A digest of the top business technology news stories from the past week, beginning with Snapchat turning down an acquisition offer of about US$3bn from Facebook.
Messaging service Snapchat rejects US$3bn Facebook acquisition
Start-up Snapchat has refused an all-cash acquisition offer of about US$3bn from social networking giant Facebook, as other investors and potential buyers pursue the messaging service.
Two-year-old Snapchat’s founder and CEO Evan Spiegel (23) is reportedly hoping the number of Snapchat’s users and messages (or ‘snaps’) increase to the point of justifying a larger valuation.
The Wall Street Journal reported that e-commerce company Tencent Holdings had offered to lead a US$200m investment in Snapchat that would value the company at US$4bn.
Morgan Stanley leads €12m investment in Digiweb
Dublin-headquartered telecoms company Digiweb received an investment of close to €12m in a share placement round led by Morgan Stanley which will help it expand into Europe.
According to CRO filings, a share placement of more than 1.2m shares were placed on behalf of an entity called Viatel Investor Holdco LLC with an address on Broadway, New York.
More than 1m preference shares were valued at €6.5m while B ordinary shares were valued at €3.2m and C ordinary shares were valued at just over €2m.
Vodafone reports H1 earnings of stg£6.6bn, Irish customer base reaches 2.4m
Vodafone Group’s financial results for the first half of this year are in line with the company’s expectations, while figures from Ireland position the brand as the mobile market leader.
Vodafone Group plc’s half-year results for the period ended 30 September 2013 report EBITDA (earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortisation) on a management basis down 4.1pc to stg£6.6bn.
Adjusted operating profit on a management basis rose 0.5pc to stg£5.7bn, while free cash flow on a management basis reached stg£2bn.
With a total customer base of 2.4m, Vodafone Ireland is the mobile market leader in Ireland, with 2.1m mobile customers.
Most smartphone users to use devices for Christmas shopping – O2 study
Seventy-three per cent of smartphone users will use their devices to shop for Christmas gifts, research conducted by O2 Ireland’s media arm O2 Media suggests.
The study, which examined the influence smartphones will have on the upcoming holiday shopping period, also found that 91pc of consumers never leave home without their smartphone and 37pc would immediately leave a website if it wasn’t optimised for mobile.
That last figure may not come as a surprise, considering 72pc of consumers will use their mobile device to research gifts, regardless of where they intend to purchase them.
Android takes more than 80pc of global smartphone market, led by Samsung
The latest market intelligence from analysts at IDC sees Google’s mobile operating system Android reaching more than 80pc global market share for the first time.
According to the Worldwide Quarterly Mobile Phone Tracker, 261.1m smartphones shipped worldwide during the third quarter of 2013, representing a 39.9pc increase year-on-year. Of these shipments, 81pc were Android devices, corroborating Strategy Analytics’ earlier figures attributing 81.3pc of the market to Android.
Among those operating in the Android space, Samsung still carves out the biggest slice of the pie with 39pc of all Android smartphone shipments in Q3.
IBM to boost BYOD capabilities with Fiberlink Communications acquisition
Tech titan IBM is to acquire mobile management and security company Fiberlink Communications for an undisclosed sum in an effort to expand its bring-your-own-device (BYOD) capabilities.
With Fiberlink’s MaaS360 cloud-based offerings, IBM will extend its capabilities around the consumerisation of IT to deliver a mobile management and security solution through IBM MobileFirst.
IBM said this move is a milestone in its strategy to build a comprehensive set of mobile capabilities while reducing barriers to adoption and accelerating the productivity benefits of mobility.
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