Google+ chief out ahead of shake-up
The Google executive who led its attempt to challenge Facebook in social networking is leaving the company, ahead of changes to the service. Vic Gundotra, a former Microsoft executive who has spent almost eight years at the search firm, launched Google+ in June 2011, with the stated aim to “fix” online sharing, which he described as “broken” and “awkward”. Google+ claimed to offer better privacy controls than Facebook and introduced new features, such as free group video calling.
Tech groups settle over hiring pacts
Google, Apple, Intel and Adobe have settled a lawsuit with tens of thousands of employees who accused the technology companies of anti-competitive behaviour by agreeing not to poach each others’ staff. It means the companies have seen off the threat of a courtroom battle by settling out of court with the 64,000 claimants on undisclosed terms.
TWC boss defends Comcast merger
Time Warner Cable’s chief executive defended the cable operator’s proposed merger with industry leader Comcast as the “best way to maximise value for shareholders”. His comments come after the value of the all-stock deal has dropped to less than $40bn from $45.2bn since it was announced, following declines in Comcast’s stock price.
Starbucks’ expensive stores are shut
Sixteen years after it helped to usher in a cappuccino revolution on this side of the Atlantic, Starbucks reported a fall in revenue from £413m to £399m in the year to 29 September. Globally, sales were up six per cent in the second quarter – more than expected – with earnings up 9.4 per cent. The share price increased 0.9 per cent after the company also raised its full-year profit forecast. A spokesman said that sales had fallen last year because the coffee chain had closed loss-making stores. He said that the strength of the business had improved, with losses falling from £30.4m to £20.5m.
The Daily Telegraph
Russia braced for US sanctions
Deadly clashes in eastern Ukraine and warnings of broader US sanctions against Russia have sent tremors through Moscow’s markets and forced the country to cancel a sovereign debt auction.
Evil Knievel calls for Quindell probe
The short-seller who made £1m betting against Northern Rock ahead of the financial crisis has heaped further pressure on beleaguered outsourcer Quindell by calling for the City watchdog to investigate the company’s activities. Simon Cawkwell, known in the City “Evil Knievel”, has asked the FCA to examine Quindell.
THE WALL STREET JOURNAL
Publicis confident on UK tax approval
France’s Publicis Groupe tried to reassure investors about the fate of its $35bn merger with Omnicom of the US yesterday, saying that it was confident the proposed new company would get approval to have its fiscal residence in the UK. Publicis did note that the deal requires French approval and the company didn’t make any comment about its expectations for approval.
Amazon tries its own deliveries
Amazon is testing its own delivery network for the last mile, the final leg of a package’s journey to doorsteps. Amazon trucks are now delivering to homes and offices around San Francisco.