IN THE PAPERS
In The Papers 21 March
Irish firms urged to use e-invoicing | Facebook snaps up Snaptu
The Irish Independent reports that Facebook has agreed to buy Snaptu, an application developer for mobile devices. Facebook is expected to pay up to USD70 million for the Israel-based company. Snaptu has already developed one of the more popular methods for phone users to access Facebook.
The paper also says that AT&T is to buy Deutsche Telekom, in order to acquire T-Mobile USA, in a USD39 billion cash-and-stock transaction. The deal will create a new industry giant by combining two of the four largest US mobile operators. The purchase price includes a cash payment of USD25 billion, with the outstanding balance to be paid using AT&T common stock.
The Irish Examiner says that Irish businesses are missing out on potential yearly savings of EUR246 million, according to a report on e-invoicing. Irish businesses can save 2 percent of their turnover by cutting out paper invoices and optimising related supply chain processes, says the 'E-Billing In Europe and Abroad' report. In 2011, more than 5 million European companies are expected to exchange more than 3 billion e-invoices, but the majority of businesses in Ireland continue to send and receive paper invoices.
The Financial Times reports that HP's chairman has said that the company reconstituted its board this year to add international expertise and recover from past infighting -- not to cement the control of the new chief executive. Ray Lane rejected complaints that Leo Apotheker, HP's new chief exec, had been involved in the process, saying that he alone had interviewed all his fellow directors and decided who should be asked to leave.
The Wall Street Journal says that Google has blamed Chinese government efforts for problems accessing its e-mail service from China, following reports in recent weeks that authorities have stepped up internet censorship efforts. Google started getting complaints about interruptions in access to Gmail "around the time" that calls for protesters to gather for a "Jasmine Revolution" appeared online last month, a company spokeswoman said. Those calls triggered a heavy response from the government, which deployed large numbers of police to planned protest sites and intensified censorship of the internet.
The Sunday Times reports that social media sites help immigrants to feel closer to home but may hinder their integration into Irish society, according to research. The study by UCD surveyed 65 Polish and Filipino migrants living in Ireland in 2009. The researchers said that the creation of a 'virtual community' could reduce immigrants' desire to meet people in Ireland.
The paper also says that the Irish Times has been ordered by the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) to give up the domain name Groupon.ie. WIPO said that the newspaper's explanation for taking the name lacked credibility and its reason for registering the site was to "in some way take unfair advantage".
The paper also says that a growing number of Irish businesses claim that coupon websites are forcing them to offer discounts of up to 75 percent in order to remain competitive.
The paper also notes that the Irish makers of The Secret of Kells, the Oscar-nominated animation, have turned down the chance of making their follow-up with DreamWorks. Kilkenny firm Cartoon Saloon will instead make new feature Song of the Sea as a European co-production.
The paper also says that online travel agency Expedia is among the bidders for Dublin car hire firm CarTrawler. Expedia is one of three bidders for a stake in the firm, valued at EUR100 million. Two low-profile international private equity firms are also in the running.
The paper also reports that Advance Learning Interactive Systems Online (Alison) has signed up 500,000 users worldwide. The free e-learning firm is backed by Galway tech entrepreneur Mike Feerick.
The same paper says that Eircom has applied to the High Court for an injunction to prevent the ex-director of its eMobile business, Conor Carmody, from taking a position with Vodafone.
The Sunday Business Post reports that mobile software firm NewBay has raised EUR3 million in new funding. New filings for the company indicate that the firm raised the money in May 2010. The funding came in the form of venture debt financing from Silicon Valley Bank and British corporate finance house Kreos Capital.
The paper also says that the two failed bidders for the State's second mobile phone licence competition will make applications to the Supreme Court this week. The applications are part of their bid to appeal their case for damages over the awarding of the deal to Esat. The High Court threw out cases taken by telecoms consortia Persona and Comcast in 2007, on the basis that the applicants had failed within a reasonable time to submit claims against the State in relation to the handling of the 1995 GSM deal.
The same paper says that An Post has issued a warning about an online scam that attempts to dupe television licence holders to part with their credit card details. A number of consumers and businesses received e-mails last week that purported to come from An Post's TV licence team. The e-mail claimed that a calculation error meant the customer was entitled to a EUR58 refund, and requested that they input their credit card details via a website to claim the refund.
The paper also says that a new internet development firm plans to contact every new company set up this year and offer them an online presence for less than EUR50. John Caldwell, director of Myinfo.ie, said the firm would be working with Enterprise Ireland and the county enterprise boards to contact every company incorporated in Ireland in 2011. They will be offered a Myinfo web presence, consisting of five pages of content that is optimised for search engines such as Google.
The paper also notes that content management software firm TerminalFour has won a EUR110,000 deal with the Teachers College at New York's Columbia University.