Vodafone Offers Used Smartphones in UK, Google Expects FTC Decision: Tech Biz Update

Vodafone (NASDAQ:VOD) introduces a ‘Nearly New’ program, as it exploits discounts on barely-used handsets as a method through which to lure more first-time smartphone users. The United Kingdom boasts one of the highest levels of smartphone ownership in the world, which a recent update by the telecoms regulator Ofcom puts at 58 percent. Even though it is quite unusual for a carrier to offer refurbished devices, and this appears to be extensive. Launched on Wednesday, Nearly New especially targets pay-as-you-go  customers, permitting them to buy a refurbished, securely wiped handset at any Vodafone store; a slightly used 8-gigabyte iPhone 4 costs £250, rather than £319 for a mint version of the same product.

This week will probably see the Federal Trade Commission decide on its antitrust investigation of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG), which inside sources say will be a similar outcome to the one discussed before the December holidays. The Commission had been poised to agree to a non-binding resolution  with the company in late December, but it delayed a decision after it appeared that the European Commission was still going for a stricter deal. However, Commissioner Thomas Rosch will be replaced by the George Mason law professor Joshua Wright on Friday, who will recuse himself from the case due to a previous relationship with Google, hence a decision is expected before that situation arises.

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On Wednesday, Advanced Micro Devices (NYSE:AMD) appointed interim Chief Financial OfficerDevinder Kumar as senior vice president and chief financial officer, effective January 2nd. Kumar will report to President and Chief Executive Rory Read, and will have responsibility for leading the firm’s worldwide finance organization. He served as corporate controller since 2001 and as senior vice president since 2006.

Mobile adverting revenue is a challenge for Yahoo! (NASDAQ:YHOO), which is expecting a change in 2013 of zero percent, while revenue from mobile ads at Facebook (NASDAQ:FB) is projected to rise from 11 to 25 percent. Chief Executive Marissa Mayer recently addressed challenges in this area and promised change. Analyst Brian Nowak at Numura believes that Yahoo! must address mobile monetization in its four most important display advertising categories of Finance, News, Sports, and Entertainment.

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