MediaFile

from DealZone:

Playing in Larry’s sandbox

Having spent more than $42 billion to buy about 60 companies, Larry Ellison’s Oracle has set something of a daunting standard for merger activity in the business software industry. So while SAP’s plan to buy smaller business software maker Sybase for $5.8 billion may not roil markets, it could certainly shake up things in an already  busy infotech sector.

With Sybase, SAP gets a boost in mobile technology, but will also end up with a big database business that provides steady revenues but little else on which SAP can grow its business.

The database chunk is by far the bigger earner for Sybase, with the mobile aps business accounting for only a little over a quarter of annual revenue, so it could make an attractive business for SAP to hive off. Breakingviews columnist Robert Cyran points out that keeping a hand in the database world could also prove awkward for SAP as it exacerbates competitive friction with its allies, Microsoft and IBM.

SAP could also look to sell the database business to cash up for any more strategic moves. Given this is the second-biggest deal for SAP in its nearly 40-year history, and marks the first big move since a management shakeup, the sandbox that so recently seemed to be Larry’s exclusive territory is only going to become more crowded.

How many phones is too many?

Most people have one phone or handheld device for work, and maybe another one for play. But how about 14?

That’s how many devices Google’s vice president of engineering Vic Gundotra has. They make it “very hard to get through the airport,” he joked.

We asked him and other executives in the mobile advertising industry what devices they use, after about an hour of a panel discussion on where mobile advertising is going at the Fortune Brainstorm: TECH conference.

Tech execs, where would you put a million dollars?

Most top technology executives are used to juggling businesses worth hundred of millions of dollars, yen or euros. But this week at the Reuters Technology Summit, we asked: if we gave you $1 million to invest anywhere — but not in your own company — where would you spend it?

INTERNET / STARTUPS

If you want the quick answer, I would invest it in Twitter.  I’m sorry that we weren’t in it. I don’t know where it’s going and it would be a fun ride.

Tim Draper, managing director of venture capital firm Draper Fisher Jurvetson.

from Summit Notebook:

Alphabet-shaped recovery? Try bathtub-shaped

We've all heard discussions on what letter of the alphabet the economic recovery will look like. Will it be "V" shaped -- as in, a sharp plummeting, followed by an equally sharp upswing? Or more "U" shaped -- a downturn followed by a flat period before the recovery starts? Is the lightness we're witnessing in the economy the mid-point in a more extended recovery process, mirroring the letter "W"? And heaven forbid, let's not even think we might be stuck in an "L" shaped economy, with no near or medium-term hope of improvement.

We asked the chief executives of Sybase and Symantec, our first two guests at the Reuters Global Technology Summit, what they thought the recovery graph might look like.

Sybase CEO John Chen said he remains cautious about the overall economic outlook despite talk of a "green shoots" rebound and the idea that tech spending has hit a bottom. So it's unlikely to be a V-shaped recovery or even a W-shaped recovery, Chen said. He think the economy is going through a U-shaped recovery, although it might be a year or more before we begin to climb up the right side of the "U."