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Apple’s CEO voluntarily gives up $75 million in dividends and Google closes $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility. Post IPO, Facebook gets sued by investors and draws criticism with release of Instagram-like camera app. In other news, Google emerges victorious in the legal battle against Oracle and Microsoft launches a social networking site.

10. SAP to pay $4.3 billion for cloud firm Ariba
With cloud computing threatening traditional software providers, tech firms are scrambling to buy “cloud.” SAP announced its $4.3 billion acquisition of Ariba, an online trading platform for businesses. Also, the second largest cloud vendor by revenue, Ariba will boost SAP’s cloud strategy.

9. Facebook releases Instagram clone
Facebook launched its own photo-sharing app which is hauntingly similar to Instagram that was acquired for $1 billion last month. Reportedly, Facebook’s photo-sharing app was under development before it made the acquisition, which raises concern over Instagram’s fate.

8. Yahoo unveils slick new “search browser”
Yahoo unveiled its own browser – Axis, hoping to push the spotlight away from all the negative headlines about the beleaguered Internet company. Axis is a search-oriented add-on to web-browsers, and also a new browser app for iOS. Tech critics have given a thumbs-up for the iOS version of Axis.

7. HP to cut 27, 000 jobs
CEO Meg Whitman has taken matter into her hands to restructure HP by cutting 27, 000 jobs which will save the company around $3.5 billion annually. Reportedly, the cuts will amount to eight percent of the global workforce and will be completed by 2014. HP’s shares increased nine percent following the announcement.

6. Google scores victory in battle with Oracle
Google emerged victorious in the patent infringement lawsuit filed by Oracle. The jury returned a verdict that the search engine giant did not infringe Oracle’s patents with Android. U.S. District judge William Asup dismissed the third phase of the legal battle dealing with damages. For now the show is over, but will Oracle move on?

5. Microsoft quietly launches So.cl social network
Add another social network to the list. Earlier this week, Microsoft quietly rolled out its own social network “So.Cl” (pronounced social) but isn’t competing against Facebook. Infact, Microsoft’s So.Cl allows users to log in with their Facebook account and is a platform for students to share information with their peers.

4. Apple CEO gives up $75 million in dividend income
Apple announced that CEO Tim Cook will forgo $75 million in dividends that he would have received for the 1.125 million stock awards he was slated to receive over the next decade.  Apple declined to comment on the reasons behind CEO Cook’s decision. Apple’s CEO is proving to be a master of employer and investor relations with his charitable decision.

3. Google tackles piracy by removing millions of URLs
Google is removing millions of URLs from its search function and has released the data showing who is requesting URL’s be taken down, copyright owners and all targeted domains since July 2011 on its Transparency Report. The move is to tackle piracy and reveal the data to the public. The links being removed are allegedly copyrighted or pirated materials mostly from entertainment and software companies.

2. Facebook, Zuckerberg, banks sued
Facebook faced an embarrassing fallout after the biggest and most hyped IPO in tech history. Shares plunged below its initial share price in the first three days of its opening. As the losses piled up, investors filed a lawsuit alleging Morgan Stanley analysts of cutting revenue forecast for Facebook just days before the offering. Amid IPO turmoil, Facebook shares slowly began to rise after a tumultuous start only to fall by 15 percent infuriating investors.

1. Motorola is now the Apple of Google’s eye
Google finally closed its $12.5 billion acquisition of Motorola Mobility making it its most expensive purchase.  With Motorola Mobility under its belt, Google is now armed with software and hardware needed to build its own devices. Google is all set to take on Apple.

Disclosure: Microsoft and Motorola Mobility are Weber Shandwick clients.


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