EU sanctions huge chips maker takeover involving Dutch NXP

Chipcard operator launches fast-track refund procedure

The European Commission has given the green light for the takeover of Eindhoven-based chips maker NXP by its larger US peer Qualcomm. If NXP shareholders can be persuaded to sell their shares, the transaction will be one of the largest-ever in the Netherlands, the Financieele Dagblad reported. The deal was priced at €43bn when it first went public in 2016. NXP has a worldwide payroll of 33,000, of whom 2,500 are located in the Netherlands in units at Eindhoven and Nijmegen. Qualcomm first brought out a bid for NXP in October 2016, but the deal had to be approved by various international regulators and the European Commission ruled last June that a thorough investigation was needed. It feared a merger of the two tech giants would lead to higher prices and weakened  market forces in the global chips market. Philips Both NXP and Qualcomm have developed important innovative technologies used in mobile phones. NXP was part of Dutch electronics giant Philips until 2006. '"We use our smartphones for many different things and now also more and more as mobile wallets, to pay for public transport or make other secure payments,' European commissioner Margrethe Vestager said. 'With this decision, we ensure that Qualcomm's takeover of NXP will not prevent consumers from continuing to enjoy the benefits of these innovative technologies at competitive prices.'  More >



Telegraaf plans to delist from Amsterdam

Chipcard operator launches fast-track refund procedure Telegraaf Media Groep is leaving the Amsterdam stock exchange after over 40 years. Belgian publisher Mediahuis now holds 98.5% of TMG shares and is seeking the de-listing, the company said. TMG was first listed on the Amsterdam stock exchange in the early 1970s as NV Holdingmaatschappij De Telegraaf. Mediahuis acquired a majority shareholding in TMG last year and its stake has since increased to 98.5%. If the procedure goes as planned the newspaper group will lose its Euronext listing within four weeks. Shareholders who have not yet cashed in their TMG shares will be able to do so in the coming months. Mediahuis acquired TMG after a conflict with television magnate John de Mol who was also bidding for the group. De Mol sold his 25% stake in TMG in mid-December according to the register maintained by stock exchange watchdog AFM, the Financieele Dagblad reported on Friday.  More >


2,000 fall for Microsoft helpdesk con

Chipcard operator launches fast-track refund procedure Last year almost 2,000 people, mainly over-50s, were conned out of money by criminals claiming to work for the Microsoft helpdesk, police said in a new report. In total, they were conned out of €7m, police say, with two victims losing €38,000 and €98,000 respectively. In 2016, there were 1,100 cases of Microsoft helpdesk crime. The victims are phoned by someone, often with a heavy accent, claiming to work for Microsoft and alerting them to a problem with their computer. This could be a virus, an expired licence or an update. The victim is then asked to download a programme which allows the con artist to take over the computer to fix the programme. The victim is then asked to pay using untraceable methods. In some cases the conmen and women have been able to access their victims' bank accounts, police said. Police say people should hang up immediately when phoned by someone claiming to be from Microsoft. The company itself says it never contacts people who have not requested help.  More >


Frisian archive finds missing Laurel film

Frisian film archive finds missing scenes from Stan Laurel solo film The Frisian Film Archive said on Friday it had discovered rare missing fragments from Stan Laurel's 1924 film 'Detained'. The missing scene was found when archivist Jurjen Enzing was stocktaking old nitrate films for a large digitisation project. Recognising Laurel on the film, which was in very poor condition, Enzing decided to investigate. After searching the Internet he discovered that it was a solo film by the British star of silent film. He found a description of the scene - in which Laurel escapes being hanged - in a book written by Laurel and Hardy experts, Ted Okuda and James Neibaur. The experts said the sequence had apparently been lost. 'It was quite a moment,' the archive said in a statement. The film came to the archive via the Van Kampen family from Leeuwarden. It was part of a collection of old films bought by Hendrik van Kampen for 100 guilders shortly after the war which he planned to either show or rent out. The old nitrate films among the collection ended up in the cellar of his shop, which closed in the 1970s. The films were in 2007 donated to the archive. The find was made last year but has only just been made public after a restored version was put together with the help of Paris-based Lobster Film. View the complete, newly restored and digitised version of Detained, including the missing ‘hanging scene’. You can also see the film on the big screen at the archive this weekend.   More >


Paper telephone directory to disappear

Dutch paper telephone directory to cease publication after 138 years The printed version of the Dutch telephone directory is appearing for the last time this year after 138 years of publication, publisher DTG said on Thursday. Both the Telefoongids and the yellow pages commercial counterpart Gouden Gids will be replaced entirely by internet from next year. DTG chief executive Erik Wiechers, told the Telegraaf the phone directory is 'an iconic book', but added no-one was mourning its disappearance. 'We have three million visitors to our website every month,' he said. The telephone directory was first published in 1881, the same year the first telephones were in use in the Netherlands. But the directories were not home delivered then: one had to go to a post office to consult a telephone book. The internet was the final nail in the coffin for the telephone book. DTG started its online service in 1996 and in 2014, decided the printed directory would be phased out in 2017. But the directories were given another year of grace: the Dordrecht-Spijkenisse region will receive its last printed version in February, while Enschede will receive the absolutely last edition on 20 December. For advertisers in the small business sector this is a sort of bonus as many directories will lie on coffee tables for a few more years, Wiechers said. But he admits a lot of people will be pleased the directory has stopped publication. They are angry that trees are chopped down to provide the paper for the underused book, Wiechers said.  More >