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Apple, Twitter, Facebook, Google: What you missed this week in tech

Daily Ticker

This may have been the most exciting week for tech companies in a long time.

On Friday Apple (AAPL) CEO Tim Cook told The Wall Street Journal that the company had bought $14 billion of its own stock after reporting disappointing earnings results. Cook said he was "surprised" by selloff on Jan. 28 and wanted to be "aggressive" and "opportunistic." Apple is up 1.5% in pre-market trading.

Facebook (FB) celebrated its 10th birthday on Tuesday -- amazing when you think that the world's most popular social media company started as a pet project in a Harvard dorm room. Under the leadership of Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook's co-founder and CEO, the site has grown to 1.2 billion users worldwide. Can the company keep up its momentum for the next 10 years?

"Maybe it's time to re-evaluate Facebook...maybe 10 years is the new 100 years," quips Yahoo Finance tech columnist Aaron Pressman in the video. "How many more users are they going to get?

Related: Facebook turns 10: "The most important tech company of the past decade”

Another major news story in the tech universe this week: Shares of Twitter (TWTR) dropped 24% Thursday, a day after it reported its first quarterly earnings report since going public last November. The microblogging site said it had 241 million active monthly users last quarter -- a 4% increase from the previous quarter. Investors took the news as a bad omen for the company and continued to dump shares Thursday.

Related: Will Twitter's earnings justify its stock price?

Veteran tech titan Microsoft (MSFT) chose Satya Nadella as its new CEO, confirming rumors from last week. Co-founder Bill Gates stepped down as chairman of the board and was named technology adviser. Is Gates' return to Microsoft akin to Steve Jobs returning to Apple?

"He never really left," notes Pressman. But Gates may not be the best person to mentor Nadella as the company shifts attention to services and devices, he adds.

Related: How new CEO Nadella will affect Microsoft products, consumers

Sony (SNE) surprised Wall Street when it said it could lose $1.1 billion in the current fiscal year. That's not all: the Japanese electronics maker is cutting 5,000 jobs, selling its personal computer business and spinning off its television manufacturing unit into a separate, wholly owned subsidiary.

Related: Sony stumbles: So why should Apple be worried?

Last but not least Google (GOOG) settled its European antitrust case in a deal that left Google relatively unscatched. Google will not pay a fine and will not be accused of wrongdoing and its secret algorithm remains protected from oversight by regulators. The European Commission still needs to formally approve the settlement.

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