Morning Edition: Good news for BT, bad news for tech stocks

BT has finally received a piece of good news after weeks suffering at the hands of city analysts and the press. According to the Telegraph, the UK telco has won a £250m tax windfall following a lengthy battle with the government's valuation office over the rateable value of its exchanges.

BT has finally received a piece of good news after weeks suffering at the hands of city analysts and the press. According to the Telegraph, the UK telco has won a £250m tax windfall following a lengthy battle with the government's valuation office over the rateable value of its exchanges.

The newspaper claims the dispute dates back to 1995, but after five years and £5m spent in legal fees, the two parties finally settled out of court. But it's not all good news for BT today. The Guardian carries a story about the telco having major problems with its Genie portal. Parts of the service went down eight days ago, the newspaper claims, and BT has admitted it doesn't when it will be fully operational again. Apparently, the faults began when an upgrade scheduled to take 12 hours ran aground with problems transferring data. Since then, desktop users have only had intermittent access to the service, and the email-to-mobile phone text forwarding service is allegedly still not working. Also in the Guardian, media mogul Rupert Murdoch is reportedly displeased with Vivendi, blaming the French firm for causing delays to the flotation of Sky Global Networks. According to Murdoch, doubts over the future of Vivendi's 22.7 per cent stake in the UK satellite operator BSkyB have delayed the IPO 'by weeks'. And finally, wildly swinging stock prices on Wall Street had a knock on effect on European tech shares. According to the Financial Times, the FTSE Eurotop 300 shed five per cent of its value yesterday as a direct result of US variations. The blame is being laid at the door of American investors, whose concerns over signs of inflation and fears of reduced earnings from US corporates are growing. Wild variations in pricing were reflected on Nasdaq as it plunged six per cent early in the day, before recovering nearly all of its value by the end of play. Additionally, industry bellwether IBM released its financial results after the markets closed on Tuesday, and despite earnings meeting analysts expectations, revenue growth was disappointing. That led to a 17 per cent drop in its stock price...