March 3, 2009

Chancellor Merkel and Governor Schwarzenegger open German trade show

Chancellor Angela Merkel of Germany and California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger jointly inaugurated CeBIT, one of the top annual fairs in the technology industry. CeBIT exhibits computers, software and communications products, mainly for corporate and manufacturing buyers. At the event this year, California has been declared ‘partner,’ an honorary status usually awarded to entire nations.  Schwarzenegger, speaking in both English and German to an invited audience, highlighted California’s advanced computer technology.  “Technology is really our great hope for creating extra revenues and stimulating the economy — especially green technology is where the action is,” said Schwarzenegger.  Speaking in English, our Austrian-born governor said environmental-technology companies represent the only sector of California’s economy that is creating jobs.  Schwarzenegger praised Germany’s commitment to renewable energy and the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions, and attacked economic protectionism. “The world is the marketplace … and the only way we can protect the consumer is if we let the consumer choose from products all over the world no matter where they come from,” he said. The Governor also tried to encourage the executives attending to be more upbeat, “”Losers whine but winners move forward in a strong and powerful way and I know that everyone who is here at the CeBIT is a winner!” In spite of the upbeat speeches, to mood at CeBIT was reported to be gloomy as a result of the worldwide economic slowdown and slump in the computer industry.  This year’s CeBIT has suffered a 25-per-cent slump in exhibitor numbers to 4,300.

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February 13, 2008

EU raids Intel’s German office

European regulators raided the German office of Intel Corp. as part of antitrust investigation into possible anticompetitive practices, according to a report in Silicon Valley / San Jose Business Journal. Santa Clara-based Intel said the EU raided its offices in Munich, and said it is cooperating with the investigation. The Wall Street Journal reported that German conglomerate Metro AG confirmed that the EU also raided its computer sales businesses Media Markt and Saturn Holding GmbH. In July, the EU charged Intel with conducting illegal competition against rival Sunnyvale-based Advanced Micro Devices Inc. by offering computer hardware manufacturers rebates, discounts and cash. The Journal said AMD has a separate case against Media Markt that accuses the retailer of only selling Intel-based PCs. Intel is due to appear in Brussels for a hearing on the issue in March, and the company also faces a similar probe in New York by the State Attorney General’s office.

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October 16, 2007

Mercedes introduces clean diesel to California

Mercedes-Benz USA has unveiled a version of its E320 BLUETEC, a diesel sedan that will immediately be available in limited numbers to California customers through a special two- year/24,000-mile lease. California’s stringent emissions requirements have kept new diesel automobiles models off the California market for the better part of a decade. “In order to be able to provide the power and economy of diesel technology throughout the world, we had to make the diesel version as clean as the gasoline model,” said Dr. Leopold Mikulic, head of powertrain development at Mercedes-Benz Cars. According to Tom Cackette, executive director for the California Air Resources Board (CARB), “This vehicle has shed the reputation of diesel as a dirty technology. And we hope California has shed its anti-diesel reputation by certifying this vehicle as the first diesel passenger car to meet the most stringent smog emission standards in the world.”

Filed under Environment and Climate, Germany, Transportation by

October 9, 2007

SAP to acquire Business Objects for $6.8 billion

SAP AG announced that it will buy Business Objects SA for an eye-popping $6.8 billion. SAP is an enterprise software firm based in Germany with it U.S. headquarters in Palo Alto. Business Objects is based in Paris and San Jose. Acquiring Business Objects is seen helping SAP compete with Oracle in the area of business Intelligence software that is used for risk management and corporate management.

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September 27, 2007

Trimble buys German software company

Trimble Navigation Ltd. acquired Kirchheim, Germany-based Ingenieurburo Breining GmbH- a German company that provides custom field data collection and office software for the survey market. , Sunnyvale-based Trimble did not disclose financial or other terms of its deal with Breining. According to a report in the San Jose / Silicon Valley Business Journal, Trimble said the addition of Breining software, expertise and products will help the company address local application requirements and provide custom survey products for the German market. Trimble focuses on GPS, construction lasers, robotic total stations and machine control solutions and has more than 3,400 employees in over 18 countries.

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September 13, 2007

Volkswagen and Apple in exploratory talks

Rumor has it that German automaker Volkswagen AG and American computer company Apple Inc. are now in talks about the possibility of producing an “iCar” that would feature products from the manufacturer of personal music player. Apple Chief Executive Steve Jobs and Volkswagen’s chief Martin Winterkorn met several days ago in California, and plan to meet for further discussions, said Hans-Gerd Bode, a spokesman for Volkswagen. There are “scores of ideas,” but few concrete plans at this point, according to a report in Digital Journal. Jobs and Winterkorn are supposedly in discussion to build a series of vehicles, reported German magazine Capital. The two industry giants met in California recently, and while the talks are in their early stages, Apple and Volkswagen are reportedly planning to cooperate on developing VW compact cars that will include Apple products.

Filed under Germany, Joint Ventures, Manufacturing by

June 19, 2007

German Book Fair Peace Prize goes to UC Professor

Israeli historian Saul Friedlander will receive the top prize of the annual Frankfurt Book Fair in recognition of his narratives documenting the Nazi Holocaust, the German Book Trade association said Thursday.  According to the International Herold Tribune, Friedlander, 74, who holds a professorship at the University of California, Los Angeles, is to be given the €25,000 (US$33,000) peace prize during the annual book fair in October.  In honoring Friedlander, the jury praised him as an “epic narrator of the history of the Shoah and of the persecution and extermination of the Jews during the Nazi era in Europe.”  Among Friedlander’s best-known works are his two-volume collection “The Third Reich and the Jews.”  Previous winners of the award include German sociologist Wolf Lepenies, last year; outspoken Turkish author and Nobel laureate Orhan Pamuk; and former Czech President Vaclav Havel.

Filed under Germany, Israel, University of California by

April 5, 2007

Actuate launches German version

“Actuate Corp., a provider of business intelligence, performance management and reporting applications, said Wednesday its flagship product is now available with German-language support. South San Francisco-based Actuate said German-speaking countries are a key market for performance management in general and software specifically. The company said its German version offers the same functionality as the English version, including performance maps and briefing books.”

Filed under Germany, Information Technology by

March 23, 2007

Feud between Oracle and SAP heads to the Courts

“Oracle Corp. sued its archrival SAP on Thursday, alleging that its German competitor secretly and illegally obtained proprietary materials from the Redwood City giant’s customer support Web site The legal action highlights what has become an increasingly bitter rivalry between the two makers of business software. Oracle accused SAP of using its customers’ log-in information to obtain more than 10,000 unauthorized downloads of software and supporter materials related to hundreds of programs. ‘This case is about corporate theft on a grand scale, committed by the largest German software company,’ the lawsuit filed in U.S. District Court in San Francisco said. SAP is the world’s No. 1 seller of business applications known as enterprise resource planning software, which companies use to perform such tasks as keeping track of financial transactions and monitoring inventory. Oracle, the world’s No. 1 seller of database systems, has been trying to expand into that market, mainly by buying other players, including onetime Bay Area technology firms such as PeopleSoft and Siebel Systems.”

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March 13, 2007

FrontRange buys German software company

“The San Francisco Business Times reports that Software company FrontRange Solutions Inc. will buy German software maker Enteo Software Inc. Dublin-based FrontRange didn’t say what it will pay in the deal. Enteo is based in Filderstadt, Germany. FrontRange used to be called GoldMine Software Corp. Michael McCloskey is its CEO. Stephan Glathe is CEO of Enteo.”

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March 2, 2007

Oracle buys Hyperion to compete with Germany’s SAP

“Oracle Corp. said today it has signed a $3.3 billion deal to buy Hyperion Solutions Corp. in a move that underscores CEO Larry Ellison’s aggressive bid to dominate the business software industry. Hyperion is a key player in the roughly $10 billion market for business intelligence software that companies use to get detailed reports on how a business is doing and to forecast how it would perform in the near future. The company is also known for software used for managing a company’s finances. Oracle, which has bought more than two dozen companies over the past two years, made clear that buying the company was a competitive move meant to undercut a major rival, SAP of Germany.” Both companies are headquartered in the Bay area: Oracle in Redwood Shoresand Hyperion in Sunnyvale.

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February 24, 2007

Disney buying two ocean liners from Germany-based Meyer Werft shipyard

Walt Disney Co. plans to add two new ocean liners to its cruise business, according to the Los Angeles Business Journal. “The ships are scheduled to launch in 2011 and 2012 and will more than double the passenger capacity for Disney Cruise Line. Burbank’s Disney said it signed a letter of intent with Paperburg, Germany-based Meyer Werft shipyard to negotiate a contract to build the 122,000-ton new cruise liners. Each ship will have 1,250 staterooms.”

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February 15, 2007

Germany reviewing KLA-Trencor’s acquisition of Therma-Wave

“Therma-Wave Inc. said Wednesday that it was notified that the German Federal Cartel office began a second phase in its review of KLA-Tencor Corp.’s proposed $75 million acquisition of the company. Fremont-based Therma-Wave and San Jose-based KLA-Tencor both said they will cooperate with the German authorities.”

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Trimble buys German remote-mapping company

“Trimble Navigation Ltd. said Wednesday it acquired INPHO GmbH in an all-cash transaction. Sunnyvale-based Trimble did not disclose financial terms of the deal. Stuttgart, Germany-based INPHO is a privately held company that focuses on photogrammetry and digital surface modeling for aerial surveying, mapping and remote sensing applications.”

Filed under Aerospace and Aviation, Germany, Information Technology, Mergers and Acquisitions by

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