IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 8 March
10CMS receives new funding | Skype to roll out ads
The Irish Times reports that mobile operator O2 has brought a legal challenge to a decision by ComReg allowing the handling charges for emergency calls to be increased to a maximum EUR3.35 a call. BT Communications (Ireland) Ltd is the current Ecas (Emergency Call Answering Service) operator. It won a five-year contract in 2009 worth EUR50 million to provide the service. O2's legal challenge claims that when BT entered that contract in 2009, the initial maximum handling fee for emergency calls was EUR2.23. The ComReg decision allowing that charge to be increased to EUR3.35 is outside the powers of the regulator and was made under the incorrect statutory provision, O2 claims.
The paper also says that a six-year-old Dublin schoolgirl will have her art work showcased to hundreds of thousands of internet users on Wednesday when it is featured on Google’s Irish homepage. Layla Karpuz from the senior infants class at Mary Mother of Hope Junior National School, Dublin 15, won Google’s third Irish 'Doodle 4 Google' competition.
The paper also notes that News Corp chief operating officer Chase Carey has said he believes his company has already offered a "fair price" to take full control of UK satellite TV provider BSkyB. Last June, News Corp offered 700 pence a share, or around STG8.6 billion, and last week got a nod towards getting through a convoluted regulatory process in the UK. BSkyB's independent board asked News Corp to up its offer to 800 pence last year, but since then BSkyB's value has soared to 831 pence at market close in London. Some BSkyB shareholders have suggested the pay-TV business is worth 950 pence, or an extra STG3 billion.
The same paper reports that France's finance ministry has been targeted by suspected cyber-spies seeking information on its G20 presidency. Budget minister Francois Baroin said 150 computers in the ministry were accessed last December in an attack that security staff detected in January. He said the operation appeared to have homed in on the ministry's work on the G20, of which France is president, but that personal records were not compromised.
The Irish Independent notes that Sony is to acquire the tracking system used to predict a ball's path to great but controversial effect in cricket and tennis. Sony will buy Hawk-Eye for an undisclosed sum.
The Irish Examiner says that Irish-owned tech firm 10CMS has received a EUR2.5 million cash injection from Irish and British investors. The e-commerce software provider previously raised EUR600,000 from various private investors last year, including Octopus Investments and Sadlier Reilly Capital. "This fresh investment gives us the resources we need to consolidate our market position in the UK and Ireland and continue the development of a world-class commerce content management platform," said company co-founder Fergal O'Mullane
The Financial Times reports that digital music service Spotify has reached 1 million paying subscribers across Europe. The company, which is in the process of raising a new round of funding at a USD1 billion valuation, believes the figure makes it the largest online music subscription service in the world. Daniel Ek, Spotify's chief executive, told the newspaper that 1 million subscribers represented 15 percent of the company's active user base of 6.67 million people.
The paper also says that Google is remotely disabling malicious software that affected more than a quarter of a million owners of Android smartphones. It is the first time Google has had to reach into already-purchased phones to remove dangerous applications that customers have voluntarily installed. Google revealed its action in a blog post on Saturday, saying no user data had been compromised by the more than 50 rogue applications and that customers would be notified by late on Tuesday if their devices had been cleaned. Google said on its blog that workers were "adding a number of measures to help prevent additional malicious applications using similar exploits from being distributed through Android".
The paper also notes that Google has snapped up UK firm BeatThatQuote.com, a price comparison website, for STG37.7 million. BeatThatQuote helps users to compare a range of products including loans, insurance and utilities.
In more news of Google acquisitions, the Wall Street Journal reports that the internet giant has purchased video website Next New Networks. The financial terms of the deal were not disclosed. Google was expected to pay in the tens of millions of dollars for the website, sources said last month.
The paper also says that internet calling service Skype plans to start rolling out ads to consumers this week, in a bid to develop a new revenue stream ahead of the company's anticipated IPO. The new display ads, which will initially feature advertisers such as Groupon, Universal Pictures and Visa, will appear at the top of Skype's main page in its Windows client. Skype said the ads, which will initially appear in the US, UK and Germany, may include audio or video.