Posts filed under “M&A”

Google Antitrust Case

It’s the beginning of the end. Once someone starts investigating you for the sins of the past, your future is screwed.

Google is in trouble. Because tech is like music, it’s all what have you done for me lately. Only in tech, you can’t tour profitably on your hits of yesteryear, you can’t tour at all, old products go straight into the landfill. And Google dominated in the past and in the future it’s got question marks. That’s right, we live in a mobile world, it will become even more obvious within the next three to four years. You’ll be carrying around a giant handset and your desktop will be gathering dust. In developing countries people don’t even have desktop computers. And Google’s money machine depends on desktop search, it doesn’t work on mobile, on mobile the app rules, Facebook is the king of mobile search, that’s why their stock is going up.

Google got greedy. That’s what’s wrong with American corporations. The American ethos is to make it to the top and then illegally keep others from challenging you. Well, illegally in the eyes of the European Commission, these companies usually get a pass in the U.S. But not Microsoft. And Microsoft has never recovered from its antitrust entanglements. Who cares about Explorer, Microsoft lost out on mobile, and we’ve already established mobile is everything. Hell, Microsoft now has to give away its cash cow Office for free on mobile, in the hopes of maintaining market share!

So Google isn’t content with all that AdWords money. It’s got to mess with the results themselves, direct people to its own shopping site. And the end user may not care, may not even be aware, but competitors are livid. If your wares don’t appear in the results, they might as well not appear at all.

And this is why the European Commission is coming down on Google. Google’s response? THEY DON’T DENY IT! They just say that other sites are available and have made inroads, like Expedia and eBay. And that’s utterly hilarious. That’s the modern era, admit fault but accept no blame.

And now Google is caught up in this rearguard skirmish that is preventing them from moving forward into mobile.

But mobile is next. The European Commission is investigating Android, to see if licensees are forced to install Google apps.

In other words, there’s no free lunch.

Facebook makes you cough up your data. And Google may allow you to use the Android OS, but they want all the profits. That’s why Samsung went into the dumper, it just can’t make any money! And low cost competitors are eating the underside of the market. The only one profiting is Google.

And Apple. Which lives in a walled garden.

But Apple got caught in the antitrust crosshairs. With the iBooks Store. Ever notice that the company has never recovered from this? Has never become a force in digital books? While Apple was fighting the government, Amazon created apps that allowed you to read Kindle books on your iPad and iPhone. Apple will never be able to gain significant ground. It may not have had the skills to begin with, but the antitrust case was a drag on their innovation and execution.

So what have we learned?

That corporations are not your friend. There’s this fiction in America that the way you get ahead as an artist is to throw in with the behemoth company. But the truth is your interests don’t align. And if you think the money is free, you don’t know that the corporation knows business better than you ever will and whatever they give you is a drop in the bucket to them.

And the average person on the street… He or she believes in the corporation because the artist has forfeited credibility by chasing the dollar, not realizing there’s no way in hell the artist can make as much money as the businessman. And the public lacks the knowledge and powers of analysis that will illuminate the ways the corporation is using them to their disadvantage. So we rely on the government to protect us. But “government” is a bad word in the United States, the lackeys of the corporations have branded it so. As a result, most corporate behavior proceeds unchecked, no matter how nefarious.

But not in Europe.

America is not number one. Not in quality of life or social mobility. It’s a fiction we tell ourselves to work harder to grab that elusive brass ring. The American Dream is just that, a fantasy that never comes true. Sure, a few people win, but this is akin to the lottery, which is truly just a tax on the poor.

We can’t handle the truth. That those with money and its attendant power abuse that power. It’s the story of energy, it’s the story of tech.

But tech is fast-moving, as stated above. Which means that Google might not be a household word five years from now. That it might join the scrapheap along with DEC, Compaq and Sun, all of which were purchased and subsumed into ever larger corporations, never mind the enterprises that failed.

So which side are you on? Are you a tool of the man or an independent thinker standing up for what’s right?

What we’ve got in music is tools. Isn’t that the story of ticketing? How the public just can’t get a good one? Because of pre-sales and holdbacks and so many shenanigans that prevent you from paying face price and sitting in a decent seat.

Expand that concept and you get big business. The subterfuge, the power games…

I wish there was someone to believe in.

But I guess John Lennon had it right, you can only believe in yourself.



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Category: M&A, Web/Tech

April Fools: Apple to Buy Spotify

The price? A COOL TEN BILLION! It had to happen. Apple’s stock rises when it has a monopoly. And despite all the iPhone profits, Android has greater worldwide market share. This is not the iPod revolution, wherein a seamless hardware/software combination, of iPod iTunes and FairPlay DRM, ensured that no other player could gain traction….Read More

Category: M&A, Music, Technology, Think Tank

Out Foxed: Who Else Will Buy Time Warner?

I was on Bloomberg TV yesterday when the news broke that Murdoch was withdrawing hid bid for TWX.

Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox withdrew its $75 billion takeover offer for Time Warner Inc., the owner of HBO and Warner Bros. Bloomberg’s Trish Regan, Julie Hyman, Jon Erlichman, Cory Johnson and Barry Ritholtz have more on “Street Smart.

Murdoch Backs Down: Fox Won’t Buy Time Warner


Rupert Murdoch’s 21st Century Fox withdrew its $75 billion takeover offer for Time Warner Inc., the owner of HBO and Warner Bros. Bloomberg’s Barry Ritholtz reflects on the proposed deal and speculates about who may be next to make an offer for Time Warner on “Street Smart.”

Out Foxed: Who Else Will Buy Time Warner?

Source: Bloomberg, Aug. 5 2014

Category: M&A, Media, Video

Does Increased M&A = Potential Market Top ?

FT: When investors are complacent, stupid deals happen Source: FT     Last week, I pointed out some statistical errors in a chart suggesting that Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Time Warner was a sign of the market’s top. The chart had enough omissions to render it useless. Today, I want to show you a (slightly)…Read More

Category: M&A, Markets, Sentiment

The Danger of Daft Deals

As an update to yesterday’s critique, this video shows how takeovers and M&A often follow market prices. Collectively, they could show increased risk appetite, and perhaps signal an eventual top (wish the chart went further back than 1995).

FT: Mergers and acquisitions are booming. James Mackintosh, investment editor, analyses whether we’ve reached the stage where deals become truly daft, or whether there’s room for companies to gear up still further.

Jul 17, 2014

Category: M&A, Video

Sizing Up a Potential Media Marriage

Source: Bloomberg Visual Data

Category: Digital Media, Financial Press, M&A

Rupert Murdoch and The Dumbest Chart in the World

Yesterday morning, we learned of Rupert Murdoch’s bid for Time Warner for as much as $85 dollar a share, or more than $75 billion. Soon after, the annotated chart below showing the Standard & Poor’s 500 Index began circulating on trading desks and websites, suggesting Murdoch’s offer signaled a market top. Source: Financial Insyghts LLC…Read More

Category: Cognitive Foibles, Investing, M&A, UnGuru

Cable Connections

Click for an interactive graphic. Source: WSJ

Category: Digital Media, M&A, Technology

Deal Flurry Shows Drug Makers’ Swing Toward Specialization

Source: WSJ

Category: Digital Media, M&A, R&D, Science


He’s creatively bankrupt. Recent studies show that few post and no one clicks through on likes, what’s a poor boy to do? Buy something with all that Wall Street money to deflect criticism as those prognosticating and investing miss the point. Steve Jobs is a hero not because he started the computer revolution, but because…Read More

Category: M&A, Technology, Valuation