The technology business week: Innovation Nation aims to woo firms to Ireland, Facebook closes Instagram acquisition


10 Sep 2012

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Innovation Nation plans to attract Silicon Valley tech and media firms to locate in Ireland

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

Innovation Nation plans to attract Silicon Valley tech and media firms to locate in Ireland

Grant Thornton is to hold two seminars in October on the US West Coast aimed at raising awareness among US-based tech and media firms of the advantages of locating in Ireland.

Entitled ‘Ireland – Innovation Nation,’ they will involve IDA Ireland, as well as Neil Leyden, founder of the International Digital Services Centre.

The seminars take place in Los Angeles and Palo Alto, California, on 4-5 October respectively, and will explain the compelling business environment and tax advantages Ireland offers to media and technology companies.

The seminars are targeted at CFOs, heads of tax and senior management of companies who have an interest in doing business in Europe.

Facebook closes US$1bn Instagram acquisition

Social network Facebook closed its acquisition of photo-sharing app Instagram on 6 September, five months after announcing the US$1bn deal.  

“As we said from the beginning, we are committed to building and growing Instagram independently,” Facebook said in a blog post.

Instagram released its own statement on the acquisition’s closure, mentioning that more than 5bn photos have now been shared through Instagram.

Tesco acquires e-book platform provider Mobcast

Tesco customers should soon have more choice in how they buy and enjoy e-books, thanks to the retail giant’s acquisition of digital bookseller Mobcast for US$7.2m.

The acquisition strengthens Tesco’s digital entertainment offerings, coming on the heels of its purchase of movie and TV streaming service blinkbox in 2011 and personalised internet radio service WE7 in June 2012.

Mobcast provides a digital book retail platform with more than 130,000 books, which can be bought and read on smartphones, tablets and e-readers.

Mobcast also offers a cloud-based service that lets customers build an e-book library without being locked into one single device.

Energia to light up M50 via €750,000 contract

Electricity provider Energia will supply power to Ireland’s M50 Motorways road lighting under a €750,000 electricity supply contract it has signed with M50 motorway operator M50 Concession Ltd.

The M50 Motorways road lighting has a load of more than 1 Megawatt and M50 Concession Ltd operates and maintains the M50 motorway from the M1 to the M11.

“Electricity is crucial to our management and maintenance of the M50,” said Fraser Boyd, operations manager, M50 Concession Ltd.

“We looked for an established supplier who could offer us a competitive tariff and attentive customer service. That is why we chose Energia for this new 5.5 gigawatt annual supply deal. We can reduce our energy costs while knowing that we are not sacrificing on the quality of the service provided.”

Sophos appoints Kris Hagerman as new CEO

Kris Hagerman took on a new role on 3 September, as chief executive officer of security firm Sophos. He also joined the company’s board.

Hagerman succeeds Steve Munford, who becomes non-executive chairman of the board. Current chairman Peter Gyenes continues as lead independent director of Sophos’ board.

Hagerman spent seven years in senior management positions at Symantec and Veritas before being appointed CEO of Corel Corporation in 2008.

Munford had been CEO of Sophos since 2006. He will be returning with his family to his native Canada.

Business abroad image via Shutterstock

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