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Global online jobs placement portal Monster Worldwide, Inc., has entered ito a deal to acquire Yahoo’s jobs-listings website HotJobs, for $225 million in cash.

Under Carol Baratz, the internet major plans to divest non-core assets to focus on its core advertising business.

New York City-based Monster Worldwide with 2008 revenues of $1.3 billion, holds around one-third of online jobs postings market share in the US and is the second largest online employment website in the US and Canada after rival Careerbuilder.com.

Both companies have also entered into a three-year commercial agreement, in which Monster will provide career and job content for Yahoo’s homepage in the US and Canada.

Monster will pay Yahoo a performance-based annual payments calculated by clicks and expressions of interest, subject to annual floors and ceilings. Following the closing of the transaction, Monster can negotiate similar traffic agreements with Yahoo’s global sites including countries in Europe, Asia and Latin America, subject to certain limitations.

After being hired last year to head Yahoo, Bartz had undertaken a review of the struggling search engine company’s product portfolio and sold its Zimbra email business to VMware,  with HotJobs widely speculated to be next on the divestiture list.

But with corporate hiring in the US having virtually ground to a halt due to the global recession, the internet giant found no takers for the website.
Now with the economy poised to recover, Monster decided to acquire HotJobs now, lest a rival put in a bid.

For Yahoo the sale is a loss of $221 million, which it had acquired in 2002 for $436 million after beating a rival bid.

The acquisition will catapult Monster to the top spot in the online jobs-listings business. According to research group ComScore, Monster is in the second spot with 16.5 million users as of December, while HotJobs is placed third with 11.1 million users and CareerBuilder ranked first, with 16.6 million unique visitors.

Monster believes that the acquisition of HotJobs and the traffic agreement with Yahoo! will provide a number of benefits to jobseekers and employers by being able to offer employers a significantly larger pool of prospective candidates across diverse regions and industries.

“HotJobs with its significant customer base plus the traffic agreement are an ideal complement to Monster’s innovative recruitment solutions and global reach,” said Sal Iannuzzi, chairman, chief executive officer and president of Monster Worldwide. “These agreements, combined with Monster’s career Communities and our recently introduced 6Sense(TM) semantic search technology, will bring substantial new benefits for employers seeking more qualified candidates and job seekers searching for more relevant opportunities across a wider range of industries – globally.”

“Bringing together Monster and HotJobs creates even greater access and opportunities for both recruiters and job seekers,” said Hilary Schneider, EVP, Yahoo.

“The transaction with Monster enables us to continue to provide an important service to our users through the traffic agreement. Yahoo! remains focused on its core businesses and delivering exceptional experiences to users, partners and advertisers,” he added.

Yahoo! will continue to manage its broader Newspaper Consortium (NPC) partnership, including providing both search and display advertising, content distribution, and its ad-serving platform, to newspapers in its NPC.

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Beijing: China responded Thursday to an accusation from the United States that it was artificially deflating the value of its currency by saying it would not bow to pressure from the United States to revalue its currency. US president Barack Obama had said Wednesday that he would like to ensure that China did not keep its currency at an artificially low level as it gave it an unfair advantage in exports.

Speaking at a regular news conference here a Chinese foreign ministry spokesman said that ”wrongful accusations and pressure will not help solve this issue.”

He was responding to remarks made by president Obama in Washington on Wednesday at a meeting with Democratic senators.

The United States, Obama said, has ”to make sure our goods are not artificially inflated in price and their goods are not artificially deflated in price; that puts us at a huge competitive disadvantage.”

Economists are broadly agreed that the Chinese currency, the renminbi (RMB, also known as the yuan), is undervalued between 25-40 per cent against the dollar and other currencies. Under constant pressure from the preceding Bush administration the Chinese government decided to do away with the yuan’s peg to the dollar and allow the currency to float in a narrow band against the dollar and other currencies in July 2005.

The effect was immediate with the renminbi appreciating 21 per cent.

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Export revenues of the Indian IT-BPO industry are expected to record a growth of 5.5 per cent to reach $49.7 billion in the current financial year (2009-10) despite the impact of the global economic slowdown.

Software exports from the country are expected to rise to over $56-57 billion in the financial year 2010-11, from  $49.71 billion in 2009-10 and $47.16 billion in 2008-09, the National Association of Software and Services Companies (NASSCOM) said in a release.

The Indian IT industry has emerged stronger from the global economic meltdown to post encouraging results and the domestic market for the IT industry is expected to witness 12 per cent growth in FY09-10, to reach Rs66,200 crore, according to NASSCOM.

For the financial year 2010-11, NASSCOM expects India’s software and services exports revenues to grow 13-15 per cent and domestic revenues to grow by 15-17 per cent.

The government’s IT spend is projected at Rs15,000 crore in 2009 and is expected to reach Rs25,000 crore by 2011. NASSCOM also projected a $9 billion business opportunity in e-governance in the country.

The IT industry in India will continue to be a net hirer and the direct employment is expected to grow 4.0 per cent and cross 2.3 million with over 90,000 jobs added in FY09-10, according to NASSCOM.

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Top Hollywood studios lose internet piracy Hollywood film studios today received a major blow in their fight against internet piracy when they lost a copyright case in Australia against Australian internet provider, iiNet, for allowing its customers to “illegally” download movies.

The Australian Federal Court in Sydney has ruled that iiNet could not be held responsible for unauthorised downloads of movies using its service.

The copyright case was filed jointly by a group of Hollywood studio majors, including Village Roadshow, Universal Pictures, Warner Bros, Paramount Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, 20th Century Fox and Disney.

Hollywood studios argued that the Perth-based iiNet network, Australia’s third-largest ISP, had allowed “illegal” downloads of nearly 90 films and TV serials, including `Batman Begins’, `Transformers’ and `Heroes’, since June 2008.

The Hollywood group said that iiNet not only failed to take steps to stop illegal file-sharing by customers, but also breached copyright by providing data through its system.

“While I find that iiNet had knowledge of infringements occurring, and did not act to stop them, such findings do not necessitate a finding of authorisation,” federal judge Dennis Cowdroy said in his judgment.suit in Australia news

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To compete effectively, companies will increasingly have to look beyond their internal walls for sources of advantage.

Open innovation—bringing ideas and solutions into your company from your partners, suppliers and customers, or tapping the “wisdom of crowds” through innovation markets – has gained favor as a way of creating value. Why? Because this new approach is delivering measurable results for its practitioners at a fraction of the cost of their old, proprietary methods. For example, a recent study conducted by Forrester Research with a $14B producer of consumer goods found that their use of the open innovation marketplace of InnoCentive produced an average of 74% return on investment with a payback period of three months. But despite the high-profile models heralded in the business press, very few companies understand what open innovation could—or should—look like for them.

The reality is that open innovation is hard. Even the best innovators may not be great open innovators, because it takes different skills and the ability to overcome different challenges. But the quest for open innovation does not have to feel daunting or to consist of random, one-off attempts to imitate the leaders in the field. What companies need is discipline: discipline to diagnose where in their businesses they can create the most economic value with open innovation; discipline to customize the variety of approaches to open innovation for their own use; discipline to design and execute the right types of experiments; and discipline to embed new capabilities, tools, and processes inside their organizations.

Those who get it right will reap the rewards.

Open innovation can help businesses more reliably discover new ideas and increase their speed to market. It can reduce risk in opportunity development and help shift from a fixed to a variable cost structure. And it can create tremendous benefits to reputation and brand by keeping companies on the cutting edge. It’s increasingly clear that open innovation is no longer an option. Businesses that don’t harness its power risk being left behind.

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Find Your Way in Google through Landmarks Users can now navigate around locations in Google Maps using landmarks like petrol stations, banks, and schools. India is the first country to get this feature from Google.

Google India has announced the launch of landmarks in driving directions for users of Google Maps. Users can now navigate around locations using Google Maps on their desktops and mobile phones using landmarks like petrol stations, banks, schools, railway stations, bus stops, local businesses, and traffic circles and signals. India is the first country globally to get this feature on Google Maps.

Indians are more comfortable finding way on the streets using landmarks. Typically many roads in India are not marked with road signs and even if they are, the signs are not visible. In some cases people do not even know the road names. Many times, people give directions to destinations using landmarks such as a petrol pump or a bus stop or a grocery shop! Google now enables this activity online to share with friends and family.

In India, Google has collected good landmark data through user-created “Points of Interest” in Google Map Maker. Google’s new algorithm determines which of these landmarks are most useful for navigation, based on importance, and closeness to the turns that the user is making and other available signals. With this launch, Google will now combine landmark data, counted turns (“the second right”), intersection names, and road names, and try to use whatever information is most relevant and useful.

Google is providing two kinds of landmarks – to identify where users need to turn, and to provide confirmation that they’re on the right track. Users can also make directions even better for millions of users in India by enriching landmarks data via Google Map Maker.

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Only 8 telecom players will survive, says S Tel chief at launch news

India’s newest mobile operator S Tel yesterday launched its services in the hilly state of Himachal Pradesh, and said it will spread its operations in the next few months to six category C circles of the country.

”After Himachal, we are soon entering Orissa, Bihar, Jharkhand, Jammu & Kashmir, Assam and the North-east. With the number of mobile users to double by 2015, this is where the next wave of growth lies. Coming late, our advantage is advanced technology,” S Tel director P Swaminathan said while launching the service in Simla.

Executive officer Shamik Das added, ”The six growth circles with a population of 226 million people provide us a chance to deliver a tailored, relevant value proposition.”

Asked how many players among the 14 or more in the country will survive the highly competitive mobile market with tariffs still falling, Swaminathan said, ”I think barely eight players will survive in the long run.”

”The vision of S Tel is to be among one of the five top players by 2015,” he said.

Swaminathan said the company was looking at the bottom of the society as a target segment and had plans to span 50 cities and towns and 7,000 villages across Himachal Pradesh in just one month.

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