All entries for Monday 08 August 2005

August 08, 2005

Rumours that the game's up for Marconi

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Looks like my previous employer is up for sale. Huawei are the main suitor. From the BBC:

UK telecoms equipment firm Marconi is in talks with a Chinese rival about a possible takeover, reports suggest.
Marconi is believed to be in talks with Huawei Technologies, a group it already has a business partnership with.
A Marconi spokesman declined to comment on the reports which suggested the firm could be bought up in a £600m deal.
The news comes days after Marconi said losses had widened to £36m ($64m) from £11m a year ago in the first three months of the financial year.
The Coventry-based group added that revenues in the three months to June had fallen by £4m to £285m as sales fell and margins tightened.

Marconi always had great technology so I can understand why a competitor would find it an attractive purchase.

I guess that this does not bode well for employees – I don't know that the situation is as dire as for Rover, but looking at the deepening losses you have to say the outlook is not rosy.

It is would also be another tough blow for Coventry and the West Midlands if another major name. To add to the pain of all of this it is rumoured that Parton could pocket £1m from any takeover, having already profitted handsomely from existing bonuses and share schemes.

Marconi is playing its cards close to its chest at the moment:

As previously announced on 3rd May 2005, Marconi Corporation plc (London: MONI and NASDAQ: MRCIY) is continuing to pursue all strategic options with the objective of maximising shareholder value. These options include, amongst a range of alternatives, discussions with third parties about potential business combinations. The discussions are at a preliminary stage and there can be no assurance that an offer will ultimately take place.

It will be interesting to see if this is the last death rattle of the once giant GEC/Marconi.

Blogs and citizen journalism

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Following the events of the last few months there has been a lot of media coverage following the development of what some are calling Citizen Journalism – you may have seen the requests on the BBC and other websites asking for pictures, experiences and other information.

Much of the debate around this topic over the last 6 months has been about blogs vs Mainstream media and the end of traditional journalism. Hugh Hewitt's book Blog presents the bloggers case in this battle with rabid enthusiasm.

Vincent Maher, a South African academic, has posted an interesting riposte to those who argue that citizen journalists are inherently superior to the old school paid up members of the print and broadcast professions.

The comments pick up on a few areas of debate. In particular the question of ethics is one that is interesting to explore in terms of the responsibilities of both parties to ensure accuracy. The question of who do you trust to tell the truth is an interesting one. From a Warwick perspective it would be interesting to know what sources people trust most – WarwickBlogs, insite, The Boar.

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