LinkedIn share price more than doubles in NYSE debut
NEW YORK (Reuters) - LinkedIn Corp's <LNKD.N> shares more than doubled in their public trading debut on Thursday, evoking memories of the investor love affair with Internet stocks during the dot-com boom of the late 1990s. Shares of the online professional social networking company soared as much as 171 percent, or $76.97, to $121.97 in afternoon trading on the New York Stock Exchange -- far exceeding the $45 initial public offering price.
Verizon eyes family data plans
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Verizon Wireless expects to offer family plans for data services supporting multiple devices including smartphones and tablet computers at some point in the future, according to a top executive of parent company Verizon Communications. <VZ.N> Verizon Wireless plans to kick off pricing changes this summer by eliminating smartphone plans that allow unlimited Web access for a flat fee. It will replace them with tiered pricing that forces heavy data users to pay more for mobile data.
Google, Apple not unassailable in smartphone race
PARIS (Reuters) - Microsoft <MSFT.O> and some smaller software vendors still have a shot in the fast-changing smartphone race even though Google <GOOG.O> and Apple <AAPL.O> are pulling rapidly ahead, industry executives said. Helped by interest from manufacturers, operators and consumers, Google's Android platform has become the leading mobile operating system, with Google and Apple together controlling more than half of the market in the first quarter, according to research firm Canalys.
Amazon says e-books now outselling paper books
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Amazon.com Inc <AMZN.O> said on Thursday that it now sells more digital e-books than paper books and that its recently introduced lower-priced Kindle e-reader is outselling other versions of the device. Amazon, which does not divulge exact sales figures for the Kindle or e-books, said that for every 100 print books it has sold since April 1, it has sold 105 e-books. That includes both paperback and hardcover books, but excludes free downloads.
Analysis: Uphill fight for Baidu, China censorship lawsuit
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Pro-democracy activists will face an uphill fight to convince a U.S. court that Baidu Inc <BIDU.O> and China censored them over the Internet and should be punished. Eight New York residents accused Baidu and China's ruling Communist Party of conspiring to suppress their political speech, in violation of the First Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and various civil and human rights laws.
Inventories to cap phone market growth: Gartner
PARIS (Reuters) - Rising inventories of unsold cellphones and slower demand growth in emerging countries will cap cellphone market growth in 2011, research firm Gartner said on Thursday. Gartner lowered its 2011 cellphone market view by 10-15 million phones as retailers stocked up after the earthquake and tsunami that struck Japan in March, hitting the supply chains in the electronics and car industries.
Baidu, China sued in U.S. for Internet censorship
NEW YORK (Reuters) - Eight New York residents sued Baidu Inc <BIDU.O> and the Chinese government on Wednesday, accusing China's biggest search engine of conspiring with its rulers to censor pro-democracy speech. The eight pro-democracy activists claim violations of the U.S. Constitution and, according to the plaintiffs' lawyer, the suit is the first of its type. In an unorthodox move it names not only a company but also the Chinese government as defendants.
European start-ups shy away from IPO frenzy
PARIS (Reuters) - European tech industry executives, highly skeptical about the sky-high market valuations put on U.S. start-ups, are choosing not to float their own shares for now and are instead pursuing growth in the relative calm of the Old Continent. Executives from professional social networking website Viadeo, children's on-line games makers Mind Candy and Sulake, and navigation company Telmap told the Reuters Global Technology Summit they would not seek stock market listings despite the big money up for grabs in what some fear could be another Internet bubble.
Online ad growth sparks rush for Yandex IPO
MOSCOW (Reuters) - Russia's Yandex is set to complete the biggest internet IPO since Google, as investors wary of much-hyped social networks look instead for exposure to the fast-growing online advertising market. Yandex has 65 percent of Russia's online search market, pushing world leader Google <GOOG.O> into a distant second place in the emerging market with just over 20 percent. Its order book -- officially due to close on Monday -- is already oversubscribed, sources say.
Alcatel CEO looks to future growth
PARIS (Reuters) - Chief Executive Ben Verwaayen is preparing the next stage of telecom equipment maker Alcatel-Lucent's <ALUA.PA> development armed with a refreshed product portfolio and a slimmer cost structure. The Dutch CEO is on the home stretch of a three-year turnaround plan for the long-struggling telecom gear maker that calls for the group to be a "normal company" again, with adjusted operating margins of 5 percent or higher.