By David Sims
The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music
is Bob Dylan’s Highway 61 Revisited:
Passing this along, FYI: Sistema, which is probably
correct when it claims to be the largest private sector consumer services
company in Russia and the CIS, has announced that, according to press reports,
Open Joint Stock Company ASVT has filed
a lawsuit against Sistema in a Russian court for approximately 50 billion
rubles, or $1.75 billion.
Whew. What got ASVT’s knickers in a twist, according to
Sistema officials – you writea da press release, you spinna da story – was Sistema’s
investment in Mobile TeleSystems OJSC made over ten years ago. There is also a
second related lawsuit against Limited Liability Partnership VAST, “in which
ASVT seeks to be named as its sole owner. Sistema and its subsidiary MGTS are
named as third parties in the second lawsuit.”
Sistema and ASVT own 51% and 49%, respectively, of VAST,
which owns approximately 3% of MTS. Sistema’s current majority ownership in MTS
includes its beneficial ownership of 1.5% of the shares of MTS through VAST.
While Sistema has not yet received official notice of the lawsuits, according
to company officials “the company believes there is no legal basis for the
claims and intends to vigorously defend itself.”
If that affects your morning eTrade activity any.
Not every day you get a story datelined Kourou, French
Guiana, but that’s where PanAmSat has announced that its Galaxy 15 satellite was launched into
space. Propelled by an Ariane 5 rocket, the spacecraft is a first for
PanAmSat, as it carries a dual C-band and L-band payload for HDTV and video
distribution to its cable programmers and government-related business.
To be located at 133 degrees west longitude, the satellite
is the third of PanAmSat’s next-generation satellites from Orbital Sciences
Corporation, providing coverage of all 50 U.S. states. It’ll deliver video
programming for America’s television programmers, and the L-band payload will
provide navigation signals to in-flight aircraft as part of the U.S. Federal
Aviation Administration’s Wide Area Augmentation System Geostationary
Communications and Control Segment.
PeerMe, Inc., a peer-to-peer voice communications
technology company focused on voice enabling the Internet, has announced the PeerMe Partners Program
created to accommodate Internet portals, classifieds Web sites, e-mail hosting
companies and companies offering applications software to add PC based voice
and instant messaging
capabilities to their services.
PeerMe has developed a peer-to-peer voice and instant messaging environment
supporting PC-to-PC and PC-to-handheld voice communications and instant
messaging over public Internet connections.
PeerMe’s technology, according to company officials, can be
used independently by users connecting on a peer-to-peer basis or integrated
into Web communities.
It’s no small market the company’s aiming for: “The
worldwide voice market is a trillion dollars, and poised for continued, rapid
growth,” said Tom Lasater, founder and CEO of PeerMe.
In light of “recent announcements by Google and Skype,”
Lasater thinks, “more and more companies will follow the lead of these firms
and investigate into the possibilities that peer-to-peer technology holds for
their business model.”
Oki Electric Industry Co., Ltd. has
announced the development of “BB
MediaRouter,” which company officials describe as a gateway platform for
home network products in “the ubiquitous era.”
This router is a platform to “organically connect various
home network solutions by combining info-telecom technologies with home
appliances.” The Tokyo-based company will develop products and deploy them to
telecom carriers, ISPs and municipalities.
With the BBMR, users can “fully enjoy new services from networked home
appliances, using their existing infrastructure,” said Keizo Ikeda, President
of Media-network Appliance Company at Oki Electric.
PECO II, Inc. and Delta Group, providers of power
equipment and services to the telecommunications market, have announced a
definitive agreement, pursuant to which PECO
II will acquire exclusive rights to certain business and inventory for Delta’s
U.S. and Canadian service provider business in exchange for an equity
position in PECO II that will enable Delta to become PECO II’s largest
At closing, Delta will receive approximately 4.7 million
shares of PECO II common stock and a warrant to purchase up to approximately
12.9 million shares of PECO II common stock at a $2.00 strike price that is
valid for 30 months. As a result, Delta may acquire up to 45% of the common
stock of PECO II.
America West customer service representatives have
“overwhelmingly” approved the
establishment of the Airline Customer Service Employee Association, a joint
alliance between the Teamsters labor union and the Communication Workers of
The alliance, approved by a 1,321 to 175 tally of Teamster members from America
West, will represent more than 9,000 CSRs at the merged US Airways and America
“This is fantastic news,” thinks Dan Vogelgesang, an America West reservations
worker based in Phoenix. “There is power in numbers, and our alliance with the
CWA members at US Airways will have the power of over 9,000 members behind it.”
“By joining forces with the union representing CSRs at US Airways, we’re
ensuring that they will receive strong representation in the newly merged
airline,” said Teamsters General President James P. Hoffa.
The Teamsters Union represents 3,500 CSRs at America West
and the CWA represents 6,000 passenger agents at US Airways. The employees work
as reservations, ticket and gate agents, and also staff hospitality clubs at
airports and assist handicapped passengers.
The pact calls for General President Hoffa and CWA President Larry Cohen to
alternate in heading up the association, with Cohen initially serving as
director for the first year and Hoffa as vice director.
The future goal of the association is to improve salaries and conditions for
America West and US Airways employees. In day-to-day representation, CWA will
continue to represent workers in the eastern, largely US Airways locations, and
the Teamsters will represent those in the western states where America West
Pixsy, a developer of multimedia search
tools, has announced a partnership with
Inc., a provider of impulse merchandising services. The Chitika “eMiniMalls”
will enable media search provider Pixsy to offer what company officials describe
as “contextually relevant PPC shopping ads” through a CPC-based intelligent and
interactive product merchandising service.
Rich Lerz, COO of Pixsy Corporation explained that when a Pixsy user types in a
media search query, eMiniMalls matches that query with “the most contextually
relevant product promotion.”
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