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China Targets Qualcomm With Antitrust Probe
November 26, 2013
Perhaps to celebrate the anniversary of last year's U.S.-China telecoms showdown, Beijing has launched an antitrust probe into U.S. chipmaker Qualcomm. The announcement comes on the heels of comments from Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs that the company was "definitely seeing increased pressure" in China, in part because of ongoing NSA revelations.
Dropbox Shoots for the Moon
November 19, 2013
Dropbox is not only planning to raise $250 million in the next few weeks but is also reportedly seeking a corporate valuation of $8 billion. That's more than double the valuation investors placed on the company the last time Dropbox hit the funding circuit back in 2011. The company has already raised $257 million in funding over the last five years.
Microsoft Gives Stack Ranking the Boot
November 13, 2013
Microsoft is ending its controversial practice of using stack ranking to evaluate its employees. Instead, the company is changing its performance review program "to better align with the goals of our One Microsoft strategy," wrote Lisa Brummel, the company's executive vice president of human resources, in an internal memo reportedly sent to Microsoft employees on Tuesday. The stack ranking technique requires managers to rate their employees on a curve.
Smash IPO May Be a Hard Act for Twitter to Follow
November 07, 2013
After setting its IPO stock price at $26 per share, Twitter on Thursday made a strong public debut in which trading opened at $45.10 per share -- 73 percent above the IPO price. That opening price valued the social media company at more than $31 billion based on its outstanding stock, options and restricted stock that will be available after the IPO.
Dish Swings Blockbuster Wrecking Ball
November 07, 2013
Dish Network on Wednesday announced that it will close its 300 remaining Blockbuster stores by early January and will end its Blockbuster By Mail service by mid-December. The company cited increased competition from digital and on-demand entertainment. Dish acquired Blockbuster in April 2011 for $320 million. At the time, it announced that it would keep 90 percent of the stores in operation.
Tesco Goes TSA on Shoppers to Grab Marketing Data
November 05, 2013
Tesco, a UK-based supermarket giant, is installing hundreds of screens that will scan shoppers' faces while they wait in line at its gas stations. The information gathered from the shoppers will then be dished to advertisers. Tesco struck a deal with Amscreen, which makes OptimEyes, a system that works by using a camera and TV-style screen.
Twitter's Got High IPO Hopes
November 04, 2013
Twitter on Monday gave would-be investors in its initial public offering more food for thought in a new Securities and Exchange filing. On one hand, it is clearly feeling confident about its valuation: The company raised the price range for its IPO to $23 to $25 per share, up from the $17 to $20 per unit it had established earlier. Twitter still intends to sell 70 million shares in the offering.
BlackBerry Loses Its CEO, Gets $1B and Yet Another Shot
November 04, 2013
BlackBerry shares fell 13 percent Monday morning on news that the company has abandoned its plan to sell itself to its largest shareholder, Fairfax Financial Holdings. Instead, it has entered into an agreement whereby Fairfax and other institutional investors will invest $1 billion in the company. That transaction is expected to be completed within the next two weeks.
Twitter Charts Conservative IPO Course
October 25, 2013
Twitter has set the price range for its highly anticipated initial public offering at between $17 and $20 per share, according to a document filed on Thursday with the Securities and Exchange Commission. The company plans to raise as much as $1.61 billion by selling between 70 million and 80.5 million shares. This puts the value of the company at $10.08 billion based on an $18.50 average price.
Microsoft Gets a Lift From the Cloud
October 25, 2013
Microsoft on Thursday announced revenue of $18.53 billion and net income of $5.24 billion for its first quarter of 2014. The earnings, which outperformed what analysts had been expecting, were driven in large part by strong sales of Office and the company's server software. They came in spite of the company's search for a new CEO and its larger push to reinvent itself.
Mutiny at Microsoft Over Gates' Future Role
October 03, 2013
Three major Microsoft shareholders are reportedly pushing the board of directors to have the company's founder, Bill Gates, step down from his role as chairman. The push comes at an inopportune time for Microsoft, as it is currently searching for a CEO to take over for newly retired CEO Steve Ballmer.
Pink Slips on the Way for Thousands of BlackBerry Workers
September 19, 2013
BlackBerry is preparing to lay off 40 percent of its workforce in an effort to slash costs, according to a Wednesday report. The news came on the same day that BlackBerry launched its Z30 smartphone, a 5-inch, all-touch smartphone. BlackBerry also confirmed Wednesday it will start offering BlackBerry Messenger, its proprietary messaging service, to Android on Saturday and iOS on Sunday.
Google's Next Search: The Fountain of Youth
September 19, 2013
Google on Wednesday launched Calico, a company that will focus on health and well-being, with a particular emphasis on aging and associated diseases. At the helm of this new endeavor will sit founding investor Arthur Levinson, chairman and former CEO of Genentech, chairman of Apple, director of Hoffmann-La Roche and now Calico's CEO.
Netflix Gives Itself a Personality Makeover
September 17, 2013
Netflix on Monday updated its "long-term view" of the industry to include a far wider range of competitive factors than it has ever had in the past. The company also adjusted its competitive focus accordingly, taking into account a number of players that it had previously ignored. In a nutshell, the company said it expects that Internet TV will replace linear TV over the coming decades.
Investors All Atwitter Over IPO News
September 13, 2013
Twitter is moving forward with its long-awaited initial public offering, and it announced the news in a particularly fitting manner: "We've confidentially submitted an S-1 to the SEC for a planned IPO," it said in a tweet sent on Thursday. For more details, stay tuned. Normally that's not quite the way it works in securities filings, but Twitter qualifies as an "emerging growth company."
Michael Dell Gets the Green Light at Last
September 12, 2013
Dell shareholders on Thursday approved founder Michael Dell's $25 billion bid to buy back the firm and take it private, ending a seven-month battle with a group of investors led by corporate raider Carl Icahn. This is reportedly the largest leveraged buyout since the Blackstone Group took hotel chain Hilton Worldwide private in 2007.
Icahn Concedes Defeat to Dell 'Dictators'
September 09, 2013
Activist investor Carl Icahn has given up his fierce struggle to prevent Michael Dell from buying his namesake company and taking it private. In a letter to shareholders, filed with the SEC on Monday morning, Icahn said Dell would be paying a price approximately 70 percent below its 10-year high of $42.38, and accepting the bid would undermine "Dell's great potential."
Google's Barra Gets the Heck Out of Dodge
August 29, 2013
Google executive Hugo Barra, one of the leading public faces for Android, has left for up-and-coming Chinese smartphone maker Xiaomi. "In a few weeks, I'll be joining the Xiaomi team in China to help them expand their incredible product portfolio and business globally -- as Vice President, Xiaomi Global," Barra announced. "I'm really looking forward to this new challenge."
Microsoft's Post-Ballmer Comeback
August 29, 2013
Windows 8 is the torpedo that sunk Steve Ballmer, the headlines have been screaming. The news we were all expecting finally arrived last Friday with the announcement that Steve Ballmer would step down as Microsoft's CEO. Now the question is who will replace Ballmer -- and will that person be the right choice? If the company gets this right, it can return to a successful growth track.
BBM May Leave the Nest
August 28, 2013
BlackBerry is looking to spin off its BlackBerry Messenger service into a separate business to compete with other instant messaging apps. The company announced in May that it would make BBM, once available only on BlackBerry devices, available to devices running on iOS and Android. BlackBerry announced two weeks ago that it was looking into ways of revitalizing the company.

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