Nvidia beats Intel to the chase
The company acquires its peer, Mellanox Technologies, for $6.9 billion, thwarting Intel's offer for Mellanox.
Another acquisition by Accenture and further developments in the Apple/Qualcomm battle were some of the highlights of the international ICT market last week.
At home, Huge's acquisition of Otel was one of the main stories.
Key local news
* Satisfactory interim numbers from Cognition, with revenue up 5.1% and profit up 0.8%.
* Mixed interim figures from Metrofile, with revenue up 7.5% but profit down 47.8%.
* A negative trading update from Metrofile Holdings.
* Huge and its wholly-owned subsidiaries acquired Otel for R43.5 million, culminating in the merger of Huge Networks and Otel.
* GoDaddy launched in SA. GoDaddy is a Web hosting company that will target the small and medium enterprise market.
* Altron has partnered with US-based analytics software developer SAS to target the South African public sector with its offerings.
* Oracle has issued a stern "no comment" to accusations that it hired a former senior national treasury official in order to secure a contract to supply software for a major overhaul of the South African government's core IT systems.
* A renewed JSE cautionary by the Huge Group.
* The appointment of Vukile Mehana as CEO of Sizwe Africa IT Group.
Key African news
* Maroc Telecom acquired Millicom's subsidiary Tigo Chad, continuing the latter's gradual exit from Africa in order to focus on Latin America.
* The appointment of Dario Debarbieri as Enterprise Outsourcing's CEO of its APAC region.
Key international news
* Accenture acquired Netherlands-based Storm Digital, a full service digital marketing agency specialising in search, social and programmatic advertising services that transforms customer experiences through strategic, technological, analytical and creative solutions.
* Australia-based Appen, a provider of human-annotated datasets for machine learning and artificial intelligence, bought US-based Figure Eight, a data annotation firm, for $300 million.
* Apple acquired Laserlike, a start-up specialising in machine learning technologies.
* Basalt Infrastructure Partners purchased Manx Telecom for £255.9 million.
* Boxlight acquired Modern Robotics, a science, technology, engineering and math education company.
* CGI bought Acando, a leading management and IT consulting services firm in Northern Europe and Germany.
* Ebix purchased India's largest corporate travel exchange, Yatra Online.
* F5, the global leader in multi-cloud application services, bought NGINX, an open source leader in application delivery.
Siemens filed the most patent applications in Europe last year.
* First Data purchased Software Express, a Brazilian-based leader in EFT solutions.
* HCL Technologies acquired US-based Strong-Bridge Envision, a digital consulting firm specialising in customer experience strategy, business transformation, and change management. The deal was worth $45 million.
* ID Systems bought Pointer Telocation, a leading provider of telematics and mobile IOT solutions.
* Motorola Solutions purchased Avtec, a leading US provider of advanced dispatch solutions for public safety and commercial customers.
* Nvidia acquired peer Mellanox Technologies for $6.9 billion, thwarting Intel's offer for the latter.
* Pintec Technology Holdings bought InfraRisk, a leading supplier of credit risk-related software and services in Australia.
* The Alibaba Group made a $693 million (14%) investment in STO Express, the giant's fourth significant investment in a Chinese courier company.
* Airtel's unit Nettle Infrastructure Investments made a 32% investment in Bharti Infratel.
* PayPal invested $750 million in Argentina-based MercadoLibre, a Latin American e-commerce and payments powerhouse.
* Global investment firm Franklin Templeton led a $150 million investment in Cloudflare, a US start-up whose software makes Web sites more secure and load faster.
* Microsoft has filed a suit against Foxconn parent company Hon Hai, alleging the latter failed to comply with a patent licensing agreement from 2013.
* A US federal judge has issued a preliminary ruling that Qualcomm owes Apple nearly $1 billion in patent royalty rebate payments, though the decision is unlikely to result in Qualcomm writing a cheque to Apple because of other developments in the dispute.
* Spotify has filed a complaint to the anti-trust arm of the European Union, alleging that Apple, in recent years, has abused its control over which apps appear in its App Store.
* Qualcomm has won a legal victory against Apple, with a jury finding that Apple owes Qualcomm about $31 million for infringing three of its patents.
* Siemens filed the most patent applications in Europe last year, pushing China's Huawei into second place, according to the European Patent Office.
* Kaimei Electronic and Teapo Electronic have agreed to merge, with the new entity focusing on opportunities arising from the emerging 5G, automotive and IOT sectors.
* Excellent year-end revenue from OutSystems.
* Very good quarterly figures from Asure Software and Smith Micro Software.
* Very good year-end numbers from Yageo.
* Good quarterly numbers from Adobe, Allied Motion Technologies, Jabil, Rimini Street (back in the black) and Semtech (back in the black).
* Satisfactory quarterly results from AcBel Polytech, Avid (back in the black), China Unicom (back in the black), Delta Electronics, RadNet and Switch (back in the black).
* Satisfactory year-end figures from Avast.
* Mediocre quarterly results from Pegatron, Team and Vivotek.
* Mediocre year-end numbers from Capita.
* Mixed quarterly figures from Broadcom, with revenue up but net income down; and from Harte-Hanks (but back in the black) and Oracle (but back in the black), with revenue down but net income up.
* Mixed year-end figures from Computacenter, with revenue up but net income down.
* Quarterly losses from Cloudera, Cohu, Coupa Software, Domo, DocuSign, Everspin Technologies, GDS Holdings, Information Services Group, Lextar, MDC Partners, MongoDB, PC-Tel, Pinduoduo, Pivotal, Synacor, Synchronoss Technologies, UTStarcom, Windstream and Wireless Telecom Group.
* The appointments of Nazzic Keene as CEO of SAIC; James Sims as CEO of Airgain; and Ondrej Vlcek as CEO of Avast.
* The retirements of Tony Moraco, CEO of SAIC; and Vince Steckler, CEO of Avast.
* An IPO filing for the NYSE from African e-commerce 'unicorn' Jumia, a firm backed by MTN.
Research results and predictions
* IT spending in the Middle East and North Africa market is projected to reach $160 billion in 2019, a 1.8% increase from 2018, according to Gartner.
* The African smartphone market grew 2.3% in 2018 to total 88.2 million units, according to IDC, spurred by the strong performance of the continent's three biggest markets: Nigeria, SA and Egypt.
* The EMEA external storage systems market recorded another positive quarter in Q418, with 9.4% year-on-year growth, according to IDC.
* Egypt's mobile phone market saw shipments totalling 14.4 million in 2018, according to IDC, with shipments that were up 7.5% year-on-year. This marks a notable turnaround from the 20.6% decline seen in 2017.
* Worldwide spending on artificial intelligence systems is forecast to reach $35.8 billion in 2019, an increase of 44% over the amount spent in 2018, according to IDC.
Stock market changes
* JSE All share index: Up 1%
* FTSE100: Up 1.7%
* DAX: Up 2%
* NYSE (Dow): Up 1.6%
* S&P 500: Up 2.9%
* Nasdaq: Up 3.8%
* Nikkei225: Up 2.2%
* Hang Seng: Up 2.8%
* Shanghai: Up 1.7%
Look out for
* Google being hit with a third EU anti-trust fine.
* Buyout investor Baring Private Equity Asia acquiring NIIT Technologies for 1.2 billion.
* MTN Group pushing ahead with an IPO of its Nigeria unit in April or May, once Africa's biggest wireless carrier resolves a $2 billion tax dispute in the country.
* Naspers spending about $1 billion in India this year, as it scours the globe for investments that can replicate its blockbuster bet on China's Tencent Holdings.
* Dimension Data's Middle East and Africa operations listing again on the JSE.
Fortune magazine recently published its 2019 list of the 100 best US companies to work for. Included, from a technology perspective, are:
* 2: Salesforce.com (was number one)
* 4: Workday (was number seven)
* 6: Cisco (was 48)
* 8: Ultimate Software (was three)
* 22: Adobe (was 26)
* 24: Intuit (was 13)
* 28: SAP America (no change)
* 38: Nvidia (was 30)
* 42: Dropbox (was 64)
* 49: T-Mobile US (was 86)
* 50: Red Hat (new entrant)
* 56: World Wide Technology (was 45)
* 60: SAS Institute (was 37)
* 61: Accenture (was 60)
* 70: Atlassian (new entrant)
* 71: Comcast (was 68)
* 73: Cadence Design Systems (was 38)
* 93: Box (new entrant)
* 94: Alliance Data Systems (was 82)
* 96: Activision Blizzard (new entrant)
AT&T, Autodesk and VMware have slipped out of the Top 100 since last year.