Google takes EUR1.49bn beating

The European Union fines the tech giant for limiting how some Web sites could display ads sold by its rivals.

Read time 6min 00sec
Paul Booth.
Paul Booth.

Fidelity National Information Services' $43 billion acquisition of Worldpay, and another EU fine for Google dominated the international ICT market last week.

At home, the removal of ICASA's chairman was one of the main stories.

Key local news

* Mediocre interim numbers from Alaris, with revenue down 17.2% and profit down 70.4%.
* A positive trading update from 4Sight Holdings.
* A negative trading update from Telemasters.
* STOA Infra & Energy made a 23.08% investment in South African open access fibre network operator, Metro Fibre Networx, a high growth emerging player in SA's fibre-to-the-home and fibre-to-the-business markets.
* Communications minister Stella Ndabeni-Abrahams removed Rubben Mohlaloga from his post as chairman and councillor of ICASA.
* The appointment of Jesmane Boggenpoel as interim chairman of EOH.

Key African news

* OneFi, a Nigerian finance company, acquired Amplify, a payments solutions start-up.

Key international news

* America Movil acquired Nextel Brazil, part of the NII Holdings Group.
* Atlassian bought AgileCraft, a collaborative-planning start-up, for $166 million.
* Fidelity National Information Services purchased Worldpay, a global payments firm, for $43 billion.
* First Data acquired ayCash, a German-based provider of cashless payment terminals and digital merchant services.
* Larsen and Toubro bought Mindtree, an India-based IT services firm.
* Mainline Information Systems, a solution provider, purchased RTP Technology, another solution provider.
* NSEIT, an arm of India's largest stock bourse, the NSE, acquired Aujas Networks, a cyber security company.
* Roper Technologies bought Foundry, a UK-based visual effects producer, for 410 million pounds.
* ScaleMatrix purchased Instant Data Centers, a micro and modular data centre specialist.
* Spark Networks, a leading global dating company, acquired Zoosk, one of its peers.
* Kaspersky Lab filed an anti-trust complaint with the Federal Antimonopoly Service, in Russia, against Apple, alleging the tech giant's new App Store policy creates monopolistic conditions.
* Facebook is in hot water again, after it was revealed it stored passwords for hundreds of millions of users in plain text, searchable to as many as 20 000 employees who had internal access to the files. Between 200 million and 600 million Facebook users are believed to have been affected.
* Alphabet's Google has been fined EUR1.49 billion by the European Union for limiting how some Web sites could display ads sold by its rivals, the tech giant's third anti-trust penalty from the block since 2017.
* Plantronics is changing its name to Poly.
* US prosecutors have added three new criminal charges to their indictment against British entrepreneur Mike Lynch related to the $11.1 billion sale of his software company, Autonomy, to Hewlett-Packard in 2011.
* Excellent quarterly results from StoneCo.
* Very good quarterly figures from Xiaomi.
* Very good year-end numbers from Arcadyan.

Facebook is in hot water again, after it was revealed it stored passwords for hundreds of millions of users in plain text.

* Good quarterly numbers from Mobile TeleSystems and Viomi Technology.
* Good year-end numbers from Accton Technology and Taiwan Union Technology.
* Satisfactory quarterly results from Formula Systems.
* Satisfactory year-end figures from China Telecom, Flytech, Iteq, K3 Business Technology Group (back in the black), Posiflex and Sino-American Silicon Products.
* Mediocre quarterly results from Micron Technology.
* Mediocre year-end numbers from Chin-Poon and Sercomm.
* Mixed quarterly figures from Elbit and Tencent Holdings, with revenue up but net income down.
* Mixed year-end figures from IQE, with revenue up but net income down; and from China Mobile, E Ink and HTC (but back in the black), with revenue down but net income up.
* Quarterly losses from Asustek, Cellcom Israel, Document Security Systems, Epileds, Epistar, Intellicheck, NII Holdings, One Stop Systems, Pintec Technology, QAD, Smartsheet, Tencent Music, WidePoint and Zuora.
* Full-year losses from Adata, cloudBuy, Frontier Smart Technologies Group, Motech and Xaar.
* The appointment of Elie Girard as group deputy CEO of Atos.
* A planned IPO from Fastly, a US start-up whose software helps Web sites load more quickly.
* A planned IPO from Insta360, the GoPro-rival that won awards at the world's biggest electronics show in 2018.
* A public IPO filing for the NYSE from Pinterest, the image-search company.
* An IPO filing for Nasdaq from Zoom Video Communications, a video conferencing firm.

Research results and predictions

* Total smartphone volumes in EMEA in the fourth quarter were 98.8 million, very similar to those in the same quarter in 2017, according to IDC. Total value was up 2.5%, at $35.5 billion, though this total masked increases across Europe and a drop in the Middle East and Africa.

* Global semiconductor production value may end its three-year growth streak in 2019, due partly to memory market demand likely to shrink in the year from 2018 and partly to global economic uncertainties resulting from the US-China trade war, according to Digitimes Research.
* The worldwide server market continued to grow through 2018 as worldwide server revenue increased 17.8% in Q418, while shipments grew 8.5% year over year, according to Gartner. In all of 2018, worldwide server shipments grew 13.1% and server revenue increased 30.1% compared with full-year 2017.
* The worldwide market for wearable devices, now inclusive of wireless headphones with smart assistants, is forecast to grow 15.3% over the previous year to 198.5 million units by the end of 2019, according to IDC.
* Worldwide spending on security-related hardware, software and services is forecast to reach $103.1 billion in 2019, an increase of 9.4% over 2018. Worldwide spending on security solutions will achieve a CAGR of 9.2% over the 2018-2022 forecast period, and total $133.8 billion in 2022.

Stock market changes

* JSE All share index: Up 0.1%
* FTSE100: Down 0.3%
* DAX: Down 2.8%
* NYSE (Dow): Down 1.3%
* S&P 500: Down 0.8%
* Nasdaq: Down 0.6%
* Nikkei225: Up 0.8%
* Hang Seng: Up 0.3%
* Shanghai: Up 2.7%

Look out for

* The winner for the acquisition of Inmarsat, which has received a takeover offer valued at about $3.3 billion from Apax Partners and Warburg Pincus, supported by the Canada Pension Plan Investment Board and Ontario Teachers' Pension Plan Board. This is the latest in a series of bids by various interested parties.
* The listing of Lyft on Nasdaq.

South Africa:
* Further developments regarding the activities at EOH, including a results announcement delay.

Final word

CRN published its 2019 Security 100, which is intended to bring solution provider transparency and light to the otherwise opaque and difficult to navigate security vendor market.

As part of the CRN Security 100, the 'coolest 20 network security providers' that have raised their game to meet continued network security needs are:

* Aruba, an HPE company
* Attivo Networks
* Check Point Software Technologies
* Cisco
* Claroty
* Cloudflare
* Darktrace
* FireEye
* ForeScout
* Fortinet
* Infoblox
* Juniper Networks
* NetScout Systems
* Netskope
* NSFocus
* Palo Alto Networks
* Pulse Secure
* SonicWall
* StackPath
* WatchGuard

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