THE GOOGLE INVESTOR: Maybe Samsung Is Ditching Google After All, Going After Apple Themselves

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GOOG Up As Tech Trades Sideways 
Markets are selling off from highs after jobless claims came right in line. Shares of GOOG are up in a mixed tech tape. Investors continue look for Android momentum on smartphones and tablets and monetization; clarity on the Motorola acquisition; regaining ground in China; the resurgence of Google TV; continued growth of YouTube; expansion of social network Google+; and progress in other initiatives (location-based services, mapping, Google Wallet, Google Music, etc.). The stock trades at approximately 11.0x Enterprise Value / EBIT.

Samsung Purchases mSpot, A Blow To Google Music (Business Insider)
Samsung just announced the purchase of mSpot, a streaming music that lets you upload your music to the cloud and stream it to your smartphone or tablet. It’s a very similar experience to Google Music and Amazon Cloud Player. mSpot gives you 5 GB of free storage, but you can pay for more. Samsung says it’ll pre-install mSpot in future smartphones and tablets. Consider this a blow to Google’s music product. Perhaps they are listening to Henry Blodget and are ditching Google to take on Apple themselves.

Google Needs To Take Control Of Android (GigaOM)
Google’s open approach to Android has certainly helped build the platform’s user base. But Google’s openness, allowing anyone to use the platform, might not be the best strategy for keeping its lead. But as Android’s “Wild West show” continues, consumers are likely to turn their back on Android over time. For that reason, Google should consider a change and control its mobile destiny directly. And the longer it waits, the less likely it is that such a move will pay off. You’ve got Motorola now, use it.

Google’s Antitrust Scrutiny Mounts In Europe (Bloomberg)
The European Union’s antitrust chief used to say he’d decide on the future of his probe into Google by April. Joaquin Almunia, who can fine companies as much as 10% of annual sales, now says he’s not in so much of a hurry. Four additional sets of allegations were filed with the EU in March and April. While new objections are unlikely to “bring anything new to the table,” said Gabriele Accardo, a lawyer at Dandria Studio Legale in Rome, a bigger issue for the investigation is its complexity and the emergence of new channels such as Facebook and other social media services.

Google Playing Catch Up To Amazon Cloud Services (Bloomberg)
Google has watched Amazon dominate the market for Web-based computer services. But maybe not for long. Google is hiring more engineers and salespeople, increasing marketing efforts and rolling out new features for businesses that are demanding faster computing speeds, more storage capacity and lower costs. Google said its customer roster has jumped by at least 10% each month this year, with clients ranging from car-sharing startup Getaround to established retailers such as Best Buy.

Google And Sony Launch A New Google TV (Android And Me)
Google TV is almost an afterthought at this point. The service lacks a real differentiating feature to make it a must-have entertainment item. Still, companies such as LG are getting into the game recently, and yesterday Google partnered with Sony to unveil a new Google TV set top box. This isn’t Sony’s first entrant into the Google TV series; the Japanese conglomerate was an early Google TV advocate. The next version of Sony Google TV will be special. Not so much for the Google TV service, but for the dual-sided remote control that will be included (which looks like it could power a shuttle to the moon).

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