Robert's Feed
Oct 4, 2011
via Breakingviews

iPhone 4S unleashes more creative destruction

By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Apple has an astonishing ability to casually unleash creative destruction. Its latest iPhone, the 4S, offers faster data-processing and downloads, as well as voice-powered software. This may not have lived up to the most feverish expectations of investors: Apple shares fell while the market rallied. But it will do more than enough to create headaches for companies ranging from Research In Motion to American Greetings.

Smartphones started by devouring the personal digital assistant, as any former Palm Pilot aficionado can testify. They terrorized the market for fixed-line phones, which are now in sharp decline. Apple’s newest gadget shows just how hungry smartphone makers, and Apple in particular, are to eat rivals’ lunches.

Oct 3, 2011
via Breakingviews

HP would make lucrative Oracle target

By Robert Cyran and Richard Beales
The authors are Reuters Breakingviews columnists. The opinions expressed are their own.

Investors unimpressed by Hewlett-Packard’s dysfunctional governance have sold off its shares, leaving the tech company vulnerable to a bid. And Larry Ellison’s acquisitive Oracle is a credible potential suitor. At least financially, a deal would stack up. A Breakingviews analysis suggests that even paying a 40 percent premium, Oracle could reap a hefty return.

Sep 28, 2011

Amazon and Apple’s historic paths collide

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – The recent histories of technology giants Amazon and Apple are colliding. The online retailer’s cheap new Kindle Fire tablet reflects the company’s roots — it’s a tool for the sale of content. Apple, by contrast, used music and movies to hook customers into buying its gadgets. The two currents are now clashing, and survival requires strength in both.

Sep 23, 2011
via Breakingviews

Meg Whitman is unjustifiable choice for HP

By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Hewlett-Packard’s board just can’t get out of its own way. Appointing Meg Whitman to run the company is the latest example why. The former eBay boss only became a director earlier this year. The feckless body has already ousted three previous outsiders, including most recently Leo Apotheker, damaging HP each time along the way. But that’s not the only reason choosing Whitman as CEO is almost completely unjustifiable.

Sep 14, 2011
via Breakingviews

When Frank Quattrone comes calling, buyer beware

By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

When Frank Quattrone comes calling, buyers should beware. The latest coup for the former CSFB ace is persuading Google to bid against itself for Motorola Mobility. Since launching Qatalyst Partners, his boutique investment bank, Quattrone has extracted a much higher premium for clients than rival tech bankers. Silicon Valley has now been given fair warning.

Sep 8, 2011

Facebook puts Web 2.0 rivals in appropriate light

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.)

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – The latest numbers on Facebook puts the social network’s Web 2.0 rivals in the appropriate light. Initial public offerings this year for tech companies like content factory Demand Media and Internet radio service Pandora Media have shown how profitless growth can gain favor. But Facebook’s fast-growing profit is a stark reminder of exactly what’s missing from Silicon Valley.

Sep 7, 2011

New Yahoo CEO challenge: to dismantle the beast

(The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own)

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Cleaning up Yahoo’s business is proving a Sisyphean task — and the U.S. Internet hodgepodge’s corporate dysfunction makes it doubly so. Firing chief executive Carol Bartz could be a step forward — at the very least it may remove some saucy language from the company’s board minutes. But Yahoo’s directors have done so in characteristically shambolic fashion, and created even more impediments to progress. Yahoo needs a simpler solution — a breakup.

Sep 1, 2011
via Breakingviews

Big pharmacy deal confronts past and now present

By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

Investors are betting there’s almost no chance trustbusters will approve the $29 billion acquisition of pharmacy benefits manager Medco by rival Express Scripts. Medco shares are trading more than 20 percent below the offer price. That may be overly pessimistic. But two nixed mergers 14 years ago and the U.S. Justice Department’s attempt to stop AT&T’s $39 billion purchase of T-Mobile USA provide good reason for skepticism.

Aug 31, 2011
via Breakingviews

Obama’s watchdogs call AT&T’s $39 bln wager

By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

The Obama administration has called AT&T’s $39 billion wager on T-Mobile USA. The No. 2 U.S. mobile company bet it could persuade regulators that buying No. 4 T-Mobile would benefit consumers. The U.S. Department of Justice senses a weak hand and has sued to block the deal. With the industry a near duopoly, the government’s read looks right. AT&T isn’t folding but looks on the verge of a bad beat.

Aug 29, 2011
via Breakingviews

Groupon’s gaffes give fair warning to investors

By Robert Cyran
The author is a Reuters Breakingviews columnist. The opinions expressed are his own.

NEW YORK — Groupon’s gaffes have given fair warning to investors. The run-up to the Internet coupon company’s initial public offering has been characterized by a series of rosy promises from executives that went unfulfilled. This bodes poorly for the company’s governance, and perhaps its financial prospects, as a full-fledged public company.