The technology business week: EC objects to Three buying O2 Ireland, Vodafone Ireland ends 2013 on high note


10 Feb 20141 Share

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European Commission objects to Three's proposed €850m O2 Ireland acquisition

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A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with the European Commission’s objection to Three’s proposed acquisition of O2 Ireland for €850m.

European Commission objects to Three’s proposed €850m O2 Ireland acquisition

Three Ireland said it will put forward "strong and effective" remedies to address the European Commission’s concerns about the company’s proposed acquisition of O2 Ireland for €850m.

The European Commission, which has to approve the acquisition before it goes ahead, issued Three Ireland’s owner Hutchison Whampoa with a statement of objections this past week. The Commission had previously said it has concerns about leaving the Irish mobile market with only three network owners – currently, there is Three, O2, Meteor and Vodafone.

Three had also said in a statement it is confident it can convince the Commission of the "pro-competitive" benefits of its acquisition of O2 Ireland.

Vodafone Ireland reaches 2.4m customers while group revenue declines in Europe

Vodafone Ireland ended 2013 on a high note, retaining its position as Ireland’s top telecommunications provider with a total customer base of 2.4m, attributed to the company’s continued investment in network enhancement.

Vodafone Group’s organic service revenue declined by 4.8pc in the quarter ended 31 December 2013, despite growth in emerging markets in Africa, the Middle East and Asia Pacific, largely due to a decline of 9.6pc in Europe.

Group revenue on a management basis for the quarter was stg£10.977m, while group service revenue was stg£9.856m (stg£6.523 in Europe). On a statutory basis, group revenue was stg£9.587m, while group service revenue was stg£8.712m.

Jurys Inn hotels to roll out online check-in as mobile revenues jump 80pc

Revenues from mobile bookings have increased by 80pc between 2012 and 2013 at Jurys Inn Hotel Group and as a result the company will be rolling out a new online check-in service at its hotels.

The optional check-in facility has already been implemented at Jurys Inn Islington in London and will be rolled out across 31 hotels in Ireland, the UK and Prague.

The service will allow guests to check-in prior to arrival via smartphone, as well as enable them to obtain their room keys via a mobile kiosk in the hotel lobby – bypassing the front desk entirely if they prefer.

Microsoft appoints Satya Nadella as new CEO, Gates steps down as chairman

Software giant Microsoft appointed Satya Nadella, the executive vice-president of its cloud and enterprise group, as its new CEO this past week.

Nadella, who takes over from Steve Balmer, has also been appointed member of Microsoft’s board of directors.

Bill Gates, the company’s co-founder, is also making a career move. He has stepped down from his role as chairman of Microsoft’s board of directors to take up a new role on the board as founder and technology adviser.

Google confirms appointment of Susan Wojcicki as YouTube CEO

After speculation began earlier this week, Google has confirmed that its former senior vice-president of advertising and commerce Susan Wojcicki will now take the helm at YouTube as her predecessor moves on to new projects.

Former YouTube CEO Salar Kamangar had been tipped to be preparing a move to Google Ventures, the investment arm of the tech giant led by Bill Maris. However, reports now claim Kamangar will be starting his own early stage projects within Google.

Google acquired YouTube in 2006.

First shop to use digital bitcoin price tags trials in London

A digital price tag that displays an item’s price in the virtual currency bitcoin and updates itself depending on market fluctuations is being trialled in a clothing store in London.

BitTag wirelessly connects to the internet to check the value of bitcoin and adjusts the display on the price tag every minute.

This function may aid the adoption of bitcoin on the wider market, as business owners remain cautious of adopting the cryptocurrency, whose value has fluctuated wildly in recent months.

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