Google focuses on fairness

The company submitted plans to stop favouring its shopping service to comply with a European Union anti-trust order.

Two acquisitions by Western Digital and Google's plan to stop favouring its shopping service were some highlights in the international ICT market last week.

At home, activities involving Dimension Data's African operations and M-FiTEC were the main local ICT stories.

Key local news

* Good year-end figures from Adapt IT, with revenue up 24.1% and profit up 14.2%.
* Mediocre year-end figures from Mustek, with revenue down 0.8% and profit down 6.6%.
* A half-year loss from Stella Capital Partners.
* A positive trading update from Silverbridge Holdings.
* A negative trading update from Jasco.
* Vulatel acquired Dimension Data's fibre and wireless business, Dimension Data Advanced Infrastructure, which was formerly called Plessey.
* M-FiTEC International is planning voluntary liquidation.
* A new JSE cautionary by Telkom SA.
* A withdrawn JSE cautionary by M-FiTEC International.
* The appointments of Chad Baker as MD of Bytes Managed Solutions; Anneke Grond as MD of Jasco Enterprise; Zeth Malele as MD of TCM Networks; Leslie Moodley as MD of Bytes Systems Integration, a new business unit formed from the consolidation of Bytes Systems Integration and Bytes Universal Systems; and Peter van Zyl as CEO of Stella Capital Partners.
* The resignation of Charles Pettit, CEO of Stella Capital Partners.

Key African news

* The departure of Chad Baker, VP of NEC Africa.

Key international news

End-user spending on communications services in SA is forecast to total R122 billion in 2017.

* Axiata's Infrastructure arm, Edotco Group (Malaysia), acquired about 13 000 of Veon's Pakistan wireless towers for $940 million. The purchase makes Edotco the biggest independent telecommunications tower operator in the South Asian nation.
* CBS bought Australian free-to-air broadcaster Ten Network Holdings.
* Enterprise software firm Freshworks (was Freshdesk) purchased Zarget, a Web site analytics start-up backed by marquee investors including Sequoia Capital.
* Fusion Telecommunications International acquired the cloud and business services unit of Birch Communications.
* US buyout firm Leonard Green & Partner bought intellectual property services provider CPA Global for lb2.4 billion.
* Chinese consumer flash storage firm Shenzhen Longsys Electronics acquired the Lexar trademark and branding rights from US-based semiconductor devices maker Micron Technology.
* Hero Electronix bought Malaysia's Spectrum Integrated Technologies (SpectrumIT) and test lab business of Singapore's Lynxemi.
* Littelfuse purchased IXYS, a global pioneer in the power semiconductor and integrated circuit markets, with a focus on medium to high voltage power control semiconductors across the industrial, communications, consumer and medical markets.
* Microsoft acquired Cycle Computing, the developer of a suite of high-performance computing services called CycleCloud for cloud orchestration, provisioning and data management in the cloud.
* Japan-based Nidec bought SV Probe, a Singapore-based probe card manufacturer, for $65 million.
* Rane Holdings purchased a majority stake in Internet of things (IOT) start-up Telematics4U Services.
* Siemens acquired Dutch self-driving software specialist Tass International.
* Western Digital bought Tegile Systems, less than five months after leading an investment in the flash-storage company; and Upthere, a cloud services start-up founded by former Apple engineers.
* Alibaba Group and Yunfeng Capital made a $140 million investment in Chinese cloud services firm Qiniuyun.
* A strategic partnership was announced between Accenture and Apple to build enterprise apps for their customers, focusing initially on financial services and retail.
* Sharp has requested the US International Trade Commission to investigate Hisense Group, escalating a dispute in which it has accused the Chinese firm of patent infringement.
* Google has submitted details of how it plans to stop favouring its shopping service to comply with a European Union anti-trust order.
* A consortium led by Bain Capital has made a revised last-ditch offer for Toshiba's chip unit worth about $18 billion, bringing in Apple to help bolster its bid.
* Excellent half-year figures from AAC Technologies.
* Good quarterly numbers from Perceptron (back in the black).
* Good half-year numbers from Alfa.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from Ciena, Mobile TeleSystems, ScanSource, Semtech and Tech Data.
* Satisfactory half-year figures from Iliad.
* Mixed quarterly figures from Ambarella, with revenue up but profit down; American Software, with revenue down but profit up; Analog Devices, with revenue up but profit down; and Methode Electronics, with revenue up but profit down.
* Quarterly losses from Box, Keysight Technologies, Nutanix, Palo Alto Networks, Renren and Workday.
* The appointment of Dara Khosrowshahi as CEO of Uber Technologies (was CEO of Expedia).
* A planned IPO on London's AIM market by AppScatter, an analytics start-up.
* An IPO filing for Nasdaq from video streaming device maker Roku.

Research results and predictions

South Africa:
* End-user spending on communications services in SA is forecast to total R122 billion in 2017, a 0.7% increase from 2016, according to Gartner.

* Worldwide smartphone shipments are expected to maintain positive growth through 2021, according to IDC. IDC expects shipments to grow from 1.47 billion in 2016 to just over 1.7 billion in 2021.
* Large format printer shipments increased by 6% year-on-year in 1H17, while printer revenue grew by almost 2% when compared to the first half of 2016, according to IDC.
* The worldwide hardcopy peripherals market grew 0.7% year-on-year, with more than 23.3 million units shipped in 2Q17, according to IDC.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Down 0.3%
* FTSE100: Up 0.5%
* DAX: Down 0.2%
* NYSE (Dow): Up 0.8%
* S&P 500: Up 1.4%
* Nasdaq: Up 2.7% (highest weekend close)
* Nikkei225: Up 1.2%
* Hang Seng: Up 0.4% (highest weekend close this year)
* Shanghai: Up 1.1% (highest weekend close this year)

Look out for

* LG Electronics buying Austrian automotive light maker ZKW Group, in a deal that could potentially fetch $1.2 billion.
* STC buying Oger Telecom's stake in T"urk Telekom, in a deal that could be worth around $3.9 billion.
* BroadSoft, a US provider of software that helps companies offer cloud-based communications services, exploring its options, including the potential sale of the company.

South Africa:
* Further developments regarding Dimension Data's African assets.
* ICASA and its concerns regarding the Cell C recapitalisation.

Final word

Forbes has published its 13th annual Fab 50 list of the best big publicly traded companies that honours corporate stars throughout the Asia-Pacific region. There is a strong sifting process involved with finalising this list as the goal is to highlight entrepreneurial outfits and not those living off of government connections. Companies that are more than 50%-owned by listed parents are also culled. Thus, companies such as Hon Hai Precision Industry (Foxconn), LG Electronics and Samsung Electronics are not included.

The list includes:
* AAC Technology Holdings, a Chinese a technology hardware and equipment company;
* Alibaba (China);
* Baidu (China);
* BYD Electronic International, a Chinese technology hardware and equipment company;
* Goertek, a Chinese technology hardware and equipment company;
* Luxshare Precision Industry, a Chinese technology hardware and equipment company;
* Mediatek, a Taiwanese semiconductor company;
* Mixi, a Japanese software and services company;
* Naver, a South Korean software and services company;
* Netease, a Chinese technology hardware and equipment company;
* PT Tiphone Mobile Indonesia, a technology hardware and equipment company;
* Shenzhen O-Film Tech, a Chinese technology hardware and equipment company;
* SK Hynix, a South Korean semiconductor company;
* Sunny Optical Technology Group, a Chinese technology hardware and equipment company;
* Tencent Holdings (China); and
* Zhejiang Dahua Technology, a Chinese technology hardware and equipment company.

Paul Booth

Paul Booth is an independent commentator who looks for significance in what ICT vendors haven't said.

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