Business, Financial & Legal News - Page 285

All the latest Business, Financial & Legal news as it relates to tech, gaming, and science - Page 285.

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US Department of Justice Approves Google's ITA Bid

Trak Lord | Apr 8, 2011 1:36 PM CDT

It's important to us that ITA continue with business as usual, providing great service to its business partners. We indicated last July that we would honor ITA's existing contracts. Today we've formally committed to let ITA's customers extend their contracts into 2016. We've also agreed to let both current and new customers license ITA's QPX software on "fair, reasonable and non-discriminatory terms" into 2016-along with related commitments aimed at making ITA's technology available to other travel sites.

Friday, April 8, 2011
Justice Department Requires Google Inc. to Develop and License Travel Software in Order to Proceed with Its Acquisition of ITA Software Inc.
Mandatory Licensing, Research and Development Commitments and Firewall Requirements Will Preserve Competition in Online Airfare Search in the United States

WASHINGTON - The Department of Justice announced today that in order for Google Inc. to proceed with its proposed acquisition of ITA Software Inc., the department will require Google to develop and license travel software, to establish internal firewall procedures and to continue software research and development. The department said that the proposed settlement will protect competition for airfare comparison and booking websites and ensure those websites using ITA's software will be able to power their websites to compete against any airfare website Google may introduce. The department said that the acquisition, as originally proposed, would have substantially lessened competition among providers of comparative flight search websites in the United States, resulting in reduced choice and less innovation for consumers.

The department said that Google will also be required to provide mandatory arbitration under certain circumstances and provide for a formal reporting mechanism for complainants if Google acts in an unfair manner.

The Department of Justice's Antitrust Division filed a civil antitrust lawsuit today in U.S. District Court in Washington, D.C., to block the proposed acquisition. At the same time, the department filed a proposed settlement that, if approved by the court, would resolve the competitive concerns of the lawsuit.

"The Department of Justice's proposed remedy promotes robust competition for airfare websites by ensuring those websites will continue to have access to ITA's pricing and shopping software," said Joseph Wayland, Deputy Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice's Antitrust Division. "The proposed settlement assures that airfare comparison and booking websites will be able to compete effectively, providing benefits to consumers."

Under the proposed settlement, Google will be required to continue to license ITA's QPX software to airfare websites on commercially reasonable terms. QPX conducts searches for air travel fares, schedules and availability. Google will also be required to continue to fund research and development of that product at least at similar levels to what ITA has invested in recent years. Google will also be required to further develop and offer ITA's next generation InstaSearch product to travel websites, which will provide near instantaneous results to certain types of flexible airfare search queries. InstaSearch is currently not commercially available, but is in development by ITA.

To prevent abuse of commercially sensitive information, Google will be required to implement firewall restrictions within the company that prevent unauthorized use of competitively sensitive information and data gathered from ITA's customers. The proposed settlement delineates when and for what purpose that data may be used by Google. Google is also prohibited from entering into agreements with airlines that would inappropriately restrict the airlines' right to share seat and booking class information with Google's competitors. Finally, the proposed settlement provides for a formal reporting mechanism for complainants if Google acts in an unfair manner.

Google Inc. is the largest search engine in the United States. Google is a Delaware corporation with its principal place of business in Mountain View, Calif., and with 2009 revenues of more than $23 billion.

ITA Software Inc. is a leading producer of airfare pricing and shopping systems in the United States. ITA is headquartered in Cambridge, Mass.

As required by the Tunney Act, the proposed five-year settlement, along with the department's competitive impact statement, will be published in the Federal Register. Any person may submit written comments concerning the proposed settlement during a 60-day comment period to James J. Tierney, Chief, Networks and Technology Enforcement Section, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., Suite 7100, Washington, D.C. 20530. At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia may enter the proposed settlement upon finding that it is in the public interest.

Continue reading: US Department of Justice Approves Google's ITA Bid (full post)

MySpace Loses 10 Million Users in Four Weeks

Trak Lord | Mar 28, 2011 3:04 PM CDT

To get [MySpace] back on track is going to require a massive investment - one which News Corporation it not prepared to make. It has many other priorities to put its money into. So instead, it needs to keep taking costs out of the business while it's still in its hands.

I'm not going to break down [the number of] quarters. It's not years ... we need to deal with this with urgency.

Continue reading: MySpace Loses 10 Million Users in Four Weeks (full post)

HP Signs $100 Million Tech Services Agreement With Coca-Cola FEMSA

Trak Lord | Mar 28, 2011 11:39 AM CDT

After experiencing sustained growth across Latin America, these additional efforts to centralize and standardize will give us the support we need to find new opportunities to put beverages in the hands of the Latin American people.

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 28, 2011

Hewlett-Packard Mexico, S. de R.L. de C.V., today announced Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B. de C.V. ("Coca-Cola FEMSA"), the largest public bottler of Coca Cola products in the world in terms of sales volume, has signed a five-year technology outsourcing services contract to build and manage an HP Converged Infrastructure.

The new services and infrastructure support the company's Latin American growth while providing better service and lower costs. The agreement adds more than $100 million to HP's existing Coca-Cola FEMSA relationship, which began in 2000.

HP and Coca-Cola FEMSA will consolidate 348 locations to a single data center in Mexico and migrate business-critical SAP applications and server monitoring and management to HP Best Shore locations in Brazil and Argentina. HP Security Services will be provided from HP Best Shore global delivery centers in Costa Rica. HP Best Shore combines HP's technology portfolio with global delivery expertise to give clients greater flexibility and cost efficiencies while minimizing risk.

HP will continue to manage Coca-Cola FEMSA's technology infrastructure supporting its Latin American operations in Argentina, Brazil, Colombia, Costa Rica, Guatemala, Mexico, Nicaragua, Panama and Venezuela.

"After experiencing sustained growth across Latin America, these additional efforts to centralize and standardize will give us the support we need to find new opportunities to put beverages in the hands of the Latin American people," said Hector Calva, chief information officer, Coca-Cola FEMSA. "HP knows our business and industry well. With the team's extensive experience in data center consolidation, we will have the technology foundation and support critical for our growth plans and future success."

HP will continue to provide Data Center Services and Storage Services to manage and support Coca-Cola FEMSA's data center environment. HP provides Server Management to host more than 650 midrange servers and Backup and Restore Services for disaster recovery. The agreement also includes international and regional telecommunications Carrier Management Services in addition to Network Management Services for the company's LAN/WAN environment. HP also provides Enterprise Application Hosting Services for Coca-Cola FEMSA's SAP platform and will move to dedicated support.

In addition, HP will continue to deliver Workplace Services for Coca-Cola FEMSA's 14,500 desktop and notebook PCs, handheld devices, printers and servers as well as moving to dedicated Service Desk Services in Spanish and Portuguese for employees using these devices.

Coca-Cola FEMSA will consolidate its data center on an HP Converged Infrastructure using HP Superdome 2 servers and Integrity BL860c i2 server blades running HP-UX v3, HP StorageWorks Enterprise Virtual Arrays, HP StorageWorks XP24000 and P9500 disk array enterprise class storage systems, and HP Data Protector software for backup and recovery. Each is intended to improve reliability and efficiency in the consolidated data center.

HP Agility Alliance partners, including SAP and Microsoft, will provide additional tools, technologies and resources to HP in support of Coca-Cola FEMSA.

"In a region such as Latin America with its many opportunities for growth, companies that develop an efficient technology infrastructure and business procedures to support an 'Instant-On' enterprise will be better able to take advantage of those opportunities," said Octavio Marquez, managing director, HP Mexico. "Our industry knowledge and decade-long relationship with Coca-Cola FEMSA, as well as our ability to scale when and where the client grows, will continue to help the company achieve its goals."

In a world of continuous connectivity, the Instant-On Enterprise embeds technology in everything it does to serve customers, employees, partners and citizens with everything they need, instantly.

About Coca-Cola FEMSA

Coca-Cola FEMSA, S.A.B. de C.V. produces and distributes Coca-Cola, Sprite, Fanta, Lift and other trademark beverages of The Coca-Cola Company in Mexico (a substantial part of central Mexico, including Mexico City and southeast Mexico), Guatemala (Guatemala City and surrounding areas), Nicaragua (nationwide), Costa Rica (nationwide), Panama (nationwide), Colombia (most of the country), Venezuela (nationwide), Brazil (greater São Paulo, Campiñas, Santos, the state of Mato Grosso do Sul, part of the state of Goias and part of the state of Minas Gerais) and Argentina (federal capital of Buenos Aires and surrounding areas), along with bottled water, beer and other beverages in some of these territories. The Company has 30 bottling facilities in Latin America and serves over 1,500,000 retailers in the region. The Coca-Cola Company owns a 31.6 percent equity interest in Coca-Cola FEMSA. Visit https://www.coca-colafemsa.com for more information.

About HP

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world's largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure to solve customer problems. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at https://www.hp.com/.

This news release contains forward-looking statements that involve risks, uncertainties and assumptions. If such risks or uncertainties materialize or such assumptions prove incorrect, the results of HP and its consolidated subsidiaries could differ materially from those expressed or implied by such forward-looking statements and assumptions. All statements other than statements of historical fact are statements that could be deemed forward-looking statements, including but not limited to statements of the plans, strategies and objectives of management for future operations; any statements concerning expected development, performance or market share relating to products and services; any statements regarding anticipated operational and financial results; any statements of expectation or belief; and any statements of assumptions underlying any of the foregoing. Risks, uncertainties and assumptions include macroeconomic and geopolitical trends and events; the competitive pressures faced by HP's businesses; the development and transition of new products and services (and the enhancement of existing products and services) to meet customer needs and respond to emerging technological trends; the execution and performance of contracts by HP and its customers, suppliers and partners; the achievement of expected operational and financial results; and other risks that are described in HP's Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the fiscal quarter ended January 31, 2011 and HP's other filings with the Securities and Exchange Commission, including but not limited to HP's Annual Report on Form 10-K for the fiscal year ended October 31, 2010. HP assumes no obligation and does not intend to update these forward-looking statements.

© 2011 Hewlett-Packard Development Company, L.P. The information contained herein is subject to change without notice. The only warranties for HP products and services are set forth in the express warranty statements accompanying such products and services. Nothing herein should be construed as constituting an additional warranty. HP shall not be liable for technical or editorial errors or omissions contained herein.

Continue reading: HP Signs $100 Million Tech Services Agreement With Coca-Cola FEMSA (full post)

HP Press Release Takes a Stab At Oracle

Trak Lord | Mar 23, 2011 2:35 PM CDT

HP Supports Customers Despite Oracle's Anti-customer Actions

Amid plummeting SPARC server market share, Oracle seeks to force customers to buy their servers

PALO ALTO, Calif., March 23, 2011

HP today reiterated that it will continue the development and innovation of Itanium®-based Integrity server platforms with its HP-UX operating system using a roadmap that extends more than 10 years.

In addition, HP will continue to support customers running existing versions of Oracle software on Itanium-based Integrity servers, both existing and future platforms, during the same timeframe. Last year, HP launched the industry's most modern mission-critical architecture in more than a decade. This constitutes the longest published roadmap of any UNIX vendor in the industry.

"Oracle continues to show a pattern of anti-customer behavior as they move to shore up their failing Sun server business," said Dave Donatelli, executive vice president and general manager, Enterprise Servers, Storage and Networking, HP. "HP believes in fair and honest competition. Competition is good for customers, innovation and the marketplace. We are shocked that Oracle would put enterprises and governments at risk while costing them hundreds of millions of dollars in lost productivity in a shameless gambit to limit fair competition."

In a direct contradiction to a statement made yesterday by Oracle, Paul Otellini, president and chief executive officer, Intel Corporation said, "Intel's work on Intel Itanium processors and platforms continues unabated with multiple generations of chips currently in development and on schedule. We remain firmly committed to delivering a competitive, multi-generational roadmap for HP-UX and other operating system customers that run the Itanium architecture."

Poulson is Intel's next-generation 32-nm, 8-core-based Itanium chip, and is on track to more than double the performance of the existing Tukwila architecture. Kittson is an officially committed roadmap product for Itanium beyond Poulson and also is in active development. Intel® Itanium processor industry momentum will be highlighted in a keynote at the upcoming Beijing Intel Developer's Forum.

HP moved ahead into second position in the Unix market while Sun lost share and fell back into third since Oracle announced it would acquire Sun in April of 2009.(1) It is clear that Oracle customers are voting with their purchasing decisions against the Sun platform. This latest Oracle action of disinformation is clearly an attempt to force customers into purchasing Sun servers in a desperate move to slow their declining market share.

HP remains committed to supporting its customers and their applications through the next decade and beyond. Customers who wish to preserve a fair and competitive marketplace can email Oracle at gcp-customerfeedback_us@oracle.com.

About HP

HP creates new possibilities for technology to have a meaningful impact on people, businesses, governments and society. The world's largest technology company, HP brings together a portfolio that spans printing, personal computing, software, services and IT infrastructure at the convergence of the cloud and connectivity, creating seamless, secure, context-aware experiences for a connected world. More information about HP (NYSE: HPQ) is available at https://www.hp.com.

Continue reading: HP Press Release Takes a Stab At Oracle (full post)

AT&T are set to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion

Anthony Garreffa | Mar 20, 2011 5:33 PM CDT

This transaction represents a major commitment to strengthen and expand critical infrastructure for our nation's future. It will improve network quality, and it will bring advanced LTE capabilities to more than 294 million people. Mobile broadband networks drive economic opportunity everywhere, and they enable the expanding high-tech ecosystem that includes device makers, cloud and content providers, app developers, customers, and more. During the past few years, America's high-tech industry has delivered innovation at unprecedented speed, and this combination will accelerate its continued growth. This transaction delivers significant customer, shareowner and public benefits that are available at this level only from the combination of these two companies with complementary network technologies, spectrum positions and operations. We are confident in our ability to execute a seamless integration, and with additional spectrum and network capabilities, we can better meet our customers' current demands, build for the future and help achieve the President's goals for a high-speed, wirelessly connected America.

Continue reading: AT&T are set to acquire T-Mobile for $39 billion (full post)