Breakingviews

EU offers vitamin pill to dying media patient

August 26, 2016

Brussels wants to give media the right to seek compensation from search engines like Google that use online content. The intention is laudable - some publishers may be losing out. But the proposal has similarities with schemes in Germany and Spain - which haven’t worked.

EU’s Google antitrust push slower, more scattered

July 14, 2016

The European Commission has hit the tech giant with a third charge, saying it abused search dominance on third-party websites. It also reinforced a claim, first made in 2010, that Google favored its own shopping service. A speedier, focused campaign would better serve justice.

Alphabet sinks further into antitrust quagmire

February 22, 2016

The European Commission may beef up its anti-competitive complaint against Google. U.S. authorities are probing the search giant, too. Proving abuses will be difficult, but the expanding scope means the company will have to expend more energy to pull itself out of the bog.

Ads put Alphabet within spitting range of Apple

January 22, 2016

The former Google’s market cap has topped $500 bln and is inching toward the iPhone maker’s. Investors value the search firm’s earnings from fast-growing digital advertising twice as highly as Apple’s from a saturating smartphone market. They may be overlooking serious risks.

Google and Amazon grapple happily with maturity

October 22, 2015

Alphabet, the new holding company for the search giant, is returning cash to shareholders. Amazon delivered profits. Both operations are growing so fast, and throwing off so much cash, that they can act as responsible stewards of capital while still chasing the next big thing.

EU’s competition sprawl as worrying as Google’s

April 15, 2015

Europe has accused the web giant of favoring its own shopping search results and broadened the case to include its Android mobile operating system. Investigations and appeals may take a decade. Brussels’ ambitious lack of focus is similar to what threatens ever-expanding Google.

Google’s CFO search should have it feeling lucky

March 24, 2015

There’s a dearth of executives with the financial, tech and government experience needed to help run a $400 bln company. Even fewer women fit the bill. Silicon Valley and Wall Street just can’t find enough Ruth Porats fast enough. The challenge is to create more like her.

Tech drive strips old-school carmakers of clout

March 2, 2015

Apple is the latest to take an interest. From Tesla to Google, the shift to connected, self-driving vehicles may take a while, but it could shake up everything from systems to materials to car usage. The winners may be able to rev up returns far higher than current performance.

SpaceX satellite dream is throwback to 1990s

January 21, 2015

Google is investing in Elon Musk’s company, which is planning a broadband network of 4,000 satellites. The pioneering Teledesic tried something similar two decades ago but failed. Falling costs and rising demand have changed the equation. But SpaceX could still be too early.

Facebook and Google catch glimpse of split future

October 9, 2014

Symantec and EMC may join eBay and HP in breaking up. These old-time tech companies have become unwieldy, often by acquisition. Relative newcomers like Facebook, Google and Alibaba are following a similar growth path. Investors are on board now, but their carve-up time will come.