The technology business week: big data taskforce forms, Telefónica to sell O2 Ireland to Hutchison Whampoa


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Joint industry-Irish Government taskforce to consolidate Ireland's lead in big data

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

Joint industry-Irish Government taskforce to consolidate Ireland’s lead in big data

Private-sector technology leaders and Irish Government department officials are part of a new big-data taskforce, which will include piloting two public service big-data projects.

Richard Bruton, Ireland’s Minister for Jobs, Innovation and Enterprise, has said the big-data market is growing at a rate of 40pc per year. He also said he believed the taskforce will have the insight and leadership to make Ireland a world leader in the big-data sector.

The taskforce also includes officials from Bruton’s own department, as well as the Central Statistics Office, IDA Ireland, Science Foundation Ireland and the National Standards Authority of Ireland.

Telefónica agrees to sell O2 Ireland to Hutchison Whampoa for €850m

Mobile giant Telefónica has agreed to sell its O2 subsidiary in Ireland to Three’s owner Hutchison Whampoa for €850m.

Telefónica this past week reached an agreement with Three, the Irish subsidiary of Hutchison Whampoa, to sell its 100pc stake in Telefónica Ireland, which trades under the O2 brand.

The total price of the sale of O2 Ireland will be €850m, out of which €750m in cash will be paid on completion of the deal, with the remaining €80m depending on financial targets being achieved.

The transaction will be subject to approval from the Competition Authority of Ireland.

Once complete, the new O2/Three entity will command about 40pc of the Irish mobile telecoms market.

Visa Debit generates 500,000 contactless payments in Ireland

Half a million contactless payments have been made in Ireland with Visa Debit contactless cards to date.

Payments technology firm Visa Europe predicts that 2m contactless payments made with Visa Debit cards will take place by the end of the year, which would mean a reduction of about US€10m in cash usage in the next six months alone.

Visa contactless technology launched in 2007.

Google trumps Apple in enterprise value

Internet search giant Google recently shot past consumer tech behemoth Apple as the most valuable tech company on the planet in terms of enterprise value.

Enterprise value is in essence the value of a company’s business.

Apple has US$145bn in cash and Google has US$45bn in cash. Eliminate that and Google’s enterprise value amounts to US$241bn, compared to Apple’s US$233bn.

In terms of market capitalisation, Apple is still worth US$100bn more than Google.

Intel CTO Justin Rattner to step down due to age restriction

Intel’s chief technology officer and director Justin Rattner has been forced to step down due to company policy that doesn’t allow employees to serve as corporate officers once they reach over 65 years of age.

Rattner’s resignation takes immediate effect and, though Intel assures he will return to take on a different position at the company at a later date, he is now taking temporary leave for an unspecified period due to “a pressing family matter”.

A replacement CTO for Intel has not yet been announced and company president Renee James will fill in until one has been found.

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