News

Angela Merkel to startups and entrepreneurs:

Angela Merkel to startups and entrepreneurs: "Can we be friends?"

It's quite a love fest in startup world. There was Neelie Kroes recently in Brussels calling them "rebels without a cause" and saying she had decidedly motherly feelings about entr...

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Avito.ru merges with rivals, becomes 3rd classifieds site in the world

I wrote last week about the free classifieds market and how huge it is. If you wanted a reminder just how huge: Avito.ru, the biggest Russian free classifieds site, just announced a merger with Slando.ru and OLX.ru, two smaller sites owned by South African player Naspers. The deal is worth over $ 570 million, reports the FT. The two smaller sites will be incorporated in the Avito brand, creating the world's third ... Read more

Lauritz.com, the online auction house founded in 1885 (!), acquires rival QXL

Lauritz.com might not be a househould name outside the Nordics, but they're a very interesting business, and obviously an online powerhouse in its markets. Lauritz is a high end auction site, specialized in art and antiques, and it just announced the acquisition of QXL, another online auction site operating in Denmark and Norway. Lauritz sells luxury items starting from DK 850 (€ 115) - antiques, art, jewellery,... Read more

Axel Springer to Google: "About that licence fee..."

It appears that the Germany ancillary copyright win for Google wasn't quite so conclusive. Although the new ancillary copyright law states that "single words or small text excerpts" would remain free to use for aggregators and search engines, Axel Springer now feels it is within rights to ask a licence fee for Google's use of snippets (average length: 20 words). As could perhaps be expected, the vague text of the ... Read more

Digital overtakes print at Axel Springer in record year

Axel Springer is one of the European publishers who is racing towards digital, instead of trying to ignore it - and it looks like their strategy is paying off. Today, Springer announced that it booked a record year in 2012, thanks to its growing digital business and its acquisitions abroad. Springers  earnings before interest, taxes, depreciation, and amortization (ebitda) came in at € 628 million. Total re... Read more

Microsoft faces "hundreds of millions of dollars" fine from EU regulators

Today, Microsoft will be hit with a fine running into the hundreds of millions of dollars by the EU competition regulators. In 2009, Microsoft made a voluntary agreement with European competition authorities to allow users the choice between different browsers, instead of making Internet Explorer the default browser. Microsoft avoided a long and painful round of litigation by striking a deal, but didn't keep its p... Read more