Robert's Feed
Aug 12, 2011
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HTML5 buzz weakens the power of mobile apps

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

Smartphones powered by Apple and Google operate using hundreds of thousands of highly specialized Web programs. That’s what has allowed the two firms to lock up most of the premium cellphone market. Yet a new Web standard, called HTML5, is gaining traction and buzz, not least because its biggest supporters say it will allow a bit of an end-run around these walled gardens.

Aug 10, 2011

Why Apple just might be the first $1 trln company

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Could Apple be worth $1 trillion? It’s conceivable. The $342 billion iPhone and iPad maker became — if only briefly — the most valuable company in the United States when it surpassed Exxon Mobil on Aug. 9. Yet its sales have been surging 80 percent a year, and profit faster. And Apple trades roughly in line with the growing U.S. market — and at less than half the price-to-earnings multiple it fetched in 2006, when revenue growth was much slower.

Aug 9, 2011
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Why Apple might just be the first $1 trillion company

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

Could Apple be worth $1 trillion? It’s conceivable. The $342 billion iPhone and iPad maker became – if only briefly – the most valuable company in the United States when it surpassed Exxon Mobil on Aug. 9. Yet its sales have been surging 80 percent a year, and profit faster. And Apple trades roughly in line with the growing U.S. market — and at less than half the price-to-earnings multiple it fetched in 2006, when revenue growth was much slower.

Aug 2, 2011
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Slim pickings for Slim in $6.5 bln Telmex tender

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

NEW YORK — Talk about slim pickings. Mexican billionaire Carlos Slim’s $6.5 billion tender offer for Telmex offers little for shareholders in his America Movil to be happy about. The cellphone carrier is buying out the remainder of the country’s shrinking fixed-line carrier at a premium valuation relative to its own. That looks like a bad exchange. Without a solid explanation, it’s easy to see why investors sliced $4 billion off Movil’s value.

Jul 29, 2011

Apple, Google and Microsoft revalue smartphone DNA

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – A battle royale has recalibrated the market for smartphone DNA. With Apple, Google and Microsoft duking it out for control of the mobile market, each needs or desires more and better patents for supremacy. Without them, their devices are vulnerable to shakedowns for royalties or, worse, demands to stop using the innovations. This has sparked a mad dash to acquire such portfolios — for use as both a saber and a shield.

Jul 22, 2011
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Microsoft ought to kick off search for Bing buyer

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

NEW YORK — Microsoft needs to concentrate on a different kind of search: finding a buyer for Bing, its online search business. The industry’s distant number two is a distraction for the software giant — and one that costs shareholders dearly. The division that houses Bing lost $2.6 billion in the latest fiscal year. Facebook, or even Apple, might make a better home for Bing. And a sale would be a boon for Microsoft’s investors.

Jul 21, 2011
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Express/Medco deal is antitrust roll of the dice

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

NEW YORK — Express Scripts’ $29.1 billion cash and stock offer for Medco Health Solutions isn’t just one of the largest deals of the year — it’s a massive antitrust roll of the dice. The combination would create a kahuna in the pharmacy benefits management (PBM) industry. So much so, it looks like a provocation to trustbusters.

Jul 15, 2011
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Google shrugs off economy and sets bar for rivals

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

What weak economy? Google’s second-quarter revenue and earnings both jumped more than a third year-on-year. Android, Google’s surging mobile platform, is picking up 550,000 customers daily. And a suddenly thriving social network is a warning shot for competitors.

Jul 14, 2011
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Facebook’s primary engine nears burnout

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

Facebook has added 150 million members over the past six months, bringing its total to 750 million. The end of the social network’s rocket ride may, however, be in sight. The company’s growth rate has been slowing. It took less than eight months to go from 100 million to 200 million users. The latest doubling took about a year and a half.

Jul 8, 2011
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CEO’s pay package hits brazen new high — and low

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

The real estate industry somehow just pushed the limits of executive pay. Simon Property Group is giving Chairman and Chief Executive David Simon shares worth $120 million to stick around until 2019. America’s biggest mall owner, co-founded by Simon’s father and uncle, has rebounded well from the recession. But Simon already has a fat compensation deal. Top brass don’t deserve extra bonuses just for showing up.