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Hi-tech firms face financial distress

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Hi-tech firms face financial distress

Nearly half of hi-tech firms are still at risk of financial distress after the recession, prompting the latest spate of mergers, acquisitions and downsizing, according to AlixPartners, notes The Register.

The business advisory firm says 44% of companies face the likelihood of default or bankruptcy in the next two years if they don't make some changes - down only slightly from 49% in 2009.

Weak demand and fierce competition are having a particularly bad effect on consumer electronics firms, with 87% in the risk zone, up from 46.5% in 2009.

Fujitsu workers down tools

Fujitsu workers in Manchester and Crewe, affiliated to the Unite union, have gone on strike over a series of long-running disputes relating to contracts and alleged victimisation of union representatives, reveals V3.co.uk.

The action in Manchester relates to accusations that Fujitsu reneged on promises over pay and pensions, and has refused to negotiate these changes with staff.

V3spoke with Fujitsu worker Ian Allinson on the picket line in Manchester, who said the striking workers are in “an excellent mood”, and called on Fujitsu to resolve the matter.

UK firm denies Egyptian 'cyber spy' deal

A UK firm offered to supply 'cyber spy' software used by Egypt to target activists, according to the BBC.

Documents found in the headquarters of the country's security service suggest it was used for a five-month trial period at the end of last year.

But Gamma International UK denies actually supplying the program which infects computers with a virus that bugs Internet phone calls and e-mail.

Murdoch offers $4.7m to hacking victims

Rupert Murdoch recently approved an early attempt at a settlement offer to the family of Milly Dowler, a 13-year-old girl that was murdered in 2002, states Digital Trends. Designed to forgo litigation, the initial settlement offer stands at £3 million, or $4.7 million.

This payment stems from the alleged hacking of Milly Dowler's mobile phone by representatives of the Murdoch-owned News of the World.

When the public discovered the phone hacking scandal, several of the high-ranking employees at the newspaper were arrested and eventually lost their jobs after the scandal forced the News of the World to shut down after 168 years of business.

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