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(MENAFN - AFP) Microsoft announced Wednesday it would let go up to 1,850 employees and a Finnish union called it the end of the company's smartphone manufacturing business, bought from Finnish telecom equipment maker Nokia.

"Microsoft Corp. on Wednesday announced plans to streamline the company's smartphone hardware business, which will impact up to 1,850 jobs," it said in ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) France said Wednesday it has dipped into its strategic oil reserves due to blockades at refineries as power workers threatened to join gathering protests against a labour law reform.

Police fired water cannon to disperse activists blocking an oil depot in the northeast, but six out of eight of France's refineries were still either at a standstill or had sharply ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) US firms Netflix and Amazon face quotas for European movies and television shows under new EU proposals unveiled Wednesday that also aim to lift cross-border barriers for Internet shoppers.

The plan is the latest step towards what Brussels calls a digital single market, in which the European Union's 500 million people will no longer be blocked from buying goods ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) More than 60 percent of all computer software installed in the Asia-Pacific in 2015 was unlicensed, the worst of any region, despite growing economies and anti-piracy efforts, an industry watchdog said Wednesday.

The Software Alliance -- which includes giants like Microsoft, Apple, Intel, Oracle and Adobe -- said in a report that the unlicensed software in ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Energy giant Royal Dutch Shell on Wednesday said it was cutting at least another 2,200 jobs owing to low oil prices and following its takeover of smaller rival BG Group.

"Shell staff have today been informed about the progress being made on integrating BG into the company, and on further measures that are necessary to ensure Shell is competitive in a 'lower ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) German businesses are feeling increasingly optimistic as the outlook brightens for Europe's biggest economy, a closely-watched barometer showed on Wednesday.

The Ifo institute's business climate index rose by a full point to 107.7 points in May, comfortably outpacing analysts' expectations, Ifo said in a statement.

"The German economy is growing at ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) US technology group Hewlett Packard Enterprise said it plans to spin off and merge its corporate services business in a deal valued at $8.5 billion (7.6 billion euros).

The split-off unit is to be merged with Computer Sciences Corp. to create a global corporate technology services giant with expected annual revenues of $26 billion, Hewlett Packard Enterprise ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) British retail giant Marks and Spencer posted sliding annual earnings Wednesday, and its share price sank after warning that a new turnaround plan for its clothing division would hit profits.

Net profits slid 16 percent to £406.9 million ($592 million, 529 million euros) in the group's financial year to April 2, M&S said in a results statement. That compared ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) Eurozone finance ministers reached a vital deal with Greece on Wednesday to start debt relief for Athens as demanded by the International Monetary Fund, and to unlock 10.3 billion euros ($12 billion) in bailout cash.

The US-based International Monetary Fund (IMF) had said that easing Greece's huge debt burden was a condition for its continued participation ...

 
(MENAFN - AFP) France has been using strategic fuel reserves for two days in the face of widespread blockades of oil depots by union activists, the head of the oil industry federation said Wednesday.

"For the past two days, since there have been operational problems at the refineries and blockades of depots, we have... been using reserve supplies," Francis Duseux told French ...

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