6: 1999 in review - June

A summary of the year's big stories: January 1999

June 1999

  • The Microsoft-Packer joint venture NineMSN takes its first step into the New Zealand Internet space with a local site based on its Australian boat trading site, BoatPoint - www.boatpoint.co.nz.
  • TVNZ sells its stake in Sky TV to existing shareholders for $126.5 million and says it will use the proceeds to go digital.
  • Cable & Wireless Optus, Telecom’s main rival in its bid to take over Australia’s third biggest telecommunications company AAPT, is forced to withdraw after the Australian anti-monopolies authority refuses to clear its bid.
  • Auckland software exporter Pictdata Productions makes a major sale of its Time Disciple project management software, to the US Air Force.
  • Citing the need to keep network traffic down in order to guarantee emergency services, Telecom says it will move all Internet traffic onto a new 0867 numbering scheme.
  • Saturn Communications’ Australian sister Austar is floated under a new company, Austar United Communications.
  • The New Zealand stock exchange replaces its ageing SEATS system with a Linux-based system.
  • Wellington-based Catalyst IT sets up New Zealand's first Linux kernel mirror site, enabling users to download all versions of the Linux kernel source code.
  • Health Waikato is forced to reveal the true cost of its Shared Medical Systems (SMS) system - more than $72 million over the next five years. The impression the board gave the public last year was $10.4 million.
  • Auckland-based Peace Software makes a multi-million sale to British Columbia Gas (BCG).
  • Wellington’s Victoria University puts its ISP NetLink up for sale.
  • The Australian senate approves the additional 16.6% sale of Telstra in a float expected to bring more than $16 billion to Australia's purse.
  • Land Information NZ announces a $35 million blow-out on its Landonline project to automate the country's survey and title systems.
  • New Zealand business needs an e-commerce wake up call, according to a report on the evolution of e-business in this country by Wellington-based Deloitte & Touche.
  • Comworth buys Fisher and Paykel’s Lucent distribution business to combine with its own telecommunications business to form a new company, Agile New Zealand.
  • Fujitsu and Siemens' European computer operations announce a 50/50 joint venture - Fujitsu Siemens Computers.
  • Iridium satellite phone charges drop by almost half in an attempt to win back customers.
  • Local software exporter The Great Elk wins the best package application prize in the international Microsoft Excellence awards.
  • Clear Communications and Saturn sign the Number Administration Deed but WorldXchange and Global One remain opposed.
  • US Internet portal company Snap.com forges a multimillion dollar deal with Christchurch startup GlobalBrain.net to use GlobalBrain.net’s search engine technology which potentially improves search results by learning user preferences.

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