Top Headlines - part 75

Accel Dreams Big With $100 Million Big Data Fund

Accel Dreams Big With $100 Million Big Data Fund

BUSINESS

  • Accel to use $100 million investment to back data management startups
  • Big fund conference to be held in Silicon Valley in 2012
  • Accel uses media buzz to drum up awareness around big fund initiative

Venture and growth equity company Accel Partners is to invest $100 million into a big data initiative that will be used for startups throughout different countries where Accel is present, such as the US, India, China and the UK.

Accel’s previous enterprise software experience includes its investment in firms such as QlikTech and Cloudera.

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Wind Energy Blows $900 Million of Orders Siemens’ Way

Wind Energy Blows $900 Million of Orders Siemens’ Way

BUSINESS

  • Siemens to supply 300 turbines to six wind farms, 175 for Duke Energy
  • General Electric receives order for 28 turbines from French firm Eolfi
  • China’s goals of 1TW wind energy by 2050 require a $200 billion investment

While the nuclear energy sector continues to struggle, wind energy is doing well, with Siemens receiving $900 million worth of orders from companies across the Americas including Pattern Energy Group, Duke Energy Corp and Veresen Inc.

The Siemens contracts involve the supply of close to 300 turbines for six wind farms. Headquartered in Munich, Siemens received an order for just less than 45 turbines from Pattern Energy for use in the firm’s Puerto Rico wind farm, bringing the company’s turbine orders since September to 100.

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Ryanair: British Airways-BMI Merger Opens Short-Haul Market

Ryanair: British Airways-BMI Merger Opens Short-Haul Market

BUSINESS

  • Ryanair to buy 200 planes to boost passenger numbers 75%
  • Airline may look to Chinese 199-seat aircrafts to boost profits
  • Ryanair tops airlines index, quarterly net revenue up 20%

Irish airline Ryanair hopes to step up to cover short-haul routes after a merger of British Airways and Deutsche Lufthansa AG’s BMI segment leave an opening into the market.

Boeing is expected to make a proposal to Ryanair in November for the airline’s re-engined 737 single-aisle jet. Ryanair, the leading discount airline in the EU, plans to purchase up to 200 planes in a bid to boost passenger numbers 75% to 130 million within the next ten years. The airline is already awaiting almost 45,000 deliveries. The BA-Lufthansa merger will see BMI concentrate on long-haul flights, leaving short-haul EU routes open.

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Best Buy $1.3 Billion Buy-Out For Carphone

Best Buy $1.3 Billion Buy-Out For Carphone

BUSINESS

  • Best Buy to focus on emerging markets including Brazil and India
  • Carphone and Best Buy to shut 11 UK megastores at a cost of over $100 million
  • Best Buy snaps up MindShift Technologies for $170 million

Electronics retailer Best Buy is to buy Carphone Warehouse Group, Europe’s largest mobile-phone retailer, out of a mobile phone joint venture for $1.3 billion. The buy out concerns Carphone’s profit share of a joint venture with Best Buy Mobile in the US and Canada.

The move signals a turning away from developed markets to emerging markets, where Best Buy hopes to turn its mobile phone efforts.

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What Is the Future of First-Class Air Travel?

What Is the Future of First-Class Air Travel?

BUSINESS

  • Passengers can pay up to four-times economy fare for business, and eleven times for first class
  • First-class travel numbers steadily diminishing
  • Airlines sometimes eliminating first-class, adding business seats or looking at ticket price alternatives

Though first-class travelers can still take advantage of early boarding, more legroom and free drinks, airlines are re-thinking whether passengers are willing to pay vastly inflated prices for diminishing perks.

With a huge price disparity between coach and business or first class, passengers can expect to pay up to four times the normal economy fare for business, and eleven times for first class, according to consumer resource site The Credit Blog. “Airlines make big money from consumers who elect to fly first class,” the site adds.

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Japan Approves $11.5 Billion In Taxpayer Funds For TEPCO Aid

Japan Approves $11.5 Billion In Taxpayer Funds For TEPCO Aid

WORLD

  • Japan approves $11.5 billion disaster relief fund for TEPCO
  • Demand for nuclear power could drop 15% before 2035
  • Tokyo determining how to dispose of nearly 45 million cubic meters of remaining radioactive waste

Japan’s government has approved a plan to provide Tokyo Electric Power Co. (TEPCO) with relief funds totaling nearly $11.5 billion in an effort to address the costs incurred by the March 11 tsunami – rendering the Fukushima nuclear power plant out of commission and injuring nearly 160,000 victims by way of radiation leaks and evacuation.

This perceived bailout plan from the local government, which uses public funds, came on the heels of TEPCO’s release of updated figures showing massive mid-year net losses, with the expectation of losing over $8 billion by year end. The $11.5 billion fund is anticipated to cover the cash-strapped utility until the close of its fiscal year in March 2012.

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De Beers: Oppenheimer 80-Year Ownership Over With Anglo American Buy

De Beers: Oppenheimer 80-Year Ownership Over With Anglo American Buy

BUSINESS

  • Anglo American pays $5.1 billion for bigger stake in De Beers
  • Anglo now owns 85% of De Beers; Botswana government holds 15%
  • Predictions indicate India, China, Gulf region to represent 40% of diamond demand by 2015

Anglo American Plc has paid $5.1 billion for the Oppenheimer family’s 40% stake in De Beers. The purchase marks the end of the family’s 80-year ownership of the diamond miner, which is the largest in the world. The De Beers deal was reportedly paid with cash and a $3.5 billion credit line.

Previously, Anglo had a 45% ownership and now it holds 85% in the diamond miner; the remaining 15% is owned by the Botswana government. Anglo has not had an acquisition of this size since three years ago, when it invested $5.5 billion into the Brazilian mine Minas Rio.

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Apple to Fix Battery Bug with Update to iOS 5

Apple to Fix Battery Bug with Update to iOS 5

BUSINESS

  • Apple confirms bug in iOS 5 is affecting battery life
  • Beta version of update to software to fix bug has been released
  • Apple to introduce new sandboxing rule for developers from March

Apple has confirmed that the issue affecting battery life in some iPhones running iOS 5 is due to a bug in the operating system. The Cupertino-based firm plans to release a software update to address the issue some time during the next few weeks.

Almost as soon as the latest version of the operating system that powers the iPhone, iPad and iPod Touch was released last month, users began complaining that the batteries of their devices were using up their charge much more quickly than before. One person even claimed, in conversation with the Guardian, that his phone’s battery life was draining by as much as 10% every hour.

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Chesapeake Energy’s $3.4 Billion Win

Chesapeake Energy’s $3.4 Billion Win

BUSINESS

  • Chesapeake Energy Corp to lease a portion of Utica Shale, Ohio starting mid-December
  • Deal could earn Chesapeake up to $3.4 billion
  • Chesapeake to collaborate with Enterprise Products Partners LP on a propane pipeline

Future business transactions could earn independent natural gas producer Chesapeake Energy Corp $3.4 billion. The company recently announced plans to lease a portion of its Utica Shale, Ohio, natural gas land, to a yet unnamed “international major energy company.”

Following the projected signing of the agreement in mid-December, Chesapeake’s new business partner will gain 25% interest in approximately 650,000 acres of Utica Shale land. Chesapeake presently owns 570,000 of these acres, with the rest owned by Enervest Ltd.

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Income Inequality In America Widens

Income Inequality In America Widens

ECONOMY

  • Income in America has risen nearly 18% for those in bottom 20% earning bracket
  • Income increase of 275% for top 1% of wage earners
  • Imbalanced wealth distribution sparks protests, including Occupy Wall Street

A recent analysis conducted by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) furthers the concern that income inequality in the US has grown considerably over the last few decades and has ultimately contributed to the continuing downward spiral of our economy.

According to the CBO report, since 1979 on average income in America has risen by approximately 18% for those in the bottom 20% of the income bracket, almost 40% for the middle class, and a whopping 275% for the top 1% of income earners – doubling their share of the nation’s income.

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