Ups and Downs were the Way of the Day

Just about all the big players had something in the news yesterday, though not all of them were having champagne moments. Just what was going on? We're glad you asked.

Starting on a high note, news broke that Amazon — where they're just swimming in cashflow — has picked up, the purveyor of all-things-printed-cum-audio, for a cool $300 million. The big question now is whether Audible will continue it's role as chief supplier to iTunes, given Amazon's somewhat heated competition in the area...

As nice as that was for Amazon, bad news ruled the day, and first up on the chopping block were Dell's mall kiosks. The company has decided that stores like Wal-Mart are the way of the future, and will axe all 140 of it's mall locations, saying customers just aren't as touchy-feely as they once were.

Next to feel the axe was long-time Yahoo exec Terry Semel, who has been being slowly pushed towards the door for the past six months. The company announced yesterday that the former CEO will immediately step down as Chairman and vacate his seat on the Board, but swears it's been his plan for months. Something tells us it's small consolation to the 1,000 workers getting the chop.

Over at Yahoo's arch-rival, the news was half-and-half, with the announcement that the California Supreme Court will hear the company's appeal of an age-discrimination case. The original case, filed by a 54-year-old who claims he was given his walking papers in 2004 for being a "fuddy-duddy," was first dismissed, then resurrected on appeal. In the meantime, the future of Google's young, hip image hangs in the balance.

Meanwhile, Motorola revealed that it's considering a spinoff of it's cell phone businessFrasier, anyone? — to boost sagging stock prices and even worse sales. With the way things are going over there, we're worried it's more likely to turn out like Checking In than Good Times.

Ending on a good note, things are looking up at AMD, where they're celebrating Gateway's decision to send Intel packing and put AMD processors into two new PC lines. The win is a much-needed victory for AMD, whose market position lags dramatically behind front-runner Intel, but analysts say it's not enough to make much change. Now, someone just needs to make sure to let New York know...

That's all, folks!

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