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Business News - part 40

PayPal To Acquire Payment Platform Braintree For $800 Million

PayPal To Acquire Payment Platform Braintree For $800 Million

BUSINESS

  • PayPal buys Braintree to expand into mobile payment services
  • Braintree will continue to run as an independent unit
  • Braintree mobile payment app Venmo a major draw for PayPal

PayPal, owned by EBay, will purchase international payment platform Braintree for $800 million to expand into mobile payment services, which use mobile devices such as smartphones or tablets to make purchases.

The acquisition will also let PayPal access data and benefit from the Chicago-based Braintree’s very profitable transaction charges (i.e., nearly 3% commission) in a growing network of major companies such as Airbnb, LivingSocial and OpenTable Inc. (OPEN). To date, Braintree merchant purchases amount to roughly $12 billion a year, including $4 billion generated by mobile devices.

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Smartphone Maker BlackBerry Cuts 4,500 Jobs

Smartphone Maker BlackBerry Cuts 4,500 Jobs

BUSINESS

  • BlackBerry to cut 4,500 job because of disappointing quarterly sales
  • BlackBerry 10 phones contributed to $960-million inventory writedown
  • BlackBerry to target corporate and professional market as niche

Smartphone manufacturer BlackBerry will eliminate 4,500 staff positions, or almost 40% of its workforce, following disappointing quarterly sales of $1.6 billion, which amounts to only half of predicted analyst expectations set at $3.03 billion.

A recent report says that in the second quarter the struggling Waterloo, Ontario-based smartphone company could lose up to $960 million in an inventory writedown. BlackBerry anticipates an operating loss of nearly $1000 for the same period.

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Semiconductor Equipment Maker Applied Materials Buys Japanese Rival For $7 Billion

Semiconductor Equipment Maker Applied Materials Buys Japanese Rival For $7 Billion

BUSINESS

  • Applied Materials, Tokyo Electron merger to benefit both companies financially
  • Merged company to provide new devices and cost-effective products to customers
  • New company expected to achieve $250 million in savings

Applied Materials Inc, the largest chip-making equipment supplier, is buying rival Tokyo Electron Ltd for more than $7 billion, combining the two companies to increase profit.

The merged company will provide new devices and cost-effective products to customers. Both companies manufacture machines that prepare silicon wafers for imprinting but few of their other products overlap.

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Automotive Sales In Europe See Record Drop

Automotive Sales In Europe See Record Drop

BUSINESS

  • European car registrations down 5%, reaching a record low
  • France, Italy and Germany see biggest drop in car sales
  • High unemployment rates hit automobile industry, affecting Volkswagen, PSA Peugeot Citroen and Fiat

European car sales have dropped 5%, resulting in the lowest number of deliveries on record since 1990.

Apparently, Volkswagen AG, Fiat SpA and PSA Peugeot Citroen really felt the pinch, and the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association (ACEA) was quoted as saying that the countries noticing the biggest slump were France, Italy and Germany. However, while the ACEA acknowledged the drop across these major markets, reports indicate that Britain was the only significant market to see an upswing, reporting nearly 11% in growth as compared to the same month last year.

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Lufthansa Orders 59 Aircraft From Boeing, Airbus

Lufthansa Orders 59 Aircraft From Boeing, Airbus

BUSINESS

  • Lufthansa orders new aircraft to replace aging fleet
  • Order marks largest deal in Lufthansa history
  • Airline originally said it would pick one manufacturer

 

German airline Deutsche Lufthansa AG, Europe’s largest airline by revenue, ordered 59 jets from Boeing Co. and Airbus SAS worth $19 billion in list prices with the goal of replacing its aging fleet.

The order is the largest in company history.

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Telecommunications Update: Europe To Halt Mobile Phone Roaming Fees

Telecommunications Update: Europe To Halt Mobile Phone Roaming Fees

BUSINESS

  • European Commission plans to cut mobile phone roaming charges across Europe as part of telecom reform strategy
  • Charges for incoming calls cut as of July 2014, other charges by 2016
  • Reform to ensure more access for customers, boost struggling telecom industry in Europe

The European Commission is looking to get rid of mobile phone roaming charges across Europe as part of its overarching telecom market reform strategy.

The Commission termed this strategy “the most ambitious plan in 26 years of telecom market reform.” These measures are pending approval by members of the European Union as well as by the governments of the member states.

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Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 Takes Maiden Flight

Boeing Dreamliner 787-9 Takes Maiden Flight

BUSINESS

  • No serious problems detected with Dreamliner 787-9
  • Latest Dreamliner to be more profitable for Boeing
  • First delivery expected in 2014

Boeing Co. test pilots successfully completed a test flight of the Dreamliner 787-9 and no significant problems were detected. The successful flight gives Boeing hope it has solved many of the problems that plagued the 787-8 and the 747 jumbo jet, putting them behind schedule.

Earlier this year, the 787-8 fleet was grounded for three months because of overheating batteries and electrical panel fires.

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Apple Sells 9 Million iPhone 5s In Debut Weekend

Apple Sells 9 Million iPhone 5s In Debut Weekend

BUSINESS

  • More than 3 million more phones sold than analysts predicted
  • Two models released simultaneously for first time
  • Success causes Apple to revise financial forecast

Apple Inc. sold 9 million iPhone 5s and iPhone 5c models over the launch weekend, exceeding expectations. Customers waited in line for the updated iPhone 5s and less-expensive iPhone 5c across the United States, the UK, Canada, Australia, China, Hong Kong, Puerto Rico, France, Japan, Germany and Singapore.

This marks the first time Apple launched two iPhone models simultaneously. Apple did not separate the sales figures for the models, although some British sources say sales of the higher-end model far exceeded the 5c.

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Vodafone To Finalize $10 Billion Takeover of Kabel Deutschland

Vodafone To Finalize $10 Billion Takeover of Kabel Deutschland

BUSINESS

  • Kabel Deutschland shareholders vote to approve deal
  • European telecommunications companies looking for new revenue possibilities
  • Vodafone adds cable and internet to its offerings

British telecommunications company Vodafone PLC is one step closer to completing its $10.23 billion takeover of Germany's largest cable company Kabel Deutschland after shareholders met the 75% minimum-acceptance condition needed to approve the deal.

Shareholders who did not approve the offer will be given a second chance through Sept. 30.

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Hilton Hotel Chain To Raise $1.25 Billion From IPO To Pay Down Debt

Hilton Hotel Chain To Raise $1.25 Billion From IPO To Pay Down Debt

BUSINESS

  • Hilton’s number of open rooms up 34%, fastest growth rate of any major hotel chain
  • Hotel occupancy for top-25 markets in US at 76% in July
  • Hilton IPO largest for a lodging company

The world’s largest hotel chain Hilton Worldwide Holdings Inc plans to raise $1.25 billion in a US initial public offering to help pay down its $15.4 billion debt and to use for other corporate initiatives.

Hilton is valued at approximately $30 billion, and owns hotel brands including Hilton, Hampton Inn, DoubleTree, Waldorf Astoria and Homewood Suites. In total, the group manages or franchises 4,041 properties in 90 countries.

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