News In Brief: Vodafone, Apple, Microsoft, Pacnet, Cable&Wireless, Google, NBN, BT

The UK's Supreme Court has refused an appeal by Vodafone against a £2.2 billion tax bill from the UK government. Last year, Vodafone secured a victory in the High Court when a judge ruled that a tax claim  on a Luxembourg subsidiary were incompatible with EU law. This was overturned earlier this year, and Vodafone appealed to the new Supreme Court for a final judgement.
 
CBS  and Disney are in talks to participate in Apple's plan to offer an online television subscription service, according to the The Wall Street Journal. Apple is looking to complete deals and launch the service in 2010, although no announcements have yet been made of any network partners. News Corp, Viacom, Turnerand Discovery are also mooted to be part of the plan.
 
Microsoft will remove a feature of its Word application after an appeals court upheld a $290 million verdict against it for infringing a patent held by a small Canadian software firm.
 
President Obama has appointed Howard Schmidt, a former eBay and Microsoft security executive and Bush administration official as the first White House cybersecurity coordinator.
 
Pacnet has launched SmartTransport, an international private line service to deliver uninterrupted network connectivity to Asian enterprises.
 
Cable&Wireless Worldwide says it has won quality certifications for security and Business Continuity.
Google and Yelp have broken off negotiations about the search giant’s possible $500 million acquisition of the smaller firm, which provides online reviews of local businesses. 

 
The Australian government has appointed Clem Doherty, an angel investor and the former head of McKinsey Australia, and Terrence Francis, the former head of Bank of America Australia, to the board of the NBN Company.
 
BT Global Services has announced the launch of its virtual data centre (VDC) service in Italy from January 2010.
 
The number of 3G users in China totalled 9.77 million by the end of October, Xinhua reported Tuesday. The three big operators had more than 102 billion yuan ($14.9) on 3G rollout this year –short of the target investment of 143.5 billion yuan, according to MIIT figures.

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