Bazaarvoice, Inc. (BV) Enters Settlement with DOJ Apr 24, 2014 05:37PM

Bazaarvoice, Inc. (NASDAQ: BV) announced after the close of trading Thursday that it has entered into a settlement with the U.S. Department of Justice ("DOJ") that would resolve the DOJ's claims in the antitrust action challenging Bazaarvoice's 2012 acquisition of PowerReviews. In consideration of the decision issued by the Court on January 8, 2014, the parties have provided to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California (the "Court") a Stipulation and Order, including the terms of a Second Amended Proposed Final Judgment.

Under the terms of the Stipulation and Order, Bazaarvoice is required to divest all assets of the PowerReviews business, a process that was initiated on April 8, 2014, through a non-binding letter of intent (LOI) whereby Viewpoints, LLC would acquire the Bazaarvoice subsidiary that holds substantially all assets of PowerReviews. Bazaarvoice will also comply with additional provisions designed to ensure a prompt divestiture of assets and a smooth transition of services. The complete Stipulation and Order will be available on the DOJ Antitrust Division's website.

Once the Stipulation and Order is approved and entered by the Court, Bazaarvoice intends to complete negotiations with Viewpoints, including completion of due diligence and execution of a definitive agreement. While there can be no assurance that the proposed transaction with Viewpoints will be completed, the transaction is expected to close within the first quarter of Bazaarvoice's 2015 fiscal year ending July 31, 2014, provided that Bazaarvoice receives the necessary approvals, including the Court's entry of the Proposed Final Judgment and consent of the divestiture agreement.

"From the outset of this process, we have made a sustained effort to ultimately resolve this matter with the best possible outcome for our clients, shareholders, and employees," said Gene Austin, CEO and president, Bazaarvoice. "Today's settlement is a result of our ongoing dialogue with the DOJ and we are happy to have brought this litigation to a conclusion. Over the next few months, we will work to fulfill our obligations under this settlement agreement and focus our full attention on furthering the operational improvements underway across our organization, delivering new innovations to our clients, and championing the best practices and policies for authentic user-generated content."

As required by the Tunney Act, the proposed settlement, along with the DOJ's competitive impact statement, will be published in the Federal Register. Any person may submit written comments concerning the proposed settlement during a 60-day comment period to James J. Tierney, Chief, Networks & Technology Enforcement Section, Antitrust Division, U.S. Department of Justice, 450 Fifth Street, N.W., 7th Floor, Washington, D.C. 20530. At the conclusion of the 60-day comment period, the U.S. District Court in the Northern District of California may approve the proposed settlement upon finding that it is in the public interest.


Ballard Power Systems (BLDP), United Tech (UTX) Close PEM Tech IP Transaction Apr 24, 2014 04:38PM

Ballard Power Systems, Inc. (Nasdaq: BLDP) announced that it has acquired the transportation- and stationary-related fuel cell intellectual property (IP) assets of United Technologies Corporation (NYSE: UTX). These assets consist of approximately 800 patents and patent applications, as well as patent licenses, invention disclosures and know-how primarily related to Proton Exchange Membrane (PEM) fuel cell technology.

John Sheridan, Ballard President and CEO said, "We believe that this acquisition gives Ballard a commanding position in strategic fuel cell IP, strengthening our ability to grow shareholder value. Further, our new alliance with United Technologies will bolster Ballard's execution capabilities, particularly in the generation of IP licensing revenue."

In addition to incremental IP licensing revenue opportunities, the acquired intellectual property assets will support other key elements of Ballard's corporate strategy: engineering service capabilities will be expanded in both automotive and non-automotive markets; and fuel cell product sales will be accelerated through product development initiatives in areas such as durability and balance of plant simplification.

As consideration for the patents and patent applications as well as patent licenses, invention disclosures and know-how, UTC has received 5.1 million Ballard common shares, $2 million in cash, a grant back license to use the patent portfolio in UTC's existing businesses and a royalty on Ballard's future IP licensing income generated from the combined IP portfolio.

In connection with the transaction, Ballard and United Technologies have formed a strategic alliance led by a joint Advisory Council. The Advisory Council will focus on licensing and other commercial market opportunities arising from the combination of the acquired UTC portfolio with Ballard's extensive intellectual property.

Kelly Romano, Vice President of UTC's Innovation Business Development group added, "With over 50 years of leading edge technology development, UTC's fuel cell IP portfolio is widely recognized as one of the foundational and pioneering technology assets in the space. We are excited to announce today's alliance with Ballard to continue the development and commercialization of these valuable assets."


Netflix, Inc. (NFLX) Makes Case Against ISP Tolls (CMCSA) Apr 24, 2014 03:29PM

The Case Against ISP Tolls

As the person at Netflix (Nasdaq: NFLX) responsible for content delivery, I spend a lot of time thinking about Netflix’s Open Connect CDN and its interconnection with ISPs. We are proud of the performance we’ve achieved through our hundreds of Open Connect partners around the globe.

In fact, Netflix has a mutually beneficial relationship with nearly every ISP in every market where we provide service. But this is less the case for the largest ISP in the U.S., Comcast, which is trying to become even larger by acquiring Time Warner Cable.

Netflix agreed to pay Comcast (Nasdaq: CMCSA) for direct interconnection to reverse an unacceptable decline in our members’ video experience on the Comcast network. These members were experiencing poor streaming quality because Comcast allowed its links to Internet transit providers like Level3, XO, Cogent and Tata to clog up, slowing delivery of movies and TV shows to Netflix users.

For a content company such as Netflix, paying an ISP like Comcast for interconnection is not the same as paying for Internet transit. Transit networks like Level3, XO, Cogent and Tata perform two important services: (1) they carry traffic over long distances and (2) they provide access to every network on the global Internet. When Netflix connects directly to the Comcast network, Comcast is not providing either of the services typically provided by transit networks.

Comcast does not carry Netflix traffic over long distances. Netflix is itself shouldering the costs and performing the transport function for which it used to pay transit providers. Netflix connects to Comcast in locations all over the U.S., and has offered to connect in as many locations as Comcast desires. So Netflix is moving Netflix content long distances, not Comcast.

Nor does Comcast connect Netflix to other networks. In fact, Netflix can’t reach other networks via Comcast’s network.

For all these reasons, Netflix directly interconnects with many ISPs here in the U.S. and internationally without any exchange of fees.

In sum, Comcast is not charging Netflix for transit service. It is charging Netflix for access to its subscribers. Comcast also charges its subscribers for access to Internet content providers like Netflix. In this way, Comcast is double dipping by getting both its subscribers and Internet content providers to pay for access to each other.

It is true that there is competition among the transit providers and CDNs that transport and localize data across networks. But even the most competitive transit market cannot ensure sufficient access to the Comcast network. That’s because, to reach consumers, CDNs and transit providers must ultimately hand the traffic over to a terminating ISP like Comcast, which faces no competition. Put simply, there is one and only one way to reach Comcast’s subscribers at the last mile: Comcast.

There cannot be an “intensely competitive” market when Comcast alone sets the terms and conditions for access to Comcast subscribers. Comcast can simply refuse to provide capacity to any network at any time, constraining the ability for Comcast users to use the services they want. Comcast’s ability to constrain access to Netflix can be clearly seen in the following chart, which shows how Netflix performance deteriorated on the Comcast network and then immediately recovered after Netflix started paying Comcast in February.

We do a great deal of work at Netflix to provide our users with great video quality whenever they chose to use our service. Comcast already controls access and sets the terms of access to a substantial portion of people who connect to the Internet in the United States. We're very concerned that a combined Comcast-TWC will place toll takingabove consumer interests and will use their combined market power to the detriment of a vibrant and efficient Internet. That’s why Netflix opposes the merger.

Ken

Ken Florance is vice president of content delivery at Netflix


Oramed Pharma (ORMP) Reports Data from ORMD-0801 Phase IIa Apr 24, 2014 02:31PM

Oramed Pharmaceuticals Inc. (Nasdaq: ORMP) detailed results from its previously completed Phase IIa trial investigating ORMD-0801, its orally ingestible insulin capsule, in type 2 diabetes patients. The preliminary results of this trial were originally announced on January 30, 2014. The results are being presented today by Oramed's Chief Scientific Officer, Dr. Miriam Kidron, at the 2014 GTC Diabetes Summit, taking place in Cambridge, Massachusetts, USA. The trial was conducted in the United States under a Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Investigational New Drug (IND) protocol.

The results showed that ORMD-0801 oral insulin appeared to be safe and well-tolerated for the dosing regimen considered in this study. No hypoglycemic events occurred at any point in any treatment group and no treatment related adverse events were observed. Although the study was not powered to show statistical significance, there were trends observed showing pattern of well-defined and short-term increases in plasma insulin and decreases in blood glucose.

"We are very pleased with the outcome of this study, which showed ORMD-0801 to be safe and well-tolerated," stated Dr. Miriam Kidron, Chief Scientific Officer of Oramed. "Importantly, the decreases in blood glucose we observed were not associated with any hypoglycemic events. We look forward to moving ahead with our planned U.S. Phase IIb trial in individuals with type 2 diabetes which will investigate ORMD-0801 over a longer treatment period and which will have statistical power to give us greater insight into the drug's efficacy."


Facebook (FB) Debuts FB Newswire Apr 24, 2014 02:29PM

Facebook (Nasdaq: FB) announced the debut of FB Newswire today. The following was posted by Andy Mitchell, Director, News and Global Media Partnerships at Facebook, to the company's official newsroom:

Every day, news is made on Facebook. More than one billion people use our platform to discover, explore and participate in news-making events around the world.

Today, we’re excited to announce FB Newswire, a resource that will make it easier for journalists and newsrooms to find, share and embed newsworthy content from Facebook in the media they produce.

Powered by Storyful, the leader in social content discovery and verification for newsrooms, FB Newswire aggregates newsworthy content shared publicly on Facebook by individuals and organizations across the world for journalists to use in their reporting. This will include original photos, videos and status updates posted by people on the front lines of major events like protests, elections and sporting events. FB Newswire is accessible on Facebook at Facebook.com/FBNewswire and on Twitter at @FBNewswire, and will be updated in real-time with content related to top news stories.

In Storyful, we’re excited to have found a partner with a track record of understanding both the potential of the social web as a key resource for media as well as the tools that newsrooms need to utilize it. We’re confident that their news expertise and best-in-class editorial team will help make it even easier for journalists to use compelling social content from Facebook in their newsgathering and reporting.

News is finding a bigger audience on Facebook than ever before. Journalists and media organizations have become an integral part of Facebook, which is visible in features like Trending Topics, improvements to Pages, and recent changes to News Feed. Publishers are seeing the results of our commitment, with referral traffic from Facebook to media sites growing more than 4x in 2013, and we’re excited to deepen our relationship with media organizations and journalists in the days to come.


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