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Amazon Surges in UK

Amazon Surges in UK

Today in international tech news: Amazon is opening up a "creative center" in London to explore advances in TV and film services. Also: China's top search engine, Baidu, has a huge second quarter; executives from Apple and Samsung meet outside the courtroom; Europe emerges as a convenient target for Cisco's most recent round of layoffs; and the European Commission takes a closer look at Net neutrality.

By David Vranicar
07/24/12 9:34 AM PT

Online retailer Amazon will open a London branch to staff hundreds of developers and engineers, according to the BBC.

The "creative center" in London will target advancements in TV and film services, according to BBC. In addition, it will explore interactive services that can be used on a variety of platforms, including game consoles and smartphones.

London's mayor, Boris Johnson, said that Amazon's choosing London is a "splendid feather in our cap." He added that the move could help entice other companies to set up shop in London.

Search Engine's Revenue in High Gear

Baidu, China's leading search engine, announced big revenues for the second quarter.

Total second-quarter revenues were US$858.8 million, a 59.8 percent jump from second quarter of 2011. The company also had a 70 percent jump in profits.

Aided by Google's notoriously testy relationship with China, Baidu has an 80 percent share of online searches in the country. This dominance has helped fuel advertising revenue, which rose 60 percent.

Stunning: Apple, Samsung Disagree on Patent Values

Apple and Samsung have had plenty of recent meetings inside courtrooms. But according to Reuters, the two companies got together outside court last week to talk patents.

Apple's Tim Cook met with Samsung executives to discuss the value of the companies' patents, which have been at the center of legal tiffs throughout the world. The two companies currently have more than 20 cases ongoing, including in Germany, the UK and Australia, according to The Guardian.

Apple has accused Samsung of lifting designs from the iPad and iPhone, while Samsung charges that Apple has infringed its patents.

The myriad cases have spurred some noteworthy sound bites from judges. In the UK, for instance, a judge said that Samsung's tablets couldn't be mistaken for iPads because they weren't cool enough. More recently, an Australian judge said it was "ridiculous" that the two companies were going to trial there.

The Wall Street Journal dubbed an Apple/Samsung patent trial in California, set to begin next week, "The Patent Trial of the Century."

Europe Blamed for Cisco Cuts

Europe is being cited as a big reason for Cisco's plans to eliminate 1,300 more jobs.

Bloomberg, for one, used the first sentence of its article to pinpoint "Europe's debt crisis" as a culprit for Cisco's problems.

Channelnomics.com, a technology business website, said that the EU's woes have subjected Cisco to currency fluctuations, while The Associated Press said that "shaky economic conditions" in Europe and elsewhere were to blame.

Cisco CEO John Chambers pinned blame on the European debt crisis back in May. Alas, the company had been struggling well before that.

Europe Addresses Net Neutrality

The European Commission, the executive branch of the European Union, has launched a "public consultation" to address Internet neutrality, according to The Next Web.

The Body of European Regulators of European Communications, or BEREC, issued a report earlier this year saying that Internet regulations should be amended. In particular, BEREC reported that Internet service providers often block peer-to-peer traffic and VoIP services, also known as "Internet telephony." These blocks are compounded by fees and restrictions when it comes to switching Internet service providers, leaving customers locked into deals that they don't want.


Tech Trek is a blog that looks at tech news from around the world. David Vranicar is a freelance journalist currently living in the Netherlands. His ECT News Network archive, with links to articles and podcasts, is available here. You can email him at david.vranicar@newsroom.ectnews.com.



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