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HP rumored to split into two companies, consumer and enterprise

According to The Wall Street Journal's sources, HP could be splitting itself into two separate companies, under the same roof. One side of the new HP would deal with its PC and printer operations, while the other would do software and services to its corporate and enterprise customers.

 

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We should hear about the deal sometime today, according to The Journal's sources, with the separation to take place sometime in 2015. This could all be part of Meg Whitman's plans, as the fresh CEO of HP, joining back in 2011, promising a five-year restructuring project. This restructuring project included a major overhaul of the printer and PC business in 2012, and layoffs totaling 45,000 staff, which saves the company some $4.5 billion per year.

Microsoft rakes in more money from Samsung than it does from Xbox

Microsoft might not make much money from its Windows Phone division, but that doesn't matter: it makes up for it in droves with the royalty fees from Android handset owners such as Samsung and HTC. It was recently revealed that Samsung has handed over $1 billion per year to Microsoft for the use of these royalties, making Microsoft bundles of cash for doing, well, not much at all.

 

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Considering the Entertainment and Devices Division, where the Xbox brand, Kinect and Xbox Live sit, oh and not to mention Skype, and Windows Phone, only made $848 million last year - the $1 billion Microsoft raked in from Samsung means the company made more from its loyalty fees to just one company - Samsung - than it did for all of those massive brands and divisions, combined.

 

Remember, this is just the money Samsung pays Microsoft, and doesn't represent all of the other Android handset manufacturers on the market. Microsoft has quite the stranglehold on Android it seems, with the Chinese Ministry of Commerce approving Microsoft's purchase of Nokia having Microsoft said the authorities: "concluded after its investigation that Microsoft holds approximately 200 patent families that are necessary to build an Android smartphone".

Facebook's acquisition of WhatsApp for $19 billion approved by the EU

It feels like so long ago that Facebook announced it was acquiring WhatsApp in a deal worth $19 billion in cash and stock, but the deal has just been approved by the European Union.

 

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One of the bigger concerns about the acquisition in Europe was that the deal would hurt the communication in the telecom market, but the EU has said that the acquisition will not impact the competition. European Competition Commissioner Joaquin Almunia said: "We have carefully reviewed this proposed acquisition and come to the conclusion that it would not hamper competition in this dynamic and growing market. Consumers will continue to have a wide choice of consumer communications apps".

Google tried to acquire Cyanogen, refused, now seeks $1bn valuation

Just weeks out from Google's unveiling of the 5.9-inch Nexus 6 smartphone, the NVIDIA Tegra K1-powered Nexus 9 tablet and Android L, the company has reportedly met with the executives of Cyanogen Inc. to talk about an acquisition, which Cyanogen denied.

 

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Cyanogen is now talking of a Series C round of funding, with some large tech companies and investors in deep talks with the company, which seeks a valuation of close to $1 billion. How can a company who makes a modified version of Android be worth that much money? Simple: Cyanogen is reportedly in talks with taking its CyanogenMod OS to India through a manufacturer called Micromax. Micromax, along with Samsung, own the majority of the smartphone market in India, which could be just what Cyanogen needs to get its OS into the hands of tens of millions of consumers.

 

With Google being denied the chance to acquire Cyanogen, it could mean a different direction for Android, considering many experts prefer CyanogenMod even over stock Android, which is what Google places on its Nexus devices. With the Android Silver program in trouble, and a failed acquisition of a company that heavily modifies, and sometimes for the better your mobile OS, where will Google go now if it had its hopes on this acquisition going through?

eBay confirms plans to spin off PayPal, setting up two companies

Auction house eBay has decided to spin off its PayPal business amid activist pressure from board members and shareholders, with two independent companies to begin in the second half of 2015. Devin Weng, head of the eBay "Marketplaces" business, will lead the independent eBay as CEO - and Dan Schulman, a former American Express executive, will be CEO head of the new PayPal unit.

 

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"We are happy that eBay's board and management have acted responsibly concerning the separation - perhaps a little later than they should have, but earlier than we expected," said investor Carl C. Icahn. "As I have said in the past and have continued to maintain, it is almost a 'no brainer' that these companies should be separated to increase the value of these great assets and thus to meaningfully enhance value for all shareholders."

 

Corporate spinoffs are becoming more commonplace among major corporations, as shareholders and potential investors want to see better control over corporate operations. Depending on the economic climate - and the parties involved - it can lead to a strong boost in stock prices to win over board members.

Bill Gates added $9 billion to his stack-o-cash in the last year

Bill Gates has climbed back to the top of Forbes' list of the 400 wealthiest Americans, with a total net worth of $81.2 billion. The next richest American on the list of Warren Buffett, who has $13.4 billion less than Gates, with $67.8 billion.

 

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Considering Gates has donated close to a third of his money, or around $30 billion, is massive. Gates has donated the $30 billion to charity, mostly through the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation. With that much money on its own, you could be the 16th most richest person in the United States. Over the past 12 months, Gates has added $9 billion to his net worth, mostly due to big gains in Microsoft shares.

 

Gates' return on his investments in Canadian National Railway and trash company Republic Services are also providing him with a nice injection of cash. He also owns a big chunk of stock in tractor maker Deere & Co. and South American McDonald's franchise, Arcos Dorados.

SoftBank buyout may help DreamWorks Animation boost box office sales

Following news that DreamWorks Animation is considering a sale to Japanese company SoftBank has created quiet optimism that this could help the studio long-term. The proposed $3.4 billion deal, with SoftBank offering $32 per share, would be able to give DreamWorks long-term financial stability that it needs to continue developing up to three new films per year.

 

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Despite being known for "Shrek" and "Madagascar," the studio struggled with disappointing sales of "Rise of the Guardians" and "Turbo." Operating as a smaller, independent studio prevented the company from having a buffer - every new film must be a box office hit, or the company would feel it - though backing from a company such as SoftBank would help create new opportunities.

 

"I think they are sort of doing a 21st century version of what Disney did in the 1950s, when they went from being just an animation studio to doing living action," said Steve Hulett, Animation Guild business agent, in a recent statement to the Los Angeles Times. "They diversified, and that's the only thing you can do if you want to be a long-term player. Now it probably makes sense to sell."

Microsoft confirms plans to open Fifth Avenue store, close to Apple

Microsoft plans to open a new retail store at 677 Fifth Avenue in New York City, a few blocks away from Rockefeller Center - and not too far away from a rival Apple store. The company currently has more than 100 retail stores throughout the United States, Canada and Puerto Rico, with at least 10 more expected to open before the end of the year.

 

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Learning from the success of the Apple store, where die-hard customers and curious onlookers wander in, Microsoft hopes its retail experience will help draw in potential customers. Even if a Microsoft store cannot draw the same attention as a rival Apple store, it's an important opportunity to allow consumers the chance to test new technologies they might be unfamiliar with.

 

"As our first flagship store, it will serve as the centerpiece of our Microsoft Stores experience," the company said in a blog post. "This is a goal we've had since day one - we were only waiting for the right location. And now we have it."

SoftBank interested in possible DreamWorks acquisition in curious move

Japanese telecommunications and Internet company SoftBank has reportedly shown interest in acquiring the DreamWorks animation studio. SoftBank currently owns Sprint and had a failed bid to buyout T-Mobile in the United States, though is still interested in successful U.S. companies it could benefit from.

 

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If the deal materialized, it would be a rather curious move for SoftBank, as DreamWorks would likely join a growing catalog of business units. Shares of DreamWorks closed on Friday at $22.36, and SoftBank would reportedly pay an inflated price of $32 per share, which the DreamWorks board is currently considering.

 

DreamWorks officials haven't shunned buyout offers in the past, but said they were interested in developing its own businesses - but a few Hollywood box office duds has pressured the company to potentially make changes.

BlackBerry bounces back, posts better-than-expected Q2 results

The tubes of the Internet have been filled the new two new iPhones, #BendGate, the Galaxy Note 4 coming soon, and so much more in the mobile world, so BlackBerry doesn't get the headlines that its biggest competitors do.

 

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Well, the company has just posted better-than-expected Q2 results, but still managed to lose $207 million for the three-month period. Even with the huge loss, it's still an improvement from the previous quarter, where the company posted a loss of $965 million. After one-time items, such as charges for laying off employees and other restructuring efforts, the company said the loss was around $11 million, or $0.02 per share, beating Wall Street's forecast of $0.16 per share.

 

Revenue for Q2 sat at $916 million, which is represented as 46% hardware, 46% services and 8% in software and other revenue. During the three-month period, BlackBerry said it sold approximately 2.4 million smartphones to end users, which included shipments made, and recognized before Q2. BlackBerry's Executive Chairman and CEO, John Chen, said: "Our workforce restructuring is now complete, and we are focusing on revenue growth with judicious investments to further our leadership position in enterprise mobility and security".

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