US Attorney General Janet Reno says a decision on whether to take action on the anti-trust complaints against Microsoft Corp over bundling of Microsoft Network access software is still pending and she hopes to reach a determination shortly. IBM Corp says it is in talks with other telecommunications and computer companies to expand the global […]
US Attorney General Janet Reno says a decision on whether to take action on the anti-trust complaints against Microsoft Corp over bundling of Microsoft Network access software is still pending and she hopes to reach a determination shortly.
IBM Corp says it is in talks with other telecommunications and computer companies to expand the global network pact it announced with Stet SpA: I would not want to predict the timing on additional partners, John Whiteside, general manager of IBM’s Global Network unit, said on a conference call, but yes we are talking with numerous potential partners in the telecommunications and information technologies arenas; the venture is currently 50-50, but nobody seems to have asked how dilution will be shared when new partners come in – does IBM want to hang on to 50%, or will it dilute pro rata with the Italian?
French cable television operator Canal Plus SA said it and Bertelsmann AG had signed an agreement in the field of digital and interactive television under which Deutsche Telekom AG and German broadcasters CLT, RTL, ARD and ZDF had opted for the digital decoders and software developed by Canal Plus and Bertelsmann for pay television: subject to regulatory approval, the companies will set up a consortium called Multimedia-Betriebgesellschaft to distribute decoders in 1996 and offer technical services to the broadcasters for pay television and interactive television operators.
IBM Corp argues in a legal filing that the Justice Department has wrongly recommended a sweeping review of its status in the computer industry as part of the company’s request to eliminate the 1956 consent decree: it says the court’s deliberations over ending the decree should stick strictly to the 1956 decree, which largely dealt with the now-dead punch-card industry, though it has a few references to the then-nascent computer industry – IBM argues that the Justice Department is wrongly seeking to have the court undertake a detailed analysis of IBM’s standing in the overall current computer industry and for IBM to prove it doesn’t dominate current markets.
IBM Corp has established an international procurement office in Shanghai, which will focus on sourcing parts from state-owned enterprises, but says quality problems will preclude any large amounts of purchases in the near future – purchases over the past few years in Hong Kong have averaged $60m a year while annual purchases in Taiwan ranged from $350m to $400m according to the Shanghai Business Times.
Japan Airlines Co Ltd and AMR Corp’s American Airlines signed an agreement to link their computerised reservation systems: American is to buy a 25% stake in the air reservation unit of Japan Air, Axess International Network Inc, which runs the Axess system; terms were not disclosed, but Axess International can use all the information and functions of American’s Sabre reservation system; there are currently about 11,215 Axess terminals, most of them installed in Japan.
Rene Homeyer, chief executive for French retail business management software editor Ouroumoff Informatique Synform SA, contacted Computergram in Paris to deny that he ever intimated a desire to be acquired by arch-rival SAP AG: as reported (CI No 2,699) Ouroumoff’s GOLD Gestion Optimisee de la Logistique et de la Distribution system has been chosen instead of, and as a complement to, SAP’s R/3 at major retailing sites in France, including Carrefour, General Le Clerc, System U, Match and Disneyland Paris; on the market since 1988, GOLD was also cited by Microsoft Corp’s Europe president Bernard Vergnes at the SPA Europe conference as an important product for Windows NT.
Thoroughly revitalised Santa Monica, California company Quarterdeck Corp plans to begin shipping the first of its utilities software products for Windows95 in September: the four utilities for the new operating system to ship this year are CleanSweep, Quarterdeck MagnaRAM, Quarterdeck WinProbe and QEMM; CleanSweep is a 32-bit uninstaller, MagaRAM provides 32-bit
memory compression to increase available Windows memory, WinProbe is a diagnostic utility and QEMM adds 32-bit memory compression for Windows95.
IBM Corp says it signed more than $3,000m in new business during the first half of the year, bringing the total value of its worldwide managed operations contracts to $30,000m: IBM attributes the strong demand for worldwide systems and network facilities management to the need for companies and organisations to exploit information technology for productivity and efficiency, to transform operations and to create new opportunities.
Ramtron International Corp reached agreement with its two largest shareholders, National Electrical Benefit Fund and Oren Benton, to swap $24.3m in debt for about 7.9m new common shares; the company is also seeking approval to convert an additional $2.7m of Benton debt under the same terms; in addition to the debt restructuring, National Electrical also agreed to provide a $12m credit facility for working capital secured by Ramtron assets; $4.5m of the credit facility is contingent on Ramtron’s meeting pre-set performance requirements.
Sounds like an American ex-pat not at all happy at being exiled to Europe: in an editorial, the Wall Street Journal says apprehensions about a system that can be accessed with a simple click of the mouse are understandable on a continent where the Internet is only a shade easier to find than a Brussels bureaucrat working during August.