Breakingviews

India lays foundation for a fintech revolution

September 14, 2016

A new payments platform, tied to biometric identity data, will hasten the move to a cashless economy. The open system sets India's fintech infrastructure apart from China or the U.S. That's great news for consumers and entrepreneurs, less so for big banks and mobile wallet firms.

Samsung’s handset fires singe its brand

September 12, 2016

The tech giant is speeding up a recall of Galaxy Note 7 phones, after reports of fires and explosions, while airlines have banned in-air use. Samsung shares have fallen sharply. The immediate financial hit looks manageable but the reputational damage could be worse.

Apple’s new iPhone is about eyes more than ears

September 7, 2016

Removal of the headphone jack has created most of the buzz. That and other new features in the latest iteration are enough to sell plenty of upgrades. A new camera, however, hints at Apple's ambitions in virtual and augmented reality, which could be the bigger temptation.

Europe may end up behind the curve on 5G internet

September 1, 2016

Telecom companies claim the EU's new open-internet guidelines disadvantage them relative to U.S. and Chinese players. They're right that Europe may slip behind in the race for superfast internet, but net neutrality isn't the real enemy. Blame a highly fragmented market instead.

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.

Jack Dorsey may want to pull a Marissa Mayer soon

July 27, 2016

The Twitter CEO's plan to get the $13 bln social-media firm to take wing has been mostly ineffective. Revenue and user growth are slowing. Now would be a good time to find a suitor. The human news feed could find a home on the island of misfit media assets Verizon is assembling.

Yahoo fittingly closes portal on tech M&A misses

July 26, 2016

The $4.8 bln sale to Verizon caps two decades of deals and non-deals that shaped internet history. Yahoo got lucky with Alibaba, but failed to capitalize on its dominance with Google, Facebook and eBay. Spurning Microsoft also was a mistake. It's a one-company textbook on timing.

Elon Musk’s new plan will test investor faithful

July 21, 2016

The Tesla boss has a compelling vision for building more vehicles with more autonomy for a sharing economy. But Musk's missive fails to address shareholder concerns about the electric carmaker's planned merger with SolarCity. It's also unclear how he will finance his ambitions.

ASML could be cousin to ARM in next tech wave

July 20, 2016

Like the UK chip-designer Japan's SoftBank has agreed to buy, ASML is a niche but dominant player. Its tools make chips smaller and punchier. ASML would be harder to take over than ARM, but if big data and the internet of things merit the hype, it's in a good position to cash in.

Tech deal reboot exemplifies valuation disconnect

July 11, 2016

Videoconference gear maker Polycom scrapped a plan to be bought by Mitel and opted for a $2 bln LBO instead. Hefty synergies in the original merger orchestrated by Elliott oddly failed to impress investors. It's not just the newest technology where valuation thinking is screwy.