Sprint had talks with four other companies before SoftBank deal


Sprint Nextel Corp, the No. 3 U.S. mobile service provider, said that it talked to four different companies about a potential deal before it announced its agreement to sell 70 percent of its shares to Japan's SoftBank Corp for $20 billion.

Oracle to buy network gear maker Acme Packet for $2.1 billion


Oracle Corp will buy network equipment maker Acme Packet Inc for $2.1 billion, putting it in a better position to compete with Cisco Systems Inc (San Jose, USA) in moving data securely over internet networks.

Shares of Acme (Bedford, USA) were trading 7 cents above the offer price of $29.25 in early trading on Monday, suggesting that some investors anticipate a counter bid.

The deal is Oracle's (Redwood Shores, USA) biggest since it bought Sun Microsystems in 2010 for about $7 billion.

AT&T rating cut by Moody's on concern about debt-financed buyback

Ratings agency Moody’s has downgraded AT&T on concern about debts the operator has incurred to finance its share repurchase program.

Lowering the credit rating from A3 to A2, Moody’s says it believes the debt- financed program will result in “materially higher leverage for several years before it can be offset by organic growth”.

US Justice Dept examining Softbank, Sprint deal


The Justice Department urged the U.S. telecommunications regulator on Tuesday to "defer" action on its investigation of Japan's Softbank Corp's takeover of Sprint Nextel, according to an FCC filling.

Softbank (Tokyo, Japan) and Sprint (Overland Park, USA) agreed last year that Softbank Corp would pay $20 billion for control of Sprint Nextel Corp, giving the Japanese firm entry into the U.S. market and Sprint, the No. 3 U.S. carrier, much-needed cash.

US government warns of hack threat to network gear


The Department of Homeland Security urged computer users on Tuesday to disable a common networking technology feature, after researchers warned that hackers could exploit flaws to gain access to tens of millions of vulnerable devices.

The U.S. government's Computer Emergency Readiness Team, on its website, advised consumers and businesses to disable a feature known as Universal Plug and Play or UPnP, and some other related features that make devices from computers to printers accessible over the open Internet.

Novatel module wins Verizon Wireless backing

Mobile operator Verizon Wireless has given a boost to M2M module maker Novatel Wireless, approving a new module for use on its network.

The MT 3050 device that has received Verizon’s (New York, USA) technical approval is a tracking device aimed at reducing upfront costs for insurance telematics and fleet-management applications.

Novatel (San Diego, USA) says it is ideal for insurance telematics and fleet-management providers looking for information on the vehicle, vehicle location or driver behavior.

Insight: Apple's grip on carriers, suppliers loosens


Apple Inc's shareholders have been hit by one of the bloodiest weeks in the history of the stock, but wider fallout from such weakness might be more important to the long-term value of their investments.

While Apple's iPhones, iPads and Macs remain gold standards, signs the company is losing some of its edge in the smartphone market suggest its clout with business partners could wane.

Recent comments from executives at phone carriers and component suppliers show they see room for at least some shift in the balance of power.

AT&T to pay $1.9 million for Verizon spectrum


AT&T Inc has inked two deals worth more than $2.68 billion this week as it accelerates its push to expand its wireless spectrum holdings to beef up capacity for high-speed services.

The No 2. U.S. mobile provider said on Friday that it agreed to buy wireless airwaves from Verizon Wireless for $1.9 billion in cash, plus spectrum licenses that it will contribute to Verizon Wireless in five markets.

AT&T subscriber growth beats but profit margins misses


AT&T Inc's fourth-quarter profit was lower than expected but the telephone company promised earnings and revenue growth this year even if the economy does not improve.

Along with growth from its existing business, Chief Executive Randall Stephenson said on Thursday that AT&T (Dallas, USA) is also eyeing overseas opportunities. He said the idea would be to profit from wireless expansion in countries where services are not yet as advanced as in the United States.

Cisco sells home networking business to Belkin


Cisco Systems Inc is selling its home networking business to Belkin, the networking giant's latest move to exit the consumer business.

The companies did not disclose the financial terms of the deal, which Belkin (Playa Vista, USA) said on Thursday is expected to close in March.

With the sale, Cisco (San Jose, USA) sheds one of the last remaining pieces of its consumer business, following the shutdown of the Flip video camera business in 2011.

Earlier this month, Cisco said it would shutter its Umi online video-conferencing service.

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