Apple Abandoned, Dell Ditched: 3 Tech Titans Making Noise Today

Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL): Book publishing house Penguin has opted to sever its ties with Apple, in efforts to settle an EU antitrust investigation that would have forced price limits on Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and various other e-book publishers. Other parties involved have already settled matters with the EU, and Penguin’s closing of the case would leave Apple as the only defendant that has yet to reach an agreement. If the EU accepts the terms, it will end the 16 month probe into Penguin’s alleged anticompetitive practices.

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Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT): Microsoft’s outgoing chief financial officer has confirmed that the company is working with OEM manufacturers on smaller Windows 8-based tablets, and that the new products are due for release in the coming months. The software giant has been jacking up efforts in its tablet sector, and has been rumored to be developing a 7-inch Windows 8-equipped tablet that will be cheaper than its existing Surface offerings.

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Dell Inc. (NASDAQ:DELL): Big news if you’ve been following the Dell buyout debacle. It appears that Blackstone (NYSE:BX) has dropped out of its running for the company, and is pulling its bid that may very well have topped the offer made by the founder Michael Dell and Silver Lake Capital. Following a review of its books, Blackstone concluded that Dell’s business is deteriorating faster than previously anticipated, and decided to pull its bid that could have exceeded  $14.25 per share. Blackstone’s withdrawal now leaves Carl Icahn with the only bid rivaling Silver Lake’s. Icahn has quoted a 58 percent stake in the company, for roughly $15 per share.

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