Tech check: Zynga’s games over; Facebook privacy flaw plugged plus IPO revisited; no Google antitrust action; Apple shares’ ride

We’re closing 2012 with a check on some of the Silicon Valley companies we often wrote about this year:

Zynga is doing some previously announced year-end cleaning: It shut down PetVille and (revised) Mafia Wars 2 (end revised) over the weekend, and nine other titles were pulled earlier or are no longer accepting new players, according to TechCrunch. In October before announcing its earnings, the San Francisco social-games maker announced layoffs and the pulling of some games. Also among the other things the struggling company is trying: real-life gambling, starting with an online-poker partnership in the U.K.

Zynga shares are up 2.15 percent to $2.38 as of this post, amid a mostly positive day for tech stocks. That’s 76 percent lower than its initial trading price last December, when the company went public. Zynga shares reached a closing high of $14.69 in March and a low of $2.10 in November.

• A couple of Facebook tidbits, one of them about — wait for it — privacy. The social network reportedly has prepared a feature that allows users to write their friends messages in advance to be delivered just as 2013 rolls in. But a British blogger reportedly discovered that a little URL manipulation could show others’ private messages. Facebook has told The Next Web that the flaw in the Midnight Delivery feature is fixed.

In other Facebook news, one of the biggest tech stories of the year was the Menlo Park’s initial public offering. The May IPO failed to deliver a big pop and was marred by a trading glitch, plus allegations (which led to lawsuits) that the company misrepresented its financial information to investors. There’s lots of finger-pointing, some of it at Wall Street: Analysts who work at the three biggest underwriters of the Facebook IPO have urged investors to buy the stock in all 40 reports they’ve written since the public offering, according to the Wall Street Journal. And Morgan Stanley, one of the investment banks, settled for $5 million (Slap. Wrist. We know.) earlier this month with Massachusetts over allegations its bankers broke rules and influenced analysts before Facebook’s IPO.

Facebook shares are up more about 2.5 percent to $26.57 as of this post. That’s 30 percent lower than its IPO price of $38. Facebook’s highest closing price was on its opening day, 38.23, and its low so far is $17.73, which it reached in September.

• What about Google? The big story of the year for the search giant would have been a U.S. antitrust lawsuit, which some had thought would come by the end of the year. (See Clock ticking on Google and antitrust.) But reports a couple of weeks ago say the Mountain View company is close to reaching a settlement with the Federal Trade Commission, and may escape a lawsuit and penalties. (See In the works: A possible Google-FTC deal…)

Google shares are up about 3.2 percent to $703.20 as of this post, up 5.6 percent for the year.

• And finally, Apple. One key story for the company this year was its stock, which went on quite a roller-coaster ride this year. It started the year with a closing price of $411,23, reached a record closing high of $702.10 in September, but is now trading at about $531 as of this post. Possible reasons bandied about include lack of new, innovative products, but some analysts are telling CNBC they’re optimistic about the Cupertino company’s stock in 2013 because they expect Apple to speed up its product upgrades.



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  • redmond

    Zynga did not shut down mafia wars. Still alive and still on Facebook.

  • Levi Sumagaysay

    You’re right, it was Mafia Wars 2 that was shut down. I’ve revised the post. Thanks.