Breakingviews

Rob Cox: Parsing the short life of Dave Goldberg

May 12, 2015

The untimely death of the CEO of startup SurveyMonkey sparked an unusual outpouring of emotion from Silicon Valley. His age and marital affiliation can only explain part of the response. The worrisome message is that nice guys really are too rare a breed in the tech ecosystem.

Verizon’s dumb pipes no smarter with $4.4 bln AOL

May 12, 2015

Seeking refuge from a vicious wireless war, the telecom carrier is buying the owner of the Huffington Post and old internet dial-up customers. The video ad tech business may be the prize, but it faces threats from Google and others. This is just another silly deal involving AOL.

Thruppence: Can Snapchat unmask dodgy borrowers?

By Breakingviews Columnists
May 11, 2015

Alternative lender Affirm has raised $275 mln for a model that rates creditworthiness using social media data alongside other old-school indicators. Breakingviews columnists debate whether info gleaned from Facebook and its ilk could supplant traditional credit-scoring methods.

Would Microsoft really want to own Salesforce?

May 6, 2015

Buying the cloud-based customer-service software could make businesses less likely to ditch Office. It might, however, cost Microsoft some $60 bln, more than all past deals combined. A bold bet for boss Satya Nadella would create earnings dilution that annoys his shareholders.

Salesforce’s slow growth may prompt hunt for buyer

April 30, 2015

The $47 bln software outfit is said to be on the market. Oracle and Microsoft want to beef up cloud capacity, making them possible suitors. Founder Marc Benioff has been offloading shares, and persistent losses and disappointing revenue could tempt him to hawk the whole thing.

Huge Apple payouts play catch-up with China growth

April 28, 2015

The $760 bln iPhone behemoth is adding $50 bln more to its buyback plans. Quarterly numbers, though, show the Middle Kingdom overtaking Europe as Apple’s second-biggest market after 71 pct growth. CEO Tim Cook is in danger of taking more fire for returning cash too slowly.

Guest view: What’s holding technology M&A back?

By Guest Contributor
April 9, 2015

Though deal-making is near boom-time highs, most of it’s not about making bold bets on the future, says Andreessen Horowitz’s managing partner. Activism plays a role. But as newly public tech firms that are more resistant to external pressure mature, the dynamic will shift.

NY judge gives 1970s sitcom a Silicon Valley spin

April 2, 2015

A “Three’s Company” parody didn’t breach rights to the TV hit, despite similarities. Like rulings on Google Books and Aereo’s video streaming, the verdict reflects Big Apple legal thinking that ideas are for sharing. It’s a philosophy tech firms might want more courts to follow.

April 1 jokes expose greater fools of finance

April 2, 2015

A Tesla prank involving a fake new product caused its shares to twitch. Meanwhile, Tinder for Uber seemed all too credible in a Silicon Valley littered with this-for-that business models. When investors can be easily duped, it’s a sign markets are high on hype and distortions.

Silicon Valley’s noble goals hit home in Indiana

March 31, 2015

Apple, Google and other technology companies often fall short of promises to make the world a better place. Opposing discriminatory laws in the Hoosier State and elsewhere could make up for lost ground. An economic boycott helps put weight behind the industry’s lofty ideals.