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Cook: Apple launching full-on assault on wallet-carrying

02/27, 5:16pm

Apple Watch, abilities will expand over time, replace car keys as well

In a new interview with the UK newspaper the Telegraph, Apple CEO Tim Cook has revealed a few new tidbits about the forthcoming Apple Watch, as well as some of the larger vision behind such innovations as the watch, and Apple Pay, and Touch ID -- an all-out attempt to reduce the ephemera people need to carry with them, from wallets to car keys. In the same report, Cook also confirmed that Apple will "tweak" its retail look to accommodate Apple Watch buyers, who are likely to be even more upscale than average Apple customers.

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China regulators block governmental purchases of Apple, Intel hardware

02/26, 8:15am

Cisco, Citrix also banned; government cites security concerns

A weekend move by China has stricken Apple, Intel, Cisco, Citrix, and McAfee from approved vendors for governmental purchase. Ostentibly to protect national security interests, the move appears to be more about giving state run and other Chinese companies a leg up on procurements in the country, similar to regulations inside the US government that does the same.

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Cook visits Germany, tweets remembrance of Jobs' birthday

02/24, 3:51pm

Reason Cook is in Germany not clear, pays visit to Bild tabloid newspaper

Apple CEO Tim Cook was spotted in Berlin, Germany on Tuesday, spending a portion of his day with the editors of the German tabloid paper Bild, though the reasons for the visit were not made clear. Cook may be in Germany for a variety of reasons, ranging from meetings with EU bankers to help forge European Apple Pay agreements, to overseeing the last of the glass panels for the Apple Campus 2, or on his way to Israel to help open the new Apple R&D center there. While in Germany, he tweeted a remembrance of what would have been Steve Jobs' 60th birthday.

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AAPL: Analysts revise estimates as North American sales increase

02/23, 7:14pm

Current boost to stock may render estimates irrelevant even as they are published

A number of analysts revised their expectations for Apple's stock last week -- only to watch those year-end estimates melt in the face of the stock's current performance, which ended trading on Monday at yet another all-time high of $133 per share. The combination of much better-than-expected sales in the holiday quarter and the increasing interest in Apple's other initiatives -- ranging from Apple Pay to forthcoming products like the Apple Watch and a possible-but-far-off car design -- has sent the stock skyrocketing.

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Sony CEO confirms change of focus from smartphones, TV to gaming

02/22, 4:49pm

Sony aiming for $4.2B annual profit within three years

Sony's survival could involve Sony pulling out of more business areas, in order to concentrate on its imaging and entertainment divisions. Seemingly confirming earlier reports, CEO Kazou Hirai's new strategy will now depend on its camera sensor sales and the success of the PlayStation gaming arm to increase its operating profit 25-fold within the next three years, at a cost of minimizing its other businesses.

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Apple closes week with new record high, market cap totals

02/20, 5:37pm

Company still riding streak from record iPhone, Mac sales

In what has now started to become a routine occurrence, AAPL on Friday ended the week with a new all-time record high for its stock, as well as its market capitalization. The stock closed on Friday at a price of $129.49 per share, though it is down a nickel in after-hours trading at the time of this article. The market cap for the company now stands at $754.28 billion after the stock rose 0.81 percent on the day, compared to $710 billion just 10 days ago.

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T-Mobile Q4 financial results show $101M profit on $8.15B revenue

02/20, 12:34am

CEO claims T-Mobile now third-largest US carrier

T-Mobile managed to post great results in its fourth quarter financial report, with the carrier's $101 million profit equating to 12 cents per share, reversing the 12 cents per share loss in the previous quarter. Revenues are also up 19.4-percent year-on-year, reaching $8.15 billion, with the company overall beating analyst expectations of a 5 cent EPS and revenues of $7.89 billion.

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Samsung acquires LoopPay, main Apple Pay competitor

02/18, 4:13pm

Cross-platform LoopPay PIN-based; data stored locally, not in the cloud

Samsung Electronics today confirmed that it has agreed to acquire LoopPay, the mobile wallet solutions provider that turns existing magnetic stripe readers into contactless receivers. LoopPay's technology has the potential to work in approximately 90 percent of existing point-of-sale (POS) terminals, according to Samsung research, with no investment in new infrastructure required by merchants.

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Apple boosts banks supporting Apple Pay to 84, many more coming

02/18, 11:11am

First Bank, Morgan Stanley added to roster of Apple Pay banks

Apple has added 19 new banks in a February addition update. Notable additions include the Credit Union of Southern California, FirstBank, and Morgan Stanley. The new additions bring the total of banks supporting Apple's service to 84. Apple CEO Tim Cook claimed during a Goldman Sachs tech conference that over 2,000 banks and credit unions would support the service by the end of the year worldwide.

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Investors raise estimates on AAPL in response to streak, future

02/12, 7:18pm

JP Morgan, Piper Jaffray, Icahn all call for higher targets in 2015

Thanks to both the recent record-shattering performance of the company as well as known forthcoming debuts, a number of analysts have recently revised their target goals for Apple stock. While pundits are clearly guessing on things like how well the Apple Watch or the next iPad revision will sell, the solid performance of the iPhone, rising Mac sales, and success of other foundational technologies give the company a likely bright future for 2015.

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Munster sees fall Apple TV refresh, denies 2015 Apple television set

02/12, 4:00pm

Analyst famous for Apple television prediction changes mind for 2015

Apple pundit and Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munster has changed tack from his normal annual predictions of an Apple-branded television set for this year, and now believes that a refreshed Apple TV will be seen in the fall 2015 product refresh. While he still believes an Apple television is inevitable, a revamped and upgraded fourth generation Apple TV will bridge the gap between a set top, and a full set, he has told clients.

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Apple updates supplier report, bans worker recruitment fees

02/11, 8:12pm

Progress made on conflict-free smelters, fallback on overtime issues

On Wednesday, Apple updated its annual Supplier Responsibility Report, and for the most part reported continued progress in its struggle to ensure that workers in its Asian factories are not suffering abuse or dangerous conditions. The biggest change in the report is that Apple has barred recruitment firms and employers from charging workers any fee to get jobs on its assembly lines. The iPhone maker also noted that it increased supplier audits by 40 percent in 2014.

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AAPL breaks new high of $122, now at $710B market cap

02/10, 5:28pm

Apple holds new record as first company to pass $700 billion

During Tim Cook's interview at an investor's conference today in San Francisco, Goldman Sachs President and COO Gary Cohn told Cook that his company, Apple, had become the first publicly-traded company to ever top $700 billion in market capitalization, and the stock also closed the day at a new record high of $122.02 per share. The peaks come just a under a week after the previous all-time high last Wednesday, following a record-shattering holiday quarter.

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Tim Cook to address Goldman Sachs conference

02/10, 3:22pm

Apple CEO expected to reiterate previous statements on product pipeline

Apple CEO Tim Cook will again be a speaker at this afternoon's Goldman Sachs Technology and Internet Conference, taking place in San Francisco. Cook will be among numerous tech company speakers, including executives from Seagate, NetApp, SanDisk, AMD, ZenDesk, and Jive Software, among others. Cook will address the conference at 12:30PM PT (3:30PM ET) today, and the audio stream is being carried live by Apple on its investor web page.

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Microsoft, Samsung Android patent battle ends again, terms secret

02/10, 9:16am

Deal likely reverts to 2011 patent agreement between MS, Samsung

Microsoft and Samsung have ceased the most recent round of legal hostilities over unpaid Android patent royalties due to the Surface maker. As expected, very few details are known about the deal, with both companies identically saying little more than "Samsung and Microsoft are pleased to announce that they have ended their contract dispute in US court as well as the ICC arbitration. Terms of the agreement are confidential."

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Verizon raising $15B with wireline sale, leasing of wireless towers

02/08, 9:14am

Verizon wireline operations in Florida, Texas, California being sold for $10B

Verizon is raising a large amount of cash, by selling some of its wireline operations to another company for $10.54 billion. It is not the only transaction Verizon is performing, as it is leasing the rights to some of its wireless towers to a third party, bringing in another $5 billion, with the company also announcing an accelerated share-repurchase program worth $5 billion.

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Twitter blames Apple for missing Wall Street monthly user estimates

02/06, 9:30am

Financial results slightly lower than expected, iOS 8 pinned for loss

In the quarterly conference call discussing Twitter's financial results, Chief Financial Officer Anthony Noto pointed to Apple's iOS 8 rollout as the reason why the company's monthly active users figure was short by four million members, at least in part. While initially a throwaway line in the discussion, the company's CEO has clarified the remarks somewhat, and has pointed specifically to iOS Twitter integration, and features in the new Safari as specific reasons for the user drop.

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RadioShack files for Chapter 11 bankruptcy

02/05, 8:32pm

Up to 1,750 RadioShack stores to be co-branded Sprint, according to filing

Electronics retailer RadioShack has applied for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. Following a week of speculation, the troubled company filed its papers earlier today, and confirmed plans to sell off a large proportion of its stores to Sprint and Standard General, one which will provide the carrier with a considerable boost to its overall outlet count.

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AAPL sets new record high daily close

02/04, 10:01pm

Company now closing in on $700 billion in value

Apple's stock closed on Wednesday at a new all-time high, closing at $119.56 for the day, breaking the record set on November 26 when it closed at $119 even. The company, now valued at $696.41 billion -- more than a third more than the next most valuable publicly-traded company -- recently reported the best all-time quarterly revenue and profit of any company ever. The latest peak comes after a spike a week ago, following the results of the quarter.

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Under Armour pays $560M for MapMyFitness, Endomondo

02/04, 8:28pm

Fitness app acquisitions help bolster Under Armour platorm

Sports apparel brand Under Armour has made another set of acquisitions, buying two well-known fitness apps for over half a billion dollars. The company picked up MyFitnessPal and Endomondo, two cross-platform apps, which Under Armour will combine with its previous purchase of MapMyFitness to increase its holdings in the quantified self and fitness platform market.

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Crowdfunding Critic: Typed blogging platform

02/04, 2:58am

Rapidweaver, Clear devs bring distraction-free writing to blog publishing

Every so often, we like to bring our readers' attention to crowdfunding efforts or projects that catch our eye and might be something you'd be interested in investing in. None of these crowdsourcing projects pay us or anything like that for the attention; we pick them based on what we think are their merits, and share them with you for your consideration for no reward, just the joy of helping cool new projects get off the ground. This week, we're looking at blogging platform Typed.

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Sony Online Entertainment sold to investment firm, rebranded

02/02, 7:27pm

Ex-Sony development studio free to work on other platforms

Sony has sold off Sony Online Entertainment, an in-house game development studio and publisher known for Everquest, Planetside 2, and other massively multiplayer online games. The sale was confirmed today by the company and places the studio in the hands of investment management firm Columbus Nova, though as part of the transaction terms, it has to lose the Sony branding and be renamed Daybreak Game Company.

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Bloomberg: RadioShack in talks to sell half of stores to Sprint

02/02, 4:02pm

Negotiations could lead to rebranding of half Radioshack stores, shuttering of remainder

RadioShack may be preparing to close its chain of electronics stores, according to a report. The troubled retail chain, which revealed it was close to bankruptcy last month, is said to be in discussions to sell approximately half of its store leases to Sprint, shuttering the rest and effectively ending the 94-year-old company's life as a brick-and-mortar retailer.

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Apple plans new $5 billion bond offering

02/02, 11:50am

Money will presumably finance ongoing dividends and buybacks

Apple will soon sell another $5 billion in bonds, according to the Associated Press. Earlier today, the company notified the US Securities and Exchange Commission about the sale; while the submitted documents don't mention any rates or amounts, the AP says the total will be $5 billion, and likely issued in a mix of floating-rate five-year notes and fixed-rate notes with timespans ranging from seven to 30 years. Goldman Sachs and Deutsche Bank are managing the sale.

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Jay Z looks to join streaming music industry by acquiring Aspiro

01/30, 9:57am

Parent company of Tidal, WiMP agrees to $56M acquisition by rapper

Rapper Jay Z is moving into the streaming music business, by attempting to acquire the parent company of two services. A press release and local media reports claim management of Swedish company Aspiro AB has agreed to the takeover by Jay Z's own companies, with the acquisition deal said to be worth approximately 464 million krona ($56 million).

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Google posts increased earnings in quarterly report, misses estimates

01/29, 7:48pm

Net income of $4.76B up year-on-year, fails to meet Wall Street expectations

Google managed to bring in gross consolidated revenues of $18.1 billion for the last quarter, a year-on-year increase of 15 percent and up from the previous quarter's $16.52 billion, according to its latest financial results. Increased traffic acquisition costs (TAC) of $3.62 billion bringing the ex-TAC revenues down to $14 billion. Net income also increased to $4.76 billion from $3.38 billion the same period last year, but the search company failed to meet analyst expectations.

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Prime membership rescues Amazon from loss, $241 million profit posted

01/29, 6:37pm

Sales up 15 percent to $29.3 billion, Amazon Prime boost credited

Amazon released its fourth quarter and annual numbers today, through a its investor relations site and a web cast conference call. Prime service membership was called out as a key contributing factor towards increases in Q4 and full year 2014 numbers, with new Prime membership growing slightly faster in markets outside North America.

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Samsung fourth-quarter, fiscal year 2014 results shows drop in profits

01/29, 2:23am

Chip segment strong, but not enough to make up for lagging smartphone segment

Samsung released its Q4 and FY 2014 results today, and as expected, the news was not good. The past three years have resulted in growth for the company, but fiscal 2014 shows an annual earnings decline, in spite of strong performance by the company's chip division. The earnings from smartphones, tablets, and other mobile devices fell to 1.96 trillion Korean won ($1.8 billion), a 64.2 percent decline from the year-ago quarter. The news comes on the heels of a record-shattering report from its main rival, Apple.

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R&D at Apple increases by 42 percent, hits $1.9B

01/29, 1:00am

Increasing figure still a fraction of cost incurred by rivals

Although the iPhone now makes up some 69 percent of Apple's revenues, it will not always do so -- and thus the company is undoubtedly working on at least one product that is destined to be the successor (in terms of revenue) to the iPhone, which itself displaced the iPod as the company's top money-maker. Barely mentioned in the conference call with analysts but noted in the breakdown of expenses, Apple has significantly increased spending on research and development (R&D).

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Sony Music Unlimited replaced by partnership with Spotify

01/28, 10:27pm

Sony's answer to iTunes will close in February

The official PlayStation blog on Wednesday posted an announcement letting PlayStation users know about a new partnership with Spotify. The service includes existing playlists for those who already have Spotify accounts. The post also, however, contained the news that Sony's own Music Unlimited service will be discontinued in late March.

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Facebook quarterly results reveal high mobile advertising revenues

01/28, 9:05pm

Over half a billion Facebook users access social network only through mobile devices

Facebook's latest quarterly earnings reveal the social network is in good shape and continuing to beat projections, with a lot of it down to the continued increase of mobile devices to access the service. The social network's total revenues of $3.85 billion with earnings per share of $0.54, up from the previous quarter's $3.2 billion revenue and $0.40 earnings.

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Documents show Apple paid just A$80.3M in Australian taxes for 2014

01/28, 1:13pm

Amount still more than double paid in 2013

Apple paid about A$80.3 million in taxes to the Australian government last year, despite pulling in A$6 billion in revenues in that country, according to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission. While the company's actual tax bill must legally be kept confidential, an expense figure has to be produced for the sake of annual accounts. The A$80.3 million sum is over twice the A$36.4 million Apple paid in 2013, when it actually took in more revenue, A$6.1 billion.

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Yahoo barely misses market estimates, reveals Alibaba spin-off plan

01/28, 6:27am

Alibaba shares valued at $40B to be spun into own company

Yahoo's quarterly financial results reveal it has marginally missed market estimates, but it still managed to improve on the last quarter, bringing in $1.18 billion in revenue after traffic acquisition costs (TAC), with a $0.30 non-GAAP earnings per share. The company also revealed it's intentions to spin out the last of its Alibaba stake, a move designed to prevent it from paying out a large amount of tax.

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Cook proclaims 'Year of Apple Pay'; Apple cash stockpile now $178B

01/28, 3:02am

Now taking two-thirds of mobile payments; cash grows despite payouts

If you are making a contactless mobile payment in the US based on a Visa, MasterCard or American Express account, odds are that you're doing it from an iPhone 6 model. During the conference call with analysts, Apple CEO Tim Cook revealed that the company's Apple Pay mobile payments system -- only in its fourth month -- now accounts for more than $2 of every $3 of money paid in that manner. In addition, CFO Luca Maestri updated analysts on the still-growing (but more slowly) cash stockpile Apple has, now at $178 billion.

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Apple sees one billionth iOS device shipped, China sales explode

01/28, 1:20am

Analysts believe Apple outsold all others in China, sold more iPhones than US

In the midst of so much good news that came out of Apple in its fiscal Q1 report today, a significant milestore was also noted: the company said it had sold its one billionth iOS device, which it will keep for historical purposes. The device was said to be a 64GB Space Grey iPhone 6 Plus, and was part of the extraordinary 74.6 million iPhone sold worldwide in the holiday quarter. China sales played a major role as well, growing sales 157 percent from the previous quarter.

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AT&T takes $4B loss on $34.4B in revenues last quarter

01/27, 9:07pm

AT&T wireless subscribers increase 1.9M in fourth quarter

AT&T earned consolidated revenues of $34.4 billion in the last quarter, an improvement from last quarter's $32.9 billion, and a year-on year increase of 3.8 percent -- 4.5 percent if a loss-laden sale of its Connecticut wireline properties is taken into account. Even so, it made for a total loss of $4 billion, or $0.77 per share, something the carrier warned about last week.

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Apple Q1 breakdown reveals 18 percent decline in iPad shipments

01/27, 5:16pm

Giant otherwise shows strong financial performance

Beyond its official press release, Apple has posted a detailed breakdown (PDF) of its fiscal first quarter. The document is the only one to mention iPad sales, and reveals that shipments dropped 18 percent year-over-year to 21.42 million. Revenues for the tablet fell 22 percent to $9 billion.

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Apple posts $74.6B in Q1 revenues based on iPhone, Mac sales

01/27, 4:48pm

Company mum on iPad results in official press release

Apple has posted the results of its first fiscal quarter for 2015, which actually ended on December 27. The company says it achieved record quarterly revenue of $74.6 billion, and similarly record-setting net profits of $18 billion, or $3.06 per share. The figures compare against $57.6 billion, $13.1 billion, and $2.07 in Q1 2014; gross margins increased from 37.9 percent to 39.9 percent. Apple notes that international sales made up 65 percent of the recent quarter's revenues.

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Analysts: China iPhone sales outpace US, Apple gaining on Samsung

01/27, 3:18am

Remarkable reversal in Korean maker's fortunes benefitting Apple

On Tuesday, Apple will reveal its latest figures on its overall sales and general health, but analysts will again focus on one key segment -- Apple's best-selling device, the iPhone -- as the only metric that matters. Two key aspects of that metric, however, may have larger implications than just the quarterly revenues, or a temporary change in Apple's stock value. According to analysts, it is now likely that Apple is selling more iPhones to China now than it is in the US market (where it is market leader by a long way) -- and even more remarkably, that Apple is close to rivaling the total smartphones sales of rival Samsung.

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Apple doubles Australian tax contribution, still increases profits

01/26, 11:30pm

Company is one of many under investigation for aggressive-but-legal tax avoidance

Apple paid more than twice as much in taxes in Australia for 2014 as it did in 2013, but still managed to grow profits in the country -- despite increasing scrutiny about its legal but aggressive tax avoidance techniques. According to documents filed with the Australian Securities and Investments Commission (ASIC), Apple paid AU$80.4 million in taxes for 2014 ($64 million US) compared to just AU$36.4 million (roughly $32 million US at the time) in 2013.

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Regulated Bitcoin exchange from Coinbase opens

01/26, 11:03pm

Coinbase Exchange looks to improve stability to cryptocurrency

Coinbase.com, an online Bitcoin wallet site founded in 2012, has announced the start of a new federally-regulated exchange for the digital currency. Coinbase Exchange is available in 24 US states, and stores the user's funds in a special, and now insured, wallet.

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Microsoft revenues up to $26.5B in second quarter financial results

01/26, 5:45pm

Surface accounts for $1.1B in revenues thanks to Surface Pro 3

Microsoft's last quarter saw the company pull in $26.47 billion in revenues, beating the previous quarter and the same quarter last year's figures by $3.27 billion and $1.95 billion respectively. The gross margin is up 1 percent year-on-year to $16.33 billion, though operating income is down 2 percent to $7.78 billion, with the diluted earnings per share at $0.71, down nine percent.

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FTC: Dish Network liable for 57 million illicit telemarketing calls

01/24, 11:41am

Penalties of up to $16,000 could be assessed for each call

The US Federal Trade Commission (FTC) has decided that Dish Network is liable for making 57 million phone calls in flagrant violation of telemarketing laws, including calling members of the "Do Not Call" list established by the US Government. A trial has been set for July in Illinois, with penalties of up to $16,000 possible for each violation. The Department of Justice filed the complaint at the FTC's request in March 2009. The US Department of Justice, on behalf of the FTC, is jointly litigating the case with four state co-plaintiffs -- California, Illinois, Ohio, and North Carolina.

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Apple takes majority of US phone activations in Q4

01/23, 8:00pm

Nearly doubles rival Samsung's sales, equals all combined competition

Apple's share of the US mobile phone market has nearly doubled following the release of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 in October, a new study has revealed. The report, by Consumer Intelligence Research Partners, finds that the iPhone went from 28 percent of the market in the July-to-September quarter to just over 50 percent in the final three months of the year, an improvement even over the same time the year before, when the iPhone 5s was released.

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Ahrendts' high pay in part to compensate for lost Burberry stock

01/23, 11:25am

New retail head claims more than any other Apple executive

The extremely high compensation package given to Apple's new retail head -- Angela Ahrendts -- was in large part to pay for the stock she abandoned with her early departure from Burberry, Apple explains in its SEC filings. In total, she received $73.4 million last year, beating out any other executive at the company. Since May, she has accumulated roughly $70 million in Reserved Stock Units (RSUs); of this, $37 million was specifically addressed toward the lost Burberry stock, though most of the Reserved Stock Units (RSUs) are not presently sellable, and are contingent on continued employment.

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Telefonica, Hutchison Whampoa confirm negotiations over O2 acquisition

01/23, 5:54am

Acquisition of O2 by parent company of competitor Three could cost $15.4B

Telefonica, owner of British carrier O2, and Hutchison Whampoa, the parent company of competitor Three, have confirmed they are in talks over a potential acquisition, following earlier reports. The two have entered "exclusive negotiations," which could see O2 change hands for an estimated £10.25 billion ($15.4 billion) if discussions between the executive teams succeed.

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SEC: Apple reveals Cook's 2014 pay, Drexler retires from Apple board

01/22, 8:00pm

J. Crew Group CEO will retire from Apple's board after 16 years

In a new filing with the SEC, Apple revealed on Thursday that CEO Tim Cook has been able to double his total compensation from that of last year, with the increase based largely on performance bonuses based on how well the company has done over the last year. In addition to $1.75 million in salary, Cook reaped $6.7 million in non-equity incentive compensation for his work. In addition, Apple disclosed in the filing that board member Millard "Mickey" Drexler will retire.

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Samsung still open to BlackBerry acquisition, report claims

01/22, 2:51pm

Alleged leaked document suggests Samsung considered BlackBerry purchase for months

Samsung is still interested in acquiring BlackBerry, according to rumor. A document allegedly created by investment bank Evercore Partners for Samsung seems to suggest Samsung has been mulling over a purchase of the competing smartphone producer for some time, and according to sources, is still very much interested in the prospect despite denials from both BlackBerry and Samsung.

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Verizon takes expected hit on quarterly earnings, posts $2.1B loss

01/22, 10:52am

Loss driven by pension, benefits adjustments; revenue climbs

Verizon has released its fourth quarter and annual financial report. Total operating revenues in the fourth quarter were $33.2 billion, a 6.8 percent increase compared with the fourth quarter of 2013. Full-year 2014 operating revenues were $127.1 billion, up 5.4 percent (or $6.5 billion) compared with full-year 2013. Howeveer, even given the revenue growth, the company posted a $2.1 billion loss for the quarter, cutting its annual profit to $12 billion.

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Samsung to switch to in-house chips for Galaxy S6, report says

01/22, 1:41am

Qualcomm chips dropped due to over-heating issues found in testing

A new report citing unnamed sources has claimed that Samsung will discontinue use of the Qualcomm Snapdragon processor in the forthcoming Galaxy S6 due to quality control issues. The Snapdragon 810 reportedly overheated in testing by Samsung, prompting the switch to the company's own Exynos line of processors, which it has used for certain editions of the flagship phone in the past.

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