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Tech wrap: LinkedIn shares skyrocket in debut

May 19, 2011

LinkedIn made its remarkable debut on the New York Stock Exchange, at times trading more than 171 percent above its IPO price of $45. The stampede to buy the stock had some remembering back to another time when investors also loved tech stock IPOs: the 1990s and the dotcom bubble.

Does the response to LinkedIn suggest investors are in for another bubble that bursts when the fundamentals overtake the hype? Or is it a sign that investors are hungry for any piece of the social media pie and LinkedIn’s happens to be first out of the oven? While Facebook, Groupon, Twitter and Zynga are still expected to go public, LinkedIn Chief Executive Jeff Weiner cautions that his company’s spectacular debut should not be seen as a proxy for them.

While American social media companies are testing the IPO waters, their European counterparts at Viadao, Mind Candy, Sulake and Telmap are expressing skepticism at the Reuters Global Technology Summit about the sky-high valuations of U.S. start-ups and the potential for another bubble.

Smartphone makers should take heart. Analysts do not think that Google and Apple have a stranglehold on the industry because the owners of other platforms like Windows Phone, webOS, bada and MeeGo have deep pockets.

And good news for those who don’t have room for built-in bookcases. Amazon says it is now selling more digital  e-books than print books on its best-selling Kindle e-reader.

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