Cox: Time has come for Zynga to sell the farmville

By Rob Cox
March 3, 2016

Liquidating the $2 bln company and returning the proceeds to shareholders is probably the best option at this point. Unfortunately, the once high-flying videogame maker is entirely rigged by founder Mark Pincus. Zynga is a prime example of the problem with super-voting powers.

Vodafone talks raise more questions than answers

June 5, 2015

The $100 bln telco is talking to cable group Liberty Global about an asset swap. Vodafone shares fell, suggesting disappointment among investors who’d thought a merger was on the cards. Smaller scale M&A is probably the right way forward, but any structure will be complex.

European telecoms will dial up more deals

December 16, 2014

Investors have brightened as M&A has swept the sector. Thanks to BT, Britain is up next. More mergers could follow in France, Italy and Belgium. What’s not to like? Well, windfalls from big cross-border deals looks distant and valuations already price in most of the good news.

BT is in strong position for mobile M&A

November 24, 2014

The fixed-line telco has shaken up UK communications by pushing into TV and now mobile. The reward is that BT has a choice of two mobile networks to buy, O2 or EE, and few likely counter-bidders. A 10 bln stg deal would help lift sales and protect BT’s broadband business.

Qualcomm signals $2.5 bln belief in Bluetooth

October 15, 2014

The $120 bln U.S. chipmaker has bid for Britain’s CSR. It is betting the “Internet of things” will bring rapid growth in Bluetooth-linked cars, stereos and watches. But paying 27 times 2015 earnings looks rich, especially as rival suitor Microchip warns of industry weakness.

China smartphones set to pick off global giants

September 9, 2014

Home-grown manufacturers dominate in the People's Republic, shipping three in four phones in the quarter ending June. In the rest of the world, their share is less than 20 percent. Yet low costs are helping them dial in new emerging market customers. Global rivals face a fight. Read the view

Facebook’s biggest risk lies in palm of your hand

February 3, 2012

Half of the social network’s 845 mln users now access it through a phone, and that number is surging. Yet Facebook receives virtually no display advertising revenue from small screens. The shift to mobile Internet use could be Mark Zuckerberg’s biggest threat - and he knows it.

RIM doesn’t need to remain Canadian

May 31, 2012

The struggling BlackBerry maker is weighing its options, from joint ventures to a sale. Despite past form, some officials’ preference to keep the company Canadian shouldn’t worry would-be foreign buyers too much. RIM’s declining sales and significance present a bigger challenge.

Profit first casualty in China’s mobile ad war

February 1, 2013

As China’s 560 million web users go mobile, online giants face a dilemma over how to corner the smartphone ad market. Ideas and scale both count. Tencent has killer app WeChat, while Baidu is offering users storage on its servers. Whoever wins, margins are likely to come down.

Facebook mobilizes back to square one

July 31, 2013

The social network’s stock finally traded above the price set at its messy debut 14 months ago. Founder Mark Zuckerberg has made Facebook’s platform work on smartphones and tablets as his tech rivals flounder. Even so, he doesn’t deserve a thumbs-up from investors just yet.