Facebook M&A and HTC’s Mobile Problem: Re/code on CNBC
Another week, another slew of CNBC* media appearances from the Re/code team. And this was one busy week.
First up was me, talking a lot about Facebook’s big buys this week. The social giant acquired Oculus VR, a small hardware company focused on bringing virtual reality games to the masses. Mark Zuckerberg spent about $2 billion on the company, which may prove cheap if it becomes the next big social platform that he seems to think it will be. I’m not so convinced.
(Sadly, you don’t get to see my smiling face in this video — I got stuck in traffic and called in from the Bay Bridge!)
Next up was my boss Walt Mossberg, who waxed on HTC’s latest offering in the smartphone world, the terribly named HTC One M8.
In short: It’s bigger, it’s incrementally better, it’s got a third camera and a cool case. But who cares? Though many reviewers loved HTC’s previous phone, it didn’t help sales of the device. Perhaps a beefier marketing budget will help HTC move more new units. (Walt isn’t so sure that will be the case.)
Me again, this time sparring with Sam Biddle, everybody’s favorite snarky tech writer from Valleywag. His argument? Facebook and Google are taking over the world, acquisition by acquisition.
Maybe he’s right! But I think they’re throwing a bunch of spaghetti against the wall, trying to see what sticks. (Watch this bit. He insults me, proceeds to get beat up on by the co-anchors, and general hilarity ensues.)
Lastly, my colleague Liz Gannes weighs in on an old practice from tech companies like Apple and Google years ago, in which the two agreed not to poach tech talent away from each other in order to keep engineer salaries at manageable levels for the industry. A number of new documents have come out detailing the issues.
Take a look at today’s salaries and this is obviously not the case anymore — every company poaches from every other company. It’s interesting that it’s up for discussion today.
* NBCUniversal is an investor in Revere Digital, which owns this website.