Samsung buys home-automation startup SmartThings

Joins Apple and Google in exploring ways to integrate connected household gadgets

Reuters

SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Samsung Electronics Co Ltd will buy SmartThings, a startup backed by PayPal co-founder Max Levchin that helps connect household devices, one of its largest U.S.-startup acquisitions to date.

The South Korean electronics maker joins fellow technology heavyweights Apple Inc and Google Inc in exploring ways to integrate connected household gadgets such as thermostats and lights with mobile apps, a trend commonly known as "Internet of Things."

Cisco to take $700 million in restructuring charges for layoffs

Facing pressure to retire, CEO Chambers says savings will go toward profitable sectors like cloud and security

Reuters

(Reuters) - Network equipment maker Cisco Systems Inc said on Thursday its plan to slash 6,000 jobs will result in restructuring charges of $700 million in cash in the year ending July 2015.

The latest round of layoffs, announced on Wednesday, is at least the fourth workforce reduction in about as many years for a company once synonymous with the Internet boom and could spark a shakeup in management, analysts said.

Shares in Cisco, still the world's largest networking equipment maker, were down 2.7 percent at $24.52 on the Nasdaq.

Reclassify Internet providers for 'net neutrality': NY Times

As FCC collects public comment, Times calls proposed rules troubling

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. regulators' new "net neutrality" rules should classify Internet providers more like public utilities to prevent them from potentially slowing users' access to some Web content, the New York Times said in an editorial in Thursday's newspaper.

The statement comes as the Federal Communications Commission is preparing to set the new rules, which would regulate how Internet service providers, or ISPs, manage traffic on their networks. In January, a federal court struck down the agency's previous version of those rules.

Sprint will introduce 'disruptive' prices next week: new CEO

First order of business for Claure, who replaced Dan Hesse last week, is cutting prices

Reuters

OVERLAND PARK KANSAS/ WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Sprint Corp will implement "very disruptive" prices next week, newly appointed Chief Executive Officer Marcelo Claure said at a company-wide town hall meeting on Thursday, according to the telecommunications industry website, Light Reading.

Claure, who replaced Dan Hesse last week, said his first order of business is cutting prices, followed by sprucing up the company's network, now completing a massive overhaul, and reducing operational costs, the website said.

After China smartphone success, Lenovo plans leap forward overseas

Ventures building on acquistions from Motorola and IBM hinge on U.S. regulatory approval

Reuters

BEIJING (Reuters) - China's Lenovo Group said first-quarter profit jumped 23 percent, beating estimates, as a surge in smartphone sales showed how quickly the world's biggest personal computer maker is transforming itself into a major player in mobile technology.

Beijing-based Lenovo said on Thursday net income climbed to $214 million in the three months through June from $174 million in the same period a year earlier, the opening quarter of its fiscal year. That was ahead of estimates of $202 million, according to a Thomson Reuters SmartEstimate poll of analysts.

FleetCor to buy payments processor Comdata for $3.45 billion

Provider of fleet fuel cards for trucking looks to expand into virtual payments

Reuters

(Reuters) - FleetCor Technologies Inc said it would buy payments processing company Comdata Inc from Ceridian LLC for $3.45 billion in its biggest deal as it looks to expand into the virtual payments market.

Comdata, which was acquired by payroll and employee benefits processing company Ceridian in 1995 for $900 million, provides fleet fuel cards for the trucking industry, payroll cards and gift cards among other services.

Google, Asian telecoms to build $300 million undersea cable to Japan

'FASTER' network will have initial capacity of 60 terabits per second

Reuters

(Reuters) - Search engine Google Inc and five Asian telecom and communications companies have agreed to invest about $300 million to develop and operate a trans-Pacific cable network connecting the United States to Japan.

To be named "FASTER," the cable network will have an initial capacity of 60 terabits per second and will connect Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Oregon and Seattle to Chikura and Shima in Japan.

Latin American telecom firm NII Holdings may seek bankruptcy

Responding to intense competition in Brazil and Mexico - its largest markets

Reuters

(Reuters) - Mobile service provider NII Holdings Inc, reporting its ninth quarterly loss in a row, said on Monday it may have to file for bankruptcy after struggling to compete in Brazil and Mexico.

NII shares fell more than 50 percent in after-market trading to 30 U.S. cents, after ending regular trade at 66 cents on the Nasdaq.

After Verizon, U.S. FCC quizzing other carriers on data management

Suggests stricter rules for wireless networks to restrict discrimination or blocking of Internet content

Reuters

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The top U.S. communications regulator on Friday said he is asking all large U.S. wireless carriers to explain how they decide when to slow download speeds for some customers, after questioning Verizon Wireless about such a plan.

Verizon, the biggest U.S. carrier, said last month that the top 5 percent of high-speed data users on its older unlimited data plans might experience slower speeds starting in October.

Russia demands Internet users show ID to access public Wifi

New law caught many in the industry by surprise and companies said it was not clear how it would be enforced

Reuters

MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia further tightened its control of the Internet on Friday, requiring people using public Wifi hotspots provide identification, a policy that prompted anger from bloggers and confusion among telecom operators on how it would work.

The decree, signed by Prime Minister Dmitry Medvedev on July 31 but published online on Friday, also requires companies to declare who is using their web networks. The legislation caught many in the industry by surprise and companies said it was not clear how it would be enforced.

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