GE breakup unlikely - and that's a good thing - Bloomberg's Sutherland says

|By:, SA News Editor

General Electric (NYSE:GE) watchers salivating at the idea of a spinoff or even an AT&T-style breakup are likely to be disappointed, based on certain comments by incoming CEO John Flannery, Bloomberg's Brooke Sutherland writes.

Asked last week how the company's digital push under Jeffrey Immelt might fare amid the breakup talk, Flannery pointed to his experience running GE Healthcare, which has been able to make strong progress in digital by “riding on the back of the GE company investment” and “you should expect to see more of the same.”

Flannery implies that being a conglomerate helps GE go digital and vice versa, that the digital business would not be nearly as strong if all the pieces had to fend for and finance themselves, Sutherland says.

"The trend toward using digital tools to make equipment perform better and smarter is undeniable," Sutherland writes, believing Flannery will ward off breakup pressure. "GE owes it to investors to make the most of the money it's already spent by trying to get as big a piece of the action as it can."

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