Tech Biz Recap: Expedia Spinoff, Yandex Grooves with Facebook

Expedia (NASDAQ:EXPE) sets December 20 as a target date for its spinoff of TripAdvisor to shareholders. Expedia will implement a one-for-two reverse stock split of its own shares, as part of the transaction.

Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) plans to roll out a PC app store borrowing a page from Apple once again. Previously it was in tandem with the release of Windows 8. However, whereas the App Store and Android Market take a 30% cut of software sales, Microsoft will only take a 20% cut from developers generating over $25K/month. Digital River (NASDAQ:DRIV), which has handled a large chunk of Microsoft’s software downloads thus far, could play a role.

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Research In Motion (NASDAQ:RIMM) has hit another wall. A U.S. district court has granted a temporary injunction barring RIMM from calling its next-gen OS “BBX.” The company has apparently responded by renaming the QNX-based software “BlackBerry 10.”

Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:ERTS), has seen strong Facebook uptake for The Sims Social. It is working on a Facebook title for its SimCity franchise, suppposedly. A move like this would put EA in direct competition with Zynga’s (ZNGA) CityVille, which still claims over 49M monthly users more than a year after its release.

Investing Insights: Verizon to Launch Streaming Service to Rival Netflix.

AT&T (NYSE:T) claims it sold 6M smartphones in the first 2 months of seasonally strong Q4. This was more than the 4.8M sold in all of Q3. It is also near its quarterly record of 6.1M. The news is a positive for Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), given the iPhone’s dominant share of AT&T’s smartphone sales.

Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) rallies after the House passes a bill allowing its videos to be shared through social networking sites. Meanwhile, Reed Hastings’ lively comments at a UBS conference have left some in shock. Hastings said he was previously convinced Netflix shares would soon reach $1,000, and compared his company’s content-purchasing moves to the “Moneyball” tactics of the Oakland A’s.

Yandex (NASDAQ:YNDX) shares burst after the Russian internet search provider announced the integration of its music service with Facebook. The new system will display the names of tracks to which a Yandex.Muzika user is listening on the Facebook news feed displayed to friends.

RF Micro Devices (NASDAQ:RFMD), which is down in spite of positive comments from Sterne Agee are likely being affected by HTC’s weak November sales, which are likely adding to the selloff in supplier. While noting recent concerns about pricing, customer weakness, and share losses to SWKS, the firm thinks a RF Micro will get a boost from its partnerships with Samsung and QCOM. Rival TQNT is up, perhaps due to iPhone optimism.

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