Reuters blog archive
Since it was created in a Harvard dorm room in 2004, Facebook has moved its homebase around many times, relocating to the West coast and bouncing from building to building in Silicon Valley as its ranks have grown.
Now the company has finally settled down. Facebook said it had completed the move into its new corporate headquarters in Menlo Park, with the final wave of employees reporting for duty at the new office Monday morning.
Following the standard script for Web company “new office” announcements, Facebook proudly catalogued the various perks and cool design motifs on offer at its new digs in a blog post. Among the highlights: “micro kitchens;” exposed ductwork; breakaway “cozie” spaces with couches; and hallways coated in special chalkboard paint (one imagines engineers abruptly stopping mid-walk to passionately scrawl some cryptic formula on the wall, a la Goodwill Hunting).
Free dry-cleaning, a fitness center and two full-service cafes will also be available (the company is currently finishing construction on a central courtyard connecting the 10 buildings that is designed to mimic an urban street). For some reason, Facebook even made a point of noting that on-site doctors will also be part of the 57-acre campus.
Entrepreneur Peter Yared doesn’t mince words. In April, after TechCrunch misreported some of the circumstances around a Facebook employee’s termination, Yared wrote a widely read post titled “Why TechCrunch is Over” in which he called its founder, Michael Arrington, “insane,” adding that it “must be hard to live amidst a rapidly declining site.”
On Wednesday, Oracle closed its multi-billion dollar takeover of Sun. A few bullet points from the Thomson Reuters data team:
· Following approval from European anti-trust officials, Oracle’s $5.8 billion acquisition of Sun Microsystems was completed today. The transaction is 3rd largest software deal globally since the Tech Boom and the 10th largest on record.
In the footsteps of Jack Welch and Bill Gates, Oracle's Larry Ellison is the latest U.S. chief executive to fall foul of the European Union's trust-buster despite winning backing from regulators in Washington.
EU antitrust czar Neelie Kroes has objected to Oracle's $7 billion takeover of Sun Microsystems, arguing that combining Sun's open source MySQL database product with Oracle products would restrict competition in Europe. That prompted a rare rejoinder from the U.S. Justice Department,
spelling out why it found the takeover was "unlikely to be uncompetitive" when it cleared the acquisition in August.
from Blogs Dashboard:
By dithering over the $7 billion sale of Sun Microsystems to Oracle, and delaying all those magical synergies, rationalizations and economizations, EU authorities are forcing Oracle to synergize, rationalize and economize just to maintain some semblance of value.
Sun is blaming fresh plans to slash about 10 percent of its global work force on European antitrust regulators, who have not yet cleared the transaction. Don't be too surprised if the bulk of the firings are targeted in Europe.
If the world is counting on innovative companies to solve global warming, we may be in trouble. Venture investment in cleantech is slumping. Venture capitalists in the US poured $2 billion into 139 cleantech start-ups in the first half of 2008, according to data from PricewaterhouseCoopers. In the first half of this year, venture investments in the sector plummeted to $513 million in 89 companies.
Of course, venture investment in general has gone off a cliff, from over $15 billion in the first half of 2008 to $6.8 billion this year. But it seems odd that cleantech, the new, new thing that VCs seek, has plunged more than the average.
from The Great Debate:
When Oracle agreed to buy Sun Microsystems for $7.4 billion in April, the headlines made much of the software maker's decision to enter the computer business 30 years late. At less than 10 per cent of sales, Sun's software business seemed an afterthought.
But Sun's software is now center stage after European competition regulators said on Thursday that they would withhold approval for the deal until they finish probing the impact of the Oracle-Sun merger on the database software market. The decision means the transaction faces at least a four-month delay, pushing it into early next year.
Oracle Corp's (ORCL.O) acquisition of Sun Microsystems Inc. (JAVA.O) could be delayed by up to four months if the European Commission's antitrust authority decide to launch an investigation into the $7.4bn deal. US authorities cleared the sale last week, but the EC is concerned over Oracle gaining ownership of the MySQL database product, sources familiar with the situation tell Reuters.
For this and the rest of the latest deals news from Reuters, click here.
And here's a round-up of other deals news reported in the press on Wednesday:
from Summit Notebook:
Jesse Draper, formerly of the short-lived Nickelodeon series "Naked Brothers Band", and Sharon Lee are the brains, and the feather boas, behind "Valley Girl": a 60 minutes-meets-MTV online chat show that in just one season has hosted some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley on its pink satin sofa. Or, as Jesse herself puts it: "Where Silicon Valley's Best meet Hollywood". Totally.
from Summit Notebook:
IBM's Chief Financial Officer Mark Loughridge didn't have much to say about Oracle's planned purchase of Sun Microsystems at the Reuters Global Technology Summit.
I don't see that much has changed in this. They have been partnering for decades. It doesn't fundamentally change the position" in the industry.