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Data Sheet—Wednesday, April 20, 2016

April 20, 2016, 12:38 PM UTC

Michal Lev-Ram is a senior writer at Fortune.

It wasn’t a pretty day in Silicon Valley. Sure, the sun was shining and temperatures reached a balmy 80 degrees. But inside at least a couple of once-storied Valley companies, Tuesday was downright gloomy.

In case you’re not an avid fan of earnings calls—my colleague Erin Griffith refers to them as “accounting concerts;” I prefer “scripted torture”—here’s the deal: Both Yahoo and Intel reported their latest quarterly earnings Tuesday. And, as expected, neither company’s numbers were particularly rosy.

Yahoo’s earnings and revenue actually came in slightly above analysts’ estimates, but those expectations have gotten pretty low. Revenue was $1.09 billion for the most recent quarter, down 11% from the year before, and the company posted a net loss of $99 million. Beleaguered CEO Marissa Mayer spent much of the company’s earnings call convincing everyone that she is taking Yahoo’s sale process seriously. “Let me be unequivocal: Our board, our management team, and I have made the strategic alternative process a top priority,” she said.

Semiconductor maker Intel, meanwhile, unveiled its own “strategic alternative process,” otherwise known as layoffs. The company announced that it will slash 12,000 jobs, or about 11% of its workforce. In other stock-depressing news, Intel also reported lower-than-expected first-quarter revenue, coming in at $13.7 billion, and lower-than-expected sales projections for the second quarter of this year. CEO Brian Krzanich said Intel is focusing on areas of future growth, but the company’s restructuring efforts have been touted for quite a few years now.

What do these formerly iconic companies have in common, other than their terrible, horrible, no good, very bad earnings day? Intel paved the way for the computing revolution, while Yahoo helped usher in the consumer Internet era. And yet both companies have struggled, in different ways, to adapt to the latest epoch: mobile. Now they’re paying the ugly price.

Michal Lev-Ram

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Europe formalizes more antitrust charges against Google. As widely anticipated, the European Union on Wednesday charged the tech giant with using its dominant position as the developer of the Android mobile operating system to unfairly compete with independent application developers. The biggest gripe is Google's policy of "bundling" its own apps for Internet search and browsing onto Android smartphones and tablets. The company was already fighting charges involving its e-shopping comparison services. Ironically, Canadian antitrust regulators just closed the books on a completely separate investigation without filing charges. (FortuneFortune)

EMC sales fall short. Unfilled orders for storage hardware—almost $75 million worth—helped drag down the hardware company's first-quarter results to about $5.5 billion in revenue. On a brighter note, the company says its $67 billion merger should still close as expected by October. (Wall Street Journal)

Chinese consortium buys Kentucky printer maker Lexmark. The proposed buyout is worth $3.6 billion, a 30% premium over the company's stock price last October when it declared itself for sale. The deal follows a spate of recent tech-related acquisitions by Chinese companies, including the $6 billion buyout of distributor Ingram Micro. The lead buyer, Apex, has a long history of legal battles over intellectual property. (New York Times, Bloomberg)

VMware plans $1.2 billion stock buyout. The virtualization software specialist announced the initiative after beating sales expectations for its latest quarter, mainly because of newer offerings such as networking applications. The program won't actually begin until after the shareholder vote on the proposed buyout of VMware's parent company, EMC, by Dell. But the move makes the deal more attractive. (Wall Street Journal, Reuters)

Tech giants decry controversial encryption bill. Apple, Google, Microsoft, and Amazon are protesting legislation that would force smartphone companies to decrypt data upon government request. Congress is considering the bill in the wake of Apple's epic fight with the FBI over an iPhone involved in the San Bernardino shootings. Many of them already face hundreds of such requests annually: Apple received more than 1,000 in the second half of 2015 alone. (Wall Street JournalVerge, Fortune)


Walmart and Visa are fixing the worst thing about chip credit cards. If your customers are tired of how much longer checkout at a store is taking since the rollout of more secure chip-enabled credit and debit cards, relief may be on the way.

Visa said Tuesday it had upgraded its software to improve the processing of chip-enabled cards and reduce checkout times. The payments company said the update will let shoppers quickly dip and remove their chip credit card in two seconds, rather than having to leave the card in the terminal while the transaction is going through. All told, this could remove 18 seconds from the typical transaction time. Walmart is also making similar adjustments. (Fortune)


Yahoo is following the private equity playbook by Erin Griffith

Why Verizon wants to buy Yahoo so badly by Mathew Ingram

Intel CEO Brian Krzanich stays paranoid with big job cuts
by Aaron Pressman

What analysts are saying about IBM's 16th straight quarter of losses
by Jonathan Vanian

5 things we learned from the Netflix earnings interview by Michal Lev-Ram

Amazon trots out more ways to get your stuff onto its cloud by Barb Darrow

How to build a killer app business—according to Apple by Don Reisinger

Adobe is caught up in the QuickTime-Windows breakup by Jonathan Chew

Messaging app Viber joins the end-to-end encryption party by David Meyer


Tech companies dominate new list of top-paying U.S. companies. Not shocked? This one might surprise you. The company offering the highest compensation—even more than Google or Facebook—was Juniper Networks. Separate research, however, estimates that the tech industry has lost more than 72,000 jobs this year. And that was before the 12,000 layoffs announced by Intel last night. (Bloomberg, Re/code)

This edition of Data Sheet was curated by Heather Clancy.