Reding on BT's case, Telstra in trouble, eBay to float Skype

Viviane Reding, the European Union's Commissioner for Information Society and Media, is gunning for BT, its proposed use of Phorm software to serve targeted adverts based on users' online behaviour, and the UK legal framework for failing to protect citizens' privacy.

This could have far-reaching implications for search and forms of digital advertising.

eBay said it planned to spin off Skype  in the first half of next year, days after Skype's founders, Niklas Zennstrom and Janus Friis, told the New York Times that they were interested in buying the company back from eBay. In the same week, the founders of StumbleUpon, the content discovery service, announced they had bought the company back from eBay.

Telstra - still reeling from the Australian government's decision to roll out the NBN project without it - says it might be willing to separate its wholesale and retail divisions voluntarily and sell some of its fibre assets to the new network in exchange for a minority stake in the government-owned NGN operating company.

Standard & Poor's was not impressed, downgrading Telstra's credit rating outlook to negative from stable as the NBN project calls Telstra's future into question.
Ericsson and Nokia Siemens Networks were revealed to be the world's largest mobile operators
, thanks to the growth of their respective network management outsourcing businesses. The two equipment vendors operate networks covering a combined 355 million customers.

Maxis and Visa launched the world's first commercial NFC-based contactless mobile payments service - albeit with a single handset. But it works with both Visa payWave and the local Touch'n'Go payment system for transportation, toll booths and car parks.

As analysts speculate on who might be next to make Sun Microsystems an offer after IBM  failed to cut a deal, Cisco Systems chief John Chambers ruled his company out.

Elsewhere, Tech Mahindra won the bidding for scandal-rocked Satyam, with an offer valuing the company at $1.2 billion, which works out to $1.13 per share, even though no-one is yet certain of the extent of the fraud perpetuated by its CEO and others.

Qualcomm CEO Paul Jacobs said the company is eyeing investments in South Korean wireless and health care companies.

Looking for bright spots amid the recession - Mobile backhaul and online advertising were cited by analysts this week as defying the downturn.

And finally, by the time you read this, Apple's App Store will probably have hit its one billionth   download since launching in July last year.