Venture capital investors appear to be growing increasingly wary of European companies. In 2011, they put just E4.4bn into 1,012 start-ups in the region, a 14 per cent drop from the previous year, according to Dow Jones VentureSource.
This was the lowest annual deal count since Dow Jones began tracking investments in Europe in 2000. Read more
Norwegian public sector organisations will be banned from using Google Apps after the Norwegian data protection authorities ruled that the service could put citizens’ personal data at risk.
The data protection authority said Google Apps did not comply with Norwegian privacy laws because there was insufficient information about where data was being kept. The decision came from a test case in Narvik, where the local council had chosen to use Google Apps for their email. Read more
Google’s enterprise unit is jubilant after snaring its biggest customer win to date, as BBVA, the Spanish bank, said it was going to migrate all its 110,000 employees onto Google Apps.
It’s about twice the size of Google’s next biggest customer wins with Rentokil and Ahold, and there is kudos in having a security-conscious bank place its trust the company’s cloud offering. Read more
Marvell, the US semiconductor company, has bought Xelerated, the Swedish maker of networking infrastructure chips, in a deal understood to be worth around $100m.
Meanwhile, UK-based Picochip was bought by Mindspeed Technologies, a US chip vendor, in a deal valued at up to $76.8m, including a $51.8m in cash and shares and up to $25m earn-out. Read more
Tech news from around the web:
Yahoo, the struggling internet company, is on the verge of appointing a new chief executive, writes Kara Swisher of AllThingsD, with Scott Thomson, president of eBay’s PayPal business, expected to get the nod. An announcement could come as early as Wednesday. Yahoo has been without a permanent CEO since firing Carol Bartz last September. The company has been run by its board and Tim Morse, its former chief financial officer, while looking at a range of strategic options including a sale of all or part of the company. Read more
Karsten Nohl, the celebrity mobile cryptography expert, has been at it again. Two years ago he caused a stir by showing that the secret code that protects GSM mobile handsets was easy to crack, leaving phone calls open to interception by third parties.
This year, he is due to show that handsets can also be hijacked to make unauthorised calls and send text messages, running up huge bills without their owners’ knowledge. GSM networks, which are vulnerable to this flaw, are used by around 80 per cent of the world’s mobile users. Read more
While we await the big decision by the European Commission on whether Google is behaving anti-competitively in the search market, there are a few smaller battles to watch, which may also prove significant.
Navx, the French location data company, is seeking €23m in damages from Google in the Paris Commerical Court, for alleged abuse of a dominant position, related to a dispute between the two companies over an Adwords contract.
The €23m is not, in itself, a huge amount of money for Google. But if Navx’s case is successful, it could open up the floodgates of other claimants who feel they have been treated unfairly by the Adwords system. This is certainly what Jean Cherbonnier, chief executive of Navx, would like to happen. Read more
Iceland’s hopes of becoming a global hub for data centres came a step closer on Thursday, when plans for a new transatlantic subsea cable were announced, that would link New York and London via Iceland and Ireland.
Iceland has long been trying to market itself as a prime location for data centres. Its plentiful, cheap geothermal energy is attractive to data centre operators who are becoming increasingly worried about electricity costs, and the cold climate means cooling the racks of servers is virtually free. Read more