Global Dispatches

Russian Firm Buys Stake in Facebook

MOSCOW -- Digital Sky Technologies last week acquired a 1.96% stake in Facebook Inc. for $200 million (U.S.).

The Moscow-based investment firm said the deal gives privately held Facebook a valuation of $10 billion, one-third less than its value when it sold a 1.6% stake to Microsoft Corp. for $240 million in October 2007.

Digital Sky has also agreed to buy "at least" $100 million in Facebook stock from the social networking company's common stockholders -- an investment that Facebook said would "facilitate liquidity for current and former employees' vested shares in the company."

Digital Sky won't gain a seat on Facebook's board of directors.

-- Juan Carlos Perez,IDG News Service

Red Hat Sues to Void Microsoft Pact

BERN, Switzerland -- Red Hat Inc. last week said it has filed a lawsuit in the Federal Administrative Court of Switzerland seeking the cancellation of a three-year no-bid contract that the Swiss Federal Bureau for Buildings and Logistics awarded to Microsoft Corp.

The contract, valued at 42 million Swiss francs ($38 million U.S.), calls for Microsoft to supply the agency with desktop software licenses, applications for clients and servers, and maintenance and third-level support.

While Swiss law allows no-bid contracts when an agency determines that only one company can meet its technical specifications, Red Hat contends that it can provide an alternative offering.

Red Hat said 16 companies are backing its effort.

-- Peter Sayer,IDG News Service

Briefly Noted

Sean Finnan has resigned as managing director of Electronic Data Systems Corp.'s U.K. operation to join IBM's Global Services unit, reportedly as global deal-maker in the unit's Zurich office. Finnan had worked at EDS since 1985.

-- Leo King,Computerworld UK

This collection of international IT news items originally appeared in Computerworld's print edition.

Copyright © 2009 IDG Communications, Inc.

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