Monday, September 8, 2014

Words of the Day:Cybersecurity,Antitrust and Alibaba

I'm paranoid enough that I get a new credit card every three months,said Ken Westin,Tripwire security researcher.I'm guessing at least one or two retailers a week are going to be coming out with an announcement.I'm expecting to see more shoes drop.
I think the Home Depot hackers are a much more sophisticated group than those that hacked Apple's iCloud accounts of celebrities.Odds are,they're operating outside the US.Once those credit cards get exfiltrated out of the US to Russia or Eastern Europe,it's almost impossible to follow up on the investigation.*
Microsoft has an antitrust law problem in China.Their office was raided by Chinese authorities in July.This is pretty serious for Microsoft,said David Evans,Vice President and Chairman of Global Economics.It's not clear what exactly the allegations are.The full array of claims I don't think we know at this point in time.I think the point is,it's a law that was passed in 2008.This is a baby antitrust law.It's really a very new thing in China.This is actually very quick for China to be taking the law so seriously and acting so aggressively.*
Alibaba,the Chinese Internet titan,has valued itself at 162.7 billion dollars prior to its initial public offering on the New York Stock Exchange later this month.Alibaba will announce share pricing on September 18 and go public the following day.Its publicity roadshow begins at the Waldorf Astoria in New York today,followed by two weeks of meetings with prospective investors.
Alibaba has spent 4.6 billion dollars on 2014 deals.There will be questions about this M&A strategy,as profit margins are crimped when a business expands too rapidly.The company also has an ownership structure that is not investor-friendly.Investors have less of a say in big company decisions than they would like.
It does concern me,says Jeff Sica,founder and president of SICA Wealth Management,because transparency is clearly one of the clouds on their horizon.The top question is,is Alibaba going to be able to operate under the standards of the NYSE?*
Microsoft(MSFT,Home Depot(HD),Apple Computer(AAPL)

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