Facebook tests paid messages to non-friends

  • Updated: December 20, 2012 - 9:00 PM
Facebook tests paid messages to non-friends

Facebook Inc. is testing a tool that will let users pay to send an e-mail message to another member, even if they aren't connected as friends on the world's largest social network. Facebook said the test will start with a "small number of people" and will charge an unspecified fee to ensure a message gets sent to the main inbox -- rather than a lower-priority queue -- of another user, even a stranger. Facebook will test different fees, starting initially at about $1 per e-mail, Bloomberg News reported, citing an anonymous source with knowledge of the matter.

BlackBerry maker RIM posts a smaller loss

Research In Motion Ltd., maker of the BlackBerry, reported a narrower-than-estimated loss after the company embarked on a cost-cutting plan and increased its cash holdings to $2.9 billion. The shares jumped 9.1 percent. Excluding some items, the fiscal third-quarter loss was 22 cents a share, the company said. Analysts had predicted a loss of 35 cents on average, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Revenue was $2.73 billion, topping the $2.66 billion estimate. RIM shares rose to as much as $15.41 in extended trading after closing at $14.12.

Oracle to pay $871M for Web marketing firm

Oracle Corp. agreed to buy Eloqua Inc. for about $871 million, further expanding in cloud computing and ratcheting up competition with Salesforce.com Inc. and SAP AG. The $23.50-per-share offer is more than twice Eloqua's initial public offering price in August, and 31 percent higher than its closing price Tuesday. The board of Eloqua, whose Web-based tools are used in marketing and revenue-performance management, approved the deal, according to a statement. The deal may spark more acquisitions of online marketing companies, according to Peter Goldmacher, an analyst at Cowen & Co.

CEO departs suddenly at Deutsche Telekom

Deutsche Telekom AG announced the surprise departure of Chief Executive Rene Obermann at the end of 2013, capping a seven-year tenure at the helm of Germany's largest telephone company. Chief Financial Officer Timotheus Hoettges, 50, will assume the additional role of deputy CEO in January and fully take over from Obermann in 2014, the Bonn-based company said after a meeting of its supervisory board. Obermann, 49, requested to step aside so he can return to entrepreneurial pursuits, the company said.

Japan's central bank will boost stimulus

The Bank of Japan said it would expand asset buying and lending, and it hinted at a review of its target of 1 percent inflation in the face of pressure from the presumptive incoming prime minister, Shinzo Abe, who wants bolder action against deflation. The central bank said it would discuss the target at its next meeting, in January, after Abe takes office. The bank also increased its asset purchase and lending program by 10 trillion yen, or $119 billion. The increase to a total of 101 trillion yen was a widely expected move expected to pump more money into the Japanese economy.

U.S. flooring firm to buy Italian tilemaker

Mohawk Industries, a flooring manufacturer, agreed to acquire Italian ceramics maker Marazzi Group for about $1.5 billion in cash and stock. The transaction is expected to be completed in the first quarter of 2013 and boost earnings next year, Calhoun, Ga.-based Mohawk said. The deal gives Mohawk a manufacturer and marketer of ceramic tile in the U.S., Russia, Italy, France and Spain, according to the statement. Marazzi, owned by the Marazzi family and investment firms, has revenue of $1.16 billion in 2011, according to the statement.

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