THE WRAP: Microsoft and Yahoo feel the effect of failed liaison

In the wake of Microsoft's failure to get its hands on Yahoo, the exec in charge of negotiations, Kevin Johnson, is to leave the company after 16 years and his empire - the Platform and Services division - is to be broken in two. Johnson oversaw the disastrous marketing of the Windows Vista campaign and Microsoft's online activities, which is running at a loss, hence the quest for Yahoo.

There was no cause for celebration in the Yahoo camp either after its Q2 profits fell 18% and another bashing. Earlier in the week it was obliged to cede board seats to Carl Icahn's nominees.

Maybe it's the economic conditions that are encouraging people to stay in and read, but Amazon reported doubled profits revenue up by a whopping 41%. In contrast, Ericsson's shares dropped 11% after it reported a 70% fall in Q2 profits, although acquisitions, high development and restructuring costs were blamed.

It finally looks like mobile data is taking off, but it turns out nothing is sacred - the iPhone's Mail and Safari browser are vulnerable to phishing.

Ironically against the backdrop of a boom in mobile data usage, Vodafone is citing hard economic times in its scaling back of full year profits. It reckons consumers are putting off upgrading their handsets.

Nevertheless, Vodafone says it will go ahead with its €565 million payment for 70% of state-owned Ghana Telecom, despite opposition.

US private equity firms Silver Lake and Providence Equity Partners obviously don't see times as being hard: they are jointly bidding for a stake in a unit of China's Huawei Technologies. If it goes ahead, at more than €1.25 billion (US$2 billion), it would be the fifth largest cross-border deal in China on record, and the largest so far this year.

In another ironic twist, the German regulator had its knuckles rapped by the EU's highest legal authority this week for forcing an operator (Deutsche Telekom, of course) to levy unjustified charges on competitors using its network.

Meanwhile, Italian prosecutors accused two of the country's top firms, Telecom Italia and its former leading shareholder Pirelli, of lack of oversight in connection with a huge spying scandal. The trial looks like it will run and run.

And so does the saga of a new owner for Africa's MTN. It has turned down yet another suitor - this time India's Reliance Communications got the push.