Breakingviews

Newspaper deal would solve Tribune’s woes

April 25, 2016

USA Today owner Gannett’s $815 mln unsolicited offer to buy the publisher of the LA Times doesn’t just make financial sense for the buyer. It would also allow Tribune shareholders to escape flatlining revenue at a headline-grabbing 63 percent premium to its current market value.

Yahoo could be good home for sidebar of shame

April 11, 2016

The parent of scandal-peddler Daily Mail may bid for the U.S. media group. That could catapult the MailOnline onto ad buyers’ agendas. Since owner Viscount Rothermere has spent a decade diversifying away from news, the best deal might be one that breaks the UK group up.

Review: Stop blaming the world’s central bankers

April 8, 2016

That’s the message of a new book, “The End of Alchemy”, from the former governor of the Bank of England, Mervyn King. It doesn’t completely wash. Low rates bear much responsibility for seeding the financial crisis - and it was central banks, after all, that set them.

Chinese tycoon’s U.S. movie merger has rare logic

March 4, 2016

Wang Jianlin’s AMC cinema group will buy American rival Carmike for $1.1 bln. It looks like a rational deal at a sensible price – something lacking from the property magnate’s recent splurge on movie studios, theme parks and soccer clubs. Perhaps financial reality is kicking in.

China’s web curbs pose real threat to foreign tech

March 3, 2016

Draconian new rules stop foreign outfits putting text, videos, maps or games online. Precise limits remain unclear and China doesn’t always enforce such sweeping bans. Still, the regulations could make life hard for Apple, Disney and others - and boost their homegrown rivals.

Time plus Yahoo conjures ghoulish AOL past

February 23, 2016

Merging the $1.5 bln magazine publisher with the troubled $30 bln internet company’s core would be much like a smaller version of the epically bad Time Warner deal. Combining print and digital might make more sense now than in 2000. The financial contortions it would take don’t.

Murdoch’s second season could be good for Sky

January 29, 2016

Four years after resigning at the height of a phone-hacking scandal, James Murdoch is back as chairman of the pay-TV group. That may rattle minority investors, but Murdoch has proven himself. It would be an odd move if Fox planned to buy the 61 percent of the company it doesn’t own.

Facebook’s free internet faces big test in India

January 5, 2016

Mark Zuckerberg is fighting hard to save his plan to offer a free mobile web service to the country’s poor. If India shuts it down, other developing nations may follow. It’s another case where the social network founder’s apparently noble goals have sparked a furious backlash.

Netflix will be recast from ally to villain

December 22, 2015

Once derided as the “Albanian army” by Time Warner boss Jeff Bewkes, the video-streaming service is now valued at about the same $55 bln as his company. With some 69 mln subscribers globally, it may be too late for media bosses to do anything about this beast they helped create.

China will stop ignoring Facebook’s friend request

December 22, 2015

The People’s Republic has blocked access to the $300 bln social network since 2009. Boss Mark Zuckerberg is eager to leap the Great Firewall. LinkedIn and Apple have shown China’s censors that foreign groups can play by local rules. Finding a local partner should seal the deal.