Mobile Commerce

Icahn Doubles Down On Apple And eBay

Investors’ rights advocate Carl Icahn has upped his stake in both Apple and eBay. An SEC filing spotted by the Wall Street Journal on May 15 indicates that Icahn held 27.8 million shares in eBay company as of March 31, 2014. Icahn increased his holdings in Apple as well, upping his holdings by 2.8 million shares to more than 7.5 million shares total. Icahn decreased his holdings in Netflix, leaving him with 2.2 million shares at the end of March 2014.

Ichan and eBay went through a very public clash over the future of the payments wing of eBay Inc., PayPal. Icahn had advocated for spinning off the PayPal unit to increase shareholder value, a move not supported by the either eBay’s CEO or the company’s board of directors. An agreement was eventually reached in April, at which point it seems Icahn had already decided to significantly up his investment in eBay.

Icahn was less spirited in his conflict with Apple, though he has publicly complained that the company ought to buy back more stock as a way to spend down excess cash reserves and up value for shareholders. Icahn initially advocated for a buy back of $50 billion, a proposal Apple’s board has roundly rejected. The company had, however bought back $14 billion in shares  by February 2014, causing Icahn to pull back his initial suggestion.

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