Even a right-wing French government can’t shake off the dead hand of corporatism, and Telecommunications Minister Francois Fillon says that although France Telecom will be turned into a normal joint stock company, the state will keep a majority and the current workforce will maintain its status as civil servants; even so, the obstructive Sud union […]
Even a right-wing French government can’t shake off the dead hand of corporatism, and Telecommunications Minister Francois Fillon says that although France Telecom will be turned into a normal joint stock company, the state will keep a majority and the current workforce will maintain its status as civil servants; even so, the obstructive Sud union of telecommunications and postal workers said it would do all it could to torpedo the timid and partial plans for privatisation.
Fujitsu Ltd has confirmed that announcement of the expected expansion of its Newton Aycliffe, County Durham chip plant (CI No 2,728) will be made next Friday: Ian Lang, the UK industry minister, has been invited to attend a major announcement ceremony at Newton Aycliffe.
Best evidence that there is no known predator waiting in the wings to pounce on Borland International Inc comes with the news that founder and chairman, but no longer chief executive, Philippe Kahn has sold 907,500 shares, over half his holding of 1.7m, since early August, for a total price of $10.3m.
Japan has given in on its controversial plan to launch a software quality assurance system next month and accepted that unique standards and national accreditation systems were wrong because they inhibited trade, US industry officials said: the Japan Accreditation Board for Quality System Registration has also revised its proposals to conform with international standards, ensuring that quality standards will be uniform in the US and Japan so that software that has been approved in one nation will not have to be re-approved in the other too.
Commenting on its figures (page seven), Den Bosch, Netherlands-based Tulip Computers NV says it expects growth in profit and sales to continue in the second half of this year; its new Rosmalen plant should come on stream at the end of 1996.
General Electric Co Inc’s National Broadcasting Corp, NBC, confirmed to Reuter that it does indeed want to acquire Turner Broadcasting Systems Inc, which is currently under offer from Time Warner Inc.
UK cable and media company Flextech Plc, in which Tele-Communications Inc is the controlling shareholder, is to buy a 20% stake in commercial television company Scottish Television Plc: Flextech already has 20% of Welsh television company HTV.
The Israeli government has cut to 5% from 8% the levy on profits that Bezeq Israel Telecom Ltd must pay so that the phone monopoly will be able to compete when two new international operators are licensed; the government also plans to privatise Bezeq through an international public share offering and by selling a controlling stake in the company to a strategic investor – Cable & Wireless Plc has already bought a 10.02% stake in the firm.
Philips Electronics NV has slashed the minimum sales price of its Compact Disk-interactive players in the Netherlands, cutting it 28.6% to the equivalent of about $300.
Radstone Technology Plc warns that an unexpected shortfall in orders in the first half will result in a first half loss even before restructuring costs: it is therefore unlikely to pay an interim dividend, but it expects to make a profit in the second half; it is confident it will return to a more normal profit level next year and will be able to resume dividends.
Telefonica de Espana SA is setting up a new service called Infovia, to give businesses, banks and universities access to the Internet for the price of a local phone call.
Microsoft Corp says that since it started its giveaway of its Money for Windows95 on August 24, tens of thousands of new users have downloaded the thing from the Internet or asked for disks from Microsoft.
Western Micro Technology Inc has hired investment bank Von Gehr International to help it expand its mid-range computer systems distribution business: the bank will advise it on buying regional distributors with similar mid-range system line cards, the company announced.
San Francisco-based Macromedia Inc has bought Fauve S
oftware Inc, a developer of image editing software, in a deal worth about $14m.
It seems that the June 1994 joint venture between Motorola Inc and Mexico City-based Grupo Protexa SA to provide long-distance telephone service in Mexico (CI No 2,437) is no more: Yes, the long-distance thing is out of our portfolio for now, Protexa told Reuters – the company is dedicated 100% to infrastructure and construction and for now it has decided to concentrate on that, the company added.
Ignoring the fact that the already established and much more information- and services-rich Compuserve is much cheaper, Microsoft Corp yesterday set the basic monthly UK charge for the Microsoft Network at an extortionate ú6 a month, compared with $5 a month for US customers; and the Charter Member Annual Plan, available to the first 500,000 customers, will cost UK subscribers ú55 compared with just $40 charged to users across the pond; thereafter UK customers will be ripped off further, being charged ú60 for Annual Membership or ú6 per month compared with $50 and $5 respectively in the US; UK customers get a paltry two hours’ free usage a month compared to three hours in the US and will also pay ú3.25 for each additional hour on-line compared with $2.50 in the US – all a bit odd when UK phone rates are comparable with US ones – perhaps the UK is being required to subsidise continental users locked in to their state-owned dinosaurs.
MFS Communications Inc, Omaha, Nebraska has now arrived in Switzerland, and is to make Zurich the fifth financial centre in Europe in which it offers service, although it is not building a Metropolitan Area Network there, but simply offering non-facilities-based international services out and in.
Cirrus Logic Inc’s Pacific Communication Sciences Inc unit has opened a design centre for wireless chips in Swindon, Wiltshire: it said the centre will concentrate on the production of complete OEM chip sets for two-way communication systems.
Provider of local telecommunications services Brooks Fiber Communications will buy $25m worth of 5ESS-2000 advanced digital switching systems from AT&T Corp’s Network Systems to expand its Metropolitan Area Networks around the US: the switches will be delivered over a three-year period and provide Brooks with Centrex, ISDN and Advanced Intelligent Network capabilities using Signalling System 7; also SONET-based bandwidth-on-demand for dial-up videoconferencing, high-volume data transfer and interactive broadband applications.