The news as of the first coffee this morning, and the music is Elvis's "Kentucky Rain:"
That does it. First Coffee is officially Disgusted And Finished with taking World Cup soccer seriously. If I want pre-fixed matches I'll watch Italian league soccer.
Italy-Australia yesterday. Slow match, the ref wants to liven things up, thinks "Hey, I'd like to see Italy play a man down," throws a red card on an Italian player for an ordinary foul that might -- might -- have elicited a yellow card from a Premiership or Bundesliga referee. If the referee's wife had been beaten senseless by the player in the parking lot before the game. Might. If the ref really wanted to stretch it. S-t-r-e-t-c-h it.
Italy pulls back on defense, and since Australia's already playing without their star goal-scoring winger Harry Kewell it's a tough match -- Italy can't crack the Socceroos' gutsy defense, and Australia's strategy in the Azzurri box seems to be to let Italian defenders take the ball away and hope for an own goal or something, the only goal Italy's allowed all tournament. But Australia's looking good.
It's 0-0, then in stoppage time -- three minutes? Where the hell did three extra minutes come from? As the game wound down First Coffee told his wife "Looks like there won't be any stoppage time either" -- the ref looks at his watch, twelve seconds left, thinks "Holy cow, I've got a date with the hospitality hostess after this match, I can't let it go to extra time," calls a foul in the penalty box on an easily-avoided Australian player for lying on the ground when an Italian player decided to change direction and step on him.
The only people who thought it was actually a foul were the Italian player, his mother and the hospitality hostess. But no matter -- the ref had decided to award the game to Italy, either because he didn't want his evening attenuated or because he liked the snazzy Italian uniforms more than the Socceroos' admittedly unstylish green and yellow. One Italian player, Gennaro Gattuso, even said later "the referee made a mistake."
Right, tough beans mates, g'day, don't let the door hit your butt on the way out. No replay, no appeal, the preference of Italy over Australia of one Spaniard can't be challenged even when it's perfectly clear to 45,998 of the 46,000 human souls in the stadium and any honest soccer referee at any level that you don't give a game-winning penalty kick for such a picayune foul, if it was a foul at all, in the World Cup.
''They look after the big nations,'' Socceroo Scott Chipperfield observed correctly afterwards. ''They want the big nations through to the semis and finals. It's always the way.'' Indeed, the refs did everything but carry Brazil over Australia in group play, and no doubt the TV ratings will be better with Brazil and Italy advancing and FIFA will make more money. Funny how these… coincidences work out this way.
In the NBA the refereeing obviously favors the big stars and big-money teams, one reason First Coffee doesn't watch it. Sad to see World Cup's the same way.
CRM vendor Onyx Software Corporation's officials seem most anxious that everyone know what's going on with its impending buyout by M2M Holdings -- AND NOT CDC! -- as they're publishing the banns of marriage, reporting that the company has received notification from the Federal Trade Commission of early termination of the waiting period under the Hart Scott Rodino Antitrust Improvements Act ("Improving Antitrusts Since 1976"), as amended, "relating to the proposed acquisition of Onyx by M2M Holdings, Inc."
Completion of the HSR review satisfies a regulatory review condition to closing the transaction. The closing of the transaction remains subject to approval by holders of a majority of Onyx's outstanding common stock and other customary closing conditions, Onyx officials say. Onyx expects the transaction to close during the third quarter of 2006.
The deal echoes the takeover of MCI by Verizon. Qwest had actually offered what on paper seemed to be a better deal for MCI, but the long-distance carrier opted for the more stable situation with Verizon.
The story so far, if you're just tuning in: In January the Chinese company CDC Corporation announced its intention to purchase Onyx, and in March announced that CDC Software, a wholly owned subsidiary of CDC Corporation, had "presented a new proposal to the board of directors of Onyx Software for a strategic transaction that would combine Onyx Software with CDC Software."
Onyx's board of directors said it would review the proposal, and that was the end of CDC as far as Onyx was concerned, evidently. It was manifestly plain to all that Onyx did not want to be acquired by CDC, and just as plain that CDC wasn't giving up easily.
The full-court press started in March, when John Clough, chairman of the executive committee for CDC Corporation and vice chairman of the board for CDC Software, said CDC Software still really, really wanted to acquire Onyx, particularly for its Pivotal CRM division. CDC Software was disappointed with Onyx's response to CDC's original proposal in early January 2006, and professed in March to be "even more surprised by the lack of interest" it received from Onyx.
Hong Kong-based CDC had offered to combine all the assets of CDC Software with Onyx, and $50 million in cash, for a majority of Onyx's common stock, keeping Onyx a publicly-listed company. Onyx's management announced right around New Year's Day 2006 they were rejecting the deal and never publicly budged from that stance, giving as reasons that CDC Software assets are performing poorly, CDC lacks a sustained history of profitable operations and has a poor record of delivering shareholder value the like.
Then earlier in June Onyx announced that it signed a definitive agreement to be acquired by privately-held M2M Holdings Inc., the holding company that is jointly owned by Battery Ventures VI, L.P. and Thoma Cressey Equity Partners and whose primary asset is Made2Manage Systems Inc., an enterprise software and services company.
It's an all-cash transaction valued at $4.80 per share, or approximately $92 million. The parties anticipate closing the transaction in the third calendar quarter of 2006. "We believe that this transaction is the right decision for Onyx shareholders, customers, partners and employees," said Janice P. Anderson, chairman and chief executive office of Onyx.
Last week, Reuters reported, Onyx rejected a takeover bid by CDC, "saying an agreement to be acquired by privately held M2M Holdings Inc. offers shareholders better value."
And shortly thereafter Onyx officials issued a statement reaffirming their "support of the all cash transaction with M2M," unless "the Onyx board of directors reasonably determines in good faith, after consultation with its financial advisor and its outside counsel, that the CDC announcement constitutes or would reasonably be expected to lead to a transaction that is superior to the definitive agreement with M2M."
Onyx officials note that CDC's June 20, 2006 press release described an all cash $4.85 offer, "yet only two days later, CDC has abandoned its all cash offer and now purports to offer Onyx shareholders only a combination of cash and stock, demonstrating CDC's inconsistent statements and unpredictable behavior." They add that the stock could be trading as low as $4.50 by the time the deal went down, too.
Dutch journal ComputerPartner is reporting NetSuite Inc.'s plum deal with CompUSA Inc., to provide NetSuite's on-demand business software in all U.S. stores.
"The deal is the first of its kind where a U.S. mass-market retailer will resell on-demand software, according to Zach Nelson, chief executive officer of NetSuite," the journal says. "Software-as-a-service is going mainstream," it quotes Nelson saying.
"Of as Tuesday, 10 CompUSA stores in New York and Connecticut will offer NetSuite software. After a month, NetSuite and CompUSA will evaluate how the partnership has been working and then continue the gradual rollout of NetSuite until the hosted software is available in all CompUSA stores across the U.S., Nelson said," the article reports. "Customers will be able to purchase NetSuite software through CompUSA Business Services' 1,100-strong direct-to-business sales force."
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