Private equity firm teams up with environmentalists: Green really does mean green, as in money, these days. Kohlberg Kravis Roberts has teamed up with the Environmental Defense Fund to create a “green portfolio” partnership of companies that can help improve the environment and get a return for investors. As of Sept. 30, 2007, KKR’s investments were worth $86 billion. It could make a big difference if it throws some of that weight behind environmental investments, and it’s interesting that it was announced on the same day that Kleiner Perkins started a new green fund.
Sun reports a quarterly loss: Although he was quite happy at the Web 2.0 Expo last week, Sun Microsystems CEO Jonathan Schwartz didn’t have the greatest news today. Sun reported a loss for the third fiscal quarter ended March 31, noting that the weakening U.S. economy and financial sector woes overshadowed the big gains it had in overseas markets for its corporate computer servers. The loss of $34 million compared with net income of $67 million a year ago. Revenue was down half a percent to $3.27 billion from $3.28 billion a year earlier. During the quarter, Sun paid $1 billion to buy open-source database company MySQL. Any time Sun reports a loss it makes analysts and investors nervous that the bad days of a few years back might return.
An empire divided: Time Warner announced it would spin off its cable company, separating its media business from its cable TV services and dismantling one of the biggest conglomerates. Jeffrey Bewkes, who took over as CEO from Dick Parsons in January, has made his mark in deciding to separate content — TV shows, films, and web operations — from the means of distributing it into people’s homes. After the separation is complete, the odds are good that Time Warner will double down on its media properties.
Intel’s push into low-power chips doing well: Intel said that demand for its Atom low-power processors is taking off and that the company is working closely with its customers to fulfill demand. The Atom chips are at the heart of new “mobile Internet devices” with broadband wireless connectivity and the full power of a PC in a handheld device. Intel is targeting markets such as Brazil, Russia, China and India.
AT&T is launching TV on cell phones: AT&T is launching a new video service for cell phones that will cost $15 a month for 10 channels. It’s not clear people really want to pay for something they can get for free on a bigger screen, but the cell phone providers are rushing into the market. AT&T’s service will rival Verizon Wireless’ Vcast Mobile TV service and is operated by Qualcomm. The service will be available in 58 markets and will be available on a couple of phones from LG and Samsung. Channels include CBS Mobile, Comedy Central, ESPN Mobile TV, Fox Mobile, MTV, NBC2Go, and Nickelodeon. Two channels, Pix and CNN Mobile Live will be exclusive to AT&T.
RIAA still chasing co-eds: The Recording Industry Association of America is filing a flood of lawsuits against colleges and universities around the country for illegally downloading copyrighted music. At the University of Cinncinnati, the number of noticed rose 13 percent in the past two weeks. The RIAA hinted that it is getting better at tracking down offenders.
Oz Communications receives loans: The Canadian mobile messaging company has received $10 million in venture debut from specialty investment firm Wellington Financial, VentureWire reported. The company makes middleware for handsets that enables instant messaging on a variety of phones from Nokia, Motorola, and Ericsson. It will use the funds to expand its social networking offerings on phones. Oz has raised more than $60 million, including $34 million in 2006.
Internet bean counter reports own earnings: comScore played havoc with Google’s earnings with an outlook that didn’t match Google’s own internal reports. But comScore itself is doing pretty well with first quarter earnings up 35 percent. Seems that everybody wants to hear about what comScore is counting.
Hulu moves to YouTube? Hulu.com has started a channel on YouTube, which is weird because Hulu’s network backers removed their content from YouTube and put it on Hulu.com instead. Hulu says its for promotional purposes, despite the competitive nature of YouTube. Your enemy can be your friend?
GTA IV set to shatter records: Video game analysts are saying that Grand Theft Auto IV sales are expected to shatter records. Sony hasn’t released any numbers yet, but the maker of the PlayStation 3 said it expects that its hardware sales are going to get a boost from last Tuesday’s release of the big game. Previous GTA franchise titles have sold a collective 30 million copies in the U.S. The game is also expected to give a boost to Microsoft’s Xbox 360 sales.