European Union Digital Economy Commissioner Guenther Oettinger apologized for making comments about Chinese and other people that he said created “bad feelings”, according to Bloomberg. The conciliatory step by Oettinger, who is German Chancellor Angela Merkel’s appointee to the European Commission, aims to stem political fallout from a speech last week in Hamburg in which he reportedly referred to Chinese people as “slit eyes.”
TAG Heuer is opening an office in Silicon Valley, according to Bloomberg. This is the first time a big Swiss watchmaker has expanded into the cradle of the U.S. technology sector and cementing its smartwatch alliance with Google and Intel. The office, which opened Nov. 1 and is located on Intel’s campus in Santa Clara, California, will house about a dozen research and development employees, according to Chief Executive Officer Jean-Claude Biver.
Facebook has spent less than five years as a public company, yet its market value is already in the global big leagues. It's now also entering the big leagues of spending, a position that bears watching, according to Bloomberg. The three highest-spending operators of web and cloud computing services collectively dole out more than $20 billion in cash each year to buy computer equipment and run the digital data centers that are the engines of the world's internet hangouts. Facebook is joining this capital expenditure superpower team.
GoPro followed Fitbit in saying it expects a lousy holiday season, leaving investors wondering whether creators of consumer fads like action cameras and fitness trackers can mature into lasting companies, according to Bloomberg. GoPro, known for its cube-shaped cameras, lowered its forecast for full-year sales and missed analysts’ estimates for revenue in the third quarter.
Facebook shares slumped the most in nine months after executives suggested the company probably won’t be able to keep up with its explosive pace of growth much longer, according to Bloomberg. The stock dropped as much as 5.5 percent Thursday morning after two sobering comments on its conference call the night before.
Google poured scorn on European Union allegations it skewed shopping search results to favor its own services and said regulators have failed to see that the search-engine giant is competing head on with e-commerce giants Amazon and EBay, according to Bloomberg. Google said that the EU’s allegations lack evidence and would ultimately harm users in favor “of a small number of websites,” in a blog posting detailing its response to European Commission antitrust objections over its comparison-shopping and AdSense services.
Amazon was sued by Illinois delivery drivers who say the company failed to pay them overtime for hauling its goods, according to Bloomberg. Among the questions the judge will have to answer is whether they actually worked for Amazon or not. “Amazon controls everything, without a shadow of a doubt,” says Theron Bradley, a former employee of Amazon contractor Silverstar who’s one of the named plaintiffs in the proposed class action.
ASML Holding agreed to buy about a quarter of a Carl Zeiss AG unit for 1 billion euros in cash as it begins to develop a new optical system for the next generation of semiconductor machines, according to Bloomberg. Europe’s biggest semiconductor-equipment maker will acquire the stake in Carl Zeiss SMT and invest 220 million euros in the unit’s research and development and make 540 million euros in other related investments over the next six years, the Veldhoven, Netherlands-based company said in a statement.
After careful consideration of the shortlisted best 25 submissions, the jury of the HR Transformation Challenge, a competition for innovative HR leaders in Central and Eastern Europe powered by SAP SuccessFactors, is announcing the finalists. Instead of four intended, five of the best and most transformative projects in HR were chosen.
Microsoft unveiled a corporate team-chat service that works with its cloud-based Office and Skype products, aiming to take on Slack and Atlassian’s HipChat in a growing market, according to Bloomberg. The new product is "designed to facilitate real-time conversations and collaboration while maintaining and building up that institutional knowledge of a team," said Chief Executive Officer Satya Nadella. The product has team chat, private messages and voice and videoconferencing.
Amazon is weighing a bid for a stake in Dubai-based online retailer Souq.com FZ as the e-commerce giant seeks to expand in the Middle East, according to Bloomberg. The stake, representing at least 30 percent of the company, is also drawing interest from private equity firms and regional, family-owned companies seeking to expand into web sales, the people said, asking not to be identified as the information is private.
Broadcom, whose chips are used in Apple’s iPhone and TV set-top boxes, agreed to buy Brocade Communications Systems for $5.9 billion including debt to capitalize on booming demand for cloud computing and the data centers that deliver it, according to Bloomberg. Broadcom is acquiring Brocade for technology that links computer-storage systems and allows the fast transfer of data, the company said in a statement today.
IAB (Interactive Advertising Bureau) announced today that digital advertising revenues in the United States for the first half of 2016 have reached an all-time high, scaling to $32.7 billion according to the latest IAB Internet Advertising Revenue Report released by the industry trade group and prepared by PwC US. This represents a 19 percent increase over last year’s then record-setting half-year revenues of $27.5 billion.
IBM announced it acquired the Expert Personal Shopper (XPS) division of Fluid, a leading innovator in digital customer experiences. The acquisition includes the XPS solution, a dialogue-based product recommendation platform developed by Fluid that applies the power of IBM Watson to personalize the customer experience and improve product discovery. The XPS solution and several key members of the XPS team will become part of IBM iX (Interactive Experience).
Sony’s second quarter profit missed estimates, as a one-time charge and stronger yen weighed on profit from financial services and PlayStation games, according to Bloomberg. Operating profit in the period ended September was 45.7 billion yen ($436 million). That compares with the 49.7 billion yen average of analysts’ estimates compiled by Bloomberg before the company disclosed a 33 billion yen charge from the sale of its unprofitable battery unit to Murata.
YouTube struck a deal with German royalty-collection group Gema to pay licensing fees and unblock thousands of music videos in Europe’s biggest economy after seven years of legal battles, according to Bloomberg. The agreement means that about 70,000 musicians and songwriters represented by Gema will get paid if their content is watched on YouTube, Gema said in a statement. The deal may enable YouTube to introduce its Red music and video subscription service in Germany, which the agreement also covers, Gema said.
Toshiba raised its forecast for first-half operating profit by 36 percent to 95 billion yen ($906 million), crediting growth in memory chips and hard disk drives, as well as cost-cutting measures, according to Bloomberg. Revenue was also revised slightly higher, to 2.58 trillion yen from 2.55 trillion yen, the Japanese company said in a statement.
Microsoft is offering up a new server design that it hopes will influence the rest of the data-center industry, according to Bloomberg. That is a move that keeps pressure on hardware vendors like Hewlett Packard to lower the price of cloud infrastructure. An earlier design by Microsoft now accounts for 90 percent of the company's data center server purchases, underscoring just how far it has moved in favor of its own specifications, often manufactured by commodity server vendors.
Amazon reminded investors it’s still willing to spend lavishly on products or areas that could be the next big thing, whether video streaming, automated personal assistants or a toehold in emerging markets, even if it means thinner profit margins and a weaker stock price, according to Bloomberg.
Uber lost a lawsuit over pay and vacation time for U.K. drivers at the car-sharing service in a ruling that could change how workers are treated in the country’s burgeoning gig economy, according to Bloomberg. The case, brought by two Uber cabbies, is the first against the company in Britain and could have ramifications for more than 40,000 people in the U.K.
Apple quietly raised the cost of some of its products in Britain by 20 percent, the latest blow to U.K. consumers after the decision to leave the European Union sent the pound sliding, according to Bloomberg. The computer-maker overnight began charging 2,999 pounds ($3,650) for its “Mac Pro” desktop machine, up from 2,499 pounds earlier in the week.
Bitcoin headed for its biggest weekly jump since June as declines in the yuan boosted demand for the cryptocurrency, according to Bloomberg. The digital tender surged 8.8 percent this week to $685.79 as of 5:01 p.m. in Hong Kong. That’s the biggest gain since June, when prices skyrocketed as investors girded for the results of the U.K.’s Brexit vote.
Qualcomm, the largest maker of mobile-phone chips, will acquire NXP Semiconductors for $47 billion in an all-cash deal, aiming to speed an expansion into new industries and reduce its dependence on the smartphone market, according to Bloomberg.
Samsung reported a 17 percent slump in third-quarter profit after the demise of its fire-prone Note 7 line threw the world’s largest smartphone maker into disarray, according to Bloomberg. Net income fell to 4.41 trillion won ($3.9 billion) in the September quarter as the company dealt with a debacle that may ultimately cost more than $6 billion.
Croatia's leading telecommunications provider Hrvatski telekom, announces its audited results for the nine months ended 30 September 2016. Hrvatski Telekom business in the first nine months of the current year was marked by stable revenue and increased net profit and capital expenditures.
Apple investors expected the iPhone maker to take advantage of Samsung’s weakness in the smartphone market and issue a robust holiday sales forecast. After the revenue projection was barely higher than analysts’ estimates, shares fell as much as 4.2 percent Wednesday, according to Bloomberg.
Deloitte has published its annual list of the 50 fastest growing technology companies in Central Europe in 2015. The average growth rate of the selected companies was significantly higher compared to the previous year and surged from 560 to as much as 1,057 percent. Average growth of more than a thousand percent was last recorded in 2012. This list of fast-growing technology companies from eleven Central European countries includes as many as six Croatian companies.
BlackBerry showed off the last phone it will market itself before completely outsourcing design, production and distribution to partners, according to Bloomberg. It's a 5.5-inch touchscreen device that rivals the size of the iPhone 7 Plus and Google Pixel XL, but at a lower price.