35.89 0.00 (0.00%)
After hours: 4:42PM EST
|Bid||35.82 x 1300|
|Ask||35.92 x 3100|
|Day's Range||35.62 - 36.06|
|52 Week Range||32.33 - 42.00|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.26|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||16.07|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||0.56 (1.57%)|
|Ex-Dividend Date||Nov 27, 2019|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
Amazon has boosted its position as the world’s most valuable brand surpassing Google, Apple and Microsoft, according to a global report.
EBay Inc. has laid off 102 employees in San Jose and San Francisco, with additional layoffs reported in the company’s Seattle office. The San Jose e-commerce giant notified the state of California of the 102 Bay Area layoffs on Wednesday, with most of the cuts affecting San Jose employees. “It is part of our normal course of business to regularly evaluate initiatives and investments for eBay’s continued long-term success,” company spokeswoman Julianne Whitelaw told the Silicon Valley Business Journal in an email.
Last year it doubled its headcount to reach 850 employees and expects more considerable growth at its San Francisco headquarters and New York office.
Built on top of data collected by SAP analytics cloud and resembling an air-traffic control room, the team’s Executive Huddle service is housed in a suite at Levi’s amid popcorn, drinks, and assorted snacks.
Wells Fargo downgraded EBay, the auction and retail site, in the face of what the firm sees as increasing competition from Amazon and multichannel retailers.
Shares of eBay Inc. are off 1% in premarket trading Friday after Wells Fargo analyst Brian Fitzgerald downgraded the stock to underweight from equal weight in a note titled: "Value Stock Or Melting Ice Cube?" He sees an unattractive risk-reward scenario going forward given his expectation that eBay will continue to face challenges with its core marketplace business, including due to a U.S. internet sales tax rollout and increasing competition from new marketplaces as well as established players. "We estimate eBay's U.S. gross merchandise volume (GMV) through the first three quarters of 2019 was 5.8x larger than the combined GMV of emerging marketplaces Etsy, RealReal, Mercari and Poshmark, down from 7.6x larger in 2018," Fitzgerald wrote. He cut his price target to $32 from $45. Shares are off 8% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has gained 11%.
Indian e-commerce space gets pepped up with the growing initiatives of overseas companies like Amazon (AMZN), Walmart (WMT) among others.
Four months after the ouster of CEO Devin Wenig, eBay is shuffling other executives around to speed up its decision-making process.
Quibi is making a big push in a fledgling market amid furious competition between some of the world’s biggest media names for streaming customers. Its hope is it will resonate with a younger audience as an alternative in terms of content approach and delivery.
(Bloomberg) -- PayPal Holdings Inc. made a big bet in November with its $4 billion acquisition of Honey, a web browser extension that helps online shoppers find the lowest prices. Now Amazon.com Inc. is warning customers not to use the tool.Shortly before Christmas, Amazon said Honey posed a security risk, which was reported Thursday by Wired. The warning perplexed some online shopping experts since the tool has been available for several years and Amazon makes no similar warnings about other browser extensions such as price tracker camelcamelcamel.com.“Amazon’s fight against Honey while letting a dozen other tools go on is confusing,” said Juozas Kaziukenas, founder of New York e-commerce research firm Marketplace Pulse. “I don’t buy their security risk message. They just want Honey and PayPal to be squashed.”There is no love lost between Amazon and PayPal, which spun off from e-commerce competitor EBay Inc. in 2015. Amazon has its own online payments service that competes with PayPal and doesn’t allow PayPal payments on its site.PayPal executives were surprised by the Amazon warning about Honey and are communicating with Amazon to resolve it, according to a person familiar with the situation, who requested anonymity to discuss an internal matter. One possibility for PayPal: alerting federal antitrust regulators since the Honey warning could be interpreted as Amazon using its size and clout to harm a competitor. Regulators have encouraged Amazon rivals to provide information about potential anticompetitive practices.If PayPal thinks Amazon’s warning is unwarranted, it can accuse Amazon of deceptive practices, requiring Amazon to explain why it did so.“As markets become more concentrated and firms grow larger, we are seeing more attempts to protect market positions and eliminate rivals through deceptive practices,” said Diana Moss, president of the American Antitrust Institute.Just before Christmas, banners started popping up on Amazon that told shoppers to be cautious when using Honey, calling it “a security risk” and “to keep your data private and secure, uninstall this extension immediately.”“Our extension is not – and has never been – a security risk and is safe to use,” a Honey spokesperson said. “We have a team dedicated to ensuring the security of our users’ information and we regularly engage expert third-party security firms to assess our security protections. If ever an individual or independent researcher contacts us about a potential vulnerability, we engage with that person to understand and remedy the issue (if there is one).”Los Angeles-based Honey has more than 17 million users, who use the extension to save money at Amazon and other online retailers.Amazon shoppers using Honey could be less inclined to follow Amazon suggestions, which don’t always direct shoppers to the lowest-priced product since it considers other factors such as shipping speed. Honey’s use could undermine Amazon’s own algorithm, diminishing the company’s power of suggestion over its shoppers. Amazon has been accused of favoring its own products over competitors, which the company disputes.In an emailed statement, an Amazon spokeswoman said: “Our goal is to warn customers about browser extensions that collect personal shopping data without their knowledge or consent such as customer name, shipping and/or billing address and payment method from the checkout page.”(Updates with antitrust comment in seventh paragraph.)\--With assistance from Matt Day.To contact the reporters on this story: Julie Verhage in New York at email@example.com;Spencer Soper in Seattle at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Robin Ajello at email@example.com, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- If you’re not a patent aficionado, you have probably never heard the phrase “efficient infringement.” Not to blow the punch line, but it’s yet another example of how big tech companies use dubious means to squeeze their smaller rivals. When critics complain that Facebook, Google, Apple and Amazon are squashing innovation, this is the sort of tactic they’re talking about.I first heard the phrase some years ago when I looked into a patent dispute between Apple Inc. and the University of Wisconsin. The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, which owns the university’s patents, had sued Apple over its use of an innovation that university scientists had dreamed up and patented in the mid-2000s. Apple had installed it in iPhones and iPads without bothering to negotiate a license and had been using it with impunity for years before the case finally went to trial. A jury found for the foundation in 2015 and ordered Apple to pay $234 million.That was actually a victory for Apple. Consider: Apple got free use of valuable technology that it took from a smaller, less powerful entity. Losing at trial was unfortunate, perhaps, but the $234 million was just another business expense. Pocket change, really, considering Apple’s size.How common is this kind of move? Boris Teksler, Apple’s former patent chief, told the Economist recently that “efficient infringement, where the benefits outweigh the legal costs of defending against a suit, could almost be viewed as a ‘fiduciary responsibility,’ at least for cash-rich firms that can afford to litigate without end.” In other words, stealing patented technology is practically required if you’re focused on shareholder value. And who isn’t these days?What brings this to mind is a lawsuit filed by Sonos earlier this week against mighty Google. The suit contends that the search giant (2018 revenue: $136.8 billion) has been infringing patents that belong to the smaller company (2018 revenue: $1.1 billion) since 2015, specifically those covering wireless home speakers. Google and Sonos were once allies; now, Google’s Chromecast devices, which use the technology in question, compete directly with Sonos’s audio systems. Among other benefits, this alleged infringement allowed Google to reap “$3.4 billion in Google Home revenue in 2018 alone,” according to the Sonos complaint.For three years, according to the complaint, Sonos tried to get Google to focus on the infringement, sending the larger company notices informing it that it was violating as many as 100 of its patents. The two companies held talks to settle the matter. But with negotiations getting nowhere — at least in Sonos’s view — it sued Google over five of the most important patents.Needless to say, Google says it did nothing wrong and that it developed its technology independently of Sonos. (This, by the way, is not a particularly strong argument; independently derived technology can still infringe another company’s patents.) “We dispute these claims and will defend them vigorously,” said Jose Castaneda, a Google spokesman.Well, of course Google will fight the case. That’s what efficient infringement is all about. Assuming Google uses the standard playbook, it will first go to the patent office and employ a relatively new process called the inter partes review to try to have dozens of Sonos’s patents invalidated. Even if that fails, it will soak up 18 months or so and several million dollars. Then it will file motions and countermotions to drag the case out as long as possible. That should consume three or four more years. And if, in the end, Sonos wins, all it will get is money, which is one thing Google has plenty of. What Sonos will never be able to do, even if it prevails, is stop what it contends is the infringing. Thus, just like Apple in the Wisconsin case, Google wins even if it loses.“What is the definition of a patent?” asked Brian Pomper, the executive director of the Innovation Alliance, which represents small and medium-size patent holders. “It means you have the right to exclude others from your invention.” He added, “How can a patent be meaningful if you don’t have the right to exclude others?” But that’s where we are. Companies like Sonos have virtually no leverage to stop bigger companies with deep pockets from infringing their patents. In a sense, this state of affairs is one of the unintended consequences of the scourge of patent trolling that was so common 15 years or so ago. Patent trolls were companies that bought up broad patents and then sued hundreds of companies, claiming infringement. Many companies paid just to be rid of them.In 2006, with the issue of patent trolls much in the air, the Supreme Court decided a case, eBay Inc. v MercExchange, LLC, that flipped patent law on its head. Before the eBay case, plaintiffs who could show their patents had been infringed could almost always obtain an injunction preventing the defendant from using the infringing technology. That meant that the infringer would have to pull products off the shelves, or find a work-around, unless it negotiated a license as part of a settlement, which was often the result.In its eBay decision, the court established a four-part test that judges had to apply to grant an injunction. As a practical matter, this complicated test, which includes whether the plaintiff would suffer “irreparable harm” and even whether the public interest would be served if an injunction was granted, means that judges stopped granting injunctions. The decision put a huge damper on the business model of the patent trolls, but it also took away the leverage small companies needed to protect their patents.Five years later, Congress passed the America Invents Act, which made changes in patent law. One of those was the creation of a Patent Trial and Appeal Board, which could rule on the validity of already-granted patents. This, too, had its benefits; for instance, it makes it easier for generic drug companies to challenge Big Pharma’s patents. But it also gave the big tech companies another useful tool: They could force patent holders to spend time defending their patents instead of moving forward with their lawsuits.With all the leverage now on the side of Big Tech, is it any wonder that efficient infringing became standard operating procedure? (Quick reminder: Google denies infringing Sonos’s patents.)As anyone who has a Sonos system knows, it makes a terrific product. But consumers can get an audio experience from Google and Amazon that may not be quite as good but is less expensive. (Sonos says that Amazon has also infringed its patents but that it doesn’t have the financial wherewithal to sue both Google and Amazon at the same time. In its response, an Amazon executive stressed that Sonos was a partner and that it was working to integrate Sonos and its Alexa digital assistant.)For now, at least, the Sonos brand is strong enough to hold its own against these giant companies. But without the ability to protect its patents, you have to wonder how long that will be the case. Without true patent protection, innovation is harmed. That’s what Sonos v. Google truly represents.To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- South Korean e-commerce giant Coupang Corp. is preparing for an initial public offering as soon as 2021, according to people with knowledge of the matter.The Seoul-based company, founded in 2010 by Chief Executive Officer Bom Kim and said to be valued at $9 billion in late 2018, has begun working on tax structuring among other changes as it eyes a public listing next year, said one of the people, who requested anonymity because the matter is private. A company representative declined to comment.Last month, Coupang -- whose investors include SoftBank Group Corp.’s Vision Fund, BlackRock Inc. and Sequoia Capital -- appointed Alberto Fornaro as chief financial officer to succeed Richard Song. Earlier in 2019, it hired Jay Jorgensen, a former Walmart Inc. executive, as general counsel and chief compliance officer.SoftBank’s shares were up as much as 3.8% in Tokyo in the wake of the news.In November 2018, the Vision Fund invested $2 billion in the company in a deal that valued Coupang at $9 billion, people familiar with the matter said at the time. That funding followed $1 billion from SoftBank itself in 2015, valuing the startup at about $5 billion.Korea’s e-commerce market is the fifth-largest in the world and on track to be the third-largest by 2021, behind only China and the U.S., according to Coupang.Coupang had more than $10 billion in gross merchandise value on its platform as of Dec. 31, according to a person familiar with the company. Sales increased more than 60% year over year in 2019, the person said.Kim, a Harvard University dropout, had mulled an IPO a few years ago, he told CNBC in December, but opted instead to expand the business with a nationwide fast delivery network. In spite of intense competition from EBay Inc.’s Gmarket and family-run conglomerates such as Shinsegae Inc. and Lotte, Coupang has successfully expanded its shopping and delivery services with SoftBank’s investment.Though still unprofitable, Coupang has been pushing a growth narrative when talking to investors and in the summer it launched Coupang Eats as an extension of its delivery services. When South Korea’s biggest food delivery app Woowa Brothers Corp. sold an 87% stake to Delivery Hero SE, it alluded to Coupang Eats as a strong challenger.“Assuming Coupang lists shares in the U.S., it might get a conservative valuation as a loss-making unicorn, owing to WeWork’s IPO failure,” said SK Securities analyst Yoo Seung-woo.(Updates with analyst comment and SoftBank share price)To contact the reporters on this story: Giles Turner in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Gillian Tan in New York at email@example.com;Sohee Kim in Seoul at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alan Goldstein at email@example.com, Andrew Pollack, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Facebook and eBay have made commitments to do more to stop fake reviews being sold on their platforms after coming under pressure from a UK markets regulator -- even as fresh examples of the problem have been found on Facebook-owned Instagram. The regulator estimates that more than three-quarters of UK shoppers are influenced by reviews when they shop online, with billions of pounds being spent every year based on write-ups of products or services -- which in turn encourages an illegal trade in fake and misleading reviews. Today the CMA says Facebook has removed a total of 188 groups and disabled 24 user accounts as a result of its investigation.
Facebook and eBay have promised to better identify, probe and respond to fake and misleading reviews, Britain's Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) said on Wednesday after pressing the online platforms to tackle the issue. Customer reviews have become an integral part of online shopping on several websites and apps but the regulator has expressed concerns that some comments may not be genuine. Facebook has removed 188 groups and disabled 24 user accounts whilst eBay has permanently banned 140 users since the summer, according to the CMA.