Those of you who spent all weekend gearing up for the Super Bowl missed out on an exciting round in the battle for control of Internet access in Europe.
(It was exciting to us, at least.)
campaign to win over the hearts of
shareholders escalated another notch, as the British-U.S. phone operator announced a joint venture with France's
The two plan to create a European Web portal that would rival
, a joint venture between
. They will also look at joining together to form a pan-European telephone network.
But the alliance is contingent upon Vodafone winning control of Mannesmann, Germany's leading wireless company, which has repeatedly spurned Vodafone's advances.
Mannesmann brass remained opposed to Vodafone's $170 billion hostile takeover bid Sunday; investors have until Feb. 7 to decide.
, which has been looking for a U.S. acquisition for some time, is reportedly eyeing two companies. The
of London reports that the company is looking at a bid for Kentucky's
worth as much as $2.7 billion. Meanwhile, the
reports that PowerGen may be preparing a $1.6 billion bid for the distribution business of
, which is owned by
was selected as the solutions integrator for the launch of
, an application service provider. The two partners estimate that the deal will be worth $200 million during the next three years.
Separately, Nortel wrapped up its acquisition of
this weekend, a deal worth $3.25 billion in stock.
British Sky Broadcasting
is prepared to spend a quarter of a billion pounds, or nearly $406 million, on Internet investment, the London's
newspaper reported Sunday. The move follows last week's announcement by U.K. media giant
that it will invest the same amount of money in the Net.
, the federal judge who oversaw the government's antitrust case that led to the dismantling of
, died Saturday. He was 76.
plane carrying 169 people plunged into the sea after taking off from the Ivory Coast capital of Abidjan late Sunday,
reports. The aircraft, an Airbus A310, was heading to Nigeria. On Friday, Kenya Airways announced a $750 million plan to replace its Airbus fleet with Boeing B767-300 aircraft.
And in Japan, stocks fell in early Monday trading. The
average was down 39.70 points to 19,395.08, a loss of 0.2%, by the close of the morning session. Earlier, however, the Nikkei had dipped to 19,224.47.
In the Papers
The Internet may have incited a price war among insurance companies, but their policy premiums are not the only prices that have dipped in the past year. One analyst tells
that Swiss insurer
Zurich Financial Services
looks attractive because it has become heavily discounted. ZFS is jointly owned by
of Switzerland and
of the U.K.
New York Times
features an interview with
chief exec Thomas Middelhoff, who left AOL's board following its merger with
. Middelhoff would not comment on speculation that Bertelsmann would sell its stake in AOL Europe, but he did say that the company needs to make more acquisitions, namely in magazine publishing and music.
Predictions of the demise of major record labels have been greatly exaggerated, the
reports. The majors still have their marketing muscle, which is continuing to attract many up-and-coming bands despite the distribution advantages offered by the Internet.
David Rheingold is a New York-based freelance writer. At the time of publication he had no positions in any of the securities mentioned, although holdings can change at any time.