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Ireland targets Facebook

Facebook faces 10 investigations by Ireland's privacy regulator.

Read time 8min 00sec
Paul Booth.
Paul Booth.

Ireland's investigation into Facebook's practices was one of the main items of a quiet international ICT market last week.

At home, MultiChoice Group's listing was one of the main local stories.

Key local news

* An interim loss from Blue Label Telecoms, with revenue down 10%.
* Positive trading updates from ISA and MTN.
* A negative trading update from Alaris Holdings.
* MultiChoice Group listed on the JSE.
* EOH has suspended officials implicated in corruption and is looking at possible prosecutions.
* Rain has officially launched the first 5G network in SA, making it not only the first in Africa, but among the first global adopters of the technology too.
* The appointment of Douglas Craigie Stevenson as interim group CEO of Cell C.

Key African news

* Good year-end figures from MTN Ghana, with revenue up over 23% and EBITDA up 16.5%.
* Gambia's Cabinet of Ministers agreed state-backed telco Gamtel and its mobile subsidiary Gamcel will be restructured, and the shares in Gamcel will subsequently be divested.
* Safricom has deployed a 400G network link, making its network among the first in the world to commercially deploy the solution.
* SAP has been accused of "improper conduct" related to dealings by a services partner to win state contracts in Kenya and Tanzania, a claim that could plunge the German software giant into a second African corruption scandal in as many years. The graft allegations, which are being investigated by US authorities, relate to deals in 2014 and 2015. SAP and Twenty Third Century Systems, a partner across Africa and the Middle East, have since made management changes and strengthened compliance. The news comes a year after SAP paid $9.2 million to companies linked to SA's Gupta family, who are accused of numerous cases of state-related corruption. The US Department of Justice and the US Securities and Exchange Commission are investigating the company in relation to those deals as well.
* The appointment of Philip van Dalsen as CEO of MTN Zambia.

Key international news

* Alight Solutions, a leader in technology-enabled health, wealth and human capital management (HCM) solutions, acquired Wipro's Workday and Cornerstone OnDemand business for $110 million.
* Digital Colony, a global investment firm, bought Cogeco Peer 1, a co-location, network connectivity and managed services provider.
* Ericsson purchased the antenna and filters division of Germany's Kathrein in a move to boost its 5G product portfolio.
* Shenandoah Telecommunications acquired the assets of Big Sandy Broadband, a provider of cable television, telephone and high-speed Internet services.
* Sunrise Communications Group bought Liberty Global's Swiss unit, in deal intended to create a bigger challenger to Switzerland's dominant mobile and Internet provider Swisscom. The deal was worth $4.7 billion.
* Thoma Bravo, a private equity company, purchased ConnectWise, giving the former its third managed service company.
* Verizon Communications acquired ProtectWise, a company which provides cloud-delivered network detection and response.
* Baidu invested in Hand Enterprise Solutions, a Chinese global enterprise IT solutions provider.
* invested in Odaseva, which develops a cloud data management platform for mission-critical business applications.
* Huawei Technologies and South Korea's Samsung Electronics have agreed to settle a two-year-old patent dispute in the US.
* BlackBerry has filed a patent infringement lawsuit accusing Twitter of illegally using technology in its mobile messaging applications that had been developed by the former smartphone maker.
* Facebook faces 10 investigations by Ireland's privacy regulator into whether the company, or its subsidiaries, have violated European Union privacy law, making the social network the biggest target for one of the bloc's most important data watchdogs, amid growing scrutiny around the world of its privacy practices.
* Japanese e-commerce firm Rakuten plans to become Japan's fourth mobile operator this year with what it says is the world's first fully cloud-based mobile network, and creating a potential template for international expansion.

EOH has suspended officials implicated in corruption.

* Verisk and SAP have entered into a strategic partnership to co-develop the next generation of product compliance solutions. The partnership agreement is strengthened by Verisk signing a definitive agreement to acquire SAP's content as a service business, which includes the Environmental Health and Safety Regulatory Content and Environmental Health and Safety Regulatory Documentation teams and data assets.
* Windstream Holdings has filed for bankruptcy protection after losing a legal battle with hedge fund Aurelius Capital Management.
* Excellent quarterly results from Discovery (back in the black) and Worldpay (back in the black).
* Very good quarterly figures from, American Tower, Autodesk (back in the black), Endava, Jianpu (back in the black), Tetra Technologies and Veeva Systems.
* Good quarterly numbers from Ansys, Boingo Wireless (back in the black), CRA (back in the black), VMware (back in the black) and Zix (back in the black).
* Satisfactory quarterly results from ARC Document Solutions (back in the black), Fitbit (back in the black), Liberty Global, Sapiens, Tactile Systems Technology and Veon (back in the black).
* Satisfactory year-end figures from Kaspersky Labs.
* Mediocre quarterly results from CoreLogic.
* Mixed quarterly figures from AMC Networks, Cable One, HP, Shenandoah Communications, Splunk and Systemax, with revenue up but net income down; and from CyberLink, GCP Applied Technologies (but back in the black), Kratos (but back in the black), Perficient and Sykes Enterprises (but back in the black), with revenue down but net income up.
* Quarterly losses from 3D Systems, Alteryx, Anaplan, Aurora Mobile, BiliBili, Box, Dell, Ebix, Finisar, Frontier Communications, GTT Communications, Iridium Communications,, NeoPhotonics, Nutanix, Orbcomm, Palo Alto Networks, Pure Storage, Sea Limited, Square, Telesat, TiVo, Workday and Zscaler.
* A full-year loss from Lyft.
* The appointments of Jeff Benck as CEO of Benchmark Electronics; Jason Magee as CEO of ConnectWise; Greg Murphy as CEO of Ordr; Dominic Orr as chairman of Ordr; Jonathan Rich as CEO of Lumileds; and Jeremy Whitaker as interim CEO of Lantronix.
* The resignations of Jeff Benck, CEO of Lantronix; and Jason Magee, CEO of SeaChange International.
* The departures of Arnie Bellini, CEO of ConnectWise; Richard Plepler, chairman and CEO of HBO; and Paul Tufano, CEO of Benchmark Electronics.
* Planned IPOs from DataStax, a data management platform, and Nexi, an Italian payments group.
* A US IPO filing from Lyft, a ride-hailing firm.
* An IPO filing for Nasdaq from Alight, a leading provider of integrated, cloud-based human capital solutions that empower clients and their employees to manage their health, wealth and HR needs.

Research results and predictions

* EMEA/Africa:
* The overall Middle East, Turkey and Africa hardcopy peripherals market posted robust year-on-year growth in both units and value in 2018, according to IDC. A total of 5.44 million units were shipped in the region in 2018 for a total value of $1.74 billion, up 8% and 6%, respectively, year on year.
* EMEA shipments of traditional PCs (a combination of desktops, notebooks, and workstations) will total 67.6 million in 2019, a 3.5% year-on-year decline, according to IDC.
* The overall North African hardcopy peripherals market (Algeria, Egypt, Morocco and Tunisia) experienced healthy year-on-year growth in 2018, according to IDC, with 528 736 units shipped in the region in 2018, for a total value of $172.45 million, up 10.2% and 9.3%, respectively, year on year.

* Worldwide:
* Worldwide spending on public cloud services and infrastructure is forecast to reach $210 billion in 2019, an increase of 23.8% over 2018, according to IDC.
* The combined consumer and enterprise worldwide wireless local area network market segments increased revenue 8.9% year on year in 4Q18 and 4.3% for the full year, according to IDC.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 0.4%
* FTSE100: Down 1%
* DAX: Up 1.3%
* NYSE (Dow): Down 0.1%
* S&P 500: Up 0.4%
* Nasdaq: Up 0.9%
* Nikkei225: Up 0.8%
* Hang Seng: marginally down
* Shanghai: Up 6.8%

Look out for

* International:
* Further developments regarding the 'SAP in Africa' investigations.

* South Africa:
* Further developments regarding the EOH investigations.

Final word

Fast Company has released its 2019 edition of the 'World's Most Innovative Companies'.

Included, from a technology perspective, are:
* 8: Square, the provider of Square Terminal, a single-screen card-reading device that offers wireless connectivity, a touch-screen and receipt printing capability;
* 10: Twitch, the video service owned by Amazon;
* 12: Shopify, a provider of e-commerce tools to sell products;
* 13: AnchorFree, a provider of Hotspot Shield VPN, software that encrypts users' online activity;
* 15: Alibaba Group, the Chinese e-commerce group;
* 17: Apple;
* 18: Unity Technologies, a video-game development company;
* 29: Jumio, the provider of a service that allows you to upload a photo ID and snap a selfie to verify your identity for a bank, WeWork, or Airbnb account instantly; and
* 49: Mozilla, the provider of a browser extension called the Facebook Container that prevents Facebook from trailing its users around the Internet.

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