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By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Four major tech companies including Apple and Google have agreed to pay a total of $324 million to settle a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley, sources familiar with the deal said, just weeks before a high profile trial had been scheduled to begin. The settlement was disclosed in a court filing earlier on Thursday, which did not spell out terms. Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another's employees in order to avert a salary war. The case has been closely watched due to the potentially high damages award and a steady disclosure of emails in which Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and some of their Silicon Valley rivals hatched plans to avoid poaching each other's prized engineers.
By Deepa Seetharaman SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc's revenue grew more than expected for the first quarter, offset by a sharp increase in spending on technology, content and new warehouses as the e-commerce giant branches into new businesses. The Seattle-based company's overall revenue growth bested the average Wall Street estimate of $19.4 billion, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Amazon reported earnings per share of 23 cents, in line with expectations. Shares of Amazon, which is rapidly expanding its lineup of devices and computing services to sustain its pace of growth, rose 1.6 percent to $342.56 in afterhours trading. Amazon is spending big on a wide range of projects as its core retail business comes under pressure.
By Dan Levine SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Four major tech companies including Apple and Google have agreed to settle a lawsuit accusing them of conspiring to hold down salaries in Silicon Valley, just weeks before a high profile trial had been scheduled to begin. The settlement was disclosed in a court filing on Thursday, which did not spell out terms. The case has been closely watched due to the potentially high damages award and a steady disclosure of emails in which Apple's late co-founder Steve Jobs, former Google CEO Eric Schmidt and some of their Silicon Valley rivals hatched plans to avoid poaching each other's prized engineers. Tech workers filed a class action lawsuit against Apple Inc, Google Inc, Intel Inc and Adobe Systems Inc in 2011, alleging they conspired to refrain from soliciting one another's employees in order to avert a salary war.
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's head of social networking services, Vic Gundotra, is leaving the Internet search company, he said on Thursday, three years after overseeing the launch of the Google+ social network. Gundotra, who has worked at Google for eight years, announced the move in a Google+ post. "We pour our heart and soul into our work and it becomes something we love and cherish," Gundotra wrote.
By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Facebook Inc has acquired the maker of a mobile app that can track the distance consumers walk or run and measure the calories burned, giving the social networking company an entree into the nascent market for fitness and health monitoring technology. Facebook did not disclose the price it paid for ProtoGeo Oy, the 2-year-old Helsinki company that makes the Moves app. A Facebook spokesman said the price for ProtoGeo, which has fewer than 10 employees, was not anywhere near what the company had paid for other higher-profile acquisitions recently. Facebook has begun 2014 by going on a shopping spree, paying $19 billion for mobile messaging service WhatsApp in February and $2.3 billion for virtual reality headset maker Oculus VR a couple of weeks later.
By Rodrigo Campos NEW YORK (Reuters) - Apple has long been a trend-setter whose hot products attract imitators, and now its recent stock split might help revive a trend from the 1990s that has all but disappeared on Wall Street. Apple Inc's move might inspire others, some believe, but only modestly. "It could become a bit of a trend when you see a name like Apple decide to split the stock," said Ken Polcari, director of the NYSE floor division at O'Neil Securities. Polcari said Priceline Group Inc, the most expensive single stock on the S&P 500, is a prime candidate.
Amazon 1st quarter net income jumps Thu, 24 Apr 2014 18:05:05 -0400 NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon's first-quarter profit rose 18 percent as shoppers continued to flock to the online mega retailer to buy goods.
LOS ANGELES (AP) — In Satya Nadella's first quarterly earnings release as chief executive, Microsoft Corp. on Thursday posted earnings and revenue that beat Wall Street expectations, offering new justification for the CEO's focus on cloud computing.
If you’ve been holding off on getting an Xbox One, then next week might be the perfect time to pick one up at Best Buy. Best Buy announced on Thursday that if you trade in your Xbox 360 or PlayStation 3 between April 27th and May 3rd, you’ll get a $50 gift card and a $50 coupon that you’ll be able to use toward buying an Xbox One. In other words, if you trade in your old console to Best Buy next week, you’ll be able to get $100 off the purchase price of Microsoft’s newest console. Not all stores are participating in the program so you’ll want to check out Best Buy’s trade-in webpage to find the store nearest
Amazon CFO: first-quarter unit sales growth slowed from previous quarter Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:59:41 -0400 Amazon.com Inc, the largest U.S. online retailer, said global growth in unit sales during the first three months of the year slowed to 23 percent from the previous quarter. The e-commerce giant's year-over-year unit sales, a closely watched measure of how many items Amazon has sold, has slowed considerably over the last two years. Unit sales growth was 25 percent in the fourth quarter. During a call with analysts to discuss the company's first-quarter results, Chief Financial Officer Tom Szkutak also said Amazon now has 244 million active customer accounts.
Verizon Blockbuster Data Breach Report Is Bad News for Organizations Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:53:11 -0400 co-authored by Dr. Stephen Bryen, CTO, Ziklag Systems Verizon has published a blockbuster report on Internet "data breaches" which has garnered major headlines because it fingers Eastern Europe (primarily Russia) as a greater source of attacks than those from East Asia, primarily China. Prepared with the cooperation of 50 companies in different parts of the world, the Verizon study classifies "data breaches" into different categories --but the two most important stand out visibly from all the others. These are "point of sale" attacks and "cyber espionage" attacks. ...
In the months since announcing a "mutually beneficial" interconnection agreement, Netflix and Comcast have seen eye to eye on very little. Throw in Comcast's attempt to swallow up Time Warner Cable and grow even larger, and you have a battleground for the two to air their disagreements. Netflix put its opposition to the merger in writing in its most recent earnings report earlier this week, spurring a response from Comcast, and now a pair of more detailed rebuttals from the streaming company.
Netflix made clear earlier this week that by the end of June, the streaming company will raise prices by $1 or $2 per month. But if new rules proposed by the FCC go into effect, that increase could be just be the beginning. FCC Chairman Tom Wheeler circulated new rules to his fellow commissioners Thursday related to "net neutrality," or the idea that all web traffic should be treated equally. The rules would allow Internet service providers, like Verizon, AT&T and Time Warner Cable, to charge companies for faster delivery of content to their customers. Consumer advocates say that companies
You really shouldn't need any more proof that women are a huge part of the video games industry, but we're going to give you some anyway. According to the Entertainment Software Association's annual "Essential Facts About the Computer and Video Game Industry" report, women enjoy gaming as much as men, with 48 percent of gamers identifying as female and 52 percent identifying as male.
Russia: the home shirtless autocrats, vodka and a love of free speech rivaled by only China. The Kremlin is taking another step to squash people speaking their mind online. After building out an infrastructure that allows the government to more easily block sites it finds objectionable, now it's building a registry of bloggers.
PORTLAND, Ore. (AP) — Oregon, once expected to be a national leader in the federal health care overhaul, on Thursday moved to become the first state to dump its troubled online health exchange and use the federal marketplace instead.
It’s been years since Apple, Google and a host of other technology firms were accused of colluding in order to avoid competition while keeping salaries down by not poaching each other’s employees. The case has gone dark on more than one occasion, but Reuters reports that four of the companies involved in the scandal have finally agreed to settle the lawsuit. A trial concerning the case was scheduled to begin in a few short weeks. Plenty of evidence has cropped up over the past few years, from findings in Department of Justice investigations in 2012 to unsealed court documents reported on just days ago. With a trial on behalf of 60,000 tech workers scheduled to begin at the end of May, Apple, Google, Intel
Starbucks profit climbs as US sales increase Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:09:04 -0400 NEW YORK (AP) — Starbucks reported a stronger quarterly profit on Thursday as customers in the U.S. continued shelling out more money at its cafes.
US proposes pay-for-priority Internet standards Thu, 24 Apr 2014 17:07:16 -0400 LOS ANGELES (AP) — The nation's top telecoms regulator is proposing to allow a pay-for-priority fast lane on the Internet for movies, music and other services to get to people's homes.
The FCC has had a rough couple days. Controversy exploded yesterday when a Wall Street Journal report warned that the commission is considering new rules that would tear down the core principles of net neutrality and allow already-powerful internet service providers to act as the internet's greedy gatekeepers. Since then, the FCC has made several attempts to reverse the panic and outrage that quickly set in after the report that Chairman Tom Wheeler blasted as "flat out wrong." In the meantime, politicians, advocacy groups, and others continue to relentlessly berate the FCC over a spineless approach that could allow massive corporate entities to wield even greater influence over the internet.
Touchscreen chip demand boosts Synaptics results, forecast Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:51:23 -0400 (Reuters) - Synaptics Inc reported better-than-expected third-quarter results as demand from mobile phone makers for its touchscreen chips surged, sending its shares up more than 12 percent in after-hours trading. Synaptics, which has gained market share as more and more mobile devices adopt the touch interface, also forecast current-quarter revenue that handily beat Wall Street estimates. ...
If you're a porn connoisseur or troll in China, chances are your year hasn't been great so far. Some 110 Chinese porn websites and 3,300 social accounts on services like Sina Weibo and WeChat have gone dark since January ...
REDMOND, Wash. (AP) — Microsoft Corp. posted flat revenue and a decline in net income for the January-March quarter. Revenue gains from its Windows operating system and cloud computing services like Azure were offset by the lack of special upgrade offer revenues from a year ago.
Leica is celebrating its 100th year by launching its hotly anticipated T-System mirrorless camera. The fourth line of cameras, the Leica T is a sexy, minimalistic mid-range shooter that goes on sale May 26. You can pre-order it today for $1,850 for the body only.
Right on the heels of another successful quarter for Apple, J.D. Power has awarded the tech giant with the proverbial cherry on top: its latest smartphone customer satisfaction survey puts the iPhone maker ahead of Samsung, HTC, BlackBerry and LG on every major U.S. carrier. According to J.D. Power, customers of AT&T, Verizon, Sprint and T-Mobile are most satisfied with their iOS devices, with Samsung taking second place. It wasn’t exactly a blowout for Apple though – on a 1,000 point scale for each carrier, Apple only beat Samsung by double digits for Sprint customers. The score was within a single point for Verizon. The key findings from the study show that customers are still more interesting in features than anything else when
It argued that Comcast could use its newfound power to charge a toll for content that might compete with its own video offerings — a toll like the one that Netflix already found itself paying to improve the quality of streaming for Comcast customers. Comcast wasn't too happy about that, of course, firing back that it was Netflix's decision to cut out the middleman and work directly with Comcast to speed things up, and that the fee is standard practice for companies that offer "transit service" to quickly move data between networks. But in a new blog post, Netflix now claims that Comcast isn't truly offering "transit service." It accuses Comcast of extorting content companies and its own customers by charging twice for the same content. "Comcast is double dipping by getting both... to pay for access to each other."
China set to punish web giant Sina for pornography Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:37:53 -0400 BEIJING (AP) — China plans to revoke two crucial publication licenses for Sina.com, which might partially ban the web giant's operations, because obscene content was found during an anti-pornography crackdown, state media said Thursday.
Google, Apple settle high-tech workers' lawsuit Thu, 24 Apr 2014 16:31:17 -0400 SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe have settled a class-action lawsuit alleging they conspired to prevent their engineers and highly sought technology workers from getting better job offers from one another.
Microsoft has published its Q3 2014 earnings report, and the company has made $5.66 billion in net income on $20.4 billion in revenue. Microsoft’s core consumer-focused businesses are good indicators for the health of a number of the company’s products, including Windows, Windows Phone, Office consumer subscriptions, Surface, and Xbox. A decline in PC sales continues to impact Windows, but OEM revenue for Windows increased this quarter by 4 percent thanks to what Microsoft describes as strong growth in Windows OEM pro revenue. The Windows boost is likely related to businesses increasingly moving away from Windows XP as it entered end of support earlier this month.
Amazon isn't waiting for the advent of courier drones to ship your orders faster than usual: the Wall Street Journal reports that the e-commerce giant has been testing its own US delivery network in New York, Los Angeles and ...
This has quarter has been very busy and eventful for Microsoft. Not only did the company announce the appointment of new CEO Satya Nadella but it also launched its popular Office suite for the iPad for the first time, came out with a major update to Windows 8.1 that made it more friendly to desktop users, and it decided to make Windows Phone free to use for hardware developers in an effort to better compete with Google’s own free-to-use Android platform. How did all these big events impact Microsoft’s bottom line? The company on Thursday reported a profit of $0.68 per share on revenues of $20.4 billion, which beat the consensus estimate of $0.63 per share on revenues of $20.38 billion. One of
Apple, Google, Adobe, and Intel have all agreed to settle a upcoming antitrust lawsuit based around a no-hire agreement between the companies, reports Reuters. The case, which gained class-action status last October, claimed that the four companies all had no-hire agreements which helped keep employee wages artificially low.
Silicon Valley's tech giants aren't going to face that class action lawsuit over no-hiring deals, after all. Adobe, Apple, Google and Intel have all reached a settlement in the case, which would have otherwise headed to trial in late May. The terms of the deal haven't been revealed, but we wouldn't be shocked if a significant amount of cash traded hands.
Amazon launches grocery service for Prime members Thu, 24 Apr 2014 15:57:45 -0400 NEW YORK (AP) — Amazon is taking aim at grocery stores and discounters like Wal-Mart with a grocery service that lets its Prime loyalty club members fill up to a 45-pound box with groceries and get it shipped for a flat rate of $5.99.
Big changes may be coming to Google+. As Re/Code reports, former Google+ boss Vic Gundotra will be leaving Google after eight years at the company. Re/Code’s sources say that Google has appointed Google+ vice president of engineering David Besbris to take Gundotra’s place, which means that the company passed over Google+ product boss Bradley Horowitz, whom Re/Code describes as “Gundotra’s top lieutenant.” Re/Code’s sources didn’t give any indication about why Gundotra might be leaving the company, although the report does say that his departure will have “wider repercussions on what’s next for Google+.”
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