My 'sell' advice to TomTom shareholders raised a fierce discussion on my Dutch weblog. Reading Michael Parekh's post on 'Long Lasting Bubbles' (LLB) will hopefully prevent you from buying shares in telecom, media or marketing companies as well. At least when you do so with a long term perspective.
"1. The local and long-distance telephone markets were an LLB, held together by decades of regulation-coddled oligopolies. They made sense at a time when communications were a matter of laying out expensive physical networks. But those times are passing, but the Bubble is still with us.
2. The media industries globally, be they broadcast, cable, movies, publishing, radio or satellite, have all enjoyed the long-lasting bubble of pricing and distribution protection that is slowly being attacked by technology. Spectrum regulation made sense when spectrum was truly scarce due to the limitations of our technology, but inreasingly is abundant as those limitations are overcome.
3. The global advertising and direct marketing industries have enjoyed their own LLB for decades that is rapidly going to change. Umair over at the aptly named Bubblegeneration eloquently answers the question "Why?":
"Because attention becomes scarce at the margin. Attention used to be like water for the media industry - cheap, plentiful, and available pretty much ubiquitously. Now, it's like oil - expensive, scarce, and subject to more and more severe shocks."