Daily Dispatch: Ericsson, Wal-Mart, Prudential, Adobe

Last Updated Jun 6, 2007 1:26 PM EDT

  • Ericsson, the world's largest manufacturer of wireless network equipment, will buy German billing-software firm LHS. Ericsson already earns 23 percent of its revenue from providing services to telecom companies, and this acquisition is intended to strengthen its service offerings.
  • Wal-Mart will offer prepaid spending cards for customers who do not have a bank account. The service will be available through Wal-Mart's MoneyCenters, which provide check cashing, bill payment, and other non-banking services. Although in March the company withdrew its application to open a specialty bank, they plan to expand the number of MoneyCenters and the financial services offered, perhaps signaling a renewed focus on lower-income customers.
  • Prudential Financial closed Prudential Equity Group, its stock research and trading business, and one of the last vestiges of its unsuccessful attempt to become a one-stop-shop for financial services. The division was not self-sustaining, especially after the company sold its retail brokerage to Wachovia in 2003.
  • The latest version of Adobe Acrobat and Reader software allows users to print PDFs at FedEx Kinko's stores or to ship them through FedEx. Small to mid-size businesses can use the service to save on shipping, printing a document near the delivery point rather than printing and shipping. Through the deal, FedEx Kinko's online services gains a presence on the 80 percent of computers that use Acrobat.