We’re at the London Value Investing Conference, soaking up all the different ways to approach the buying of stocks for less than they might be worth.
Don’t be a sissy, that’s my key takeaway from this morning and it feeds directly into my Napoleonic complex.
*CISION: RECEIVED FINGERPRINT RELEASE FROM CONTACT AT FINGERPRINT
That would be the release announcing a $650m acquisition of Fingerprint Cards by Samsung, which – regrettably – has turned out to be completely made-up, and possibly a matter for the Swedish authorities. Read more
On Monday, the UK’s High Court ruled against Apple in its lawsuit against Samsung, which Apple accused of copying its designs with the latest Galaxy tablet.
But part of the rationale given for the ruling by Judge Colin Birss was… unusual: Read more
Samsung has approved a plan to spin off its loss-making LCD business into a new company by April 1, Bloomberg reports. Samsung Display Co will receive $668m of capital under the proposal. The new entity may eventually merge with the company’s more profitable OLED business, which creates brighter and faster screens for the TV and tablet markets at a high margin, the WSJ adds. LCD manufacturers have struggled in recent years as the technology became ubiquitous.
In a further twist in the global legal battle waged by technology giants around the use of patents, Samsung Electronics is to be investigated by the European Union to assess whether it breached antitrust rules by refusing to provide rivals access to its technology at reasonable prices. Brussels will be looking into whether the South Korean technology giant, the world’s biggest smartphone manufacturer but also a key supplier to rivals such as Apple, had distorted the market by withholding “standard essential patent rights”, reports the FT. The European Commission, acting as the EU’s antitrust enforcer, said its investigation stems from Samsung’s lawsuits against competing groups, notably Apple, launched in several EU member states in 2011.
Samsung Electronics on Wednesday denied it was interested in buying ailing Blackberry maker Research In Motion or licensing its operating system, reports Reuters, refuting a tech blog report that RIM was seeking to sell itself to the South Korean company. Shares of RIM, which has been the subject of continuous takeover speculation with its stock valuation lingering at multi-year lows, jumped more than 10 per cent on the report before falling back after Samsung’s denial. Product delays and profit warnings have eroded confidence in Canada-based RIM, once at the cutting edge of smartphone technology for business users, and its management. “We haven’t considered acquiring the firm and are not interested in (buying RIM),” Samsung spokesman James Chung said. Chung also said Samsung had not been approached by the Canadian firm for a takeover and was not interested in licensing RIM’s mobile platform.
Samsung Electronics is merging its homegrown Bada operating system into a platform backed by Intel, the US chipmaker, to bolster its weak software and reduce its dependence on Google’s Android, says the FT. The move by the world’s largest technology company by sales comes as South Korean groups have privately expressed concern about Google’s $12.5bn acquisition of Motorola Mobility last year, warning of a long-term threat if powerful software producers make their hardware effectively in-house. Samsung builds successful hardware but software is its Achilles heel as it relies on Google to run its premium smartphone models. Analysts have predicted Samsung will seek to both diversify its portfolio of operating systems and acquire outside technology.
Shares in Samsung Electronics rose more than 2 per cent on Monday, reports Reuters, after Apple’s bid to halt US sales of its Galaxy line of products was rejected, easing concern of slowing growth in its telecom business. The US District Court in San Jose, California, ruled on Saturday against Apple’s plea to ban Samsung from selling its 4G smartphone and Galaxy Tab 10.1 tablet computer in the country, says Bloomberg. The victory builds on an Australian court ruling in November that lifted an earlier injunction on the tablet in the country. Samsung and Apple have filed at least 30 suits against each other on four continents since April.
Samsung managed to avoid yet another injunction of its Galaxy Tab, this time in the US, writes Forbes. On the same day that saw a ban on Tab sales in Australia, a case was filed in the US that will examine whether the tablet infringes on patents held by Apple on its iPad. The judge, however, declined issue a preliminary injunction, as Apple’s request for one was based on the claim of infringing a “utility patent”, which is for an actual invention, as opposed to a “design patent” that relates to “new, original and ornamental design for an article of manufacture”.
Apple has won an important legal battle in a Sydney court to block rival Samsung Electronics from selling its Galaxy Tab 10.1 in Australia ahead of the crucial Christmas shopping season, the FT reports. In a blow to Samsung, Justice Annabelle Bennett in the Federal Court on Thursday granted a temporary injunction sought by Apple, maker of the iPad, to delay the launch of its rival’s product in Australia. Apple claims that Samsung’s tablet, one of the iPad’s biggest rivals, infringes its technology and design patents. Apple also is seeking a sales ban on Samsung’s mobile devices in the US, which is one of Samsung’s biggest markets. A court hearing is slated for later on Thursday in California. Samsung and Apple are locked in about 20 legal disputes over patents in nine countries including the US, South Korea, Japan and the UK. Last month, a German court upheld a complaint by Apple that its South Korean rival copied the design of its iPad, and banned the sale of Samsung’s newest Galaxy Tab tablet computer in Europe’s largest market.
Samsung said it will try to stop the sale of Apple’s iPhone 4S in France and Italy, the WSJ reports. Samsung, which is competing with Apple for the lead in smartphone sales, is trying to gain an upper hand in a legal battle that started in April when Apple accused the South Korean company of copying key design elements. A Samsung spokesman said it chose France and Italy because they are “key markets” in Europe, citing also “the local legal system and processes.” Courts in Germany and the Netherlands have temporarily halted sales of Samsung smartphones and tablets pending hearings on patent-infringement claims. Courts in Australia and the US next week are expected to decide on other Apple claims for injunctions against Samsung products. An Apple spokesman said Samsung was engaged in “blatant copying” and the company needed to protect its intellectual property.
Samsung Electronics is seeking to block sales of the iPhone 4S only hours after it was launched, in a sign that it is shifting from defence to attack in its rapidly worsening patent dispute with Apple, reports the FT. The South Korean company on Wednesday said it planned to seek injunctions against the iPhone 4S in France and Italy by filing suits in Paris and Milan, accusing Apple of infringing its patents for wireless technology in 3G mobile handsets.
Speaking of a patent war in the smartphone industry…
Compared to the massive Google-Motorola deal, Samsung’s ongoing battle with Apple is more like a skirmish, but it probably shows just how disruptive Google’s strategy could be, if they can pull it off. Read more
Apple has won a preliminary injunction barring Samsung‘s sale of its Galaxy Tab in every European Union member nation but the Netherlands, the FT reports, in the most significant victory so far in an escalating legal clash between the two technology powerhouses. The ruling came in a case brought by Apple in Germany, where the judge found that the maker of the iPad tablet was likely to prevail at a full trial of the issues that the largest tech company by sales was infringing on Apple’s design rights. Samsung said it would contest the ruling and complained it had not had a chance to defend itself. Apple has claimed that “design rights” – the shape of Samsung’s Galaxy Tab, its user interface and even its packaging – copy from the iPad. European Commission regulations establishing design rights allow for certain national-level courts to enforce them. A separate case will be heard in the Netherlands on Wednesday. The battle is part of a wider conflict between Apple and the various companies supportingGoogle’s Android operating system, says CNet.
Apple will soon launch a new model of iPhone, the WSJ says, which will be thinner and lighter with a more powerful camera. Citing people familiar with the situation, the newspaper says Apple has ordered key components for the device and is aiming to launch by the end of September. The new phone will use Qualcomm chips rather than those made by Intel-owned Infineon, which appear in most versions of its current iPhone 4. Apple is said to be upping the ante against rival Samsung. Meanwhile Reuters reports that a security flaw has been revealed in Apple’s iOS operating system, which is used in iPhones, iPads and iPod Touch devices. The vulnerability could be exploited to gain remote access to the devices, security consultants said.
Samsung has filed a lawsuit against Apple, Bloomberg reports, claiming the US company infringed patents for technology used in iPhones and iPads. “Apple has copied many of Samsung’s innovations in its Apple iPhone, iPod and iPad products,” Samsung lawyers said in a lawsuit filed in federal court in Delaware. The Korean company is already involved in litigation with Apple in at least four countries amid intense competition in the mobile device market. Apple has alleged that Samsung’s Galaxy devices copy the iPhone and iPad. Samsung has also filed a complaint with the International Trade Commission seeking to stop the sale of iPods, iPads and iPhones in the US, the WSJ reports.
Apple has filed a suit against Samsung Electronics alleging that the company’s Galaxy smartphones and tablets infringe patents on the iPhone and iPad, Bloomberg says. Samsung ‘slavishly’ copied Apple designs with earlier products less redolent of iPad features, the suit argues, according to Reuters. The suit pits the tablet market’s two largest competitors each other and marks a new stage in litigation over smartphones, says the FT. Apple’s relatively small portfolio of patents puts it at a disadvantage to rivals. The Samsung case is the first Apple has brought over ‘trade dress’ or product appearance. Its suit even covers the Nexus S phone, a Google Android product that has no Samsung software, Daring Fireball notes.
Apple has filed its first lawsuit over patents and trademarks for the technology and appearance of its iPad tablet computer, accusing Samsung Electronics of copying the look and feel of the hit product, reports the FT. The suit, filed on Friday and seen by Reuters alleges Samsung “slavishly” copied the Apple products’ look, product design and user interface, violating patents and copyright.
Apple filed a lawsuit in California on Friday claiming Samsung’s Galaxy line of mobile phones and tablet devices are copies of the iPhone and iPad, according to court papers seen by Reuters. The suit alleges Samsung “slavishly” copied the Apple products’ look, product design and user interface, violating patents and copyright.
Samsung Electronics and LG Electronics, the world’s two largest flatscreen television makers, have in recent weeks been embroiled in rare public mudslinging about their rival 3D TV technologies, reports the FT. The clash is not simply normal competitive tension between South Korea’s largest consumer electronics makers. They are major suppliers of the panels used for making 3D televisions and each company is backing a different technology. Only one type of panel will become industry standard.
As the share price of Nokia continues to sink in the wake of Friday’s distinctly underwhelming tie-up with Microsoft…
Samsung Electronics has bought a Dutch maker of display technology for e-readers, signalling that the world’s biggest tech company by sales is overcoming a long-held aversion to M&A, reports the FT. The deal to buy Liquavista illustrates Samsung’s strategy shift from making components in-house and its recognition of the need to grow through international acquisitions. Samsung has been notoriously wary of such expansion since its unsuccessful purchase of AST in the late 1990s. The South Korean company was forced to close the US computer-maker after a mass defection of research talent and a string of losses. Liquavista’s display technology is used for devices such as e-readers and mobile phones.
It seems somebody doesn’t believe Apple, Intel, Samsung or some other big company is going to launch a cash offer for the UK chip designer.
That somebody is actually several Arm executives and a handful of non-executive directors who have just declared the sale of around 725,000 shares. (Note that these disposals follow a flurry of selling at the start of August). Read more
Powered by big names such as Samsung Electronics and Hyundai Motor, the Kospi index of leading shares, which has a foreign holding of about 30 per cent, has recouped the deep losses of the economic crisis to ride two-year highs. It also still looks cheap in terms of price to earning ratios, reports the FT. But the Kospi’s volatility also demands hardy punters, and South Korea’s authorities are highly defensive about a “portfolio” effect of investors bailing out when times get tough, undermining stocks and the won. State officials argue that foreign investors – who must also be steeled to be public scapegoats in a hostile political culture – can collapse markets through their ignorance of the Korean peninsula.
The United Arab Emirates’ threat to block BlackBerry services has left businesses in the Gulf’s commercial hub baffled and frustrated as they tries to come to terms with the implications for their local operations, the FT reports. The effect of a suspension would be considerable. Though figures vary, it is generally accepted that there are about 500,000 BlackBerry users in the UAE. Almost half of all such subscriptions in the Gulf state are corporate, according to some analysts’ estimates.
Samsung Electronics, the world’s second-largest handset maker by sales, is looking to the GalaxyS, its latest Android-based smartphone, to regain market share in the fast-growing smartphone market, the FT reported. The South Korean company — expected to announce its second-quarter earnings guidance on Wednesday – hopes the GalaxyS can become an iPhone killer. Meanwhile, rival handset-maker HTC said its Q2 unaudited net profit rose 33 per cent.
EU competition authorities have fined 10 producers of memory chips – including Samsung, Infineon, Hynix and Toshiba – a total of €331m, in their first settlement deal over cartel offences, the FT reported. The biggest single penalty of €145.7m will be paid by Samsung, followed by Infineon (€56.7m) and Hynix (€51.4m).
Prosecutors from a special team set up to investigate Samsung Group, South Korea’s top business conglomerate, on Monday raided an office of chairman Lee Kun-hee and homes of other executives as part of an official probe into bribery allegations, reports Reuters on Monday, citing a team official.South Korea last week launched a special probe into the group on suspicions it bribed public officials to squash investigations into its management practices.
Prosecutors and staff searched one of the offices Mr Lee uses in Seoul and homes of seven other Samsung executives, the official at the prosecutor team said. Officials at Samsung Group and flagship Samsung Electronics could not confirm the report. Read more