The technology business week: EC fines Microsoft €561m, Icahn vies for 6pc stake in Dell


11 Mar 2013

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

Browser clash – European Commission fines Microsoft €561m

The European Commission has imposed a €561m fine on Microsoft for failing to make it easier for Windows users to choose their preferred browser.

The Commission ruled that Microsoft failed to roll out the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from May 2011 until July 2012.

Some 15m Windows users in the EU therefore did not see the choice screen during this period.

Microsoft has acknowledged that the choice screen was not displayed during that time.

Microsoft has already paid more than €1.68bn in fines to the European Commission over the issue.

Icahn vies for a 6pc stake in computer giant Dell

Renowned US corporate raider Carl Icahn, who urged Yahoo! to sell to Microsoft when it had a chance, has waded into the US$24bn refinancing of computer giant Dell and is aiming at securing a 6pc stake in the company when it goes private at the end of the second quarter.

Last month, Dell revealed it plans to go private under a US$24.4bn transaction by founder Michael Dell and global tech investment firm Silver Lake and involving loans and financing from Microsoft and major investment banks.

It is understood that Icahn is urging Dell to pursue a leveraged recap of the computer giant rather than the US$13.65 a share agreed by Michael Dell, Microsoft and Silver Lake.

He is understood to have amassed close to 100m shares in Dell, which would bring him close to a 6pc stake in the company.

BI player Jaspersoft’s Dublin office drives 50pc increase in software sales

Business intelligence player Jaspersoft says its European HQ in Dublin, which employs 20 people – 95pc of them multilingual – has been responsible for driving a 50pc increase in software sales in the last three years.

The company said sales outside North America now account for more than 32pc of total sales.

The Dublin office was set up in 2008 and customers include Aepona, Corvil, Entando, Jinny Software and Openmind Networks.

Jaspersoft’s business intelligence software is used by millions of executives every day to make faster decisions by bringing them timely, actionable data inside their apps and business processes.

Google to cut 10pc of workforce at Motorola Mobility unit

Google is to cut 1,200 jobs at its Motorola Mobility unit, it has emerged. These layoffs follow 4,000 jobs that were cut last August at Motorola Mobility.

Google bought the smartphone maker last year for an estimated US$12.5bn.

Google is understood to have told workers in an email that the job cuts were necessary because costs were too high, the company was operating in markets that weren’t competitive and as a result it was losing money.

The layoffs are expected to affect workers in the US, China and India.

Yahoo! shutting down seven of its products, including BlackBerry app

Internet giant Yahoo! is pulling the plug on seven of its products, including its mobile app for BlackBerry smartphones, in an effort to sharpen its focus, the company’s executive vice-president of Platforms Jay Rossiter announced.

Six products will be shut down on 1 April: Yahoo! app for BlackBerry, Yahoo! Clues (beta), Yahoo! App Search, Yahoo! Sports IQ, the Yahoo! Message Boards website, and Yahoo! Avatars. Yahoo! Updates API will be closed as of 16 April.

Consumers who have already downloaded the BlackBerry app can continue to use it but it will no longer be actively supported.

Internet users who want to keep using their avatars on Yahoo’s online services must download their avatar and then re-upload the information to their personalised Yahoo! profiles.

EU Parliament image via Shutterstock

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