Tech wrap: Autonomy a done deal

October 3, 2011

Hewlett-Packard completed its $12 billion buy of British software firm Autonomy on Monday, the centerpiece of a botched strategy shift that cost ex-chief executive Leo Apotheker his job last month.

HP said its 25.50 pounds-per-share cash offer — representing a 79 percent premium that many HP shareholders found excessive — had been accepted by investors representing 87.34 percent of the company’s shares, well ahead of the 75 percent threshold needed.

The rushed announcements and concerns about the lofty price offered for Autonomy sent HP’s stock, and Apotheker’s credibility, plunging. But according to analysts, it would have been nearly impossible under British takeover rules for HP to extract itself from the Autonomy deal.

Tim Cook finally gets his chance to stride out from under Steve Jobs’ shadow, and he could not have picked a better time or device to mark his unofficial debut as Apple Inc’s CEO. The latest generation of the iPhone — still the smartphone industry’s gold standard after four years — is expected to see the light of day this Tuesday, just in time for the holidays.

FT says Apple’s iPhone 5 debut is “the latest sign that Silicon Valley is taking on a fresh mantle of Smartphone Valley.”

WSJ MarketBeat editor Mark Gongloff says that there is little pre-event buzz ahead of the iPhone 5 event and believes a factor is that Apple’s competitors such as Google and Amazon are catching up.

Rhapsody, which is the largest U.S. digital music service with 800,000 subscribers, said Monday it would take over Napster, which is currently owned by retailer Best Buy Co Inc.

Reuters blogger Felix Salmon looks at a new study that suggests nearly half the content produced on Twitter comes from just 20,000 “elite users.”

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