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Oct.11 -- Michael Pachter, Wedbush analyst, explains why he doesn't think Facebook Inc. will be able to launch its Libra cryptocurrency. He speaks with Bloomberg's Taylor Riggs on "Bloomberg Technology."
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Cambridge Analytica whistleblower Christopher Wylie blasted Facebook’s continued influence after its widely publicized data scandal,
Facebook’s plans for a digital currency are coming under further pressure as global regulators step up their scrutiny of the struggling Libra project. In a letter to G20 finance ministers on Sunday, Randal Quarles, the head of the global Financial Stability Board, said that, with a “host of challenges” posed by global “stablecoins”, such as Libra, “possible regulatory gaps should be assessed and addressed as a matter of priority”. This, the letter said, created challenges including financial stability, consumer and investor protection, data privacy, money laundering, terrorist financing, fair competition, cyber security and tax evasion.
As it meets with backers on Monday, Facebook is realising just how much. Digital transformation in banking is welcome, but regulators are right to argue that Facebook has yet to make the case for its own e-bucks. Libra — billed as a “stablecoin”, pegged to a basket of currencies — was sold as a disrupter that could bank the unbanked and slash transaction costs and times.
Little is known about Facebook's Libra five months after its launch. But Congress now has a chance to get answers straight from the horse's mouth.
U.S. Senator Elizabeth Warren's Democratic presidential campaign this week challenged Facebook's policy that exempts politicians' ads from fact-checking, by running ads on the social media platform containing the false claim that Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg endorsed President Donald Trump's re-election bid. "Facebook changed their ads policy to allow politicians to run ads with known lies - explicitly turning the platform into a disinformation-for-profit machine. Facebook Inc's policy has come under fire from another Democratic front-runner in the 2020 race.
Facebook faces a rough road ahead with Libra, but defections by high-profile partners are still unlikely to spell the end for the digital currency.
(Bloomberg) -- Elizabeth Warren is buying ads on Facebook that falsely claim Mark Zuckerberg has endorsed President Donald Trump -- a ploy used to showcase that ads posted by politicians need to be fact-checked.The Democratic presidential candidate’s campaign sponsored the posts that were blasted into the feeds of U.S. users of the social network, pushing back against Facebook’s policy to exempt politicians’ ads from its third-party fact-checking program.The ad begins with a lie: Facebook’s chief executive officer “just endorsed” Trump for re-election. It quickly backtracks to the truth.“You’re probably shocked. And you might be thinking, ‘how could this possibly be true?” the ad said. “Well, it’s not.”Facebook’s fact-checking policy allowed Trump’s team to share ads on the social network that allege former Vice President Joe Biden promised Ukraine $1 billion for firing a prosecutor. Biden’s campaign has dismissed Trump’s allegations as a smear.“What Zuckerberg ‘has’ done is given Donald Trump free rein to lie on his platform -- and then to pay Facebook gobs of money to push out their lies to American voters,” Warren said in the ad.Biden’s campaign has written to both Twitter and Facebook asking for the ads to be taken down, but the platforms refused, according to technology site The Verge. It quoted a Twitter spokesman as saying, “The ad you cited is not currently in violation of our policies.”Facebook’s decision to allow Trump’s ad contrasts with CNN, which rejected a request by the president’s campaign to run what the network called two “demonstrably false” claims.“If Senator Warren wants to say things she knows to be untrue, we believe Facebook should not be in the position of censoring that speech,” Andy Stone, a spokesman for Facebook, said in a statement to CNN on the ads.(Updates with details throughout)To contact the reporter on this story: Siraj Datoo in Singapore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Shamim Adam at email@example.com, Atul PrakashFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc.’s effort to create a cryptocurrency was dealt a blow on Friday after several key partners, including Mastercard Inc., Visa Inc., EBay Inc., Stripe Inc. and Mercado Pago, abandoned the project. The defections followed fierce criticism from global regulators and lawmakers, and have prompted some industry-watchers to question whether the Libra program can survive.The news comes days before the Libra Association, the group that will oversee the digital currency, prepares to convene its members and ask them to sign a charter agreement. The meeting is slated to take place on Monday in Geneva. A Libra Association spokeswoman said on Friday that the gathering will proceed as planned, and that it would announce the first list of official partners once a formal charter is signed.In a statement, the spokeswoman said the group was "focused on moving forward and continuing to build a strong association" as it worked to create "a safe, transparent, and consumer-friendly implementation of a global payment system that breaks down financial barriers for billions of people."When Facebook launched plans for Libra in June, a critical part of its pitch was that major players in the payments and tech industry were supporting it. The cryptocurrency would be run out of Geneva by the organizations that comprised the Libra Association, not solely by Facebook. But now that that alliance appears to be eroding, the project’s future is uncertain."I don’t think Facebook can do this by itself," said Michael Pachter, an analyst for Wedbush Securities told Bloomberg TV. "Short of a big bank stepping in like JPMorgan, I don’t think this could ever happen."In a tweet on Friday, David Marcus, the Facebook executive spearheading the effort, said that the exit of six partners would not derail the effort. "I would caution against reading the fate of Libra into this update," he wrote. "Change of this magnitude is hard. You know you’re on to something when this much pressure builds up."Whether or not Libra implodes, the exits highlight the extreme challenges that lie ahead for the project, which if successful could have a sweeping impact on the global financial system. "It may very well fail completely," said Lisa Ellis, an analyst at MoffettNathanson. Even if it survives, progress will take much longer and "it’s likely to fall into some level of obscurity," she added.Facebook has faced fierce backlash since the company announced plans for Libra. Politicians and regulators around the world have called on Facebook to halt its progress, and some have suggested Libra could be used for illegal money laundering or trafficking schemes.Despite the scrutiny from public officials and the exodus of partners, Facebook remains committed to Libra, according to a person familiar with the matter who asked not to be identified because they were not authorized to speak publicly. Some people inside the company think the defections are partly driven by established payments providers worrying about a new entrant encroaching on their turf, the person said.In the months since its announcement, Facebook has frequently found itself in the spotlight over the cryptocurrency. Marcus went to Washington in July to testify before Congress about Facebook’s plans. Later this month, Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg is scheduled to appear before the House Financial Services Committee to answer even more questions about Libra.Earlier this week, two U.S. senators cautioned Visa, Mastercard and Stripe to reconsider their involvement in the project. Senators Sherrod Brown of Ohio and Brian Schatz of Hawaii said that Libra poses a risk to not only the financial system, but the payments companies’ broader business. "We urge you to carefully consider how your companies will manage these risks before proceeding," they said a letter to the companies.Mastercard said in a statement that it will "remain focused on our strategy and our own significant efforts to enable financial inclusion around the world," adding, "We believe there are potential benefits in such initiatives and will continue to monitor the Libra effort." Visa said the company would also continue to evaluate whether to join in Libra in the future, and that the company’s "ultimate decision will be determined by a number of factors, including the Association’s ability to fully satisfy all requisite regulatory expectations."In a statement on Friday, EBay expressed its support for the project, but said it would focus on rolling out its own payments products. “We highly respect the vision of the Libra Association; however, eBay has made the decision to not move forward as a founding member,” an EBay spokesman wrote in the emailed statement. “At this time, we are focused on rolling out eBay’s managed payments experience for our customers."Payments giant Stripe, one of the most high-profile startups to sign onto the project, signaled it remained open to working on it in the future. “Stripe is supportive of projects that aim to make online commerce more accessible for people around the world. Libra has this potential,” said a company spokesperson. “We will follow its progress closely and remain open to working with the Libra Association at a later stage.”The Libra Association is composed of about two dozen organizations, including Facebook. A Lyft Inc. spokeswoman confirmed on Friday that the ride-hailing company remains a member. Other companies that have not signaled plans to leave include Uber Technologies Inc., Spotify Technology S.A., Coinbase Inc. and telecom providers Iliad SA and Vodafone Group Plc. PayPal Holdings Inc. dropped out last week. (Updates with David Marcus comment in 6th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Candy Cheng, Lizette Chapman, Spencer Soper and Lydia Beyoud.To contact the reporters on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Julie Verhage in New York at email@example.com;Jenny Surane in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Anne VanderMey, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. antitrust enforcers have started an in-depth review of Google’s $2.6 billion planned acquisition of a data analytics company, a further sign of greater scrutiny on big technology companies, according to people familiar with the situation.The antitrust division of the Justice Department is seeking more information from Google and Looker Data Sciences Inc. related to the deal to determine whether the tie-up harms competition, said one of the people, who asked not to be named discussing private matters.Alphabet Inc.’s Google announced June 6 it planned to buy Looker for its cloud unit, which lags far behind Amazon.com Inc. and Microsoft Corp. with just 4% of the cloud-computing infrastructure market as of 2018, according to the most-recent figures from analyst Gartner Inc.The deal was expected to receive added regulatory scrutiny. The in-depth Justice Department review, known as a “second request,” comes as antitrust authorities start historic probes of Google and other large tech companies. One issue for enforcers is whether tech giants have used acquisitions of smaller firms to thwart rivals and cement their dominance. The U.S. Federal Trade Commission, which also enforces antitrust laws, is investigating whether Facebook Inc.’s purchases of Instagram and WhatsApp were anti-competitive.Representatives from Google, Looker and the Justice Department declined to comment.The Justice Department and a coalition of attorneys general made up of most U.S. states in the country have opened antitrust cases against Google. Those probes are mostly focused on the company’s dominant search and advertising businesses.Looker, closely held and based in Santa Cruz, California, provides tools that lets companies analyze their data stored in the cloud, a service that competes with offerings from Amazon and Microsoft. When Google announced the deal, its cloud chief, Thomas Kurian, said the company would continue to let Looker customers use other cloud providers. Google doesn’t share cloud sales.Google once spent lavishly on companies, dropping billions on device makers Motorola and Nest, as well as experimental tech like satellites and robots. More recently, the company’s acquisitions have mostly been relatively small deals in the cloud sector.It’s common for antitrust authorities to open in-depth investigations for sizable mergers, but more recently have faced criticism for allowing large tech companies to buy startups as a way to gain footholds in new markets. That charge has been aimed at Google after its takeovers of Waze, DoubleClick and YouTube. The Justice Department in July announced a broad antitrust review of the big internet platforms in search, social media and online retail.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Sarah McBride in San Francisco at email@example.com;David McLaughlin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, ;Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Let's take a look at what investors need to know about Facebook and some of its Q3 estimates to help us determine if FB stock might be worth buying before the social media company reports its Q3 2019 earnings results...
EBay Inc. , Mastercard Inc. , and Stripe said Friday that they were withdrawing from Facebook Inc.'s Libra cryptocurrency project, joining PayPal Holdings Inc., which announced its plan to leave a week earlier. "Mastercard has decided it will not become a member of the Libra Association at this time," the company said in a statement. "We remain focused on our strategy and our own significant efforts to enable financial inclusion around the world." Mastercard said it would continue to monitor the progress of the Libra effort. An eBay spokesperson said that while the company respects "the vision of the Libra Association," the e-commerce giant won't be continuing as a founding member. "At this time, we are focused on rolling out eBay's managed payments experience for our customers," the spokesperson said. A Stripe representative said that the company will follow Libra's progress "closely" and it remains "open" to working with Libra in the future. Facebook has declined to comment. Facebook shares are off 8.5% over the past three months, while the S&P 500 has dropped 1%.
Facebook’s cryptocurrency project is crumbling, as partners abandon the initiative. Today (Oct. 11), eBay and Stripe became the latest members to leave the Libra Association, the group Facebook put together in June to pursue building its own global cryptocurrency. Libra has this potential.
Facebook Inc's ambitious efforts to establish a global digital currency called Libra suffered severe setbacks on Friday, as major payment companies including Mastercard and Visa Inc quit the group behind the project. The two companies announced they would leave the association Friday afternoon, as did EBay Inc, Stripe Inc. and Latin American payments company Mercado Pago. The latest exodus leaves the Libra Association without any remaining major payments companies as members, meaning it can no longer count on a global player to help consumers turn their currency into Libra and facilitate transactions.
The two companies announced they would leave the association Friday afternoon, as did EBay Inc, Stripe Inc. and Latin American payments company Mercado Pago. The latest exodus leaves the Libra Association without any remaining major payments companies as members, meaning it can no longer count on a global player to help consumers turn their currency into Libra and facilitate transactions.
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Facebook's fledgling cryptocurrency Libra just received a slew of bad news Friday afternoon as Visa, , Mastercard , Stripe and eBay announced that they are all withdrawing from the Libra Association. The announcements come just one week after PayPal announced that it was stepping away from its involvement with Libra. This week, Senators Sherrod Brown (D-OH) and Brian Schatz (D-HI) sent letters to Stripe, Mastercard and Visa urging the companies to reconsider their involvement with the Libra Association.