Daily Archives: May 12, 2009

Speculation about a possible spin-off of Sun’s hardware business by Oracle may not be so wide of the mark after all. The reason: Oracle’s initial acquisition interest only extended to some of Sun’s software assets.

Also, HP spent months doing due diligence over a possible bid of its own but backed out at the last minute without ever submitting an offer, so there’s a chance of it emerging as a buyer should Oracle opt to shed any parts of Sun in future.

Those are some of the things to be gleaned from Sun’s detailed disclosure to the SEC today of the events leading up to its deal with Oracle (HP’s identity is not disclosed – it is mentioned in the filing only as “Party B”. But one person who had a ringside seat to the action has told us that HP was actively engaged for months, and that despite widespread speculation, Cisco never showed any serious interest.) Read more

It seems there is a downside to AT&T’s exclusive relationship with Apple and the iPhone and it can be summed up in the microcosm of AT&T Park, home of the San Francisco Giants baseball team.

As the Wall Street Journal pointed out on Monday, iPhone users are bandwidth hogs. The comScore research firm reported in March that 80 per cent of UK iPhone users were accessing news and information through a browser – four times the rate for all mobile phone users. More than 18 per cent had bought and downloaded a game, compared to 6 per cent of other smartphone owners. Read more

Many predicted that mobile advertising would suffer in the downturn, as marketers looked to allocate shrinking budgets to more proven media.

But that hasn’t prevented the UK market from almost doubling in size last year, according to a report by PricewaterhouseCoopers for the Internet Advertising Bureau.

PwC’s Eva Berg-Winters said that growth of 99.2 per cent was greater than she had expected. “We have now passed the tipping point where things start moving in the mobile internet,” she said, adding that mobile was taking off faster than internet advertising did at a similar stage of its development in the late 1990s. Read more

  • The Obama administration’s top antitrust enforcer on Monday declared an end to Bush-era policies that made regulatory action against the biggest companies a rarity. The Justice Department’s Christine Varney said that dominant companies need not collude with their rivals to violate the law, and Silicon Valley attorneys said Google, Microsoft and Oracle would be well advised to tread more carefully.
  • Microsoft confirmed what everyone expected, announcing that Windows 7 would be released in time for the holidays. Missing the crucial holiday shopping season, when many consumers buy new PCs, would have dealt a blow to PC makers who depend on strong holiday sales.

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The FT’s Lex column suggests that in the hyper-competitive, low-margin PC market, consolidation is not the route to future success. Instead, PC makers should focus on offering a better range of products, such as netbooks, and penetrating new markets:

The conclusion for manufacturers is remarkably simple: sell everywhere, as efficiently as possible. Dell should deal with more retailers. HP should increasingly go direct to companies. Investors should scorn attempts to do anything more pyrotechnic than that.

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