GameStop had good reason to be happy this holiday shopping season, reporting sales for the nine-week holiday period ending January 5, 2008 at $2.3 billion. That's nearly a 35 percent increase over a year prior, which saw sales hover at $1.7 billion. Referring to the former, GameStop Chairman and CEO R. Richard Fontaine called it the "the most successful holiday season results ever," but not everyone shares his enthusiasm. Next-Gen.Biz's Editor-in-Chief Colin Campbell contends that "the used games business restrains the market by keeping new game prices high and by depriving the publishers of investment income." Read more here and sound off below.
Billion Dollar Buyouts
Business software maker Oracle Corp. has agreed to buy BEA Systems Inc. for roughly $7.85 billion, which breaks down to $19.375 per share, finally ending a months-long dispute over the company's value. BEA initially turned down an offer for $17 a share, which would have valued the company at about $6.7 billion, and instead insisted on $21/share. In other high-priced takeover news, Sun Microsystems Inc. plans to buy open-source software maker MySQL AB for $1 billion. The buyout will come in the form of $800 million in cash, and $200 million in options.
The RIAA has been on a legal spree in an attempt to deter music theft, with an increased focus as of late on the college crowd. Why college students, and what of those who view the RIAA as a group of bullies? Does the RIAA think their policy of lawsuits and settlements work? RIAA spokeswoman Cara Duckworth answers these and similar questions in an interview here.
Wall Street Womps on Intel
Intel announced quarterly results on Tuesday showing a 51 percent jump in forth quarter profit, but Wall Street was less than merciful after learning the results narrowly missed profit and sales expectations. After hours trading saw Intel shares slide 14 percent, dropping down $3.24 per share. Analysts fear that Intel may not be as shielded from the housing and lending morass as initially believed, but Intel Chief Executive Paul Otellini dismissed concerns that the company was hurt by slowed spending in the US, pointing out that three-quarters of Intel's business takes place outside the states.
Microsoft warned that attackers are exploiting a vulnerability in Excel that affects versions of the popular spreadsheet program. The exploit allows hackers to create a malicious Excel document that can compromise a computer when opened, allowing remote code to be executed. More info can be found in this Microsoft Security Advisory (947563).
According to DigiTimes, who cited unnamed sources at Taiwan mother makers, Intel is pushing back the volume shipment date of their Core 2 Extreme QX9770 processor. Originally expected to debut this month, DigiTimes says not to expect the chip untl February or March. The QX9770 is purported to be Intel's last high-end desktop CPU to support frontside bus technology until Nehalem launches.