Time Warner Cable employees to share $416 million under retention plan

Company will hand out golden parachutes of more than $136M to 5 execs if deal closes

Reuters

(Reuters) - Employees of Time Warner Cable will be $416 million richer even if the cable operator's merger with Comcast does not close, a move designed to keep staff from bolting while federal regulators contemplate the deal.

A proxy statement, prepared for the shareholders meetings of both companies in October to vote on the merger, also lays out the nearly $81.8 million golden parachute that Time Warner Cable's chairman and chief executive, Robert D. Marcus, would receive.

Facebook ready to spend billions to bring whole world online: Zuckerberg

Nearly 3 billion will have access to the Internet by the end of 2014, according to ITU

Reuters

MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Facebook Inc <FB.O> is prepared to spend billions of dollars to reach its goal of bringing the Internet to everyone on the planet, Chief Executive Mark Zuckerberg said on Friday.

"What we really care about is connecting everyone in the world," Zuckerberg said at an event in Mexico City hosted by Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim.

"Even if it means that Facebook has to spend billions of dollars over the next decade making this happen, I believe that over the long term its gonna be a good thing for us and for the world."

Verizon to pay $7.4 million over failure to notify consumers on privacy rights

Operator to send opt-out notices on every bill and pay the largest fine in FCC's history of personal data settlements

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Verizon Communications Inc will pay $7.4 million to settle a U.S. investigation that found the company failed to notify properly some customers of their privacy rights before using their information for marketing, U.S. regulators said on Wednesday.

Baidu boosts location-based platform with new services, $10 million investment

Data shows more people access the Web via mobile device than computer

Reuters

By Paul Carsten

BEIJING (Reuters) - Baidu Inc launched on Wednesday a service that helps retailers advertise on the smartphones of nearby users as China's dominant search engine company expands its location-based technology to drive growth.

Baidu currently makes most of its income from desktop-based search advertising and has lagged peers such as Tencent Holdings Ltd in capitalizing on the popularity of mobile internet in China, the world's largest market for smartphones.

India's smartphone wars: Google's Android One adds to Samsung's worries

World's third-biggest and fastest growing smartphone market offers fertile ground for immediate results

Reuters

MUMBAI (Reuters) - Google Inc's partnership with three Indian phone makers is set to rev up fast-growing demand for lower priced smartphones, and spell more trouble for Samsung Electronics which is rapidly losing share in emerging markets.

Micromax Infomatics Ltd, Karbonn Mobiles and Spice Group are the first phone manufacturers to sign up for Google's Android One initiative, which provides specifications for key hardware parts. Some of the new phones are due to hit the market this month.

United Internet to buy KKR's stake in Versatel for $769 mln

German ISP was expected to post flat 2014 revenues of about 548 million euros

Reuters

FRANKFURT (Reuters) - German internet service provider United Internet said on Wednesday it had agreed to acquire buyout group KKR's 74.9 percent stake in cable group Versatel for about 586 million euros ($769 million) in cash.

United Internet, which already controls 25.1 percent of Versatel, had said last month it was considering a complete takeover of the company, which owns Germany's second-largest fiber optic cable network with a length of about 37,000 kilometers.

Telecom Italia in a bind after losing GVT bid battle

Seven bankers and investors tell Reuters the telco lacks a clear direction

Reuters

PARIS/LONDON/MILAN (Reuters) - Telecom Italia has lost a promising path to earnings growth by failing to secure Brazilian broadband business GVT and may now turn from hunter to hunted in a fast-consolidating telecoms industry.

Winning the auction for French media company Vivendi's GVT was vital for both Telecom Italia and its rival, Spain's Telefonica, as their European markets have been shrinking. Italy was gripped by a mobile price war for much of last year, revenue is falling and competition remains tough.

China Unicom, Telecom expand 4G network trials to 40 Chinese cities

The carriers also hope to recoup some subscribers lost to China Mobile

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China Unicom and China Telecom, the country's No.2 and No.3 mobile carriers, have received government approval to test their 4G high-speed networks in a total of 40 cities, up from 16 previously, they said on Thursday.

The Ministry of Industry and Information Technology, which allowed both mobile operators to test their new LTE hybrid network beginning in June, approved 24 additional trial cities including Beijing, Tianjin, Guangzhou, Dongguan and Xiamen.

SoftBank's first Sony smartphone deal takes aim at U.S. market

Release of Xperia Z3 expected at IFA tech expo in Berlin

Reuters

TOKYO (Reuters) - Japan's SoftBank Corp and its U.S. mobile carrier Sprint Corp will offer a Sony smartphone for the first time, sources with knowledge of the matter said, as the two technology titans confront daunting challenges in the U.S. market.

The deal could give a much-needed boost to Sony's struggling mobile division, which last month said it no longer expected to make a profit in the year to next March. It will also bolster Sprint's handset line-up as it seeks to stem a flight in subscribers.

Sprint grabs lifeline with rural U.S. roaming deals

Experts say Verizon has only comparable alternative for rural carriers to offer nationwide 4G roaming

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - With plans for a T-Mobile US Inc merger in tatters, Sprint Corp is expanding a roaming program with rural cellphone companies that could provide a much-needed way for the debt-laden wireless carrier to cheaply increase its footprint.

In March, Sprint Chairman Masayoshi Son struck a roaming deal with the Competitive Carriers Association (CCA), which represents many U.S. rural and regional carriers, to use each other's networks for roaming at a mutually attractive price.

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