Technology Biz Roundup: Nokia and AOL Slash Jobs, Akamai Blazes Up

Nokia (NYSE:NOK) will cut 4,000 jobs at plants in Finland, Hungary and Mexico in order to lower costs and help get products to market more quickly. Smartphone assembly will be moving closer to suppliers in Asia. The latest layoffs bring to over 30,000 the number of cuts announced under Stephen Elop.

TiVo (NASDAQ:TIVO) is getting much of the credit for Virgin Media’s (NASDAQ:VMED) solid fourth quarter showing, which included a 30% jump in net profit driven by a doubling of consumer demand for its new pay-television service and for super-fast broadband. Virgin now has 12% of its pay-television customers on TiVo, just six months after the product’s launch.

Investing Insights: Cisco in the Hot Seat as Investors Await Earnings Details.

Rambus (NASDAQ:RMBS) jumps up after announcing it signed a patent license agreement with NVIDIA (NASDAQ:NVDA). The agreement covers the use of Rambus patented innovations in a broad range of integrated circuit products offered by NVIDIA. The two companies settle all outstanding claims, which includes resolution of past use of Rambus’ patented innovations.

Akamai (NASDAQ:AKAM) has acquired Blaze. The acquisition was of a developer of technology for accelerating the speed at which web pages load. Blaze’s solutions complement the site acceleration capabilities provided via Akamai’s content delivery network (CDN). In December, Akamai acquired rival CDN owner Contendo.

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Level 3 (NASDAQ:LVLT) jumps up after its fourth quarter report revealed the debt-laden carrier, which is in the process of digesting Global Crossing, to be in better financial shape than investors feared. Free cash flow for the quarter was $126 million, compared with -$34 million in the year-ago period. Level 3 is also guiding for adjusted Earnings Before Interest, Taxes, Depreciation and Amortization to grow 20%-25% in 2012. It expects free cash flow for the year to be negative.

AOL Inc.’s (NYSE:AOL) money-losing Patch local news unit plans to cut staff. It will also focus on producing “easy, quick-hitting, cookie-cutter copy,” a source tells Jim Romensko. Moreover, while the source believes AOL is committed to Patch for 2012, it thinks the plug could be pulled in 2013 if Patch has not made “real moves towards profitability.” Patch is believed to have lost over $100 million in 2011.

Investing Insights: Google Will Provide Fair Licensing After Motorola Merger.

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