Energy Assets buys Gazprom unit in $21.7 million deal

Smart-meter business Energy Assets has acquired a subsidiary of Gazprom, the huge Russian gas company, in a £13.5 million ($21.7 million) deal that strengthens its position as one of the UK’s biggest suppliers of gas-metering services to the industrial and commercial (I&C) market.

The Scotland-based firm has announced a takeover of Gazprom Global Energy Solutions (GGES) (Manchester, UK), which provides automated meter reading (AMR) services to gas suppliers and blue-chip companies in the I&C market.

M2M software platform revenues to hit $3.85 billion by 2017

Two types of software platform that underpin the development of the M2M market are forecast to generate $3.85 billion in revenues by 2017, according to a new report from ABI Research.

Application Development Platforms (ADPs) and Connected Device Platforms (CDPs) are becoming critical parts of the M2M ecosystem. AEPs reduce the amount of time it takes to develop M2M applications, while CDPs automate the management of M2M module connectivity, which is of crucial importance in such a low-ARPU market.

Telit expands into China's smart grid market

Telit has expanded its collaboration with a Chinese start-up in the country’s fast-growing smart-grid sector, helping it to secure a spot in one of the world’s biggest markets for energy-related M2M technology.

Founded in 1996 and funded by the North China Electric Power Research Institute, Beijing Yupont develops electric power metering and automatic meter reading technologies, as well as geographical information systems, electric power meter and load control terminal products.

Itron allies with C3 to boost smart grid benefits

Itron and C3 Energy have announced a strategic alliance to market energy-management services to North American utilities.

The companies say their tie-up will enable utilities to provide better energy-management services to customers.

Under the arrangement, Itron (Liberty Lake, USA) will combine its smart-metering and data-management products with C3’s energy-management services. The end result, it is hoped, will be used by utilities to help consumers better understand and reduce their energy consumption.

Telenor Connexion touts M2M success at London 2012

An M2M technology that tracks police speed boats could see more widespread deployment after trials on the River Thames during the London 2012 Olympics were reported a huge success.

Groupon eyes restaurants with nationwide POS offering

Reuters

Groupon Inc launched a point-of-sale service called Breadcrumb across the United States on Wednesday as the world's largest daily deal company tries to win more restaurants as clients.

Breadcrumb is a sales, order management and reporting system for restaurants, bars and cafes that runs on Apple Inc's iPad. It was designed a start-up founded by Seth Harris. Groupon (Chicago, USA) acquired the business in May.

Paypal plans first job cuts since 2008 financial crisis

Reuters

PayPal is planning to cut as much as 3 percent of its workforce as the payments division of eBay Inc looks to streamline its operations under new President David Marcus, a person familiar with the situation said on Friday.

The reductions are expected to total between 300 and 400 and be focused in product development, technology and marketing, the person said on condition of anonymity because the plans are not public. PayPal (San Jose, USA) has almost 13,000 employees.

The job cuts will be PayPal's first major reductions since the financial crisis in 2008.

NTT DoCoMo teams up with MasterCard on international payments

NTT DoCoMo (Tokyo, Japan) and MasterCard (Purchase, USA) have teamed up on a service that will let the operator’s customers use their smartphones to pay for goods abroad.

The companies plan to expand DoCoMo’s mobile credit payment system to include MasterCard PayPass merchant locations. As of June, there were an estimated 500,000 such locations in 41 countries.

Collaboration with the payment card companies is necessary if operators are to break into the market for international payments, and the industry is likely to see more deals of this nature in the months ahead.

RACO Wireless gets private-equity boost, forecasts M2M surge

Private-equity group Inverness Graham Investments (Newtown Square, USA) has taken a majority stake in RACO Wireless (Cincinnati, USA) as the M2M specialist reveals its acquisition intentions and predicts a “significant surge” in the growth of the market.

Telefonica targets retailers with street smart data

Reuters

Telefonica (Madrid, Spain) is setting up a business to sell data it collects from millions of its mobile phone customers to retailers which could provide the company with a new source of income.

The Spanish telecoms group, owner of the O2 brand in Britain, Germany and other European markets, has created Telefonica Dynamic Insights to interpret, analyze and sell anonymous data from its phone subscribers.

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