Breakingviews

Viacom saga is Wall Street’s new hit show

August 19, 2016

Ousting CEO Philippe Dauman paves the way for owner Sumner Redstone to try to revive the ailing cable-TV business. That could include investing in content and even selling part or all of Viacom. Investment bankers will be lining up outside its Times Square HQ for a seat.

Two $150 bln-plus tech giants face divergent futures

August 17, 2016

Intel is swallowing its pride and licensing IP from rival ARM. Cisco, meanwhile, may be planning to cut 20 pct of its workers. The outlook for last-generation tech titans is often grim as margins shrink. But the capital intensity of chipmaking should give Intel a second life.

Bristol-Myers suffers $21 bln self-inflicted wound

August 5, 2016

That's how much value investors wiped off the pharma firm after its trial to broaden the use of a cancer drug failed. It was an unnecessarily risky move for Bristol, whose immunotherapy has been outselling Merck's. The stumble will allow its more cautious rival to clean up.

Review: Big Data’s all-too-human failings

August 5, 2016

An ex-hedge fund quant exposes flaws in how information is used to assess everything from creditworthiness to policing tactics. Programmed biases and a lack of feedback are among the concerns behind the clever and apt title of Cathy O'Neil's book: "Weapons of Math Destruction."

Note to D.C.: Jack-hammer away on infrastructure

August 3, 2016

With interest rates at record lows, there's growing support on the campaign trail for rebuilding U.S. roads and bridges. Donald Trump called for at least doubling the $275 bln in spending proposed by Hillary Clinton. To grow jobs, wages and GDP, it's a policy deserving of a deal.

Time Warner as sous-chef may enhance Hulu broth

August 3, 2016

The media conglomerate bought a 10 pct stake in the digital-TV service at a $5.8 bln valuation. Hulu gets Time Warner programs but not another board member at a table crowded by rivals Disney, Fox and Comcast. This sort of arrangement may give the JV a better shot at success.

Shave Club syndrome nicks P&G makeover

August 2, 2016

New CEO David Taylor has spruced up the $230 bln Tide-to-Pampers behemoth, but it's struggling to boost sales. Now internet-savvy upstarts like Dollar Shave Club, recently bought by Unilever, threaten to steal customers and take a razor to margins in P&G's better-looking units.

Tesla makes best of perplexing SolarCity deal

August 1, 2016

At $2.6 bln, Elon Musk's electric-car pioneer is paying less than expected for his solar-panel installer. The boards have done the right things to manage conflicts. There's overlap between Tesla's battery unit and SolarCity. But diluting the ambitious automaker's focus is risky.

Chinese investors up the ante in online games

August 1, 2016

Gaming outfit Shanghai Giant, Alibaba boss Jack Ma, and partners are buying Israel's Playtika for $4.4 bln. This looks pricier than Tencent's recent purchase of the firm behind Clash of Clans. Plus, casino-style games are even more at risk of being overtaken by the latest hit.

Review: Iran cyber hack opened a Pandora’s box

July 29, 2016

The documentary "Zero Days" takes a thriller-style look at the unprecedented attack on the country's nuclear facilities using the Stuxnet virus. It shows the lack of norms in this new kind of war. What’s left unexplored is how companies have become fair game in cyber battles.