Google's legal woes abound

The company will pay close to EUR1 billion in a settlement to French authorities, while there’s an anti-trust probe into the search giant’s dominance.
Read time 7min 30sec

Activities involving Google dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, Naspers’ Prosus debut on the Amsterdam Exchange was the main local story.

Key local news

  • A full-year loss from Silverbridge Holdings, with revenue down 7.6%.
  • Vox-owned fibre broadband provider Frogfoot Networks acquired the network assets and customer base of Blitz Fibre, a company that focuses on building fibre infrastructure in multi-dwelling residential and business complexes, as well as small and large-scale business parks.
  • ICASA has fined MTN R5 million for contravening regulations regarding tariff hikes.
  • Tejas Networks has entered a strategic relationship with ICT services provider Tsiko Africa Technologies to bring the former’s solutions to SA. This will target the unconnected rural and peri-urban communities of the country, while complementing the SA Connect project. The partnership has resulted in the establishment of Tsiko Tejas Africa, a South African company wholly-owned by Tsiko Africa Technologies, which will deliver a range of broadband-based technology solutions to the local market.
  • A new JSE cautionary by Labat Africa.
  • Renewed JSE cautionaries by Blue Label Telecoms and Metrofile Holdings.
  • The appointments of Roan Mackintosh as MD of Incubeta South Africa; andGarsen Naidu as country manager for Cisco SA.
  • A very good debut by Naspers’ Prosus on the Amsterdam exchange and the JSE.

Key African news

  • Global Telecom Holdings, which operates Djezzy in Algeria, has been delisted from the Egyptian Stock Exchange, while Veon shareholders yesterday approved the company's acquisition of all GTH's operating assets that encompass networks in Bangladesh and Pakistan.
  • Helios Towers has rekindled its plans to list on the London Stock Exchange.
  • The appointments of Bart Hofker as CEO of MTN Zambia (was CEO of MTN Rwanda); Mitwa Kaemba Ng’ambi as CEO of MTN Rwanda; and Carol Ann Searra as MD of CA Southern Africa.
  • The departures of Philip van Dalsen, CEO of MTN Zambia; Mitwa Kaemba Ng’ambi, CEO of Airtel Tigo Ghana; and Freddy Tchala, CEO of MTN Cote d’Ivoire.

Key international news

  • Accenture acquired Pragsis Bidoop, a Spanish company with strong expertise in big data, AI and advanced analytics.
  • Ansys bought Livermore Software Technology Corporation in a bid to strengthen its explicit dynamics suite and finite element analysis capabilities.
  • CenturyLink purchased privately held Streamroot, a leading provider of disruptive technology.
  • HCL Technologies acquired Sankalp Semiconductor, a technology design services firm.
  • Shopify bought 6 River Systems, a warehouse technology provider, for $450 million.
  • SK Siltron purchased DuPont Electronics & Imaging’s compound semiconductor solutions.
  • Spotify Technology acquired SoundBetter, a leading global audio production and collaboration marketplace helping creators worldwide connect and hire top audio professionals.
  • SS&C Technologies Holdings bought the Investrack business from UAE-based Globacom Technologies.
  • Western Digital purchased Kazan Networks, a developer of NVMe-over-Fabric, or NVMe-oF, ASICs and adapters used in building high-performance data centre storage systems.
  • Yahoo Japan acquired Zozo, Japan’s biggest online fashion retailer, for $3.7 billion.
  • Baidu made a $1.44 billion investment in artificial intelligence firm Neusoft.
  • Elliott Management made a $3.2 billion investment in AT&T.
  • The Bolloré Group signed an agreement with Amundi Private Equity Funds (Amundi PEF), Bpifrance and Socadif Capital Investissement to sell its 55% stake in Wifirst, an Internet access provider specialising in WiFi technology.

Yahoo Japan acquired Zozo, Japan’s biggest online fashion retailer, for $3.7 billion.

  • The European Union may impose rules to ensure companies that collect data do not misuse it.
  • Facebook has suffered another major data breach, exposing the personal information of 210 million Facebook users.
  • Mark Hurd, co-CEO of Oracle, will take a medical leave of absence.
  • Google has agreed to pay close to EUR1 billion to French authorities to settle a fiscal fraud probe that began four years ago, in a deal that may create a legal precedent for other large tech companies present in the country.
  • Google has won a legal battle after Europe's top court said publishers in Germany could not demand copyright fees since 2013 from the tech firm because the European Commission had not been notified of the German regulation.
  • Google has been subpoenaed for details on its Ad business.
  • A bipartisan group of 50 attorneys-general representing almost every state officially kicked off an anti-trust probe of Google, saying the search giant’s dominance raises troubling concerns.
  • A US House of Representatives panel has demanded internal e-mails and other company records from, Facebook, Apple and Alphabet's Google as it seeks evidence of anti-competitive behaviour.
  • Excellent half-year numbers from Team17 Group.
  • Good half-year figures from Concurrent Technologies and Pebble Beach Systems Group.
  • Mediocre quarterly results from San’an Optoelectronics.
  • Mixed quarterly figures from Broadcom, Enghouse Systems and Oracle, with revenue up but net income down.
  • Mixed half-year figures from Midwich Group, with revenue up but net income down; and from Telit Communications (back in the black), with revenue down but net income up.
  • Quarterly losses from GameStop, Gridsum, Lantronix, LightPath Technologies and Zscaler.
  • Half-year losses from ECSC Group, One97 Communications and Touchstar.
  • A full-year loss from Ripjar.
  • The appointments of Hartmut Liebel as CEO of Sanmina; Christian Luiga as acting CEO of Telia; Mike Salvino as CEO of DXC Technology; Daniel Theobald as CEO of Vecna Robotics; and Daniel Zhang, executive chairman of Alibaba.
  • The resignations of Johan Dennelind, CEO of Telia; and Dan Patt, CEO of Vecna Robotics.
  • The retirement of Mike Lawrie, CEO of DXC Technology (stays on as chairman); and Jack Ma, executive chairman of Alibaba.
  • The departure of Michael Clarke, CEO of Sanmina.
  • A good IPO on the NYSE by Cloudflare, a provider of a global cloud platform that delivers a broad range of network services to businesses.

Research results and predictions


  • The overall EMEA tablet market declined 11.7% year on year, shipping 9.6 million units in Q219, according to IDC.
  • The EMEA external storage systems market in Q219 recorded the first negative quarter in the past eight quarters, with a 3.4% year-on-year decline in value, according to IDC.


  • Annual global cyber losses are expected to reach $6 trillion by 2021, with cyber security spending set to exceed $1 trillion cumulative in the five-year period leading up to 2021, according to Aon.
  • Global wearable device shipments grew 85.2% in 2Q19 as shipments totalled 67.7 million units, according to IDC. Ear-worn devices (hearables) were among the fastest growing categories, capturing 46.9% of the overall wearables market during the quarter, up from 24.8% a year ago.
  • The mobile phone market shows signs of recovery in the second half of 2019 and into 2020, pushing smartphone shipment growth back into positive territory, according to IDC. It expects shipment volumes to be nearly flat (-0.4%) in the second half of 2019, while the market declines 2.2% year-over-year for the full year, making 2019 the third straight year of global contraction. It expects shipment growth to reach 1.6% in 2020.
  • The total security appliance market experienced double-digit unit shipment and revenue growth in 2Q19, according to IDC. Worldwide revenue increased 10.4% year-over-year in 2Q19 to $3.9 billion. Unit shipments experienced similar growth, increasing 14.3% year-over-year to more than one million units.
  • The global production volume of notebook PCs by the ODM/EMS industry increased 11.4% year-over-year to 39.7 million units in 2Q19, according to IDC.
  • Shipments of personal computing devices (PCDs), inclusive of traditional PCs and tablets, are expected to decline at a CAGR of -2.4% over the 2019-2023 forecast period, according to IDC. However, two-in-one devices (convertible PCs and detachable tablets) and ultra-slim notebook PCs are expected to grow 5% collectively over the same period.
  • Shipments of wrist-worn wearables, inclusive of smartwatches, basic watches and wrist bands, reached 34.2 million units, up 28.8% year-over-year during 2Q19, according to IDC.

Stock market changes

  • JSE All share index: Up 2.8%
  • FTSE100: Up 1.2%
  • DAX: Up 2.3%
  • NYSE (Dow): Up 1.6%
  • S&P 500: Up 1%
  • Nasdaq: Up 0.9%
  • Nikkei225: Up 3.7%
  • Hang Seng: Up 2.5%
  • Shanghai: Up 1.2%

Look out for


  • Further anti-trust developments regarding the big tech boys.

South Africa:

  • Further developments regarding Cell C and EOH.

Final word

Fortune magazine recently published its 2019 list of the 100 fastest growing companies. Included in the top 50 were:

  • 1: Momo (new entrant)
  • 3: Micron Technology (new entrant)
  • 5: Netflix (was 18)
  • 6: Paycom Software (was 5)
  • 7: Nvidia (no change)
  • 10: SS&C Technologies (was 38)
  • 11: (was 9)
  • 12: Broadcom (was 20)
  • 13: Weibo (new entrant)
  • 14: Veeva Systems (was 18)
  • 17: Arista Networks (was 8)
  • 21: MKS Instruments (was 17)
  • 22: Facebook (was 6)
  • 24: Yandex (new entrant)
  • 25: Align Technology (was 40)
  • 32: Lam Research (was 44)
  • 33: Adobe (was 21)
  • 39: (new entrant)
  • 40: ON Semiconductor (was 63)
  • 41: Formfactor (new entrant)
  • 43: Coherent (was 14)
  • 46: (was 2)
  • 48: YY (was 66)
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