T-Mobile, MetroPCS in talks
The parent of cellphone company T-Mobile USA on Tuesday said it was in talks to buy smaller MetroPCS Communications Inc, a deal that could shore up two struggling smaller players in the US wireless industry. Deutsche Telekom AG, the German company that owns T-Mobile USA, said “significant issues have not yet been finalized” and no decision has been made on a deal. MetroPCS also confirmed the talks. T-Mobile USA is the country’s fourth-largest cellphone company, with 33.2 million subscribers. Adding the 9.3 million subscribers of Dallas-based MetroPCS, the industry’s No. 5, would still leave T-Mobile trailing No. 3 Sprint Nextel Corp.
India eyes bullet trains
India is in talks to buy its first bullet trains for the nation’s creaking and accident-prone network, but the new fleet will run at only a fraction of its top speed, a report said yesterday. The government is speaking to Japanese, French and German manufacturers to purchase six new trains, which are capable of running at speeds of up to 325km per hour, the Hindustan Times reported.
Uniqlo sales soar
The operator of Japan’s cheap-chic clothing giant Uniqlo looks set to book annual sales worth almost ￥1 trillion (US$12.8 billion) this business year, a report said yesterday, as it embarks on a rapid overseas expansion. Fast Retailing is expected to report ￥930 billion in sales in the 12 months to August when it gives its results this month, the Nikkei Shimbun said, adding the figure was 10 percent up on last year. Sales will continue to boom over the next 12 months, the paper said, taking the company well past ￥1 trillion.
Tesco profits drop 6.8%
British supermarket giant Tesco yesterday said that net profits slid almost 7 percent in the first half of the group’s financial year, hit by tough economic conditions in Asia and Europe. Earnings after taxation slid 6.8 percent to ￡1.283 billion (US$2.067 billion) in the 26 weeks to Aug. 25, compared with the same period of the company’s previous fiscal year, Tesco said in a results statement. Pre-tax profits meanwhile slumped 12 percent to ￡1.7 billion in the reporting period.
Microsoft to open ‘pop-ups’
Scores of real-world Microsoft stores will “pop up” in the US and Canada on Oct. 26 to showcase the technology giant’s latest gadgets, including the new Surface tablet computer. Microsoft Web sites on Tuesday promised that temporary, holiday-season shops with a “curated collection of Microsoft’s coolest products” would open their doors on the date. The list of more than 60 locations for the shops included New York, San Francisco, Las Vegas, Vancouver and Toronto.
US sales grow 13 percent
US auto sales roared ahead last month, gaining 13 percent from a year earlier to 14.94 million units and posting the best sales pace since March 2008, industry data showed on Tuesday. Asian automakers were the big winners as Toyota and Honda’s sales continue to rebound from last year’s supply shortages, while Chrysler also managed to post a 12 percent gain. General Motors and Ford both saw their market share slip by about two points as their sales stalled last month, but the two largest automakers expressed optimism for future growth.