View Count: 137 |  Publish Date: March 04, 2014
Google concerned about Microsoft's move for Nokia unit
smartphonesMicrosoft move worries Google
Google and Samsung Electronics joined Chinese mobile phone makers in expressing concern to China that Microsoft Corp.s bid to take over Nokia Oyjs phone business may result in higher patent licensing fees, two government officials familiar with the matter said.
Google of Mountain View and Samsung asked Chinas Ministry of Commerce to make sure that the $7.5 billion bid doesnt result in higher fees on wireless technology patents that will remain with Nokia, the officials, who asked not to be identified, said.
Theyre also concerned Microsoft will gain more power over the smartphone market and may abuse its patents, according to the people. Microsoft is buying the hardware business but leaving most wireless patents in Nokias control.
Microsoft won European Union approval for the bid on Dec. 4, while regulators said they would monitor Nokias licensing practices after the close of the transaction.
Chinas Ministry of Commerce is conducting an antimonopoly review and is likely to approve the deal, the officials said. The question is whether the ministry will demand the companies guarantee that the agreement doesnt result in higher patent fees, the officials said.shareholdersEbay director rebuts Icahn
EBay Director Marc Andreessen struck back at activist investor Carl Icahn, who has accused the venture capitalist of conflicts of interest for his role in the companys sale of videoconferencing service Skype.
Andreessen said he recused himself from negotiations and was transparent about his part in eBays sale of Skype to investors that included venture firm Andreessen Horowitz in 2009, according to a statement Monday.
Icahn, who Monday released his fourth open letter in a week, says Andreessen benefited from the deal at the expense of San Joses eBay and its shareholders.
I dispute all accusations that I have violated any of my duties to EBay shareholders, Andreessen wrote in the statement. I was uninvolved in EBays decision to spin off Skype and in EBays decision to choose to partner with the Silver Lake syndicate.
Icahn, the billionaire who in January proposed that eBay spin off its PayPal electronic-payments unit, has stepped up his criticism of Chief Executive Officer John Donahoe and Directors Andreessen and Scott Cook.
While eBay has released several statements defending its leadership, Icahn has kept up pressure on Andreessen, saying Monday that his conflicts are clear and unsurmountable and that he has refused to sufficiently clarify what happened with the Skype deal.
Icahn, who in January disclosed a 0.82 percent stake in eBay, is nominating two of his employees to join the board.
In eBays own separate statement Monday, the company said Icahns statements are false and misleading and repeated that Andreessen recused himself from EBay deliberations on the transaction. Venture capitalists play a key role on company boards, EBay said.softwareSalesforce plans 2 data centers is planning another two data centers in Europe as it seeks to lure government customers that have stricter data protection requirements, the companys regional chairman said.
In addition to a planned center in Slough near London, announced last May, the biggest maker of customer-management software aims to set up one server farm in France and one in Germany by mid-2015, Steve Garnett said.
These three markets are the most important ones in Europe, the region that is posting the highest growth rates for San Francisco-based Salesforce, he said.
With four data centers in the U.S. and one in Japan, Salesforce is following Mountain Views Google and Microsoft to add hosting capacity in Europe.
The location of data centers determines which laws apply to the use and transfer of data, an issue highlighted by former U.S. National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowdens revelations on the extent on government spying.mergerJos A. Bank, rival inch closer
Mens Wearhouse and Jos. A. Bank Clothiers reached an agreement to share confidential information, moving closer toward a potential merger of the menswear rivals after several failed attempts.
Mens Wearhouse said Monday that it has received a draft merger agreement from Jos. A. Bank.
Under an accord reached Friday, the two companies will work in good faith to evaluate a possible deal, according to a statement Monday.
Mens Wearhouse reiterated that it was prepared to raise its offer for Jos. A. Bank to $65 a share, from $63.50, if the discussions reveal that a higher price is warranted.
The agreement is the latest step in a takeover saga between the discount-suit retailers that has lasted about five months. Mens Wearhouse, a chain with more than 1,100 stores, has said that merging with Jos. A. Banks more than 600 stores would let the combined company cut costs and improve customer service.
Mens Wearhouses current bid expires on March 12 unless an offer is extended. Chronicle News Services

Time: 0:47  |  News Code: 389770  |  Site: San Francisco Chronicle
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