumer products at Cisco fell 15pc and have weighed heavily on the company’s gross margin.

Overall profits fell 18pc in the second quarter due to sliding margins.

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