5 Companies That Had A Rough Week

The Week Ending June 17

Topping this week's roundup of companies that had a rough week is Salesforce.com, which reportedly lost out to Microsoft in a high-stakes bid to acquire business social media site LinkedIn.

Also making the list were Dimension Data employees, who are facing layoffs at the solution provider; Apple, for a patent dust-up with Chinese regulators; the Democratic National Committee, the latest victim of a high-profile hacking incident; and employees at telecom equipment maker Ericsson, who reportedly are also facing layoffs this summer.

Not everyone in the IT industry was having a rough go of it this week. For a rundown of companies that made smart decisions, executed savvy strategic moves -- or just had good luck -- check out this week's Five Companies That Came To Win roundup.

Salesforce.com Loses LinkedIn Bid To Microsoft

Microsoft's gain is Salesforce.com's loss. A Bloomberg report says that cloud application developer Salesforce attempted to buy business social media company LinkedIn, but was outbid by CRM application rival Microsoft.

This week Microsoft trumpeted a deal to acquire LinkedIn for $26.2 million. Industry watchers say the acquisition could provide Microsoft with a competitive edge when it integrates its Dynamics CRM applications with data generated by LinkedIn.

The report that Salesforce bid for LinkedIn helps explain why Microsoft's acquisition price marked a nearly 50 percent premium above LinkedIn's market capitalization.

Dimension Data Layoffs Hit Multiple Departments

Solution provider Dimension Data has implemented employee layoffs in recent months, CRN reported this week, cutting staff in customer service, alliances, solutions engineering and sales operations. The number of layoffs is uncertain.

Word of the layoffs comes just a week after the departure of CEO Brett Dawson.

The reported layoffs are part of a push by parent company NTT to cut costs at Dimension Data, sources said. NTT acquired Dimension Data in 2010 for $3.3 billion.

Russian Government Hackers hit DNC Computer Network

In the latest security breach horror story, the Washington Post reported this week that Russian hackers penetrated the computer network run by the Democratic National Committee and gained access to the database holding opposition research into GOP presidential candidate Donald Trump.

The DNC's system was so completely compromised that the intruders were also able to read email and chat traffic, the story said, quoting DNC officials and security experts.

The story said hackers also targeted the networks of Trump and Democratic presidential candidate Hillary Clinton. But details on those cases were not available.

China Regulators Say Apple iPhone Violated Patent

Apple found itself in a dispute with Chinese regulators this week over whether Apple iPhones violate a patent held by a Chinese company. The authority ordered Apple to stop sales of the iPhone 6 and iPhone 6 Plus in Beijing, although Apple has won a stay of that order for the moment, according to a Wall Street Journal story.

The Beijing Intellectual Property Bureau concluded the iPhone models infringe on a patent for exterior design held by Shenzhen Baili. While the decision was dated May 19, Chinese media just picked up on the statement this week.

Apple has been fighting the patent claim for more than a year.

Ericsson Plans 'Thousands' Of Layoffs To Cut Costs

Telecommunications equipment maker Ericsson plans to lay off thousands of staff this summer in an effort to cut costs, according to a Reuters story this week. Reuters based its report on a story in the Swedish newspaper Svenska Dagbladet, which cited anonymous sources.

The story said Ericsson is making the cuts because of slowing sales and the fact that company missed quarterly sales and profit expectations in April. The company is planning on giving notice to between 3,000 and 4,000 staffers this summer with the possibility that thousands more may have to leave the company later.

The company has not commented on the reports.