Hutchison Whampoa is expected to finalise a deal to buy Telefonica British mobile unit O2 for $15.70 billion today.
The companies did not face any major issues during the two months of due diligence, which could allow the deal to be announced on Tuesday.
The deal could be announced as early as this morning, but there is some possibility that it might be delayed.
Hutchison is chatting with wealth funds including China Investment Corporation, Singapore’s Temasek and GIC, and one of Qatar’s big government-sponsored outfits to provide the cash.
The company has plans to sell stake worth about 3 billion pounds, which makes about 30 percent of the group to outside investors, the newspaper reported.
Hutchison Whampoa is owned by Asia’s richest man, Li Ka-shing, and there might be those in the British government who are not that keen to have a British asset like O2 in the paws of the Chinese. However since no one minded when an Armada of Spanish financiers took the outfit out of British ownership, it is too late to bang Drake’s drum now.
After Google stopped printing news snippets on its News page from Spanish newspapers, the websites of those esteemed organs died.
Now it seems that the Spanish newspapers are asking the government to step in to force Google back.
Google shut its Google News service in Spain after the country bought in a new copyright law which would have forced Google to pay for the use of news snippets.
The Spanish Newspaper Publishers’ Association (AEDE) issued a statement last night saying that Google News was “not just the closure of another service given its dominant market position”, recognising that Google’s decision: “will undoubtedly have a negative impact on citizens and Spanish businesses.
“Given the dominant position of Google (which in Spain controls almost all of the searches in the market and is an authentic gateway to the Internet), AEDE requires the intervention of Spanish and community authorities, and competition authorities, to effectively protect the rights of citizens and companies”.
In other words, Google has the newspaper industry by the short and curlies and if the Spanish government does not do something quick, there will not be an industry to moan about the search engine’s control.
The only workable option is to take the route followed in Germany: to give Google a special deal that allows it to carry on as before, but without having to pay — which would gut the new copyright law completely.
It would also mean that Google would not only be allowed to do what it likes, but continue to have total control of the world’s media. It seems the Spanish Newspapers have found out the hard way that Google already uses its algorithm to decide what is news and which magazines have a right to exist
It has been a couple of bad weeks for Microsoft as more anti-Volish governments have been announcing successful open source operations.
Last week we had the British cabinet office moving away from Microsoft’s open document standard, and this week we have the Spanish praising Linux.
The government of the autonomous region of Valencia (Spain) has been waxing lyrical about Lliurex, a customisation of the Edubuntu Linux distribution.
Lliurex is used on more than 110,000 PCs in schools in the Valencia region, saving some 36 million euro over the past nine years, the government says.
The Lliurex distribution is managed through the Ministry of Finance and Public Administration. During installation, users can choose between several variants, tailored for example for use at home, in schools or by small and medium-sized enterprises.
Sofia Bellés, Director General of the region’s Information Technologies Department said that the new version will ease maintenance and management of PC equipment in schools in the region.
The software has also been optimised to save time in creating PC labs and is allowing better control over printing, reducing printing costs.
Liurex is one of several free software projects used by Valencia. It is using LibreOffice, a free and open source suite of office productivity applications, is used on all the 120,000 desktop PCs of the administration, including schools and courts. Using LibreOffice will help save the administration 1.5 million euro per year, the government said last year.
Last week, the administration of Extremadura, another Spanish region, revamped the website of its Linex distribution, also used in schools. Linex is installed on about 70,000 PCs and laptops in schools.
Major distie Avnet Technology Solutions EMEA said it has made a hire today.
Jeroen van Es is now country manager for Iberia, that is to say Spain and Portugal.
van Es formerly worked for Ingram Micro but with his Avnet hat on his task is to increase sales in Spain and Portugal. He has a background of 19 years in the IT industry.
Andrew Binding, VP of Avnet Solutions South said that van Es had a proven track record developing and managing teams. “He’s known for building strong and trusting partnerships with both suppliers and customers,” he said.