January 2015

WASHINGTON/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – AT&T Inc spent close to half the total in the record-setting U.S. sale of airwaves for mobile data, with Dish Network Corp spending heavily to manage a surprise win at No.2 ahead of Verizon, results showed on Friday. AT&T bid a total of $18.2 billion to win licenses of so-called AWS-3 spectrum. Dish itself did not win any licenses, but had invested in bidding partners SNR Wireless LicenseCo LLC and Northstar Wireless LLC, which bid a total of $13.3 billion. The two companies, backed also by financial firms including BlackRock Inc but with little to no revenue, had applied to receive a discount as small-business entities, bringing their net bid amount to $10 billion.

Search engine Google has agreed to better inform users about how it handles their personal information after an investigation by Britain's data protection regulator found its privacy policy was too vague. The Information Commissioner's Office said in a statement that it required Google to sign a “formal undertaking” that it would make the changes by June 30 and take further steps in the next two years. The ICO investigation stems from a privacy policy implemented by Google in March 2012 that consolidated some 70 existing privacy policies into one and pooled data collected on individual users across its services, including YouTube, Gmail and its social network Google+.

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) – Google Inc's revenue grew 15 percent in the fourth quarter but fell short of Wall Street's target on declining online ad prices and unfavorable foreign exchange rates. Shares of Google edged up 0.1 percent to $510.66 in extended trading after an initial dip on the news. Google's advertising revenue has come under pressure as more consumers access its online services on mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets, where ad rates are typically lower. The growing popularity of mobile devices has made No. 1 social network Facebook Inc a greater threat in the battle for advertisers.

The iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are tremendous successes for Apple and have driven iPhone sales to new records — the company sold 74.5 million iPhone units during the first quarter of its 2015 fiscal year, with the bulk of them being 2014 iPhones. Tim Cook praised the devices during Tuesday’s earnings conference call, MacRumors reports, revealing the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus managed to bring more users to iOS from Android than any other iPhone before. FROM EARLIER: Samsung’s iPhone 6 nightmare is unfolding before its eyes Apple’s CEO said that only a “small fraction” of the installed iPhone base has upgraded to a new iPhone, and that the majority of iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus are new to

Microsoft Corp said on Monday fiscal second-quarter profit fell, in line with Wall Street's forecasts, as sluggish personal computer sales dampened demand for Windows software and the company struggled with unfavorable currency moves against the strong U.S. dollar. “While currency is a headwind for Microsoft and other large international companies, we would characterize the headline numbers as good enough, although some bulls may have been hoping for a bigger beat,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets. Microsoft reported profit of $5.86 billion, or 71 cents per share for the latest quarter, compared with $6.56 billion, or 78 cents per share, in the year-ago quarter.

Europe’s biggest software group SAP could eventually see its software delivered via the cloud deliver higher profit margins than its traditional packaged software, its finance chief told a newspaper. In the long term, they can definitely become more profitable than our classic licence sales,” Luka Mucic told the Euro am Sonntag business weekly in an interview published on Saturday. Unlike the packaged software SAP has been selling for decades, for which clients pay a immediate licence fee, cloud-based software is generally paid for by subscription over time, but most of the costs for the software provider are upfront.

Shares of online data storage provider Box Inc rose as much as 77 percent in their market debut as investors bet on the company's ability to turn profitable in a highly competitive market, boding well for another big year for IPOs. Box's shares, which priced at $14, hit a high of $24.72 in morning trading on the New York Stock Exchange on Friday, valuing the company at nearly $3 billion. The stock's enthusiastic reception also underscored healthy investor appetite for technology stocks after the blockbuster debut of Chinese e-commerce giant Alibaba Group Holding Ltd in September. Box was founded in 2005 by University of Southern California dropout Aaron Levie, the chief executive, and his friend Dylan Smith, the chief financial officer.

Verizon Communications Inc's quarterly revenue rose 6.8 percent due to an increase in subscribers who pay for services after use, and a rise in average revenue per account as users added more devices to shared data plans. Shares in Verizon dipped slightly to $47.95 in premarket trading after closing at $48.25 on Wednesday. Excluding items, Verizon earned 71 cents per share, matching Wall street estimates, according to Thomson Reuters I/B/E/S. Revenue rose to $33.19 billion from $31.07 billion, slightly higher than analysts' expectations of $32.69 billion. Verizon's retail postpaid average revenue per account rose to $158.82 from $157.21, but was below $161.64 estimated by analysts polled by research firm StreetAccount.

By Mary Milliken LOS ANGELES (Reuters) – When Amazon Inc announced on Monday its move into the movie business, the Internet retailer sent a ripple through Hollywood's pool of independent film. With plans to produce 12 films per year with budgets ranging from $5 million to $25 million, for theatrical release and streaming on Amazon Prime video 4-8 weeks later, a digital company is creating a new art-house studio and getting films into consumers' hands and living rooms faster. “It's a great business,” said Mark Gordon, the veteran Hollywood television and film producer behind movies like “Saving Private Ryan” and the new Steve Jobs biopic. “By financing a movie they feel good about and knowing where their second window is going to be, there is a huge opportunity for them and the rest of the creative community.” Amazon's announcement came as a surprise, but the Seattle-based company had already built up its credibility among Hollywood's creative types, most notably with its television series “Transparent,” which won two Golden Globes last week, its first major awards since starting Amazon Studios in 2010.