Posts Tagged ‘street-journal’

Can Cable Consolidation Get Past the Regulators?

November 22, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Comcast is looking seriously at acquiring Time Warner Cable, multiple reports said earlier today, prompting rapid fluctuations in TWC's stock price, which spiked 9 percent to $132.16 a share this afternoon (the stock was trading below $120 a share as recently as Wednesday). Part of the stock movement has to do with TWC's attractiveness to more than one suitor: backed by Liberty Media, Charter is also looking at acquiring the cable operator. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Charter is close to securing funding for a bid. There's a reason Time Warner looks like the prettiest girl at the dance: it has a full 14.6 million subscribers and it's in hot water with its shareholders as of recently, principally because it lost some 306,000 of those subscribers during its lengthy beef with CBS earlier this year. That cost the company some $122 million, but TWC's revenue is still $2.6 billion —not exactly a distressed asset . As the cable market matures and threatens to shrink , consolidation has become a serious proposition for companies looking to shed money-sucking bureaucracies and pare down infrastructures across as many subscribers as possible. Of course, part of the reason for the existing inefficiencies is that habit larger cable companies have of eating smaller ones, but those little cable companies are like Lay's potato chips : you can't eat just one. (Most recently, TWC gobbled up Dukenet for a $600 million cash deal ) It remains to be seen whether Washington will be excited to see another merger between giant service providers in an industry already criticized for creating regional monopolies. The last time Comcast wanted to do something like this—when it merged with media giant NBCUniversal—it attracted further criticism when, after the deal was approved, then-commissioner Meredith Baker jumped ship to a consultancy job at the newly-formed mega-corporation. If Comcast wants to buy TWC, it's a safe bet that it will have a tougher row to hoe than Charter.

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Will Regulators Put the Kibosh on Cable Consolidation?

November 22, 2013  |  Media Week  |  No Comments

Comcast is looking seriously at acquiring Time Warner Cable, multiple reports said earlier today, prompting rapid fluctuations in TWC's stock price, which spiked 9 percent to $132.16 a share this afternoon (the stock was trading below $120 a share as recently as Wednesday). Part of the stock movement has to do with TWC's attractiveness to more than one suitor: backed by Liberty Media, Charter is also looking at acquiring the cable operator. The Wall Street Journal reported yesterday that Charter is close to securing funding for a bid. There's a reason Time Warner looks like the prettiest girl at the dance: it has a 11.6 million subscribers and is in hot water with its shareholders, largely because it lost some 306,000 of those paying customers during its month-long beef with CBS . That cost the company some $122 million , but TWC's revenue is still $2.6 billion —not exactly a distressed asset . As the cable market matures and threatens to shrink , consolidation has become a serious proposition for companies looking to shed money-sucking bureaucracies and pare down infrastructures across as many subscribers as possible. Of course, part of the reason for the existing inefficiencies is that habit larger cable companies have of eating smaller ones, but those little cable companies are like Lay's potato chips : you can't eat just one. (Most recently, TWC gobbled up DukeNet in

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More iPhone 5c Supply Chain Rumors

October 18, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Has Apple reduced orders for its new iPhone 5c? A growing chorus of reports suggests that it has. Earlier this week, The Wall Street Journal reported that Apple has told manufacturing partners Pegatron and Hon Hai to ramp down production of the device. Reuters echoed that report later the same day, and now NPD DisplaySearch is making similar claims . In a report published Friday, the research outfit said recent channel checks suggest that Apple has dialed back iPhone 5c production by 35 percent, while increasing iPhone 5s production by 75 percent. NPD attributes the 5c production cuts to demand weakened by the device’s higher-than-expected price. “Rumors about iPhone 5c being ‘cheap’ were circulating as early as Q3 2012,” NPD analysts Tina Teng and Shawn Lee theorize. “The fact that the iPhone 5c is nearly identical to the iPhone 5 — and is not cheap — disappointed some consumers.” Perhaps. That’s certainly an easy explanation for such production cuts following a nine-million-new-iPhones-sold opening weekend . But easy explanations aren’t always accurate, and as similarly pessimistic reports about iPhone 5 demand last year proved, supply chain production volume rumors sometimes aren’t the best information on which to gauge iPhone sales. Things can go from “FLASH: Apple has cut orders for iPhone components due to weaker-than-expected demand!” to “My bad! Apple actually sold 47.8 million iPhones this quarter” pretty quickly. As Apple CEO Tim Cook said in January , “I’d recommend questioning the accuracy of any kind of rumor about build plans. I’d also stress that even if a particular data point were to be factual it would be impossible to interpret what it really means to our business. Our supply chain is very complex and we have multiple sources for our components

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AllThingsD in The Media: Microsoft’s Next CEO (Maybe) and a New Video Chat App

October 6, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Another busy week of tech news — and when was the last time it wasn’t a busy week? — meant AllThingsD ‘s personnel was equally busy in the media this week. Early in the week, on Sept. 30, Kara Swisher was on CNBC to talk about the still-unfolding story about the possibility that Alan Mullaly, the current CEO of automaker Ford may be in line to replace Steve Ballmer as the next CEO of software giant Microsoft. Swisher was first to report the news that Mullaly is being considered for the job on Sept. 26. Also Walt Mossberg was on The Wall Street Journal’s Digits to talk about the new video chat app Spin. [ See post to watch video ]

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Cheaper Advice: Angie’s List Cuts Prices

October 2, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Consumer-review site Angie’s List Inc. has slashed membership prices by roughly 75 percent in several key markets, in a bid to attract new members. Chief Executive William Oesterle told The Wall Street Journal that new members in New York, Washington D.C., Chicago, San Francisco and Indianapolis, among other markets, are now paying around $10 for an annual membership, down from around $40. Read the rest of this post on the original site »

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How Can You Miss Us if We Won’t Go Away?

September 20, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

First things first: We’re keeping the Steelcase hot-seat red chairs. Forever. In fact, we own quite a few now. And we’ll still be scooping and reviewing all things digital right here, at this Web address, for a few more months. So, while we appreciate the teary farewells we’ve been receiving today across the Web, they’re premature — not by just months, but by many, many years. What are we blathering about, you ask? Well, earlier today, the owner of this site — the Dow Jones unit of News Corp — issued a statement stating that, by mutual agreement, the AllThingsD team and the parent company had decided to part ways when our current contract is up on Dec. 31. The separation impacts both this website and our suite of conferences, including the most famous, the D conference, which we built together from scratch — with a whole lot of help from our stellar staff — 11 years ago. That statement is true. But you, dear reader, can’t get rid of us quite that easily.

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Jawbone Raises More Than $100 Million to Meet Demand for Wearable Tech

September 12, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Jawbone, the Bay Area-based electronics company that makes colorful Bluetooth speakers and the activity-tracking Up wristband, has raised more than $100 million through debt financing and new equity. Jawbone UP The funding round was first reported by Fortune earlier this morning. AllThingsD has independently confirmed the funding. The company has said it needs cash in the short term to meet demand for its products, as it has “millions of back-orders to fill,” according to the Fortune report. Its long-term strategy, I’m told, includes the hiring of more data engineers to work on its wearable products. Jawbone raised over $90 million in debt financing and asset-backed loans from Silver Lake Partners, Fortress Investment Group, J.P. Morgan and Wells Fargo. Previous investors Andreessen Horowitz, Sequoia Capital and Kleiner Perkins also contributed to a new round of equity said to be at $20 million. In recent months, Jawbone, which is led by founder and CEO Hosain Rahman, has made at least a few strategic acquisitions in addition to expanding its product line and making key hires. In February, Jawbone bought two mobile-focused health and lifestyle companies, Visere and Massive Health , for an undisclosed amount. In April, it spent more than $100 million to acquire BodyMedia , a veteran Pittsburgh-based health-tracking company, for both its talent and its patents. Since then, it has also hired data scientist Monica Rogati as a “VP of Data” and has been looking to hire more data-focused scientists and engineers. Jawbone’s $130 Up wristband is part of a growing category of devices that are worn on the wrist and other parts of the body to track wearers’ activity levels throughout the day and sync the data to a mobile device. Competitors include Fitbit’s products and the Nike+ FuelBand — and competition may be creeping up from within the mobile phone itself, as sensors inside smartphones get better and more plentiful

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AllThingsD on TV: Ballmer, Google’s IPO and the Future of Personal Electronics

August 25, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

With Google celebrating the ninth anniversary of its IPO on Monday and Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer announcing plans to retire on Friday, this week was hardly short on news or AllThingsD staffers discussing it on various TV shows. Below, a quick rundown of our editors’ media appearances during the past week. Mike Isaac showed up on CNBC Monday to discuss Google on the ninth anniversary of its IPO. Lauren Goode appeared on Fox to discuss Yahoo topping Google as the most visited Web site in the United States last month. Walt Mossberg joined “Nightly Business Report” to talk about Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer’s decision to retire. Kara Swisher appeared on “CBS This Morning” Saturday, also discussing Ballmer. Walt also showed up on The Wall Street Journal’s “Digits” program to talk about TiVo’s new Roamio service. Finally, Walt joined CSPAN to discuss the future of personal electronics.

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Microsoft Bribe Probe Reaches Into Pakistan, Russia Deals

August 22, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

A U.S. investigation into Microsoft Corp.’s relationships with business partners that allegedly bribed foreign officials in return for contracts includes activity in Russia and Pakistan, a sign that the probe is wider reaching than previously known, according to people familiar with the matter. The Wall Street Journal reported this year lawyers from the U.S. Justice Department and the Securities and Exchange Commission had been conducting a preliminary investigation into kickback allegations made by a former Microsoft representative in China, as well as the company’s relationships with certain resellers and consultants in Romania and Italy. In Russia, an anonymous tipster told Microsoft that resellers of its software allegedly funneled kickbacks to executives of a state-owned company to win a deal, the people familiar with the matter said. In Pakistan, a tipster alleged that Microsoft authorized a consulting firm to pay for a five-day trip to Egypt for a government official and his wife in order to win a tender, the people familiar with the matter said.

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Carl Icahn Denied in Bid to Upend Dell Buyout Vote

August 16, 2013  |  All Things Digital  |  No Comments

Carl Icahn, the activist investor, can’t seem to get a break from the Delaware Chancery Court. A judge in that court turned away Icahn’s petition asking it to intervene and stop a buyout vote scheduled for Sept. 12 . That means that the vote, complete with its revised rules, will go on as scheduled. The Wall Street Journal has a closer look at the decision itself here . Meanwhile, Dell notified shareholders via a filing with the U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission that its regular annual meeting has been scheduled for Oct. 17. The date had been a point of contention for Icahn, who had sought to force Dell to hold the annual meeting on the same date as the special shareholder meeting during which votes on the buyout will be tallied. Either way, Icahn and his partner in opposing the deal, Southeastern Asset Management, say they will continue to run their own slate of directors and continue to fight for control of the company at the annual meeting in October. In another filing with the SEC, Icahn and Southeastern renominated the slate of directors they first put up on May 17 . CEO and founder Michael Dell and the private equity firm Silver Lake have offered about $25 billion to buy the company out. Icahn and several other large shareholders have argued that their offer undervalues the company. They have proposed a strategic recapitalization that would see 72 percent of shareholders bought out at $14 a share, and leave the remaining shares trading publicly. Shareholders would also receive a special dividend and receive warrants for the purchase for Dell shares at a later date.

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