CBS buys CNET Networks
US TV titan CBS Corp announced plans on Thursday to ramp up its technology side by buying troubled Internet news firm CNET Networks for US$1.8 billion in cash. The deal will make CBS “one of the 10 most popular Internet companies in the United States,” with 54 million US users and 200 million worldwide, CBS said in a statement. The acquisition would give the US network operator the tech news and entertainment portals CNET and ZDNet, along with other sites including GameSpot.com, TV.com, CNET News, UrbanBaby and CHOW. The deal calls for CBS to make a cash tender offer for all CNET shares at US$11.50 per share, a 45 percent premium from the stock’s closing price on Wednesday.
Infineon boss may resign
The chief executive of German chipmaker Infineon, Wolfgang Ziebart, is to quit after losing the confidence of the board, the Boersen-Zeitung said yesterday. Ziebart’s contract runs to September next year but he will leave on June 1, after falling out with the head of the supervisory board Max Dietrich Kley and others, the business daily said. An Infineon spokesman declined to comment. Munich-based Infineon has been trying for some time to sell its heavily loss-making memory chip division Qimonda.
Q1 growth hit 3.3%
The economy grew at an annualized rate of 3.3 percent in the first three months of the year on strong exports and personal spending, the government said yesterday. The economy grew faster than the average market expectation of a 2.6 percent growth and the previous October-December quarter, when it grew an annualized 2.6 percent. Despite firm exports, Economic and Fiscal Policy Minister Hiroko Ota expressed concern over the nation’s economic outlook. “We have to be cautious about the future because corporate capital spending posted a negative figure,” Ota said yesterday, citing capital spending that fell 0.9 percent in the January-March period from the previous quarter.
UN pessimistic about growth
The UN says the world economy is “teetering on the brink” of a severe downturn and will grow by only 1.8 percent this year — down from a growth rate of 3.8 percent last year. The UN’s mid-year economic projections released on Thursday blamed the downturn on further deterioration in the US housing and financial sectors in the first quarter. The UN said the US problems are expected to continue to be “a major drag for the world economy” into next year. It forecast global economic growth of 2.1 percent next year. Developing countries should reach 5 percent growth this year, compared to 7.3 percent last year, the UN said.
US attacks China
The US on Thursday accused China of keeping its yuan “substantially undervalued,” but stopped short of branding Beijing a currency manipulator. “Neither China or any other major trading partner of the United States met the requirements” for US designation of having manipulated its currency, the US Treasury Department said in a highly anticipated report on foreign-exchange rates. Still, the US ratcheted up its longstanding criticism of China’s yuan. “The recent acceleration [in the yuan’s value] in appreciation is a welcome development. However, overall gains remain insufficient,” the twice-yearly Treasury report to Congress said.