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Icahn Abandons Bid To Prevent Dell From Going Private

Unknown Lamer posted 1 year,21 days | from the everyone-wants-out dept.

Businesses 51

Via El Reg comes news that Carl Icahn has, after a brief battle with Michael Dell for control over the company, thrown in the towel. From the article: "Icahn said in an open letter to shareholders that he still thought that Big Mike's $13.88 per share offer for the firm undervalued it, but had decided that it would be 'almost impossible' to win the battle at the shareholder vote on Thursday. 'I realize that some stockholders will be disappointed that we do not fight on,' he wrote. 'However, over the last decade, mainly through "activism," we have enhanced stockholder value in many companies by billions of dollars. We did not accomplish this by waging battles that we thought we would lose.'"

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Two days old? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44806023)

This news has been around for a few days now, why is it getting featured now?

Re:Two days old? (2)

Big Hairy Ian (1155547) | 1 year,21 days | (#44806281)

Mostly because all the interesting stories get pushed off the bottom of the submissions board by spammers. However, they did FP a story the other week that was so old it qualified for a state pension.

Re:Two days old? (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44806961)

This is not tthe place to bitch about stale stories, you're offtopic. Use your journal (I see you never have).

Re:Two days old? (2)

gl4ss (559668) | 1 year,20 days | (#44807623)

This is not tthe place to bitch about stale stories, you're offtopic. Use your journal (I see you never have).

nobody reads the journals. you might just as well post it on your orkut page.

beutiful story (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44806041)

i have liked this story brother .
i have share it in my facebook account
=============
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ONE WORD: PUSSY !! (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44806077)

Nuf said !!

This shows how those without backbones should not start fights !!

Nuf said !!

He needs to change his name to IChahn't !! Or French !! Same difference !!

Nuf said !!

It is Dell and Dell is crap !! Why would Americans care one way or the other !! More Snowden !!

Nuf said !!

Good riddance (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44806133)

It wasn't like his heart was bleeding for Dell. Couldn't have expected him, of all people, to turn the company around.

interesting bit missing from tfs (4, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44806149)

a main reason why unca carl gave up is that the dell board of directors played like washington politics in __changing the rules of the vote__ so that it (the upcoming vote to approve a buyout bid) favors dell's takeover bid over his... another is that carl's choice of ceo (name unknown, never released publicly?) backed out at last minute.

Re:interesting bit missing from tfs (5, Informative)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806459)

I'd imagine the fact Carl is a fucking dick that no one wanted ruining the opportunity to fix Dell for the sake of a quick buck played a fairly large part in that.

Re:interesting bit missing from tfs (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806901)

If his history is any indication, that would seem more than likely.

Re:interesting bit missing from tfs (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44807875)

The institutional investors don't care. And what does "fixing up Dell" mean, anyway? There's no market for made-to-order desktop PCs anymore.

Re:interesting bit missing from tfs (1)

Xest (935314) | 1 year,20 days | (#44808811)

That's kind of the point. They can fix up the company by lessening the focus on that. Kind of exactly like IBM did to grow back up as it has now.

Re:interesting bit missing from tfs (1)

ShanghaiBill (739463) | 1 year,20 days | (#44808475)

I'd imagine the fact Carl is a fucking dick that no one wanted ruining the opportunity to fix Dell for the sake of a quick buck played a fairly large part in that.

This makes no sense at all. Once the shareholders sell their shares, why would they care about the future success of Dell? The "quick buck" is the only thing that matters.

Re:interesting bit missing from tfs (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44808805)

You mean a board of directors did the responsible thing? Gasp.

Re:interesting bit missing from tfs (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44812375)

Only because it was in their best financial interest to do so. Certainly not because they are decent people.

Re:interesting bit missing from tfs (1)

denobug (753200) | 1 year,20 days | (#44808183)

Carl's plan is never to bring Dell to its full potential. He is the M&A expert to break a company down. The only reason Carl is retreating is either it is an utter defeat, or the fact that someone paid him in some form or fashion that he no longer needs to play hardball on Dell's deal.

May the bastard rot in hell (1)

fnj (64210) | 1 year,21 days | (#44806179)

The sooner the better.

Re:May the bastard rot in hell (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44806215)

Come on, even Hell has some standards.

Send him to where ever it is the investment bankers go.

artist (-1, Offtopic)

abbiege (3057431) | 1 year,21 days | (#44806237)

My Uncle Charlie got GMC Yukon SUV only from working part-time off a home computer... .........>www.jobs60.com

Re:artist (-1, Offtopic)

abbiege (3057431) | 1 year,21 days | (#44806265)

what Anita responded I'm stunned that a mother can make $5451 in 1 month on the internet. .........>www.jobs60.com

I cahn't believe it's not... uh... (1)

wonkey_monkey (2592601) | 1 year,21 days | (#44806255)

...line?

Re:I cahn't believe it's not... uh... (1)

gstoddart (321705) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806485)

...line?

Dell?

Will security firms detect police spyware? (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,21 days | (#44806293)

Will security firms detect police spyware?

By Declan McCullagh, News.com
Published on ZDNet News: Jul 17, 2007 11:00:00 AM
--
* This article is being archived on pastebins because it is not available at the original location where it was published. This copy/paste does not include the links (urls) within the article.

original story url: http://news.zdnet.com/2100-1009_22-6197020.html [zdnet.com]

* Attention ZDNet News: Please do not move or expire articles as they age.

"The New Zealand Copyright Act 1994 specifies certain circumstances where all or a substantial part of a copyright work may be used without the copyright owner's permission. A "fair dealing" with copyright material does not infringe copyright if it is for the following purposes: research or private study; criticism or review; or reporting current events."
---
"A recent federal court decision raises the question of whether antivirus companies may intentionally overlook spyware that is secretly placed on computers by police.

In the case decided earlier this month by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, federal agents used spyware with a keystroke logger--call it fedware--to record the typing of a suspected Ecstasy manufacturer who used encryption to thwart the police.

A CNET News.com survey of 13 leading antispyware vendors found that not one company acknowledged cooperating unofficially with government agencies. Some, however, indicated that they would not alert customers to the presence of fedware if they were ordered by a court to remain quiet.
Spyware survey

Most of the companies surveyed, which covered the range from tiny firms to Symantec and IBM, said they never had received such a court order. The full list of companies surveyed: AVG/Grisoft, Computer Associates, Check Point, eEye, IBM, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Microsoft, Sana Security, Sophos, Symantec, Trend Micro and Websense. Only McAfee and Microsoft flatly declined to answer that question. (Click here for the verbatim responses to the survey.)

Because only two known criminal prosecutions in the United States involve police use of key loggers, important legal rules remain unsettled. But key logger makers say that police and investigative agencies are frequent customers, in part because recording keystrokes can bypass the increasingly common use of encryption to scramble communications and hard drives. Microsoft's Windows Vista and Apple's OS X include built-in encryption.

Some companies that responded to the survey were vehemently pro-privacy. "Our customers are paying us for a service, to protect them from all forms of malicious code," said Marc Maiffret, eEye Digital Security's co-founder and chief technology officer. "It is not up to us to do law enforcement's job for them so we do not, and will not, make any exceptions for law enforcement malware or other tools." eEye sells Blink Personal for $25, which includes antivirus and antispyware features.

Others were more conciliatory. Check Point, which makes the popular ZoneAlarm utility, said it would offer federal police the "same courtesy" that it extends to legitimate third-party vendors that request to be whitelisted. A Check Point representative said, though, that the company had "never been" in that situation.

This isn't exactly a new question. After the last high-profile case in which federal agents turned to a key logger, some security companies allegedly volunteered to ignore fedware. The Associated Press reported in 2001 that "McAfee Corp. contacted the FBI... to ensure its software wouldn't inadvertently detect the bureau's snooping software." McAfee subsequently said the report was inaccurate.

=

Later that year, the FBI confirmed that it was creating spy software called "Magic Lantern" that would allow agents to inject keystroke loggers remotely through a virus without having physical access to the computer. (In both the recent Ecstasy case and the earlier key logging case involving an alleged mobster, federal agents obtained court orders authorizing them to break into buildings to install key loggers.)

Government agencies and backdoors in technology products have a long and frequently clandestine relationship. One 1995 expose by the Baltimore Sun described how the National Security Agency persuaded a Swiss firm, Crypto, to build backdoors into its encryption devices. In his 1982 book, The Puzzle Palace, author James Bamford described how the NSA's predecessor in 1945 coerced Western Union, RCA and ITT Communications to turn over telegraph traffic to the feds.

More recently, after the BBC reported last year on supposed talks between the British government and Microsoft, the software maker pledged not to build backdoors into Windows Vista's encryption functions.

A recent federal court decision raises the question of whether antivirus companies may intentionally overlook spyware that is secretly placed on computers by police.

In the case decided earlier this month by the 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals, federal agents used spyware with a keystroke logger--call it fedware--to record the typing of a suspected Ecstasy manufacturer who used encryption to thwart the police.

A CNET News.com survey of 13 leading antispyware vendors found that not one company acknowledged cooperating unofficially with government agencies. Some, however, indicated that they would not alert customers to the presence of fedware if they were ordered by a court to remain quiet.
Spyware survey

Most of the companies surveyed, which covered the range from tiny firms to Symantec and IBM, said they never had received such a court order. The full list of companies surveyed: AVG/Grisoft, Computer Associates, Check Point, eEye, IBM, Kaspersky Lab, McAfee, Microsoft, Sana Security, Sophos, Symantec, Trend Micro and Websense. Only McAfee and Microsoft flatly declined to answer that question. (Click here for the verbatim responses to the survey.)

Because only two known criminal prosecutions in the United States involve police use of key loggers, important legal rules remain unsettled. But key logger makers say that police and investigative agencies are frequent customers, in part because recording keystrokes can bypass the increasingly common use of encryption to scramble communications and hard drives. Microsoft's Windows Vista and Apple's OS X include built-in encryption.

Some companies that responded to the survey were vehemently pro-privacy. "Our customers are paying us for a service, to protect them from all forms of malicious code," said Marc Maiffret, eEye Digital Security's co-founder and chief technology officer. "It is not up to us to do law enforcement's job for them so we do not, and will not, make any exceptions for law enforcement malware or other tools." eEye sells Blink Personal for $25, which includes antivirus and antispyware features.

Others were more conciliatory. Check Point, which makes the popular ZoneAlarm utility, said it would offer federal police the "same courtesy" that it extends to legitimate third-party vendors that request to be whitelisted. A Check Point representative said, though, that the company had "never been" in that situation.

This isn't exactly a new question. After the last high-profile case in which federal agents turned to a key logger, some security companies allegedly volunteered to ignore fedware. The Associated Press reported in 2001 that "McAfee Corp. contacted the FBI... to ensure its software wouldn't inadvertently detect the bureau's snooping software." McAfee subsequently said the report was inaccurate.

=

  Later that year, the FBI confirmed that it was creating spy software called "Magic Lantern" that would allow agents to inject keystroke loggers remotely through a virus without having physical access to the computer. (In both the recent Ecstasy case and the earlier key logging case involving an alleged mobster, federal agents obtained court orders authorizing them to break into buildings to install key loggers.)

Government agencies and backdoors in technology products have a long and frequently clandestine relationship. One 1995 expose by the Baltimore Sun described how the National Security Agency persuaded a Swiss firm, Crypto, to build backdoors into its encryption devices. In his 1982 book, The Puzzle Palace, author James Bamford described how the NSA's predecessor in 1945 coerced Western Union, RCA and ITT Communications to turn over telegraph traffic to the feds.

More recently, after the BBC reported last year on supposed talks between the British government and Microsoft, the software maker pledged not to build backdoors into Windows Vista's encryption functions.

Even if the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration or other federal police haven't tried to compel security companies to whitelist fedware, security experts predict that such a court order is just a matter of time.

What remains unclear, however, is whether police have the legal authority to do so under current law. "The government would be pushing the boundaries of the law if it attempted to obtain such an order," said Kevin Bankston, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who has litigated wiretapping cases. "There's simply no precedent for this sort of thing."

One possibility is a section of the Wiretap Act that says courts can "direct that a provider of wire or electronic communication service, landlord, custodian or other person" to help with electronic surveillance.

"There is some breadth in that language that is of concern and that the Justice Department may attempt to exploit," Bankston said.

In theory, government agencies could even seek a court order requiring security companies to deliver spyware to their customers as part of an auto-update feature. Most modern security companies, including operating system makers such as Microsoft and Apple, offer regular patches and bug fixes. Although it would be technically tricky, it would be possible to send an infected update to a customer if the vendor were ordered to do so.

When asked if it had ever received such a court order, Microsoft demurred. "Microsoft frequently has confidential conversations with both customers and government agencies and does not comment on those conversations," a company representative said. Of the 13 companies surveyed, McAfee was the other company that declined to answer. (Two others could not be reached as of Tuesday morning.)

Some security companies refused to reply to the initial version of our survey, which broadly asked about fedware whitelisting. In response, we revised the question to ask if they would alert a customer to the presence of keystroke loggers installed by a police or intelligence agency "in the absence of a lawful court order signed by a judge."

Cris Paden, Symantec's manger of corporate public relations, initially declined to reply. "There are legitimate reasons for not giving blanket guarantees--one of those is a court order," he said at first. "There are extenuating circumstances and gray issues."

But after we altered the question, Paden replied: "Barring a court order to cooperate with law enforcement authorities, Symantec would definitely alert our customers to the presence of any malicious code or programs that we detect on their systems." He added that Symantec had "absolutely not" received any such a court order.

One danger with whitelisting fedware is that it creates a potentially serious vulnerability in security software. If a malicious vendor of spyware were clever enough to mimic the whitelisted government spyware, it would also go undetected.

But if fedware becomes more common, savvy criminals could simply turn to open-source software that's less likely to have backdoors for police. ClamAV and OpenAntiVirus.org both offer open-source security software, and it's also possible to boot off of a CD-ROM and inspect the hard drive for malicious tampering.

At the moment, at least, there aren't any industry standards about detecting fedware. "CSIA does not currently have a position on this issue nor has the issue ever been addressed by its board of directors," said Tim Bennett, president of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance.
Even if the FBI, the Drug Enforcement Administration or other federal police haven't tried to compel security companies to whitelist fedware, security experts predict that such a court order is just a matter of time.

What remains unclear, however, is whether police have the legal authority to do so under current law. "The government would be pushing the boundaries of the law if it attempted to obtain such an order," said Kevin Bankston, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation who has litigated wiretapping cases. "There's simply no precedent for this sort of thing."

One possibility is a section of the Wiretap Act that says courts can "direct that a provider of wire or electronic communication service, landlord, custodian or other person" to help with electronic surveillance.

"There is some breadth in that language that is of concern and that the Justice Department may attempt to exploit," Bankston said.

In theory, government agencies could even seek a court order requiring security companies to deliver spyware to their customers as part of an auto-update feature. Most modern security companies, including operating system makers such as Microsoft and Apple, offer regular patches and bug fixes. Although it would be technically tricky, it would be possible to send an infected update to a customer if the vendor were ordered to do so.

When asked if it had ever received such a court order, Microsoft demurred. "Microsoft frequently has confidential conversations with both customers and government agencies and does not comment on those conversations," a company representative said. Of the 13 companies surveyed, McAfee was the other company that declined to answer. (Two others could not be reached as of Tuesday morning.)

Some security companies refused to reply to the initial version of our survey, which broadly asked about fedware whitelisting. In response, we revised the question to ask if they would alert a customer to the presence of keystroke loggers installed by a police or intelligence agency "in the absence of a lawful court order signed by a judge."

Cris Paden, Symantec's manger of corporate public relations, initially declined to reply. "There are legitimate reasons for not giving blanket guarantees--one of those is a court order," he said at first. "There are extenuating circumstances and gray issues."

But after we altered the question, Paden replied: "Barring a court order to cooperate with law enforcement authorities, Symantec would definitely alert our customers to the presence of any malicious code or programs that we detect on their systems." He added that Symantec had "absolutely not" received any such a court order.

One danger with whitelisting fedware is that it creates a potentially serious vulnerability in security software. If a malicious vendor of spyware were clever enough to mimic the whitelisted government spyware, it would also go undetected.

But if fedware becomes more common, savvy criminals could simply turn to open-source software that's less likely to have backdoors for police. ClamAV and OpenAntiVirus.org both offer open-source security software, and it's also possible to boot off of a CD-ROM and inspect the hard drive for malicious tampering.

At the moment, at least, there aren't any industry standards about detecting fedware. "CSIA does not currently have a position on this issue nor has the issue ever been addressed by its board of directors," said Tim Bennett, president of the Cyber Security Industry Alliance."

Translation (4, Insightful)

whisper_jeff (680366) | 1 year,21 days | (#44806335)

Translation: I've pumped the value of Dell stock as high as I'm going to get it to go so I now have my eyes set on pumping the value of a different company's stock through my "activism".

I do appreciate that he air-quoted "activism"...

Re:Translation (5, Interesting)

UnHolier than ever (803328) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806385)

Or, translation: Michael Dell tried to buy Dell for cheap, Icahn bought some shares and made noise saying it was worth more. Michael Dell ended up paying more. Icahn was right.

Re:Translation (0)

dk400 (1099671) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806405)

I really dont see whats the big deal if dell goes private or not ! Either way it is a risk not on public money but on Big Mike's so called asset money. pumping happens not just in dell ... what about oracle, what about microsoft ? so I'm not even going there...

Re:Translation (1)

DarkOx (621550) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806461)

Frankly I think Mike is crazy. Dell has lots fronts open that have big dollar costs. Even if your competition is inept like HP, Dell has better odds as a public company raising the money to compete.

Mike seems to want to focus on the PC/Server spaces again there is no money there.

Storage, Managed Security Services, could easily bleed the company dry if it has to use financing to pay for the R&D efforts. One misstep that puts them out for a "generation" of storage or something and it could be curtains. Why Mike who is already rich enough wants to put his own skin in the game now escapes.

If he does not like how the company is being run, he should divest himself take his winnings and move on to something else. Leave Dell to the like of Carl to run or run into the ground whichever.

Re:Translation (3, Insightful)

Charliemopps (1157495) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806493)

yea, but public companies tend to bust. You can shrink a private company, take losses for a while if you want. When you're public the public expects eternal growth or they abandon you, you get bought up and sold for pennies on the dollar and then the company you named after yourself sells its rights to walmart who then sells cheap knock-offs under your name.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44806649)

Dell has made nothing but cheap knock offs of Dell laptops for years now. Dell notebooks are flimsy and cheap, possibly the worst currently made by a major vendor.

Re:Translation (2)

realityimpaired (1668397) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806811)

Their consumer line is somewhat lackluster, yes.

Their business line of laptops still comes with NBD onsite warranty. If it was as shitty as you claim, they'd be bankrupt.

I have a 2-year old Vostro v130n laptop that still works like the day I bought it. The only part that isn't original is the hard drive, and that's not because it failed, it's because I wanted to switch to an SSD.

Re:Translation (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806913)

Their consumer line has to compete with cheap knockoffs as most consumers only look at price. Their business lines are solid.

Re:Translation (0)

Notabadguy (961343) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806951)

Dell's consumer line has to compete with cheap knockoffs? o.O

I'm pretty sure Dell *is* the cheap knockoffs.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44807673)

get a Clevo in your hands, then you will know a well made machine not a gumdrop machine POS like every damn thing Dell has made since 2006

Re:Translation (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | 1 year,20 days | (#44815453)

True. Some analyst expects you to grow by 15% but then you only grow by 14% and find a massive stock sell off. Being public is a pain, it's mostly only done these days to make some big short term money. Too much value is being placed on the potential for growth (short term speculation) rather than the ability to pay dividends (long term investment).

The PC market is shrinking but it won't vanish or even become negligible. They make decent computers (not sure about laptops, but the desktops I've gotten recently from them are better than I've seen from the competition).

Re:Translation (1)

DavidGMan (2921909) | 1 year,20 days | (#44817385)

When you're public the public expects eternal growth or they abandon you, you get bought up and sold for pennies on the dollar...

Essentially what happened with Dell Inc here (just MSDell is looting the company), minus the other half of your sentence. Assuming Dell's situation is as precarious as the prostit- err "professional directors" of the board claim, perhaps the debt load to fund the buyout could bankrupt them (especially if economy -- corporate/government spending especially -- dives) and maybe we would see the other half yet, but doubtful. He has an inside seat and is laughing to the bank on pulling a steal versus him having previously authorized share buybacks when the stock was double, triple, even nearly quadruple the current amount. Yeah, poor decisions as a public company indeed.

Re:Translation (4, Interesting)

Cassini2 (956052) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806727)

On Wallstreet, public companies must always maximize short term profits, whereas private companies can make decisions to ensure long-term profitability. Hopefully, in a big corporation, maximizing short-term profits will also maximize long-term profits. However, that does not always occur.

A good example of the difference in strategy is the American auto industry. The public companies (GM, Ford, Chrysler) routinely underperform, and often lose money. However, lots of privately held or privately controlled companies consistently make money. Magna is a good example of this. These companies keep a lid on their costs, and do not do anything to impair the long-term profits of the company.

I was at an analysts presentation on the mistakes GM, Ford, and Chrysler made. Every single mistake involved optimizing short-term profits at the expense of long-term profits. Individually, none of these decisions would have bankrupted GM. However, after a pattern of decades of short-term optimization, GM was broke.

If Dell wants to compete with HP, they only need to accept a 0.25% less per year return on investment than Wall Street. A private investor can make that decision, because he knows that if the company is well-managed, then the investment will pay off.

Having access to cheap capital in a discipllined, well-managed company is a huge advantage. The big companies engage in endlessly complicated financial manipulations to boost short-term profits. In a private company the decision is easy: focus on outcomes that maximize the long-term success of the company.

In a well-managed private company, there is no Enron-like manipulations that destroy the long-term shareholder value. Thus, Dell can adopt a strategy where it ensures its products are competitive and sell, and then wait for HP to implode. After some of HP's recent CEOs, it is a probably a safe bet that HP will implode. That would leave Dell as the only large North American PC vendor, which would be a pretty nice place to be (for Dell).

Re:Translation (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44806993)

Many of those companies have the "Reduce cost at any expense" mantra well learned.
Causing them to spend more money on the reduction than the savings from the reduction, on paper it looks good, in reality you are destroying the company.

Re:Translation (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44807989)

"public companies must always maximize short term profits"

This is totally untrue by both an ethical measure and a legal measure. The fact that exec do it for personal gain is in no way mandated by law or ethics, but merely greed.

Re:Translation (1)

Darinbob (1142669) | 1 year,20 days | (#44815469)

If you don't maximize short term profits you stand a chance of being sued by some "activist" shareholder.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44807895)

Dell didn't end up paying much more, it was just enough to allow him to claim that he raised the bid. The story that's under-reported is that the value of Dell has declined while all this has gone on, so it's far from clear that it's worth $24 billion or whatever it was.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44806515)

Oh shut up you putz.

Re:Translation (0)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44807743)

He's reported in the WSJ as having made $70 million out of it, and his only contribution was making threats, which require an investment of $0. Maybe some of the rest of us could get in on this game? We make threats we can't carry out, and get paid a million or so for our business acumen?

Now Microsoft, Apple and others (5, Insightful)

LostMyBeaver (1226054) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806689)

When a company goes public, it allows professional gamblers buy parts of the company in order to raise money. At this point, these gamblers demand that the company post regular results and news no matter how silly to give them some reason why other gamblers should buy these shares... or vouchers for a higher value. The value of this voucher on the gambling market almost never reflect the actual performance of the company. And the gambler market value has little actual impact on the actual value of the company. It's similar in nature to how betting on a horse doesn't make it run faster. Gambling on a football game doesn't actually alter the results of the game.

When a company like Dell volunteers to remove itself from the gambling pool because the people who run it feel they'd prefer the value of the company is actually based on the actual results of its performance, it is highly responsible. Like paying off a loan to the bank because you don't need the loan anymore.

While every experience I've ever had with Dell has been that they're a company full of hackers who lack the ability to do anything other than repackage technology they don't actually understand, I applaud them for setting a great example of financial responsibility even against the will of gamblers who pressure them to behave irresponsibly for their own personal gains.

I would like to see many other companies take the same path. Other tech companies, food companies, manufacturing companies, etc. The first step to fixing the U.S. economy is to gamble less and behave responsibly.

Let's hope this becomes a trend. Good job Dell!

Re:Now Microsoft, Apple and others (-1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44806813)

Dell pays too little to hold the talent to actually understand the technology they sell. Dell has always seen every single employee as a cost burden and little else, that is the fundamental corporate culture of Dell. No one works there very long. Michael Dell also wears cheap, ugly clothes and smells bad as he stalks around the company wearing nasty looking old tennis shoes. He also does the "two hands gun drawn" gesture at employees while making a dumb pistol cocking sound. God I fucking hate that clownish chump new money rich asshole....

Re:Now Microsoft, Apple and others (1)

Anonymous Coward | 1 year,20 days | (#44806815)

When a company like Dell volunteers to remove itself from the gambling pool because the people who run it feel they'd prefer the value of the company is actually based on the actual results of its performance, it is highly responsible. Like paying off a loan to the bank because you don't need the loan anymore.

But that's not the reason he's doing this. The reason he's doing this is because he knows the only way to save the company is to make some decisions about which shareholders will freak the hell out. He knows that, so long as he and the board are forced to answer to shareholders, there's no way he can implement the changes he wants to because they will, at least in the short to medium term, be very bad for the bottom dollar and will tank the share price. I have little to no doubt that he believes this course of action will eventually make Dell _more_ valuable in the long term but he knows he can't get there so long as shareholders are involved. Thus, he wants to get rid of the panicky, as you put it, "gamblers" and just get down to the business of turning Dell around.

Re:Now Microsoft, Apple and others (1)

ISoldat53 (977164) | 1 year,20 days | (#44815811)

No, he's reorganizing the company so that he can go public again in a couple of years and hit the jackpot all over again and bleed the new company again.

Re:Now Microsoft, Apple and others (1)

UnknowingFool (672806) | 1 year,20 days | (#44806987)

Going private also removes the pressure to constantly grow. Right now the computers sales are declining for a number of factors and it may be that sales have hit a plateau.

dodged a bullet (-1)

slashmydots (2189826) | 1 year,20 days | (#44807075)

Any amount of money that is above $0 is overvaluing Dell so he actually dodged quite the bullet there.

when Icahn says "value" he means "plunder" (1)

swschrad (312009) | 1 year,20 days | (#44807885)

the guy is a greenmailer, pure and simple. other men, better men, say instead, "nice place ya got here, shame if anyting would happen to it, cabish?" while flicking ashes on all the papers on the desk.

The price is way too high. (1)

jcr (53032) | 1 year,20 days | (#44808013)

If Icahn believes Dell is worth more than thirteen bucks a share, then he's not paying attention. Dell has already pissed away everything that made them successful in the first place. They got where they are by pioneering a highly-efficient build-to-order process, and for quite a while they had the best tech support in the DOS/Windows world. Those advantages are long gone.

-jcr

Shareholder lawsuits... (1)

Kaenneth (82978) | 1 year,20 days | (#44808885)

I'm waiting for someone to sue a company for their stock going up after they shorted it.

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