Conglomerate GEC has paid $15 million for a 15 per cent stake in Internet security developer Xcert International, The Times newspaper reports. GEC also has the option to buy the remainder of the Canadian startup, which focuses on developing secure transaction processing software, should it become available.
The online share trading business continues to hot up in the UK, with US online stockbroker DLJ Direct the latest Internet share dealer to set up shop here, according to The Financial Times. DLJ hopes to become the first online broker to offer an institutional research service to retail investors and will make its full range of reports available by early 2000.
The Times reports that British software developer Macro 4 has performed ahead of market expectations, posting a pretax profit of £10.4 million on turnover which was up 28 per cent to £31 million. At the same time, the company announced the retirement of non executive chairman Philip Coussens.
The Financial Times reports that Direct Line, the insurance company which introduced telephone selling to the industry in the UK, has launched a Web site that allows customers to obtain quotes and buy home and car insurance policies over the Web. It claims customers can complete this transaction in as little as two minutes.
The electricity and gas regulator has ordered Northern Electric to fix its billing systems within the next four weeks, or face a ban on signing up more customers, writes The Telegraph. The utility has blamed its problems, which have affected around 20,000 customers, on the introduction of a new computer billing system following deregulation of the market.
Internet fever has hit Europe, with a flurry of dot.com companies raising capital in a bid to hit the big time, Newsweek magazine reports. Partly inspired by the runaway success of FreeServe, the Dixons inspired free access ISP, the trend has seen local players attempt to embrace Silicon Valley business models and working practices, after lagging behind the US in the last few years.
On Monday, the FBI arrested teenager Chad Davis in connection with a series of computer intrusions which brought down systems at the White House and the FBI,during the past year,the Washington Post reports. Davis is thought to be at the centre of a hacking gang known as Global Hell and his arrest followed an investigation lasting several months.
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