Air Asia boss tells Qantas to focus on business; Facebook buys Oculus VR for $2.2 billion; Kogan expands to New Zealand: Midday Roundup

The head of Air Asia has said Qantas chief executive Alan Joyce should focus on the business, rather than doing deals with the government, according to The Australian Financial Review.

“I think the national carrier needs to re-evaluate its whole business,” Air Asia group chief executive Tony Fernandes told The Australian Financial Review.

“I can sympathise with [Alan Joyce]. He may think that Virgin [Australia] is getting assistance from Etihad . . . but at the end of the day it looks [like] a commercial transaction and I think governments should stay out.”

Fernandes went on to say he applauds Prime Minister Tony Abbott for his decision.

Qantas has recently been pushing for government assistance for the national airline, but Abbott has resisted the airline’s calls instead proposing a plan to alter the Qantas Sale Act to allow for greater foreign ownership.

Facebook buys Oculus VR for $US2 billion

Facebook has purchased virtual reality business Oculus VR for $US2 billion ($A2.2m), as Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg says it could be the next step in mobile computing.

The deal sees Facebook pay $US400 million in cash and give 23.1 million Facebook shares. Facebook could also have to provide an additional $300 million earn-out in cash and shares based on the company reaching certain milestones.

“Mobile is the platform of today, and now we’re also getting ready for the platforms of tomorrow,” Zuckerberg said in a statement.

“Oculus has the chance to create the most social platform ever, and change the way we work, play and communicate.”

Kogan expands to New Zealand

Online retailer Kogan officially launched in New Zealand this morning, eight years after first launching in Australia.

Founder Ruslan Kogan says it’s been receiving requests from Kiwis for years to expand to New Zealand.

“We’ve already become synonymous with great value TVs, gadgets and electronics in Australia and we’re thrilled to be able to offer our deals to our friends across the Tasman,” he says.

“Our goal is to deliver the latest technology at market leading prices. Whether it is manufacturing our own Kogan products, or sourcing the world’s biggest brands, we can cut out all the middlemen to guarantee the best prices.”

Shares jump on open

Aussie shares have bounced on open, continuing its recent volatile streak. 

The S&P/ASX200 benchmark was up 50.5 points to 5387.1 at 12:19pm AEDT. Overnight the Dow Jones closed 91.19 points higher, up 0.56% to 16,367.88.


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