Business News - part 36

Chinese Automotive Sales Up 19.5% In First Two Months of 2013

Chinese Automotive Sales Up 19.5% In First Two Months of 2013

BUSINESS

  • Increase in China automobile sales may be a sign of economic recovery
  • Auto sales in China to hit 20.8 million units in 2013, up from 19.3 million last year
  • German brands hold largest market share in China among foreign manufacturers

Automotive sales in China, the largest vehicle market in the world by number of units sold, rose 19.5% in January and February compared to the same period in 2012, which may be a sign of economic recovery.

This comes after two years of modest market growth.

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Google Cuts 1,200 Jobs In Motorola Mobility Unit

Google Cuts 1,200 Jobs In Motorola Mobility Unit

BUSINESS

  • Google cutting 10% of workforce in Motorola Mobility Holdings due to poor performance
  • Cuts mostly to affect employees in China, India
  • Motorola Mobility to exit unprofitable markets, focus efforts on a few cell phones rather than many low-end devices

Search engine giant Google Inc. will be laying off 1,200 employees in its Motorola Mobility Holdings Inc. unit because it is losing money and not competitive, according to a company email published in the Wall Street Journal.

Motorola Mobility also is said to be unable to keep costs down.

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European Union Imposes Microsoft With $733M Fine For Non-Compliance

European Union Imposes Microsoft With $733M Fine For Non-Compliance

BUSINESS

  • Microsoft issued $733 million fine for not complying with European Commission
  • Microsoft upgrade does not offer choice of internet browsers
  • Microsoft has over $2.8 billion in fines related to antitrust regulations

The European Commission has recently fined Microsoft Corporation $733 million for not complying with the computer giant’s previous commitment to offer users a browser choice screen that would enable them the ability choose their preferred web browser easily and expeditiously.

Based on the original agreement between the two parties back in 2009, these commitments imposed by the Commission were legally binding on Microsoft until 2014. However, through an investigation the Commission found that Microsoft failed to include the browser choice screen with its Windows 7 Service Pack 1 from May 2011 until July 2012. As a result, 15 million Windows users did not have access to the choice screen during this period.

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European Auto Show: Volkswagen Golf Wins Car of The Year, Nissan Reveals Redesigned LEAF

European Auto Show: Volkswagen Golf Wins Car of The Year,  Nissan Reveals Redesigned LEAF

BUSINESS

  • Volkswagen Golf wins Car of the Year award for second time
  • Golf model key to help Volkswagen surpass Toyota as world’s largest vehicle manufacturer
  • Redesigned Nissan LEAF offers cut-in-half charging time

The Volkswagen Golf has been named Europe’s Car of the Year at the Geneva Motor Show. The Golf previously won the award in 1992.

The winner of the prestigious Car of the Year is decided by automotive journalists from more than 20 countries. The Volkswagen Golf received 414 votes this year, with the Subaru BRZ following in second with 202 votes and the Volvo V40 in third with 189 votes.

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Electronics Leader Samsung Invests $112 Million in Sharp

Electronics Leader Samsung Invests $112 Million in Sharp

BUSINESS

  • Samsung invests in Sharp to gain technology, improve focus on OLED TV screens
  • Funds to help introduce new LCD technology
  • Investment makes Samsung largest foreign shareholder in Sharp

South Korean electronics giant Samsung Electronics Co. has made a $110 million investment in struggling Japanese television manufacturer Sharp Corp, providing benefits to both companies.

Samsung will benefit by gaining access to Sharp’s technology for manufacturing high-resolution indium gallium zinc oxide screens, thinner than conventional LCDs. The investment will also allow Samsung to focus on organic light-emitting diode (OLED) TV screens.

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Handset Maker LG Plans To Sell 40 Million Smartphones In 2013

Handset Maker LG Plans To Sell 40 Million Smartphones In 2013

BUSINESS

  • LG aims to nearly double smartphone sales in 2013, shift to high-end devices
  • LG shipped 26.3 million smartphones in 2012
  • LG hopes to become a top-tier smartphone brand

LG Electronics Inc., the world’s fifth-largest handset maker, plans to increase smartphone sales worldwide and reach a sales goal of 40 million units in 2013.

It also plans to shift its focus from basic to high-end devices.

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US Air Force Awards $427 Million Contract to Defense Contractor Sierra Nevada Corp

US Air Force Awards $427 Million Contract to Defense Contractor Sierra Nevada Corp

BUSINESS

  • US Air Force orders 20 A-29 Super Tucano turboprop aircrafts from Sierra Nevada Corp to use in Afghan Air Force training exercises
  • Deal helps Sierra Nevada subcontractor Embraer boost its defense unit
  • Sierra Nevada Corp beat out competitor Beechcraft Corp, who tried to win the deal twice

The United States Air Force has awarded a $427 million contract to defense contractor Sierra Nevada Corp related to light air support aircraft, maintenance and training to the Afghan Air Force.

Sierra Nevada beat out Beechcraft Corp for the deal.

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Hiring Freeze At Taiwan Tech Giant Foxconn Creates Doubts About Apple

Hiring Freeze At Taiwan Tech Giant Foxconn Creates Doubts About Apple

BUSINESS

  • Foxconn Technology Group launches hiring freeze at plants in China because of increase in employee retention
  • Apple iPhone has taken hit against cheaper Android-based smartphones produced by competitors
  • “iPhone mini” for Chinese market could drive growth for Apple

Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group – the world’s biggest contract assembler of electronics, including Apple, Sony, Nokia and Hewlett-Packard products – has announced a hiring freeze at its plants in China.

The company says no single customer factored into its hiring decisions, refuting a Financial Times report linking the freeze to a decline in iPhone5 orders.

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Spanish Airline Iberia Strike In Madrid Over Job Cuts

Spanish Airline Iberia Strike In Madrid Over Job Cuts

BUSINESS

  • Iberia workers protesting 3,800 job cuts and salary deductions
  • Iberia owner IAG suffered operating loss in 2012
  • Thousands of passengers rescheduled for other airlines

Pilots and employees of Spanish airline Iberia, Europe's largest carrier to Latin America, are striking at Madrid's Barajas airport over owner International Airlines Group’s plans to reduce salaries and cut 3,807 jobs.

IAG suffered a $882 million operating loss in 2012 caused by the economic crisis in Spain as well as competition from low-cost airlines and high-speed train service.

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Oil & Gas Producer Linn Energy Buys Berry Petroleum To Boost Oil Reserves

Oil & Gas Producer Linn Energy Buys Berry Petroleum To Boost Oil Reserves

BUSINESS

  • Purchase to increase Linn Energy’s oil reserves by 34%
  • Linn Energy to up liquids exposure from 46% to 54%
  • Linn Energy to spend $2 billion in deals annually

US oil and gas producer Linn Energy LLC is buying Berry Petroleum Co. for $2.42 billion in stock, with the goal of increasing its oil reserves by 34% and raising output by a third.

Linn Energy is the first publicly traded independent oil and natural gas limited liability company. It was founded in 2003, and purchases older oil and natural gas fields.

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