Microsoft’s Bing to feature Facebook pictures in search results

Microsoft´s search engine Bing will be showing pictures added or shared on Facebook in its search, as the next step of its Facebook features integration that has been going on for quite some time now, the Bing team has announced on its blogspot.

Bing has already integrated other Facebook features in its search options, such as tagging friends in search results and displaying photos on its social sidebar, earlier this year.

The new Friends´ Photo feature allows users to search photos shared by their friends by the album title, the picture title or its caption. At first, relevant photos will be displayed in the sidebar and clicking on an image will allow a user to browse the whole album where the photo is posted, without even leaving Bing.

Another brand new feature is the Friends´ Photos landing page, which takes users to a scrollable page showing all their friends´ photos. The same page will also show all photos that users are tagged in and users´ own albums. Clicking on an image will show it full-size in a sidebar, from where comments and descriptions can be added.

Bing explains that privacy is a priority and the new feature will not compromise its privacy policy. Users will only see photos made viewable by their friends and the images will not reach the general public, the search engine promises.

Source: M2 Bespoke News

European competition authorities approve GKN’s acquisition of Volvo Aero

The European Commission (EC) said it had ruled in favour of the planned SEK6.9bn (USD1bnm/EUR818m) acquisition of Volvo Aero by British engineering group GKN Plc (LON:GKN), after concluding that the combination would not hurt competition in the European Economic Area (EEA).

GKN announced in early July the agreement to buy the aerospace engine components business of Swedish commercial transport solutions group AB Volvo (STO:VOLV B), saying it would be a substantial addition to GKN Aerospace’s engine components operations. The combination would give GKN Aerospace a top position in this sector to complement its leadership in the composite aerostructures segment, the buyer has said.

In its statement, the EC said it had focused its review of the deal on the overlaps between the two companies’ operations in the production of certain aircraft engine components and decided that the transaction would not substantially limit supply options for customers.

The regulator has found that the merger would not impede competition in the markets for fan cases and turbine exhaust cases (TECs), as there are sufficient other manufacturers present in these sectors and many of the customers have the capacity to produce these components in house, it explained.

GKN sees the deal to contribute to its EPS in 2013 and to deliver a return on invested capital higher than its 12% pre-tax weighted average cost of capital, it has said.

The buyer will use new debt and proceeds from a new shares placement to fund the acquisition, which it initially expected to wrap up in the third quarter of 2012, pending regulatory approvals.

Carlyle-consortium mulls sale of Turkish hospital operator

US private equity giant Carlyle Group LP (NASDAQ:CG) and its investment partners in Medical Park Saglik Hizmetleri AS have retained the advisory services of Credit Suisse Group AG (NYSE:CS) and Goldman Sachs Group Inc (NYSE:GS) for a possible sale or flotation of the Turkish hospital operator.

Medical Park said that its owners may offload shares through a block sale or opt for an initial public offering as an exit route. The proceeds will go towards financing new projects, the Turkish company added.

Last month, Medical Park said it planned to invest USD300m (EUR238m) in the opening four hospitals within three years. Operating under the name Liv Hospital Group, the facilities will be located in Istanbul, Ankara and Izmir with the first one scheduled to open at the end of 2012. The Istanbul-headquartered company currently owns 16 hospitals and has a workforce of 10,000.

Carlyle became a shareholder in Medical Park three years ago, when it paid USD150m for a 40% interest.  Medical Park’s chairman Muharrem Usta and local company Sancak AS each own 30% of the company.

Carlyle is currently among the shortlisted bidders for a minority interest in Penti Corap Sanayi & Ticaret AS, a Turkish hosiery and swimwear company. In January this year, Carlyle announced the purchase of a 48% stake in education services provider Bahcesehir Kolejleri. In 2008, the US group bought 50% of local shipbuilder TVK Gemi Yapim Sanayii AS.