Monday 4 October: VNU Newswire's roundup of the IT news from the national and international press.
The Daily Telegraph reports that Scottish Power's telecoms and Internet business Scottish Telecom has unveiled a new trading style and is renamed Thus. Bill Allan, managing director of Thus, denied rumours that the company would be sold to a French or American buyer. Last month Scottish Power announced they would sell between 25 per cent and 49.9 per cent of Thus in an initial offering with institutional investors.
The number of new mobile phone users has soared this quarter, reports The Daily Telegraph. Cellnet, Vodafone, Airtouch, Orange and One2One report third third quarter subscriber figures this week, which are expected to equal the best set of new subscriber numbers since the end of 1998. Cellnet is expected to have gained 910,000 new subscribers, Orange has 555,000 new phone users and Vodafone is expected to forecast 695,000 new subscribers.
Akio Morita, the co founder of the Sony Corporation, has died, reports The New York Time. Sony was founded by Morita in a bombed out Tokyo department store after World War II and led the company to become famous for products like the pocket sized transistor radio, the videocassette recorder, the Walkman and the compact disk.
The Financial Times writes that Royal Dutch/Shell plans to move its European fuel payment card into a new financial service facility that will serve as a ecommerce platform. The Euro Shell card already makes about five billion euro a year but the company plans to add a number of new features.
Amadeus Global Travel, one of the world's largest computer travel reservations systems, is to make an 800 million euro initial public offer, reports the Wall Street Journal. Amadeus is one of three global distribution systems, the electronic warehouses for airline flight schedules, ticketing, and fare information. The company will initially list on the Spanish stock exchange and may eventually list on Frankfurt and Paris.
Enonymous.com, a US start up, plans to launch a free online privacy utility that protects the identities of shoppers on the Web, reports the San Jose Mercury. The program will be available at www.enonymous.com and will aim to protect consumer privacy. Users personal details will be recorded and then stored in coded form.
MCI WorldCom has made a bid to take over Sprint, writes the Financial Times. MCI, the US telecommunications company, is said to be confident of reaching an agreement with Sprint, although it has shown concern over the interest also shown by Bell South. The deal would put MCI almost level with AT&T and provide it with a national wireless network. The union of Sprint and MCI would account for roughly a third of the long distance market, compared with nearly half for AT&T.
The Guardian reveals that Britain's leading Internet tycoons have made a fortune of £1.3 billion between them over four years. The Guardian survey of 50 Internet entrepreneurs also reveals that there is a growing number of teenage millionaires. Web sites make their revenues through advertising and ecommerce. However, in the US the wealth of the British tycoons still appears pitiful. Pierre Omidyar, chairman of Ebay has amassed a fortune of £2.3 billion alone.
The Financial Times on Saturday reported that Internet shoppers have spent £2 billion in the past 12 months. Research by BRMB Internet Monitor reveals that in the last four months the number of people using credit cards to shop online has risen from 35 per cent to 48 per cent. The most popular purchases are books, CDs and computer software. The report also showed that Internet banking was growing in popularity, with 10 per cent of UK Internet users now accessing their accounts online.
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