THEWRAP: Wriggling off the Microsoft hook

Staff Writer
20 Mar 2008


It was the week when Yahoo and Alibaba tried to wriggle off the Microsoft hook.

Yahoo made an unscheduled financial forecast, predicting a rosy outlook. In yet another effort to explain why it has rejected Microsoft's premium bid, Yahoo predicted a 70% spike in revenues in the coming two full years.

Yahoo's China partner, e-commerce firm Alibaba,  is in talks with investors about buying back the stake held by Yahoo should it be acquired by Microsoft. The Chinese company has lined up two lead investors, including a Chinese sovereign wealth fund.

Alibaba's own stock plunged to below its IPO price despite a fourfold increase in profit. Investors had expected it to do better.

Apple is in talks with big music labels about an  "all you can eat" model, similar to Nokia's " comes with music" deal with Universal. It would give customers free access to the iTunes library in exchange for paying a premium for iPods and iPhones.

Sony Ericsson warned of slowing handset sales in the medium and high-end segments in the first quarter.

Profits soared at Hutchison Telecom International after an $8.9 billion gain from the sale of its Indian operation. It also announced a $500 million deal to sell its Indonesian radio towers.

As Tibetan protestors and police faced off in Lhasa and other cities, Chinese authorities blocked off YouTube and restricted access to international news and blog sites.

The US FCC raked in $19.59 billion, nearly twice the sum forecast, from its auction of wireless spectrum. The names of the winners will not be known for several weeks.

Toshiba is counting the cost of its unsuccessful video format war with BluRay. It says HD-DVD's failure, as well as the weaker flash market, has knocked $666 million off its full-year earnings.

The European Commission says EU countries added 19 million broadband lines in 2007, the equivalent of more than 50,000 households per day. Eight European countries have higher penetration rates than the US and Japan.

China created a new telecoms ministry with a new minister.

Customers of two large ISPs have been cut off from each other because of a commercial dispute. US-based Cogent  and Nordic TeliaSonera are squabbling over peeing arrangements.

Intel will sell its low-cost Classmate laptop in the US and Europe after a successful pilot in US and Australian schools.

And Arthur C. Clarke, science fiction writer who pioneered the concept of the satellite, died in Sri Lanka aged 90.

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