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IHT: European technology suddenly in demand

Microsoft plans to announce in Brussels on Tuesday that it is investing in a London-based computer networking company and a Dublin developer of mobile phone software, fresh evidence of what some leading venture capitalists say is a new blossoming of bankable innovation in Europe.

The value of the two agreements is so minuscule as to be immaterial to the U.S. software giant's massive bottom line, but the deals stand out because they involve the exchange of intellectual property.

In recent weeks, there has been a veritable drumbeat of technology investments of various sizes. Ericsson, the Stockholm-based mobile network company, said Monday that it would buy Netwise, a Swedish developer of Internet phone software, for 300 million kronor, or $42.3 million. Last week, Motorola offered to buy TTP Communications, a British wireless company, for £103 million, or $194 million.

To Patrick Sheehan, a managing partner of 3i Investments in London, European technology investment is entering a "late spring" after a long, hard winter. Ideas that have been bubbling along quietly since the technology crash of 2000 are now starting to come to the surface and attract investors, he said.

"The environment in Europe is much better than it ever was," said Sheehan, who has been investing in start-up companies since 1985.

by Fran on Tue Jun 6th, 2006 at 12:55:25 AM EST
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