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Aug 16, 2011

HP purchase of patent-rich Palm now looks smarter

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

By Robert Cyran

NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) – Hewlett-Packard’s(HPQ.N: Quote, Profile, Research) purchase of Palm last year is suddenly looking smarter. Google’s(GOOG.O: Quote, Profile, Research) $12.5 billion deal to buy Motorola Mobility(MMI.N: Quote, Profile, Research) this week, and the frenzied bidding earlier in the year for Nortel’s patents, have revealed the riches in the intellectual property of mobile computing. And HP snatched up one of the most important troves for a price that now looks cheap. Yet cashing in, should HP want to do so, is a challenge.

Aug 15, 2011
via Breakingviews

Google’s $12.5 billion insurance buy may worry partners

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

Google¬†is spending $12.5 billion on insurance for itself — but its partners may not feel at ease. The search giant’s deal to buy smartphone maker Motorola Mobility¬†locks in patents to help protect its rapidly growing Android mobile operating system. But Google’s plans for the hardware business that comes along with the patents will be the key concern for regulators and other current Android handset makers alike.

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
via Breakingviews

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
via Breakingviews

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
via Breakingviews

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.

    • 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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