Verizon beats estimates and raises Vodafone pressure


Verizon Communications Inc posted a higher-than-expected quarterly profit on the performance of its wireless business, which reined in costs without slowing growth.

Verizon (New York City, NY, USA) also ramped up the pressure on Vodafone Group Plc (Newbury, UK), which owns 45 percent of the Verizon Wireless unit. Verizon has been seeking to buy that stake and take full control of the top U.S. mobile company.

SoftBank fight for Sprint seen trumping easy gains


Masayoshi Son, billionaire founder of Japanese mobile carrier SoftBank Corp, is expected to stay in the battle for U.S. wireless service provider Sprint Nextel Corp, even though he could profit handsomely by walking away.

While the intentions of Charlie Ergen, the chairman of Dish Network Corp (Meridian, CO, USA), should be clear - after a bold $25.5 billion counterbid for Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) - not everyone is convinced the deal will go through.

Dish's $25.5 billion Sprint bid may force others to act


Dish Network Corp, the No.2 U.S. satellite TV provider, on Monday offered to buy wireless service provider Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion in cash and stock, a move that could inspire other telecoms or video companies to consider their own prospects of combining.

Dish's offer could trump a proposal in October by Japanese wireless operator SoftBank Corp (Tokyo, Japan) to buy 70 percent of Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA) for $20.1 billion.

Netgear estimates profit below analyst expectations


Network equipment maker Netgear Inc estimated first-quarter revenue and earnings below analysts' expectations, citing lower-than-planned shipments of its new network attached storage product.

Shares of Netgear (San Jose, CA, USA) fell as much as 8 percent in trading after the bell. They closed at $30.88 on the Nasdaq on Monday.

"The late introduction (of ReadyNAS) was not expected to have such an impact on revenue in the quarter," BWS Financial analyst Hamed Khorsand told Reuters.

Top court agrees to hear Sprint appeal over fees


The Supreme Court agreed on Monday to intervene in a dispute between a Sprint Nextel Corp subsidiary and the utilities regulator in Iowa.

Sprint Communications Co (Overland Park, KS, USA) declined to pay access charges for calls carried by Iowa Telecom - now Windstream Iowa Communications (Newton, IA, USA) - that were transmitted over the Internet rather than the traditional phone network.

The Iowa Utilities Board, which regulates telecommunications in the state, said Sprint was required to pay.

Siemens and Teradata team up on big data for smart grids

Siemens’ Smart Grid Division has formed what it calls a “global strategic partnership” with big-data specialist Teradata, aimed at providing utility companies with more information about the status of their networks.

The companies say the alliance will allow customers of Siemens Smart Grid to improve the reliability of their infrastructure and reduce costs.

PayPal hopes to break US shoppers' swipe habit in stores


PayPal will soon be ubiquitous in U.S. retail stores, but just being there may not be enough.

The online payment service will take a giant step beyond its Internet roots on April 19, when a partnership with Discover Financial Services (Riverwoods, IL, USA) officially kicks in. The deal means that, by the end of this year, PayPal will be accepted as a payment option in roughly 2 million retail stores that already take Discover credit cards.

Dish tries to trump SoftBank with $25.5 billion Sprint offer


Dish Network Corp, the No. 2 U.S. satellite television provider, offered to buy Sprint Nextel Corp for $25.5 billion in cash and stock, a move that could thwart the proposed acquisition of Sprint by Japan's SoftBank Corp.

Dish's bid is the latest development in a shakeup of the U.S. wireless business, which is undergoing a wave of consolidation. Dish (Meridian, CO, USA) was already in the midst of an unsolicited offer for Clearwire Corp (Bellevue, WA, USA), the wireless company majority-owned by Sprint (Overland Park, KS, USA).

Verizon Wireless to change handset upgrade policy

Verizon Wireless plans to change its policy on handset upgrades so that customers are forced to wait longer before they can get their hands on new devices.

Under the current system, customers can upgrade their phones every 20 months, but when the change comes in they will have to wait two years before they can rid themselves of older smartphones.

“This change aligns the upgrade date with the contact end date and is consistent with how the majority of customers purchase new phones today,” said the operator in a statement on its website.

Clearwire considering interest payment default as Sprint deal looms


Clearwire Corp is "actively considering" defaulting on a $255 million interest payment due June 1 on about $4.5 billion of outstanding debt, according to a proxy filing on Friday, as a shareholder vote approaches on Sprint-Nextel Corp's takeover offer.

The company, which urged investors to vote in favor of Sprint's buyout offer, warned that failure to close a deal may force it to contemplate a financial restructuring, which in turn could entail filing for bankruptcy.

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