Microsoft gets ultimatum
The EU has given software giant Microsoft eight days to submit the secret protocols of its Windows operating system to rivals or face the prospect of more fines, EU Competition Commissioner Neelie Kroes said in an interview published in the Guardian newspaper yesterday. "I don't have eternal life," Kroes said. "I am not impressed if someone says 90 percent of the information is already there when we need 100 percent. It's a jigsaw and some parts are missing ... In my opinion, this information should have been here a couple of months ago."
Ad sales hit new high
Internet advertising in the US reached a new high of US$4.2 billion in the third quarter, marking the eighth consecutive quarter of growth, according to a study released on Tuesday by Pricewaterhouse-Coopers. It conducted the quarterly online ad study for the Interactive Advertising Bureau, an industry trade group. US revenues in the third quarter grew 2 percent from the US$4.1 billion in the second quarter and 33 percent from US$3.1 billion a year ago. Keyword ads displayed alongside search results generally are the most lucrative. Despite continued growth, Internet advertising accounts for only about 5 percent of all US advertising revenues.
iPods get ticket to fly
Apple Computer Inc said on Tuesday that its iPod media players will be integrated with the entertainment systems of six airlines. Passengers on United Airlines, Continental Airlines, Delta Air Lines,Emirates, KLM and Air France will be able to power and charge their iPods during flights and watch video content from their iPods on seat-back displays. The service will be available on the airlines beginning in the middle of next year. It will likely help solidify the iPod's dominance in portable players' market. The in-flight deals are similar to ones that Apple has made with more than a dozen automakers to have iPod-compatibility built into car audio systems.
Google insures itself
Google Inc has set aside more than US$200 million in its just-completed takeover of YouTube Inc to cover possible losses on the deal, creating a financial cushion that might protect the Internet search leader if it is hit with legal bills for the frequent copyright violations on YouTube's video-sharing site. Without elaborating in a statement issued late on Monday, Google said it is withholding 12.5 percent of the stock owed to YouTube for one year "to secure certain indemnification obligations." The Internet giant disclosed the escrow account in an announcement marking the completion of its much-anticipated YouTube acquisition.
Qantas drops alliance plan
Qantas Airways will scrap its bid to forge an alliance with Air New Zealand after competition watchdogs warned they would block the deal, it said yesterday. The two airlines, which carry 80 percent of passengers on the lucrative routs between the two countries, had wanted to coordinate all flight activities, including setting schedules and ticket prices for their codeshare. But the Australian Competition and Consumer Commission said in a draft decision earlier this month that such an agreement would effectively kill competitiveness across the Tasman Sea.