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GOOG Up Strong As Markets Soar
Stocks are going bonkers after European leaders agreed to boost the region’s bailout fund and struck a deal with banks and the U.S. GDP met analyst expectations. Shares of GOOG are strong, over 10 points. Catalysts include continued Android momentum in the smartphone and tablet markets worldwide; Motorola acquisition approval and integration; regaining ground in China; any signs of life for Google TV (including Motorola); 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 11.8x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels.Google Putting That Money To Use, $150 Million For Zagat Alone… (Reuters)
Google spent more than $1.4 billion to purchase 57 companies of various sizes and persuasions, blasting apart the company’s previous record of 48 acquisitions from 2010. The company paid $151 million in cash to acquire Zagat in September. The acquisition, which added a valuable brand to Google’s content offerings and bolstered its push into the local commerce market. Google spent more than $500 million to acquire another 27 companies during the third quarter alone.
…The Company Is Also Using It To Lobby Main Street (Search Engine Watch)
While spending on lobbying has slowed for some sectors, it has surged for fast-growing high-tech firms. Google is spending more money on lobbying than it ever has in the past, as legal woes nag the search giant. As the FTC continues to investigated antitrust issues and the DOJ reviews the Motorola deal, Google has already spent $5.9 million on lobbying this year alone. Google spent $5.6 million on lobbying for all of 2010. This quarter alone saw Google drop $2.4 million on their lobbying efforts, almost double from the same quarter last year.
YouTube Set To Launch Video “Channels” As Early As Next Week (The Wall Street Journal)
YouTube is expected to announce as early as next week that it has signed partnerships with media companies and well-known personalities to produce original content. Partners include IAC/InterActiveCorp., News Corp., RTL Group, as well as Tony Hawk and “CSI” creator Anthony Zuiker. Google is trying to upend the way entertainment is created and distributed; trying to become a next-generation cable provider overseeing dozens of free online “channels” with professional-grade shows. And putting that $100 million commitment to use.
Google Losing Significant Ground In China (Business Insider)
Baidu now holds 77.7% market share by revenue and Google 18.3% in China’s search engine market, according to third quarter data from iResearch. About 18 months ago, Google engaged in a public dispute with the Chinese government, refusing to continue censoring its search results and re-directing Chinese traffic to its Hong Kong site. In that same time period, Baidu has gained 10% market share while Google has lost 11% in the world’s largest and growing Internet market.
Mozilla Packages Bing With Firefox (Read Write Web)
Mozilla has released Firefox with Microsoft, a customised version of the browser that makes Bing the default homepage and search engine. This is a win for Microsoft, much like an OEM (original equipment manufacturer) deal with Windows. Google (the usual default for Firefox) is the most widely used search engine among Firefox users and was born and lived with Google’s help to wrestle control of the browser market away from Microsoft’s Internet Explorer. No word on what this means for the relationship with Google, but something seems heavy about it.