The Wrap: Can life get any worse for Siemens‾

It's been another terrible week for Siemens, which announced the loss of a further 17,200 more jobs worldwide - about 4% of its workforce - and yet another corruption prosecution against the company got underway in Greece.

 

RIM has some right to feel aggrieved : it reported an increase in revenue of 107% compared with the same period last year, but still saw its shares fall by 12%, despite shipping 5.4 million devices and executing well on its consumer strategy. The reason‾ It didn't meet analysts' expectations, with revenues of only US$2.24 billion instead of US$2.29 billion.

 

In a rare candid corporate comment, handset maker Sony Ericsson was obliged to issue another profits warning, but admitted its wounds were "˜self-inflicted' rather than due to economic slow-down.

 

British Sky Broadcasting, the UK satellite group, seems nothing daunted by the economic climate. It is considering

making a bid of more than €2.5bn for Digital+, the Spanish pay-TV platform, according to the Financial Times. The newspaper says this would mark its first foray outside the UK and Ireland since an ill-fated move into Germany in 2000.

 

Meanwhile another part of the Murdoch empire - News Corp - is being wooed by Microsoft (which is also courting Time Warner) to help it attain Yahoo!'s search business. Exactly how this would work was not made clear.

 

Microsoft also announced the acquisition of search company Powerset this week, whose approach is to try and understanding the meaning of queries - through a technology called natural language - instead of searching for key words as Google does. Critics say this type of semantic search is years away; obviously Microsoft views its crusade against Google as a long term goal.

 

Tele Atlas knows where it's going, signing a five year deal with Google Maps, but Avaya, Cisco and Nortel seem to have lost their way with their VoIP offerings: according to VoIPshield, they have potentially serious security flaws.

 

As the festival season gets underway, Nokia signed Warner Music to its Comes With Music offer due to be launched later this year, while Vodafone has done a deal with MySpace to promote its music events and services.

 

After several months' discussion, the Indian authorities have decided that BlackBerrys aren't a threat to national security and have backed down on the demand for RIM to install servers and monitor all its Indian email traffic.

 

 

European authorities are not of the same persuasion. This week Swedes bombarded national legislators with more than a million emails, protesting against the law passed two weeks ago that allows the authorities to eavesdrop on all cross-border email and phone calls.

 

And on the bigger canvas, the US and EU have edged closer to an agreement to share information on Europeans with US anti-terrorist and law enforcement agencies - and vice-versa, in theory.

 

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