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Data Sheet—Wednesday, April 15, 2015

April 15, 2015, 12:06 PM UTC

Welcome to Wednesday, Data Sheet readers. Google is on the defensive after Europe’s antitrust chief decided to file a formal complaint. The world’s biggest dronemaker is shopping for venture capital—and may now be worth $10 billion. Plus, well-funded database startup DataStax is getting some sales help from Hewlett-Packard. Read on, and have a productive day!


Antitrust chief puts Google on notice. No more hints from the European Union’s top official on competition, Margrethe Vestager.

The commission—which has been investigating the search giant for at least five years—sent a formal “statement of objections” to Google. It alleges that the company has abused its dominant position in Internet search to disadvantage certain competitors in Europe.

The complaint specifically mentions potential favoritism for Google’s comparison shopping site at the expense of other local services.

Vestager wrote: “In the case of Google, I am concerned that the company has given an unfair advantage to its own comparison shopping service, in breach of EU antitrust rules. Google now has the opportunity to convince the Commission to the contrary. However, if the investigation confirmed our concerns, Google would have to face the legal consequences and change the way it does business in Europe.”

Compounding matters, the commission is investigating Google’s mobile business—specifically how the company manages its operating systems, apps and services holistically.

Google sent a warning memo to employees Tuesday, telling them to expect tough criticism in the months to come but also saying the company has a “strong case” in its favor. The note concludes: “We know the upcoming announcements will be distracting, but you can help in two ways. First, by not commenting on pending legal issues, internally and externally. And second, by focusing on what you all do best … building great products that serve our users and customers.”

The company’s public comment (written by Google’s vice president of search, Amit Singhal) was published in a blog post titled, “The Search for Harm.” It offers the success of many online competitors—companies like Yelp, Expedia, Axel Springer, and TripAdvisor—as evidence that the EU’s case is misguided. “Any economist would say that you typically do not see a ton of innovation, new entrants or investments in sectors where competition is stagnating—or dominated by one player. Yet that is exactly what is happening in our world.”

Clearly, it's preparing to fight.

Is the case against Google legitimate or sour grapes against a successful rival? Email your feedback.


It’s official. Nokia’s buyout of rival telecommunications equipment rival Alcatel-Lucent is valued around $16.6 billion. Along the way, Nokia might sell off its mapping software division, Here, to concentrate on the integration.

Growth of a new dimension. 3D printing technologies could generate a projected $5.2 billion this year, up a dramatic 56% from 2014. Within four years, that sales number could more than quadruple.

Underscoring that interest, collaboration company Box just bought a 3D software specialist. “Verold has developed a powerful online visual editor for rendering 3D content into interactive presentations on the web. … At Box, the Verold team will bring its technology and deep talent to enable transformative experiences on the web and mobile in key industries like manufacturing, retail, consumer products, and more,” wrote Box CEO Aaron Levie in a blog post about the acquisition.

Chinese drone giant close to $10 billion valuation. Citing sources close to the talks, The Wall Street Journal reports marketshare leader DJI is shopping for funds from prominent venture capital firms including Accel Partners and Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers. The company confirmed the talks, but that’s all it will say.

Twitter will no longer give away its data for free, but it just found another company willing to pay for it. TechCrunch reports that NTT Data has forged an “IBM-style analytics deal” that underpin new services for businesses.

Intel’s salvation? Executives sugarcoated its disappointing first quarter by talking up strong growth in the chipmaker’s data center business and Internet of things product lines. The problem is personal computers still drive a lot more revenue, and no one seems to expect “a big recovery or boom in the second half.”


Startup DataStax just scored a big partnership with HP. Here’s why.

Database management upstart DataStax has passed the 1,000-customer mark, including one-third of the Fortune 100, a milestone that influenced a key new alliance with technology giant Hewlett-Packard.

Under the new relationship, the two companies have created a scalable, purpose-built solution for big data applications that pairs DataStax Enterprise software with HP Moonshot high-end server hardware. The technology will be sold jointly by DataStax and the HP corporate sales team, further boosting the five-year-old upstart’s credibility in big accounts.

“Organizations trying to manage today’s data deluge with legacy technology face many challenges—such as lagging response times, escalating IT costs and limited scale-out capabilities,” said Susan Blocher, vice president of marketing and business development for HP Moonshot, commenting on the pact. “The predictability of DataStax Enterprise software and the scalability of HP Moonshot servers enables our joint customers to handle large amounts of data with exceptional performance and continuous.”

DataStax CEO Billy Bosworth wouldn’t share pricing for the system, which is available immediately. The cost takes the form of annual subscription based on how many central processing units (CPUs) are used to run the software.

The DataStax database platform is based on the open source Apache Cassandra project, and it used by high-profile companies including Adobe, eBay, Intuit, Netflix, Safeway and Target. Overall, at least 500 big corporate accounts and 500 startups are using the DataStax technology, according to the company.

“If you look at our top 10 customers, there is no company that represents more than 10% of our business,” Bosworth told Fortune. “That is an important metric. We’re finding traction in retail, finance, media, government and healthcare.”

Target, for example, relies on DataStax for its distributed digital commerce strategy. “Apache Cassandra scales, can ingest huge amounts of data, can replicate across multiple data centers, and ensures continuous uptime,” Target technology expert Dan Cundiff said in a case study explaining the project. “We listened to the community and experts, and realized that we also wanted access to DataStax’s expert support and services, as well as enterprise functionality such as security, analytics and search.”

When Bosworth joined DataStax in 2011, the company had around 19 employees; its workforce is now well over 400 people. DataStax closed a $106 million funding round last September, when it was valued at around $830 million. Its biggest legacy competitor is Oracle, but it also faces stiff competition from two other well-funded database startups, MongoDB ($231 million total) and Couchbase ($115 million).


Shopify shops for public investors. The e-commerce company—which competes with the likes of Magento and Bigcommerce—filed regulatory papers in Canada and the United States seeking up to $100 million in a dual IPO.

Intelligence on the go. Microsoft’s latest acquisition is Datazen, which sells mobile analytics software.

Legal appeal. As threatened (and expected), several additional lawsuits challenging the FCC's net neutrality rules are on the books. Behind them are AT&T and three different telecommunications trade groups.

Mobile vision. Apple just bought an Israeli camera maker that specializes in three-dimensional images for tablets and smartphones. Plus, Movidius, a company that brings virtual reality to tablets, raised $40 million led by Summit Bridge Capital.

Samsung is making more profit off its new Galaxy S6 series. Here’s why.

Stealthy security company raises $30 million. Skyport Systems is concentrating on protecting against “insider-enabled intrusions” and securing virtualized servers. Its leadership team hails from Cisco, Juniper Networks, and Arista Networks.


The new union rule that has employers outraged by Claire Zillman

Sex, lies, and CEOs: The hefty price of executive indiscretions by Paul Hodgson

How the Tea Party is learning to love Al Gore—or at least his energy policy by Brian Dumaine

This college is for tech geeks—and 97% get hired by Anne Fisher

The Apple Watch may have outsold Android smartwatches on the first day by Benjamin Snyder


No longer cryptic about crypto. Startup Ionic Security has come up with a new approach to access control—one that redacts documents and other content depending on who and where you are.


Knowledge15: Automate IT services. (April 19 – 24; Las Vegas)

RSA Conference: The world talks security. (April 20 – 24; San Francisco)

Forrester’s Forum for Technology Leaders: Win in the age of the customer. (April 27 - 28; Orlando, Fla.)

MicrosoftIgnite: Business tech extravaganza. (May 4 – 8; Chicago)

NetSuite SuiteWorld: Cloud ERP strategy. (May 4 – 7; San Jose, California)

EMC World: Data strategy. (May 4 - 7; Las Vegas)

SAPPHIRE NOW: The SAP universe. (May 5 – 7; Orlando, Florida)

Gartner Digital Marketing Conference: Reach your destination faster. (May 5 – 7; San Diego)

Cornerstone Convergence: Connect, collaborate. (May 11 - 13; Los Angeles)

Cloud Foundry Summit: Open source development. (May 11 - 12; Santa Clara, California)

Annual Global Technology, Media and Telecom Conference: JP Morgan’s 43rd invite-only event. (May 18 - 20; Boston)

Signal: The modern communications conference. (May 19 - 20; San Francisco)

MuleSoft Connect: Tie together apps, data and devices. (May 27 - 29; San Francisco)

MongoDB World: Scale the universe. (June 1 - 2; New York)

HP Discover: Trends and technologies. (June 2 - 4; Las Vegas)

Apple Worldwide Developers Conference: Future of iOS and OS X. (June 8 - 12; San Francisco)

Hadoop Summit San Jose: Mainstreaming adoption. (June 9 - 11; San Jose, California)

Red Hat Summit: Energize your enterprise. (June 23 - 26; Boston)

Brainstorm Tech: Fortune’s invite-only gathering of thinkers, influencers and entrepreneurs. (July 13 - 15; Aspen, Colorado)

LinuxCon North America: All about open source. (Aug. 17 - 19; Seattle)

VMworld: The virtualization ecosystem. (Aug. 30 – Sept. 3, 2015; San Francisco)

Dreamforce: The Salesforce community. (Sept. 15 - 18; San Francisco)

BoxWorks 2015: Cloud collaboration solutions. (Sept. 28 - 30; San Francisco)

Workday Rising: Meet and share. (Sept. 28 - Oct. 1; Las Vegas)

HP Engage: Big data, big engagement. (Oct. 4 - 6; San Diego)

Gartner Symposium ITxpo: CIOs and senior IT executives. (Oct. 4 - 8; Orlando, Florida)

Oracle OpenWorld: Customer and partner conference. (Oct. 25 - 29; San Francisco)