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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.

Jul 5, 2011
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Zynga brings much-needed cash crop to IPOville

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

Tech firms have gone to market this year by the bushel with little earnings in tow. Zynga arrives with income aplenty from online games like FarmVille. And Zynga’s profitability is even more bountiful than first appears.

Jul 1, 2011
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Pricey Nortel IP shows fear of Google’s Android

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

Android paranoia can now be valued. A consortium of Apple, Ericsson, Microsoft, Research In Motion and Sony has agreed to pay an eye-watering $4.5 billion for wireless patents and applications held by bankrupt Nortel. That’s about three times the expected price, and blows Google’s early $900 million bid out of the water. It’s partly an effort to hold back the search giant’s phone platform, but Android looks strong enough to shrug it off.

Jun 30, 2011
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Google probe may resemble Microsoft’s in end alone

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

The antitrust probe into Google invites comparisons to the case against Microsoft. But however easy the links are to make, many are also facile. The most significant resemblance between the two situations may be their outcomes.

Jun 24, 2011
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History suggests Big Tech discount could linger

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

Microsoft, Apple and Google — together worth over $650 billion — seem to have plenty of growth left in the tank, but it’s not evident in their stock valuations. The shares of all three tech giants, after accounting for their cash hoards, trade at a discount to the market. This phenomenon isn’t new. Investors shunned the sector for long stretches twice over the last 40 years, worrying that obsolescence might pre-empt expansion.

Jun 17, 2011
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Plan to ease U.S. disclosure rules only half right

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

A new plan to ease a U.S. disclosure rule that can be burdensome for private companies like Facebook gets it only half right. Tweaking, rather than gutting, the current requirements would be a better way to balance companies accessing capital with investor protection.

Jun 14, 2011
via Breakingviews

Apple’s reality distortion field envelops JCPenney

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

Apple’s reality distortion field has enveloped J.C. Penney. The U.S department store chain poached Ron Johnson, the man behind Apple’s iconic shops, to be its eventual chief executive. The hire helped lift J.C. Penney’s market value by nearly a fifth, or $1.2 billion, before edging back a bit at the end of the trading day. It’s true, Johnson also spent 15 years at retailer Target, but the circumference of Apple’s halo looks too wide.

Jun 14, 2011

Nokia’s innovative past clings to Apple’s future

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Nokia’s(NOK1V.HE: Quote, Profile, Research) innovative past has hitched a ride on Apple’s(AAPL.O: Quote, Profile, Research) future.

The iPhone maker will pay an undisclosed — though substantial-sounding — sum to Nokia for rights to its technology. But settling the two-year dispute won’t reverse the Finnish company’s waning fortunes. It’s the latest example of how patent portfolios can prolong the lives of tired tech firms.

    • About Robert

      "Robert Cyran, U.S. tech columnist, joined Breakingviews in London in 2003 and moved four years later to New York, where he continues to cover global technology, pharmaceuticals and special situations. Robert began his career at Forbes magazine, where he assisted in the start-up of the international version of the magazine. Before working at Breakingviews he worked as a market researcher and reporter covering the pharmaceutical industry. Robert has a Masters degree in economics from Birmingham University and an undergraduate degree from George Washington University."
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