FTC approves Skype bid
The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) is letting software giant Microsoft Corp proceed with its largest deal ever, an US$8.5 billion bid for Web chat and call service Skype. The FTC announced on Friday that it had finished its review of the buyout so it could proceed if the US Department of Justice also approves. Both agencies must review any deal worth more than US$65.2 million, according to the FTC. Microsoft already has a Skype-like service called Windows Live, but Skype lets users of different kinds of computers and phones chat directly. The deal could enable Microsoft to sell more digital advertising and offer more popular business conferencing tools. Microsoft’s bid is more than three times Skype’s value 18 months ago when eBay Inc sold a two-thirds stake to private equity firm Silver Lake.
WTO bid faces big hurdles
Moscow’s accession into the WTO could be delayed by several years if there is no agreement on key issues by the end of next month, Minister of Economic Development and Trade Elvira Nabiullina said on Saturday. Moscow aims to become a member of the trade group in December, but Nabiullina said that the outstanding issues included agriculture, the nation’s car assembly regime and controls on the import of food and livestock. “We need to agree with our partners on three large issues before the end of July. If we do not manage to do it, from my point of view, the process might take some more years,” she told reporters at St Petersburg Economic Forum.
Finance minister announced
Social Democrat leader Jutta Urpilainen will become finance minister in the new six-party coalition, which has pledged to cut spending and raise some taxes. Announcing that the party had named her to the post on Saturday, Urpilainen said her main job was to secure the future of the welfare state by curbing spending and borrowing. “The outgoing government has left us a budget deficit of around 8 billion euros [US$11 billion] and the pace of borrowing is not sustainable,” Urpilainen said. She reiterated that Helsinki would demand guarantees against participation in any new bailouts for euro area countries.
Airbus delays A350 debut
Airbus SAS delayed introduction of its largest A350 wide-body aircraft by 18 months to meet demands for additional range and payload that will put the jet into more direct competition with Boeing Co’s 777-300ER. Rolls-Royce PLC, the sole engine supplier on the jet, will improve the performance of the Trent XWB engine by enlarging the core and working with more advanced technologies, the two companies said at a joint press conference on Saturday in Paris. The A350-1000 aircraft, which seats about 350 people, will cost US$9 million more than the previous design and come out in 2017. Airbus aims to crack the near monopoly of Boeing’s 777, which debuted in the 1990s, and the European manufacturer said its new A350-1000 will be 25 percent more fuel efficient and can carry 4.5 tonnes of additional weight. The change on the A350 coincides with the European airplane maker challenging Boeing in the single-aisle market with new, more efficient engines for its A320 jet.
‘ACCORDING TO PLAN’: A company official said that it has set up production sites worldwide to provide services and that its Wisconsin project was going smoothly Hon Hai Precision Industry Co’s (鴻海精密) smart manufacturing center in Wisconsin would begin trial manufacturing in the middle of this year, the company said yesterday, adding that it plans to build a research institute to develop key technologies to support growth over the next five years. Hon Hai, known internationally as Foxconn Technology Group (富士康科技集團), said in an annual report submitted to the Taiwan Stock Exchange that its planned Foxconn Institute for Research in Science and Technology would conduct research into artificial intelligence, next-generation communications, quantum computing, cybersecurity and nano semiconductors in Taiwan. Hon Hai is to make products at the center
TV and online retailer Momo.com Inc (富邦媒體) yesterday said it has set up a new logistics subsidiary, Fu Sheng Logistics Co (富昇物流), to oversee the company’s extensive shipping operations. Leveraging Momo’s 23 satellite warehouses and distribution centers nationwide, Fu Sheng will be in charge of executing the retailer’s same-day shipment plan for deliveries in Taipei, New Taipei City, Taoyuan, Taichung, Tainan and Kaohsiung, Momo said in a press release. Seeking to further shorten its supply chain, the company is to set up another seven satellite warehouses and distribution centers by the end of the year. “Fu Sheng has a fleet of 200 couriers
US-CHINA TENSIONS: The company said that it supplies self-designed chips to the Chinese company and, as such, is not affected by the latest US export restrictions Macronix International Co (旺宏電子) said it does not expect its shipments of memory chips to Huawei Technologies Co (華為) to be affected by the latest US export restrictions on the Chinese tech giant. “As long as the company [Huawei] places orders, we will ship [chips], unless the [Taiwanese] government restricts all Taiwanese companies from shipping” to Huawei, Macronix chairman and chief executive officer Miin Wu (吳敏求) said on Monday in Hsinchu. The US Department of Commerce on Friday took a further step to block chip supplies from non-US companies to Huawei by requiring foreign semiconductor makers to get US government permission before
E Ink Holdings Inc (元太科技), the world’s sole supplier of e-paper displays for e-readers and shelf labels, posted its best quarterly net profit for the first quarter in nine years amid increased demand during a traditionally slow season. Net profit soared 80 percent to NT$787 million (US$26.23 million) in the quarter ended March 31, compared with NT$438 million a year earlier. That translated into earnings per share of NT$0.69, up from NT$0.39. E Ink posted lower royalty income of NT$371.23 million last quarter from NT$448.74 million a year earlier, a company financial statement showed. E Ink said that it expects royalty income to