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Google lobbying spending reached new high in early 2015
By Diane Bartz WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Google Inc , already one of Washington's biggest spenders, set a company record for its lobbying activity in the first quarter of 2015 when it spent $5.5 million, according to a government database. Google ranked ninth in terms of total lobbying spending in 2014 at $16.8 million, behind the U.S. Chamber of Commerce ($124 million) and the National Association of Realtors ($55 million), according to the Center for Responsive Politics. The disclosure on lobbying expenditures comes as the company faces charges brought by the European Union that it demoted rivals in search results. Europe has also opened an investigation into allegations that Google uses Android to keep its dominance as consumers go mobile, while Google's rivals are asking the U.S. Justice Department to also open a formal probe into Android in the United States.
Tue, 21 Apr 2015 12:03:51 -0400
Nokia bets software revolution will help avoid past merger errors
By Leila Abboud, Jussi Rosendahl and Sven Nordenstam PARIS/HELSINKI/STOCKHOLM (Reuters) - Nokia's acquisition of smaller rival Alcatel-Lucent may avoid the pitfalls that befell earlier telecom network equipment marriages, thanks to a revolution over the past decade in how products are launched and developed. Nokia has promised 900 million euros ($960 million) of cost savings by 2019 from the Alcatel-Lucent acquisition, which is set to be completed in the first half of next year. Analysts believe the biggest chunk will come from the wireless business where Nokia's 4G mobile network products will eventually replace those of Alcatel, allowing it to trim expensive R&D budgets and redeploy engineers. The history of mergers in the telecom equipment sector is poor - including those that brought Alcatel together with Lucent, and Nokia with Siemens in 2006.
Tue, 21 Apr 2015 11:52:33 -0400
BlackBerry to buy WatchDox to bolster data security
By Euan Rocha TORONTO (Reuters) - BlackBerry Ltd said on Tuesday it is acquiring privately-held U.S. tech company WatchDox, which makes software that secures files for clients ranging from private equity firms to Hollywood studios, in a bid to boost its security offerings. The Wall Street Journal, citing an unnamed source, said BlackBerry was paying $70 million for the Palo Alto, California-based company. Some of WatchDox's 85-member team is based at its research and development facilities in Petah Tikva, Israel. "Israel's widely known as a very innovative security market, and we believe the team there is excellent," Jim Mackey, BlackBerry's head of corporate development, said in an interview.
Tue, 21 Apr 2015 11:10:53 -0400
Uber complies with German ban on unlicensed cab drivers
Online taxi firm Uber will comply with a German ban on its services using unlicensed cab drivers by lowering its fees so it becomes more like a ride sharing service. The Frankfurt regional court last month set stiff fines for any violations of local transport laws by Uber in a case brought by German taxi operator group Taxi Deutschland. Uber said in a statement on Tuesday that the ruling was now enforceable, calling it "a defeat for all those who want more choice for their personal mobility". To comply, UberPOP, an online service that links private drivers with passengers via their mobile phones, will immediately switch to a per kilometer tariff of 35 cents in Frankfurt and Munich, a policy it had already adopted in Berlin, Duesseldorf and Hamburg.
Tue, 21 Apr 2015 13:38:01 -0400
Exclusive: Huawei CEO says Chinese cybersecurity rules could backfire
By Gerry Shih SHENZHEN, China (Reuters) - China can only ensure its information security in the long run if it keeps its market open to the best technology products, be they foreign or domestic, Huawei's rotating chief executive Eric Xu told Reuters on Tuesday. Xu's remarks are a rare example of a top Chinese CEO openly questioning the direction of Beijing's information security policy, already a source of concern for countries who fear it will limit opportunities for their technology firms. In recent months Chinese leaders have advanced, albeit fitfully, several technology "localization" measures to minimize the threat of foreign cyberspying, by encouraging or requiring use of domestic products in important systems. "If we're not open, if we don't bring in the world's best technology, we'll never have true information security," Xu said, comparing China's enterprise (corporate) computing industry to primary school students competing against foreign rivals at university level.
Tue, 21 Apr 2015 09:26:15 -0400
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