Morning business news - September 13

Friday 13 September 2013 08.55
Morning business news - September 13
Morning business news - September 13

People moving to free messaging services like Snapchat, Whatsapp, Facebook and Skype has seen to a fall in texting of 22% over the last 12 months.

Figures from the regulator ComReg show that this is hitting mobile operators, with the average monthly bill falling from €29.40 a month to €27.40. A fall in EU mobile roaming fees is also hitting Irish mobile operators.

“This time last year we were, on average, sending eight text messages a day – now we’re sending five,” said ComReg commissioner Kevin O'Brien. “There’s a shift from text messaging to data services to message each other.

“What you see for mobile operators is an increase in data usage, higher revenues from selling data because that’s where the messages are going, and then less-so on the traditional message platform.”

Mr O’Brien said the amount people spend on phone bills is falling as a result of this shift, as data is considerably cheaper than an SMS on a per-message basis.

“It’s a different way of paying for the service; there’s also a move over time from pre-pay to post-pay,” he said. “People are more inclined to buy their smartphone, a data package and pay for it in a regular bill rather than pay-as-you-go.”

ComReg’s figures also show Irish customers pay more for broadband, with home broadband services 25% higher than the EU average.

Broadband connections are on the rise, and broadband speeds are getting faster. ComReg says around 65% of Irish households have access to broadband, both fixed and mobile.

Ireland's mobile penetration rate for the three months to June was 118.3 %.

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Last night Twitter tweeted that it had filed paperwork with US regulators ahead of a planned stock market flotation.

The stock offering is the most looked forward to since Facebook listed its shares last year. Twitter didn't say when it plans to float; and once a company has filed paperwork with US regulators for a planned IPO it enters a "quiet period" when it's not allowed to talk about its plans.

According to the Securities and Exchanges Commission's website, a company can file a confidential prospectus for a public share sale if it is classified as an "emerging growth company" with revenue of less than $1bn.

Twitter has been valued by private investors at more than $10bn (£6.3bn), and is on track to post $583 million in revenue in 2013.

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Dell shareholders have approved a $25 billion dollar buyout offer by Michael Dell and Silver Lake Partners, which will see the end of Dell's 25 years as a public company. The move had initially met resistance from investors over the purchase price, leading to three delays of the vote.

Michael Dell hopes to be able to restructure and revitalise the computer maker's business away from the spotlight of Wall Street investors.