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GOOG Falls As Europe Flares Up
Stocks are down today on renewed European bank fears. Shares of GOOG are not immune, down $4 on the day. Stock specific catalysts for GOOG include continued Android and mobile traction; the release of Chrome operating system this fall; regained momentum in China (if that’s possible); as well as progress in other newer initiatives (Google Me, gaming, social, etc.) The stock trades at approximately 13x Enterprise Value / EBIT, inexpensive relative to historical trading levels and the broader Internet group.Western Companies Have No Chance In China; Except Maybe Amazon And Groupon (The Financial Times)
Kai Fu Lee, Google’s former president of operations in China, believes that Western Internet companies have no chance on the mainland unless they build a more nimble and flexible local presence and retain a strong technological edge. Something that Google did not execute to its fullest, and Baidu was just good enough to satisfy the market. Mr Lee cited Amazon and Groupon as western companies that could have an edge in China.
Samsung Mulling Offering Android On Internet-Connected TVs For Fall TV Launch (Bloomberg)
Samsung is considering equipping its televisions with Google’s Android software as the consumer electronics industry steps up its push into Internet-connected TVs. A Samsung executive believes that competition among TV makers of such TVs will probably peak in 2012 and how companies should prepare for the race to win a slice of the global next-generation TV market. The extension makes sense considering Android already powers various Samsung smartphones (Galaxy, Moment and Behold). Google is set to launch its TV service this fall.
Big Companies Spend Big Advertising Dollars On Google Search (AdAge)
The amount of money big companies spend on Google’s keyword search ads has been a relatively closely guarded secret. But now thanks to Michael Learmonth at Ad Age, who obtained copies of internal Google documents, we know how much various companies spend. Here’s the breakdown of the spending by brands for June, and other key stats from the story. Keep in mind, advertisers only pay Google if someone clicks on the ad. The 10 biggest advertisers account for less than 5% of Google’s June ad dollars.
DOJ Looks Into The ITA Software Deal (The Wall Street Journal)
The U.S. Justice Department is continuing looking into Google’s takeover of airline ticketing software firm ITA Software to determine whether the deal would exert too much influence on the online travel industry. Antitrust authorities are focusing on whether rivals would continue to have access to ITA’s data and whether Google would unfairly steer searchers to its own travel services. Google had said earlier that the deal would not raise antitrust issues. So much for that.
Google Voice Threatening Skype’s IPO (Reuters)
Profitability concerns aside, Google Voice / Call is a threat to Skype‘s IPO valuation and success. The Internet calling company, could have trouble getting top dollar in its initial public offering due to Google’s announcement of it’s new feature which allows users to make calls through Gmail. The added competition could cause some funds to lower their bids or allocations on Skype shares.
Google Maps Offering Branded Map Icons for Businesses (eWeek)
Google Maps is now allowing branded icons for participating companies in the beta program. The search giant is letting businesses pay to place their brand icon on their specific location for the standard icons. Sponsored map icons are being offered as a limited beta to companies in the U.S. with multiple locations and a well-known brand. No word on how much the company is charging for the placement.
Google’s Been Busy: App Highlights (Google)
It was a busy few weeks for Google. The company has posted to their blog a few new and fairly huge updated features. While none of them are going to move the needle at this stage, progress is progress:
- Google Calls
- Priority Inbox
- Calendar Scheduler