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Venture investments soar 57 per cent in 1st quarter to highest level since 2001

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Funding for U.S. startup companies soared 57 per cent in the first quarter to a level not seen since 2001, as venture capitalists piled more money into an increasing number of deals, according to a report due out Friday. Startup investments totalled $9.47 billion in the first three months of 2014, up from $6.01 billion in the first quarter of 2013. It was the highest since $11.5 billion in the second quarter of 2001. There were 951 deals completed in the quarter.

Record labels sue Internet radio provider Pandora over royalties for songs from before 1972

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Major record labels are suing Internet radio giant Pandora for copyright infringement for using songs recorded before 1972 without paying license fees. The labels, including divisions of Sony, Warner and Universal, argue that songs such as Aretha Franklin's "Respect" and the Beatles' "Hey Jude" are not covered by federal copyright law, but they have been protected in common law by states including New York.

Apache CEO, Vermont activist build alliance on climate issues

By Ross Kerber NEW YORK (Reuters) - Steve Farris runs a $33 billion Texas oil and gas company and turns, for advice, to a bearded Vermont environmentalist. As other energy firms battled climate change and anti-pollution activists in recent years, the Apache Corp chief executive instead built an alliance with Steven Heim, managing director of Boston Common Asset Management, one of the better-known socially responsible investment firms.

Facebook launches location-sharing feature 'Nearby Friends' with lots of precautions

NEW YORK, N.Y. - Facebook users in the U.S. will soon be able to see which of their friends are in close proximity using a new feature the company is launching on Thursday. Called "Nearby Friends," the optional tool will only be available to people who choose to turn it on. The feature uses your smartphone's GPS system to tell your Facebook friends you are nearby — provided they have the feature turned on. Rather than share your exact location, it will only show that you are nearby, say, within half a mile.

Twitter broadens advertising reach through app-install ads

By Gerry Shih SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Twitter Inc took a significant step Thursday towards broaden its advertising business by offering mobile ads urging people to install apps on its social network as well as through MoPub, the mobile-advertising network it acquired last year. As the mobile app economy grows, app developers have been willing to pay increasing amounts to advertise on major sites like Facebook to boost their app downloads.

Google still a top pick for Wall Street, despite mobile ad challenges

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed (Reuters) - Google Inc's disappointing first-quarter results left Wall Street unfazed about the internet giant's ability to come to grips with the shift to the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google shares were down about 3 percent in early trading on Thursday, and at least 12 brokerages cut their target price on the stock. But most analysts kept a "buy" rating or equivalent on the company's shares.

Google still a top pick for Wall Street, despite mobile ad challenges

By Saqib Iqbal Ahmed (Reuters) - Google Inc's disappointing first-quarter results left Wall Street unfazed about the internet giant's ability to come to grips with the shift to the fast-growing mobile advertising market. Google shares were down about 3 percent in early trading on Thursday, and at least 12 brokerages cut their target price on the stock. But most analysts kept a "buy" rating or equivalent on the company's shares.

Google misses revenue target, ad prices slide

By Alexei Oreskovic SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters) - Google Inc's first-quarter revenue fell short of Wall Street targets and margins narrowed as the price of its ads continued to decline, underscoring the challenges Internet companies face as the world shifts toward mobile devices. Shares of Google were down 3 percent to $539.80 in afterhours trading on Wednesday, after initially sliding roughly 6 percent on the news.

Mayer aims to persuade Apple to choose Yahoo over Google: Re/code

(Reuters) - Yahoo Inc's Chief Executive Marissa Mayer is working on a plan to persuade Apple Inc to ditch Google as its default search engine in favor of Yahoo, technology news site Re/code reported, citing sources within Yahoo. Mayer's effort is in advanced stages, with a detailed pitch already prepared for Apple executives, the website said. (http://link.reuters.com/hez58v) Yahoo senior vice president of mobile and emerging products, Adam Cahan, is working on the effort too.

Google's first-quarter results miss analyst targets as company's mobile ad headaches persist

SAN FRANCISCO - Google's first-quarter earnings growth faltered as the Internet's most influential company grappled with a persistent downturn in advertising prices while spending more money to hire employees and invest in daring ideas. The results announced Wednesday fell below analyst projections. Google's Class A stock shed $17.10, or 3 per cent, to $546.80 in extended trading.
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