Attention Web 2.0 Start-Ups: Party May Be Ending

Who says Wall Street firms are always bullish?  According to Reuters, Merrill Lynch published a report today suggesting that housing market woes could drag the economy into a recession and that, if it does, investors can expect a drop in the S&P 500 of at least 30% from the peak.  Even if there is no recession, …

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Google Needs Another $2 Billion Because…

It must want to buy something.  No other explanation jumps to mind for why a cash-gushing monster with an $8 billion war chest would toss away another 5 million shares in tonight’s shelf filing. Scheduled 2006 big ticket items are $1 billion to AOL for the search deal, $1 billion (rumored) to Dell for the Google …

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eBay Imports Kijiji: Good Idea, Tough Competition

First, the good news: eBay has finally decided to go into a business that makes strategic sense (instead of buying random phone companies and social-web-surfing companies).  Kijiji’s classified ads are highly complementary to the company’s core business, and they allow the eBay to use its core expertise of helping people buy and sell stuff.  Kijiji …

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Look Out Yahoo: Google Now A 5-Trick Pony

Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney has published a report analyzing the competitiveness of Google’s non-search products, such as Finance, Gmail, Calendar, News, Froogle, Video, etc. The success of such products is obviously important for Google’s long-term outlook, as they should help lock in users and diversify Google’s usage patterns.  Eventually, they might even contribute revenue, although this …

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Will Radio, TV, and Print Save Google’s Growth Rate? No.

To hear people talk about Google’s moves into offline media, you would think the company is on the verge of capturing all the profit in the media industry.  It isn’t.  And not just because Google’s success in its offline efforts is far from guaranteed. The important point is that Google’s radio, TV, and print initiatives …

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Time Warner Says Synergy Is BS. So Sell AOL.

According to the WSJ, Time Warner has abandoned all pretense of “synergy” between its various media divisions, the failed concept that was the sole justification for its merger with AOL.  Without synergy–cooperation between divisions to develop next-generation services in music, VOIP, VOD, DVRs, interactive TV, and a host of other applications that have since been …

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eBay’s New Pony: Skype

Sub-Head: Wall Street Misses Forest for Trees A typical eBay quarter: solid numbers, sandbagged guidance, unavoidable deceleration leading to gradual multiple compression, marketplace and payment businesses that are changing the world.  And then there’s that new business, Skype, the acquisition that made everyone think Whitman & Co. had finally gone nuts. I still think the …

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How Much Dark Fiber is Google Buying?

Anyone know?  I’m still struggling with how the company can be spending 2x as much in CAPEX as its closest competitor, Yahoo!, as well as with where all that money could be going (CAPEX estimates are around $1.3 billion this year). At the Analyst Day, CEO Schmidt referred to the company making several “big bets.”  Rumor has …

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Why Did Google Invest in Sergey’s Wife’s Start-Up?

TechCrunch, AP, et al, are reporting that Google just invested $3.9 million in a biotech start-up run by Sergey Brin’s wife.  The company, 23andMe, immediately used this money to pay back a $2.6 million loan Sergey had personally extended to the company. For several reasons, this transaction is bizarre. First, given the obvious conflicts of interest (perceived or …

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