By Jon Swartz, USA Today
LONDON - Well, that was a Labor Day - and Night - surprise.
The tech landscape was eviscerated, reshaped, pummeled within hours by a trifecta of deals - Verizon-Vodafone, CBS-Time-Warner and Microsoft-Nokia - that laid waste to multiple industries and seriously undercut the buzz around forthcoming product launches from Samsung, Sony, Apple and others.
Call it tech's Brave (and not so Brave) New World.
The gargantuan. Vodafone said Monday that it agreed to sell its 45% stake in Verizon Wireless to Verizon Communications for $130 billion in cash and stock.
Verdict: Verizon, a U.S. telecom giant that offers Internet, TV and phone services, will wholly own the wireless unit, giving the company more flexibility and options to manage growth in the lucrative mobile data market.
The weird. Microsoft agrees to buy Nokia's mobile-phone business for $7.2 billion.
Verdict: The software giant, dinged for being late to the mobile market, joins forces with Nokia, which has struggled with competition from Samsung and Apple. Outgoing Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer is leaving with a bombastic bang rather than a whimper.
"This move doesn't necessarily increase the odds Windows Phone will be more successful," says independent tech analyst Patrick Moorhead. "This is a combination of an embattled hardware company and a software company struggling to make good in consumer software. The odds of that combination isn't great."
The overdue. CBS and cable titan Time Warner Cable settle an acrimonious, month-long financial dispute that caused CBS programming to be blacked out for more than 3 million Time Warner Cable subscribers in eight markets, including New York, Los Angeles and Dallas.
Verdict: The blackout is lifted for cable-hungry consumers, victimized by the dispute. With the NFL season looming, the feuding sides came to their senses. American TV watchers can breath easy.