MediaFile

Tech wrap: Microsoft allowed looks at Yahoo’s books

November 23, 2011

Microsoft has signed a confidentiality agreement with Yahoo, allowing the software giant to take a closer look at Yahoo’s business, according to a source familiar with the matter. Microsoft joins several private equity firms that are also poring over Yahoo’s books and operations, as they explore various options for striking a deal with the struggling Internet company. Microsoft’s signing of a nondisclosure agreement with Yahoo occurred “recently,” according to the source.

Shares of Groupon fell for a third day , sinking below the company’s initial public offering price of $20 less than three weeks after the daily deal company went public. Groupon raised more than $700 million in an IPO in early November, making it the biggest IPO by a U.S. Internet company since Google raised $1.7 billion in 2004. Analysts have cited concerns about increased competition, a greater availability of the company’s stock for short-selling, and a sharp reversal of market sentiment that is taking down more speculative companies. Groupon shares ended the day down 15.5 percent at $16.96.

Big-Box retailer Best Buy has no regrets about stocking Research In Motion’s PlayBook tablet, despite the product’s poor reception and subsequent sharp discounting. RIM says it has shipped 700,000 PlayBooks since its launch, a figure dwarfed by the millions of iPads Apple sells each quarter. “When a product is less successful, you do what you need to do, and you move to the next thing,” Best Buy’s president for the Americas, Mike Vitelli, told Reuters. “That kind of quick reaction by the suppliers, whether it is BlackBerry or HP with their product, I actually think that is good for consumers too,” Vitelli said.

Nokia Siemens Networks, the world’s second-largest maker of mobile phone network equipment, is axing 17,000 jobs, nearly a quarter of its workforce, to help save about 1 billion euros ($1.35 billion) a year. NSN, which has struggled to make a profit since being set up in 2007, did not say where it would make the cuts, part of wider changes that analysts said looked aimed at gearing up the company for an initial public offering.

Google said on Tuesday that it was pulling the plug on seven projects, including Renewable Energy Cheaper than Coal as well as a Wikipedia-like online encyclopedia service known as Knol. The plans, which Google announced on its corporate blog, represent the third so-called “spring cleaning” announcement that Google has made since Google co-founder Page took the reins in April.

Apple’s Black Friday deals were revealed ahead of time by tech blog 9to5Mac. The blog said Apple’s offerings were similar to those of years past, but gave better discounts on higher capacities of iPads and iPods. Apple’s Macs will cost $101 less, iPads discounts will range from $41 to $61 discounts and the iPod nano will $11 less for both the 8GB and 16GB versions, the blog wrote. The biggest discount will be on the base level MacBook Air, which will now start at $898 in the U.S.

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