Briefs

Revenue slipped in the second quarter of 2003 for Nortel Networks Corp., but the telecommunications equipment vendor’s net loss narrowed to US$14 million, and it broke even in terms of per-share earnings, the company announced recently. Nortel had revenue of $2.23 billion for the quarter, down from $2.77 billion in the same quarter last year and $2.4 billion in the first quarter of 2003.

IBM offers new financing deals on product lines

To help spark sales, Corp. IBM Corp. recently announced financing deals under its new Power to Choose program, offering qualified customers lower payments with reduced financing rates or no-interest deferred payments until 2004. The program is available for a variety of products, including iSeries, xSeries and pSeries eServers; TotalStorage; PCs; storage systems; printing systems; and software and services. The financing deals end Sept. 30 and are available on purchases of US$25,000 to $1 million.

SCO fuels Web services play with acquisition

The SCO Group Inc. has found time amid its litigation efforts to make an acquisition, snapping up software startup Vultus Inc. in a move to bolster its ambitions in the Web services arena. Vultus’ product lineup includes the Web Face Solution Suite, a development environment for creating rich user interfaces for Web-based applications. The acquisition forms a key element of SCOx, a set of recently launched products that allow SCO and its resellers to build Web services applications for businesses based on SCO’s version of Unix.

Teen settles with FTC over ‘phishing’ scam

The U.S. Federal Trade Commission has charged a teenager with sending deceptive spam and creating a fake America Online Inc. Web site to trick consumers into giving him their personal data, including their credit card information. The FTC said the boy agreed to pay back the US$3,500 he had stolen and agreed to never send spam again. The settlement still has to be court approved.

PeopleSoft closes J.D. Edwards deal

PeopleSoft Inc. on July 18 announced the completion of its buyout of rival J.D. Edwards & Co., having acquired 110 million shares, or 88 percent, of its stock. Because less than 90 per cent of shareholders tendered their shares, the deal is classified as a long-form merger, which means an additional step needs to be taken, said Steve Swasey, a PeopleSoft spokesman. This step is merely a formality in which all J.D. Edwards shareholders vote on the acquisition, and since PeopleSoft now controls 88 per cent of the shares, the vote will pass.

Baan sold for second time in three years

Consolidation appears to be picking up a full head of steam as SSA Global Technologies Inc. announced recently that it would acquire Baan Co. NV. The news came shortly after Business Objects SA announced its intention to acquire Crystal Decisions Inc. SSA Global, which sells a range enterprise software, says it will be able to extend its reach given Baan’s strengths in ERP extensions such as supply chain, advanced planning and CRM. SSA claims about 10,000 licensees, while Baan has approximately 6,500.

Orbitz: Oracle to blame for site outage

Orbitz LLC, the airline-owned travel Web site, suffered an outage recently related to an Oracle database on which Orbitz operates the site, according to a spokeswoman for the Chicago-based company. Orbitz spokeswoman Carol Jouzaitis said it was the most severe outage to hit the online operation since the site launched. “It was an (Oracle) database issue, and we decided to make an architectural change to the site,” Jouzaitis said. Jouzaitis said that as a result, Orbitz is no longer using Oracle Corp.’s 9i Real Application Clusters database software. Oracle officials could not be reached for comment.

Microsoft, Motorola stay mum on phone deal

Recent reports that Motorola Inc. is planning to roll out a mobile phone with software from Microsoft Corp. were dubbed speculation by both companies recently. The industry giants remained tight-lipped about the possibility, despite a report in the online edition of the Wall Street Journal stirred excitement among industry watchers.