GOOG (NASDAQ:GOOG) Up Strong As Markets Rebound
The market is resilient despite retail sales missing November expectations posting only a 0.2% increase. Shares of GOOG are up strong as the rest of tech is trading just above the flat line. Catalysts include continued Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide; Motorola acquisition approval and integration (see below); regaining ground in China; resurgence of Google TV; the roll-out of Google Music, social network Google+ and Google Wallet; and progress in other newer initiatives (location-based services, mapping, gaming, daily deals, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 12.8x Enterprise Value / EBIT.
The EU Puts The Breaks On The Motorola Acquisition (VentureBeat)
Google’s proposed acquisition of Motorola has hit a roadblock. The European Commission antitrust inquiry into the acquisition has been suspended, as the organization hunts down “certain documents that are essential to its evaluation of the transaction.” Investigators have been reviewing the deal for some time abut whether or not such an acquisition would harm competition between manufacturers of Android smartphones and other devices.
Google Gaining Steam In The Enterprise (InfoWorld)
Google gained more than 4 million business customers and 40 million active end-users for Google Apps since it launched 6 years ago, but a lot of those wins are smaller companies and not true gigantic enterprises. That’s about to change. Google Enterprise VP Amit Singh said, “You’ll see us announce in the next four to six weeks some very, very large customers, with hundreds of thousands of users on at one time, moving to Google Apps.” One of those wins could be General Motors, which was close to signing a deal last month. Watch out Microsoft!
AdMob Forcing Apple’s Hand In Mobile Advertising (The Wall Street Journal)
Apple is softening its approach as it loses ground to Google in the mobile-ad market. Google’s AdMob service is available on a wide array of devices, not just Apple products. Google pricing varies widely. Display ads on apps from a range of providers vary from $4 to $12 per thousand views. Advanced targeting or mobile video can command higher premiums than static banner ads. Whatever the pricing, Google owns 24% of the market versus Apple’s 15%, forcing Apple to bargain for mobile ad dollars.
Google Launches Safe YouTube For Schools (VentureBeat)
Google has launched YouTube for Schools, a network setting that teachers and schools can turn on to grant access only to the educational content from YouTube EDU without the risk of pupils being “distracted by the latest music video or cute cat.” The portal will help curate education materials and videos. In 2010, Google’s launch of encrypted search clashed with the Children’s Internet Protection Act, a federal law that would have required schools to block Google.
Google Buys Music Rights Company To Hedge Legal Bets (Gizmodo)
Google bought RightsFlow, a company that helps musicians track and manage copyrights on their songs so they can get paid. YouTube continues to be a massive free music destination. Buying RightsFlow outright will help keep its administrative and legal costs down. It helps helps Google make sure that amateurs can keep using music on YouTube by licensing it. And it makes sure that the big publishers get paid so they don’t sue again or withhold content from Google Music or other services.
TV Usage On The Rise Again And Mobile Usage Passes Print (eMarketer)
According to a study from eMarketer of adult media habits, Americans spent an average of 4 hours and 34 minutes per day in front of the TV, up 10 minutes from last year. They spend an average of a little over an hour engaged with their mobile phones over the course of a day, a 30% jump compared to last year. That compares to a combined total of 44 minutes a day with newspapers and magazines and 2.47 hours a day on the Internet. The web passed print a long time ago in terms of time spent by consumers, but 2011 will be the first year that mobile passes print.
Heather Leonard is the Google analyst at Business Insider.