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   Technology StocksNVT - Source of GPS Software, Data, and Maps


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From: tech1013/17/2008 11:52:47 AM
   of 211
 
Quaero: That's What the EU Does With All That Microsoft Money?!

seekingalpha.com:80/article/68658-quaero-that-s-what-the-eu-does-with-all-that-microsoft-money?source=d_email

posted on: March 16, 2008 | about stocks: GOOG / MSFT

Now I get it - The EU takes money from the Microsoft ATM with one hand, and then invests it in a sure-to-fail “Google Killer” with the other.

€99 million to Thomson and 22 other European companies to create Quaero, a multimedia search engine (Danny Sullivan notes Thomson was already in this business and then sold it off). This is on top of €120 million approved last year for Germany’s Theseus research project, which will develop and test new search technologies for the Internet.

Quaero and Theseus were originally the same project, but split in 2006 to focus on their respective markets.

The projects will need lots more funding down the road, so look for more withdrawls from Microsoft. And if that well runs dry, they can always figure out something to charge Google with and get a little of that action, too.

Of course, I’m stretching the facts here to make a point. The EU is simply allowing the French and German governments to make these investments with their own taxpayer’s money. There is no direct link between Microsoft fines and these subsidies. But the point is the same - the EU is not willing to let free markets determine winners and losers. The winners must be home grown, at any cost. And U.S. companies that have too much success in Europe seem to face a bleak choice - massive fines or government-backed competitors. It’s absurd.

And it’s no wonder that many of the best European entrepreneurs keep coming to the U.S. to start companies.

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From: tech1013/18/2008 7:46:39 PM
   of 211
 
[The EC may deny the merge of Tomtom/TeleAtlas while letting Nokia acquire the crown jewel.

At this time, the entire European and American maps can be stored in a fresh memory card the size of a small fingernail. In a few short years, standalone PDA/GPS will disappear and the mobile phone market is the real battlefield. Every cellphone will come with GPS with digital maps produced by NVT, or TeleAtlas good or bad. Without controlling the digital maps, Nokia will soon lose to the competitions from all the Asian competitors.]

ft.com

Tele Atlas: Tomtom has deadline today to reply to EC objections about confidentiality, partial foreclosure and efficiency

By Ben Bschor in Brussels

Published: March 17 2008 16:20 | Last updated: March 17 2008 16:20

This article is provided to FT.com readers by dealReporter—a news service focused on providing insightful intelligence on event driven situations to investors. www.dealreporter.com

TomTom, the manufacturer of personal navigation devices (PNDs) has had until today Monday, 17 March, to submit a reply to concerns raised by the European Commission (EC) on its takeover of Tele Atlas, the digital mappings company, dealReporter understands.

Meanwhile it is understood that the statement of objections (SO), issued by the EC at the end of February, focuses on three key areas of concern: confidentiality, partial foreclosure and the efficiency argument brought forward by the merging parties.

On confidentiality, the concern is that Tele Atlas would inevitably lose customers – that is PND manufacturers directly competing with TomTom - as there would be a lack of confidence in the market that customer secrets are being kept away from TomTom.

In terms of partial foreclosure the EC is worried that Tele Atlas would have an interest to degrade the quality of maps supplied to external customers compared to the products provided to TomTom.

In the context of these arguments, the EC believes that a takeover of Tele Atlas by TomTom would in fact strengthen Tele Atlas’ only serious rival, Navteq. Navteq is currently also in the process of being taken over by a hardware manufacturer, Nokia. But unlike TomTom, Nokia is first and foremost a mobile phones manufacturer and not focused on PNDs.

Following an argumentation described in article 38 of the EC guidelines on the assessment of non-horizontal mergers, partial foreclosure and confidentiality concerns regarding a merged TomTom/Tele Atlas could play into the hands of Navteq. The assumption is that in a market that is seen as oligopolistic, customers can only turn to Navteq if confidentiality concerns drive them away from Tele Atlas. Therefore competitive pressure on Navteq would be reduced which would result in increased prices for Navteq products.

Finally the Commission is said to have doubts in the efficiency argument brought forward by TomTom and Tele Atlas in favour for the takeover. In general terms, TomTom and Tele Atlas are believed to have argued that only the merged entity was able to fully optimise the use of data fed back by the end users to the suppliers. But it is believed that the EC, while not generally dismissing the potential to optimise PND products by utilising customer feedback, is not convinced that such goals can only be achieved in a merged company.

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From: tech1013/20/2008 12:41:29 PM
   of 211
 
messages.finance.yahoo.com

EU to approve TomTom/Tele Atlas deal; look at Nokia/Navteq more closely - source
March 19, 2008: 11:38 AM EST

ht*p://money.cnn.com/news/newsfeeds/arti...

I found nothing "official" at the European Commission websites to substantiate the "source". TomTom offer for Tele is 30 Euro cash and Tele currently trades at at 22 Euro ~33% discount. Tele apparently trades on the pink sheets under TLATF, but the volume - and thus liquidity - looks to be extremely low or even non-existant. Intraday had a decent bounce and some retracement.

ht*p://www.euronext.com/trader/summarize...

ht*p://pinksheets.com/pink/quote/quote.j...

Any experience purchasing foreign stock on a foreign exchange with Schwab. I haven't called them yet, but if anyone has any experience I like to hear your two cents worth.

messages.finance.yahoo.com

I owned both Tom Tom and Tele Atlas via the following tickers (through Etrade):
Tom Tom TMOAF
Tele Atlas TLATF
The prices on these dont reflect the changes since the last trade, and they dont trade often...

Type those tickers into the Etrade (dont need an account) quote box and you get the graph, quote etc. Essentially, these are ADRs (slightly different, but essentially the same). Volumes are small, and you HAVE to use a limit order.
You can get the european quotes using:
TTM.AS
TA.AS

Look up the exchange rate for the currencies (Euro I believe), apply to the .AS quote and you get your limit order amount. It works!

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To: tech101 who wrote (208)3/20/2008 12:43:05 PM
From: tech101
   of 211
 
EU to approve TomTom/Tele Atlas deal; look at Nokia/Navteq more closely - source

March 19, 2008: 11:38 AM EST

BRUSSELS, Mar. 19, 2008 (Thomson Financial delivered by Newstex) -- The European Commission is expected to approve personal navigation device manufacturer TomTom NV's proposed acquisition of map maker Tele Atlas NV and open an in-depth inquiry into Finnish mobile telecoms group Nokia (NYSE:NOK) Oyj's planned buy of digital map maker Navteq (NYSE:NVT) Corp.

A legal source told Thomson Financial News that the TomTom/Tele Atlas deal should be cleared on or before the deadline of May 5, even though there are 'clearly vertical competition concerns'.

The commission opened an in-depth inquiry into the deal in November after its initial market investigation indicated that the proposed merger raised serious doubts with regard to vertical competition concerns. Since then, the commission extended the deadline for the inquiry at the parties' request.

'This seems to be a concentrated market at upstream level and access to data will be a key issue in terms of remedies,' the source said.

'The commission obviously has suggested serious concerns (about the deal) but they should be addressable through making data available to third parties.'
The source said the key factor in negotiations over potential remedies will be assessing how to preserve the companies' value.

A possible remedy could be the sale of data which could devalue the company, the source said.

An Amsterdam analyst said earlier that he would find it difficult to defend spending 3 bln eur on a database company, if its intellectual property had to be given away.

The legal source noted that the commission would probably open an in-depth investigation into Nokia's proposed 8.1 bln usd acquisition of Navteq as competition issues would be similar to those in the TomTom/Tele Atlas deal.

Analysts were even confident at the opening of the TomTom/Tele Atlas inquiry that the commission would clear the transaction.

ABN Amro's (NYSE:ABN) Wim Gille said he did not believe the extended review would cause any problems for TomTom.

'Based on the conversations we had with TomTom, Garmin, Tele Atlas, Navteq and several other market participants, based on public statements made by Nokia and Mio, based on the deal structure (vertical integration, operated at arm's length), (and) based on the consensus expectation that the combination would benefit the end user, we do expect this deal will eventually be closed,' the analyst said.

Another Amsterdam-based analyst agreed, saying: 'It's impossible to judge exactly what the EU will do in this case, although it does seem highly likely to us that approval will be given and TomTom will walk away victorious.'
TomTom's chief executive Harold Goddijn told journalists in December he was confident the EU executive would approve the deal.

The CEO said he thought the commission would have approved the deal in a phase I inquiry if Nokia had not bought Navteq, and added that the extension of the inquiry into phase II was intended mainly for the commission to further familiarise itself with the market.

'There is already a duopoly in effect,' Goddijn said.

Copyright Thomson Financial News Limited 2008. All rights reserved.

The copying, republication or redistribution of Thomson Financial News Content, including by framing or similar means, is expressly prohibited without the prior written consent of Thomson Financial News.

money.cnn.com

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From: tech1014/9/2008 11:47:03 PM
   of 211
 
businessweek.com

It doesn't help that handset makers can offer big subsidies, adding to price pressure. "Nokia's ultimate goal is to make navigation in mobile phones as ubiquitous as cameras," Wood says. "The challenge for TomTom is they sell into the standard retail channel where subsidies are not available."

Nokia plans to include navigation features in roughly half of its phones in the next two to four years, Wood says. And while TomTom will sell 14 million to 15 million devices this year, Nokia will sell some 400 million phones this year, roughly half of which will be navigation-ready.

Consumers bought more than 22 million PNDs in 2007 and are expected to buy more than 32 million this year, says Richard Robinson, an analyst at market research firm iSuppli. But the average selling price on a PND in 2007 was $249, less than half the 2004 average of $505. Margins are slipping, too. "These companies got used to making profit margins of 45% to 60% during the 2004 to 2005 time frame," Robinson says. "Now they're having to contend with margins that are closer to 18% to 20%. That's not ringing well with the financial guys. The problem is you can only make so much on each unit you sell."

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To: tech101 who wrote (210)4/10/2008 11:41:45 AM
From: tech101
   of 211
 
A North America map is selling for $80 and Europe map for at least $150 by retailing, or if you want to download one for your Garmin or Tomtom GPS from these two companies. NVT charges automobile makers more than $100 a piece for their vehicle GPS.

Now "Nokia's ultimate goal is to make navigation in mobile phones as ubiquitous as cameras, … and Nokia plans to include navigation features in roughly half of its phones in the next two to four years, Wood says. And while TomTom will sell 14 million to 15 million devices this year, Nokia will sell some 400 million phones this year, roughly half of which will be navigation-ready.” ( businessweek.com )

If Nokia fails to merge with NVT, Nokia has to choke $3 billion for maps alone – even at the price of $15 a copy for its 200 million cellphones. (Did I calculated it wrong? )

If 25% of the remaining cellphones sold by companies other than Nokia, which has about 40% of market share, will have a GPS, that’s another 150 million copies of map worth $2.25 billion - again for a mere $15 a copy. If NVT keeps its 65% market share, NVT’s revenue would be about $3.2 billion from mobile phones alone.

Do you prefer NVT being bought by Nokia, or keeping independent if you’re a Navteq shareholder?

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