GOOG Jun 2019 1310.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed Price. Currency in USD
0.0700
0.0000 (0.00%)
As of 12:13PM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous Close0.0700
Open0.0700
Bid0.0000
Ask0.0000
Strike1,310.00
Expire Date2019-06-28
Day's Range0.0700 - 0.0700
Contract RangeN/A
Volume1
Open InterestN/A
  • Bank of America CEO: 'We want a cashless society'
    Yahoo Finance7 hours ago

    Bank of America CEO: 'We want a cashless society'

    Bank of America CEO Brian Moynihan said his firm has “more to gain than anybody” from the booming trend of non-cash transactions.

  • Google ditches Nest.com in favor of its online store
    Engadget13 hours ago

    Google ditches Nest.com in favor of its online store

    Google hasn't been shy about phasing out what's left of Nest as an independententity, and that now includes Nest's website

  • Google pledges $1 billion to combat Bay Area housing crisis
    CBS News Videos9 hours ago

    Google pledges $1 billion to combat Bay Area housing crisis

    Silicon Valley companies face blame for the high costs of housing in the San Francisco Bay Area. Now tech giant Google has pledged $1 billion to help ease the growing housing crisis in the area. CNET senior producer Dan Patterson joins CBSN with more.

  • Oracle Investors Breathe a Sigh of Relief on Rising Sales
    Bloomberg5 hours ago

    Oracle Investors Breathe a Sigh of Relief on Rising Sales

    (Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp.’s shares climbed after the world’s second-largest software maker returned to sales growth and gave a forecast indicating the momentum may continue. For investors, the results were a reprieve amid the company’s uneven transition to cloud-based computing.Revenue increased 1.1% to $11.1 billion in the period ended May 31 from a year earlier, the Redwood City, California-based company said Wednesday in a statement. Analysts, on average, projected $10.9 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Oracle said sales will grow as much as 2% in the current period.Chief Executive Officers Safra Catz and Mark Hurd have sought to maintain Oracle’s large customer base as the company competes with a dizzying number of rivals in the cloud-computing space. The software maker’s stumbles against Amazon.com Inc. and others have spurred the company to seek help from unlikely sources. Earlier this month, Oracle announced an alliance with longtime rival Microsoft Corp., letting customers use their respective clouds.The period marked Oracle’s first year-over-year increase in total revenue since the fiscal first quarter.Oracle shares jumped about 5% in extended trading after closing at $52.68 in New York. The stock has gained 17% this year.Profit, excluding some expenses, will be 80 cents to 82 cents a share in the period that ends in August, Catz said on a conference call. The forecast is in line with Wall Street’s average estimate of 81 cents. Oracle reported an adjusted profit of $1.16 a share in the fiscal fourth quarter, compared with estimates of $1.07 a share.Pat Walravens, an analyst at JMP Securities, said Oracle’s sales and profit outlook brought relief to concerned investors.“These are small numbers but we seem to be making some progress,’’ Walravens said in an interview. “Oracle is doing a nice job on the applications side, but on the infrastructure side you’re competing against Microsoft, Amazon Web Services and the Google Cloud. That remains highly competitive.’’Larry Ellison, Oracle’s billionaire co-founder and executive chairman, said some corporate applications for the cloud are finally boosting overall growth, even as product lines like the company’s data-broker business declined.“We are focused on our star products and our star products are now driving the top line higher,” Ellison said on the call. “We have these other businesses that are melting away and we just don’t care.”Cloud license and on-premise license sales increased 12% to $2.52 billion, suggesting that Oracle is doing a better job of signing on new customers. The company said that revenue from NetSuite grew 32%, and Fusion HR and financial suites gained by the same amount. Hurd has been keen to chase growth by selling apps and set a target for attaining 50% market share to best rival SAP SE.Revenue from cloud services and license support was unchanged at $6.8 billion in the quarter, Oracle said. While that metric includes revenue from hosting customers’ data on the cloud, a large portion is generated by maintenance fees for traditional software housed on clients’ servers. The unit accounted for more than 60% of total revenue.Sales of Oracle’s servers declined 11% in the period. Catz said the company has chosen to “downsize our low-margin legacy hardware business,” which Oracle acquired when it bought Sun Microsystems.Oracle has been firing workers around the world to cut expenses. The company’s adjusted operating margin reached 47%, the highest in five years. The company’s costs related to restructuring also doubled to $168 million in the quarter compared with a year earlier.The deal between Oracle and Microsoft will allow mutual customers to connect databases on Oracle’s cloud to applications on Microsoft’s Azure cloud. The agreement signified a concession by Oracle that it won’t be able to compete against Amazon Web Services alone. AWS offers cheaper versions of the databases that make up Oracle’s core business.To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Alphabet's Annual Meeting Draws Protests on Multitude of Issues
    Bloomberg7 hours ago

    Alphabet's Annual Meeting Draws Protests on Multitude of Issues

    (Bloomberg) -- Google workers, shareholders and activists used the annual meeting of parent Alphabet Inc. to protest a range of issues, including contractor rights, the tech giant’s business in China and the absenteeism of Alphabet Chief Executive Officer Larry Page.Shareholders filed proposals asking Alphabet management to scrap non-compete agreements, claw back compensation from executives who were found to have harassed employees and put an employee representative on its board.Several activist groups, sometimes in conjunction with Google employees, protested outside the meeting and at company offices around the world. Topics include diversity, ethics around product launches, housing affordability and working conditions for temporary and contract staff.About 30 protesters, including Google workers and outside activists, gathered outside the event holding signs that read "Not OK Google" and "Google creates homelessness." Tibetan, Uighur and Chinese rights activists called on Google management to clearly confirm the company will not re-establish business relations with China, citing what they said is the government’s mass surveillance and human-rights abuses.Google CEO Sundar Pichai said the company’s huge scale comes with a “deep sense of responsibility to create things that improve people’s lives” and benefit society as a whole. Executive Chairman John Hennessy said Alphabet’s board of directors is making sure the company focuses on diversity, sustainability and societal impact. “We are deeply committed to do the right thing on these issues,” he said.The meeting is the latest flare-up in a roughly two-year effort by some Google employees and outside activists to push the company to be more accountable to workers, stockholders and the communities where it operates.Listen to a Google insider’s account of the protests from Bloomberg’s Decrypted podcast.Google has a famously open work culture, where employees of all levels are encouraged to speak their mind and suggest changes to company policy. That’s created some headaches for the tech giant. Google shelved a plan to build a censored search engine for China after news of the project leaked and employees rebelled against it. The company also stepped back from one military contract and stopped forcing employees to sign away their right to bring claims against it in court.Google’s critics only have so much power though. Shareholder proposals like the ones advanced at the annual meeting are almost always rejected because the company’s founders control the majority of the votes through special shares.“I was wondering where the CEO of Alphabet is. Year after year there’s no CEO here. It’s a glaring omission,” especially for someone with such a large stake in the company, one shareholder said during the meeting. Page and Google co-founder Sergey Brin control Alphabet through special voting shares, but they have stopped showing up at annual meetings in recent years.Chief Legal Officer Kent Walker responded, saying Page wasn’t able to attend this year. He has attended every board meeting, Walker said.The shareholder replied that the annual meeting is the only time investors have a chance to ask the CEO questions directly.Marie Collins, a Google employee who has worked there for about six years, said the company lacks accountability, citing Page and Brin’s absence as part of the problem. The executives rarely attend companywide employee meetings anymore, she added. Google used to have a good relationship with employees, but that changed about a year ago, Collins said.Google engineer Irene Knapp spoke in favor of a proposal to tie executive compensation to the company’s progress on diversity and inclusion. Knapp cited research by the group AI Now showing that bias in artificial intelligence technology is related to the lack of diversity in the industry.Other Google employees spoke in favor of proposals on adding a worker representative to the board and a call for a report on the impact of Google’s Dragonfly Chinese search project.While Ruth Porat, Google’s chief financial officer, spoke about autonomous vehicle technology, protesters outside the building chanted and shouted through loud speakers.“Alphabet sits at an inflection point,” facing antitrust investigations and other issues, one employee said, in support of the proposal to add a worker representative to the board. “It cannot afford to ignore the storm brewing.”(Updates with Google employee comments in 13th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Alistair Barr in San Francisco at abarr18@bloomberg.net;Gerrit De Vynck in New York at gdevynck@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Recent Acquisitions by Google, Salesforce, and Intel Seem a Little Desperate
    Motley Fool7 hours ago

    Recent Acquisitions by Google, Salesforce, and Intel Seem a Little Desperate

    These tech giants are paying high prices for defensive acquisitions as their core businesses slow.

  • FTC reportedly in late stages of investigation into how YouTube handles kids’ videos
    MarketWatch8 hours ago

    FTC reportedly in late stages of investigation into how YouTube handles kids’ videos

    The Federal Trade Commission is in the late stages of an investigation into how YouTube handles children’s videos, a probe prompted by complaints that the company failed to protect kids who used the service and improperly collected their data.

  • Google Maps Wants to Help You Navigate During Natural Disasters
    City Lab NonHosted8 hours ago

    Google Maps Wants to Help You Navigate During Natural Disasters

    The app will offer crisis navigation warnings and provide detailed visual information about hurricanes, tornadoes, and earthquakes.

  • CityLab Daily: How Far Will Google's Billion-Dollar Housing Plan Go?
    City Lab NonHosted9 hours ago

    CityLab Daily: How Far Will Google's Billion-Dollar Housing Plan Go?

    Google home: On Tuesday, Google announced the single largest commitment by a private employer to address the Bay Area’s affordable housing crisis. While many employers in Silicon Valley have begun to build housing for their own workers, Google’s would be the first to unlock its land to house the general public. Google will likely still face opposition from NIMBY groups that have slowed building before, but the tech giant’s more direct role is a hopeful sign for housing advocates.

  • 6 Cloud Gaming Stocks to Buy for 2020 and Beyond
    InvestorPlace10 hours ago

    6 Cloud Gaming Stocks to Buy for 2020 and Beyond

    Following the 2019 Electronic Entertainment Expo (E3), the video game industry's biggest conference of the year, two things have become abundantly clear. Cloud gaming is the future of the gaming industry and that future is coming soon.Cloud gaming is broadly defined as the ability to stream video games through the cloud, without any chunky hardware or lengthy downloads, and play those video games on any internet-connected device, like a smart TV, computer or smartphone. It's basically Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX), but for video games. Consumers pay a monthly fee to play video games through the cloud. And, much like Netflix uprooted traditional television due to its pricing and convenience advantages, cloud streaming services will uproot the traditional video game industry due to the same price and convenience advantages.As such, cloud gaming is inevitably the future of the gaming industry.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThat future is coming soon … very soon. At E3, many of the leading players in this industry announced that their cloud gaming services would have limited roll-outs later this year, and full launches in 2020. Thus, it seems inevitable that the video game industry in the early 2020's will be one dominated by a shift from traditional video game consumption, to cloud gaming consumption. * 10 'Buy-and-Hold' Stocks to Own Forever The investment implication of that shift? Stocks on the right side of the cloud gaming shift should win big in the early 2020's. With that in mind, let's take a look at six cloud gaming stocks to buy to play this secular pivot. Alphabet (GOOG)Source: Shutterstock For all intents and purposes, it looks like internet search and cloud giant Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) has taken the lead in developing a true cloud gaming service.Alphabet first announced its cloud gaming service, dubbed Stadia, in March. At it's pre-E3 event, Alphabet divulged more details about Stadia. Broadly, there are two parts here. First, the hardware, which is just a controller to play the games. Second, the software, which is Stadia Pro and enables gamers to stream a library of video games to multiple devices. The controller costs about $70. Pro costs about $10 per month, so similar to Netflix pricing. The service presently supports about 30 games, but will grow over time. All of this is set for a limited roll-out in November 2019, and a full launch in 2020.All in all, Alphabet is set to launch its true cloud gaming service Stadia later this year. That early launch will give Stadia a first mover's advantage in this market. Further, Alphabet has a big enough data center network around the world that Stadia should be able to turn that first mover's advantage, into a long-term advantage, meaning Stadia does project as an important player in the cloud gaming world at scale.Is that a reason to buy GOOG stock? Yes. Cloud gaming will help lessen Alphabet's reliance on advertising revenues, and broaden and lengthen Alphabet's growth narrative. That will ultimately push GOOG stock higher. Microsoft (MSFT)Source: Shutterstock Right behind Alphabet in the cloud gaming world is peer global tech giant Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT).Microsoft just announced its Project xCloud, which is the company's cloud gaming initiative that launches in October 2019 and allows gamers to stream Xbox games across a variety of different devices. Project xCloud is different from Stadia in many ways. First, we don't have many details on xCloud. Second, xCloud is more of a cloud extension of Microsoft's Xbox console than anything else. Third, the goal of xCloud isn't to create a consolidated cloud gaming platform; rather, it's to get gamers to play Xbox games more frequently across multiple different devices.As such, xCloud in its current status will serve as a perfect cloud complement to the Xbox. Naturally, that positions xCloud to get a big early user base through current Xbox owners. Further, Microsoft has a large enough global hyper-scale data-center presence to support xCloud being arguably the best performing cloud gaming service in the world. * 7 Fantastic Fidelity Funds for a Range of Investors Will MSFT stock move higher because of xCloud? Perhaps. MSFT stock goes as its cloud businesses go and xCloud is a cloud business. Traction in xCloud could consequently excite the investor base, and push Microsoft stock higher. Apple (AAPL)Source: Shutterstock There are four big tech companies with $700 billion-plus market caps. Three of them are jumping into the cloud gaming space. We've already talked about two of them: Alphabet and Microsoft. Now, let's talk about the third -- Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL).Apple is jumping into cloud gaming with its Apple Arcade service. In short, Apple is taking all the best games in the App Store, putting them in a gaming library in the cloud, and allowing consumers to access that library for a monthly fee. That monthly fee hasn't been announced yet, but will probably wind up somewhere around $10 per month. Also, gamers can access Apple Arcade on mobile or through a computer.This is a big move for Apple. The company's bread-and-butter, the iPhone business, is running out of growth runway. Apple is rapidly pivoting into the software and services space to help offset slowing hardware growth. This pivot is working … to a degree. But, it will work a whole lot better if Apple can successfully turn Arcade into a mobile/PC gaming equivalent of Netflix.Is that possible? Sure. Apple has huge market share in smartphones and computers, and they will leverage that huge physical presence to help push their software services, which should increase adoption and help these relatively new services scale quite quickly. As Arcade does scale quickly, the Services business will get a boost, and AAPL stock will move higher. Electronic Arts (EA)Source: Shutterstock The dark horse in the cloud gaming wars is video game publisher Electronic Arts (NASDAQ:EA), which announced its cloud gaming platform Project Atlas back in 2018.Details on Project Atlas are scant, and from a media coverage and announcements perspective, it seems to have fallen behind Stadia, xCloud and Apple Arcade. Nonetheless, EA has a leg up here because it is a video game publisher that owns the content that many gamers want to play. As we've seen with Netflix and the video streaming wars, content is everything. Thus, EA comes into the cloud gaming world with a winning hand.Will that winning hand help EA create a market-leading cloud gaming platform? Perhaps. We still don't know what this market will look like in the future. But, we do know that whatever the market does end up looking like, EA will be a part of the picture, either as a cross-platform content provider, or a cloud gaming platform owner. * 7 Renewable Energy Stocks to Buy for Sunny Long-Term Returns Either way, the cloud gaming pivot is a good thing for EA. It will push revenues higher, increase revenue visibility and help expand the multiple on EA stock. All three of those things will help move EA stock higher in the long run. Advanced Micro Devices (AMD)Source: AMD The first four companies on this list were potential providers of cloud streaming service. This fifth company, however, is the chip giant that is powering those cloud streaming services behind the scenes.Advanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) is a CPU and GPU company that services many different end markets. One of those end market is gaming. AMD does pretty well in gaming with its GPU chips. For example, the company's GPU chips have long been the fuel behind Microsoft's Xbox gaming consoles. Now, as tech giants are pivoting their gaming services to the cloud, many of them are tapping AMD to power their cloud gaming platforms, too.Namely, Microsoft's xCloud streaming service and Alphabet's Stadia streaming service will both be built on AMD GPUs. Those are the two premiere, leading cloud gaming services, and both of them are tapping AMD for their GPU power.That's impressive. If AMD can maintain this trend of being the go-to GPU power behind the cloud gaming industry, then AMD's revenues and profits will see a nice lift. That nice lift could provide an equally nice lift to AMD stock in the long run. Nvidia (NVDA)Source: Shutterstock Last, but not least, in this list of relevant cloud gaming stocks to buy is Nvidia (NASDAQ:NVDA), the chip giant that has dual exposure to the cloud gaming market.On one end, Nvidia has already built its own cloud gaming service, called GeForce Now. According to most accounts and sources, GeForce Now is probably the best cloud gaming service out there right now. But, it's limited. It focuses exclusively on computer games, and is in a beta, invite-only phase. Nvidia has not mentioned any intentions to open the floodgates for GeForce Now. As such, while Nvidia has built one of the world's best cloud computer gaming platforms, that platform isn't set for a commercial roll-out just yet.Perhaps that's because on the other end, Nvidia makes the GPU chips that are the building blocks for cloud gaming services. Nvidia has long been considered the king of the GPU market, and king of the data-center market. Naturally, that positioning makes them seem like the obvious choice to power cloud gaming platforms.Net net, Nvidia has established dominance in the markets which are the fundamental building blocks for cloud gaming. In the long run, Nvidia will either leverage that dominance to build the best game streaming platform, or be the best provider of game streaming building blocks. * 10 Tech Stocks to Buy Now for 2025 Is this a big deal for NVDA stock? Absolutely. Nvidia's long-term growth narrative is all about cloud, AI and data, and cloud gaming is a big part of that narrative. As such, cloud gaming should be one of the many reasons why NVDA stock heads higher in the long run.As of this writing, Luke Lango was long NFLX, GOOG, AAPL, EA and NVDA. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy for a Seemingly Sleepy Summer * 6 Chip Stocks Staring At Big Headwinds in 2019 Compare Brokers The post 6 Cloud Gaming Stocks to Buy for 2020 and Beyond appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Google parent Alphabet rejects shareholder plan to break up company
    MarketWatch10 hours ago

    Google parent Alphabet rejects shareholder plan to break up company

    Google parent Alphabet Inc. faced a wave of critical proposals from activists and employees during its annual shareholder meeting Wednesday, including one to split up the internet search and ad-selling giant before regulators break it into pieces.

  • Reuters10 hours ago

    UPDATE 1-Activists urge Google to break up before regulators force it to

    Shareholder activists on Wednesday urged Google parent Alphabet Inc to break itself up before regulators force the world's biggest internet ad seller to split into different pieces. SumOfUs, a U.S.-based group that aims to curb the growing power of corporations, presented the proposal at Alphabet's annual shareholder meeting at an auditorium at the company's offices in Sunnyvale, California. It should sell off some assets now "rather than waiting for antitrust regulators to set a path" and potentially deriving less shareholder value, Sonamtso said.

  • Don’t Miss Out On Google Stock as FAANG Make a Comeback
    InvestorPlace11 hours ago

    Don’t Miss Out On Google Stock as FAANG Make a Comeback

    Over the past few months FAANG stocks have been lagging broader markets. Despite grabbing a good chunk of headlines, they have not been exhibiting strength from a performance standpoint.Source: Brionv via Wikimedia (Modified)Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) in particular has really struggled despite running an incredibly diverse company with a huge amount of embedded option value. Google stock has clearly been the laggard of the FAANG lot, and it still has not quite recovered from an unexpected first-quarter earnings miss that sent shares plummeting at the beginning of May.Over the past week, however, FAANG stocks have come roaring back. Over a time horizon of the past three months, GOOGL stock is down 7.6%, while the Nasdaq is up just over 3%, but as we look over the past month, GOOGL stock has managed to narrow that underperformance somewhat.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsThe arrows are pointing to a continued outperformance, especially with positive news in the trade war area lifting markets as a whole. As money continues to be deployed and investors reexamine just how strong Google's value proposition is, there is ample room for GOOGL stock to continue its outperformance. Google Stock LeadershipFirst a note on Alphabet stock's leadership, as it seems to come up more and more in conversations I have about the company. More than once I have heard shareholders voice the opinion that founders Sergey Brin and Larry Page do not care about shareholders, and that they seemed to not offer much hopeful commentary on the disappointing first quarter. * 7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half And it is true that on the surface, it appears that Tim Cook of Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), for example, is more shareholder-friendly than Brin and Page. He commits to share buybacks and Apple sports a 1.6% dividend. He also goes on financial talk shows to espouse the virtues of the company. Brin and Page have done none of the above.However, this is a rather myopic view.Google's approach is arguably more beneficial to shareholders in the long-term. Instead of burning up cash by giving it back to shareholders to prop up the stock (not that it seems to need it) like Apple has been doing for years now, Google is investing in a number of technologies and projects that have huge potential.These are not incremental tweaks but truly transformational technologies. GOOGL Is Betting on the FutureThere simply is not another company that can rival Google in the number of products and services with the same amount of monetization potential.An outdated Wall Street Journal article from 2015 is a common source for bears that argue YouTube is unprofitable. While there is no disclosed information on whether or not that has changed, any routine user of YouTube would be surprised to know that it isn't very profitable in 2019.Margins and other financial metrics are mostly guesswork, but with the major increase in advertisements and YouTube TV gaining traction, how can it not be? The network effects are mind-blowing and may just be the most valuable asset within Google aside from the core search business.Waymo and Google Maps aren't producing profit yet, but they are growing rapidly and undeniably loaded with potential to become a major force in non-cyclical industries. Right now the market is not giving GOOGL stock any real credit for these transformative technologies, but think about how the stock will react if just one of their many assets starts to "work." The Bottom Line on GOOGL StockBuying into this newfound momentum as investors seem to be stepping back into the big-tech FAANG names should turn out to be a profitable move. As a group, they will all probably do well, but Google is the best bang for buck.Right now GOOGL stock trades at just 28x trailing price-to-earnings ratio. It has been cheaper than this in the past, but the current value is undeniable. This is the time and place to double down on a temporary market dislocation.As of this writing, Luce Emerson was long GOOG stock. More From InvestorPlace * 4 Top American Penny Pot Stocks (Buy Before June 21) * 7 Value Stocks to Buy for the Second Half * 7 Hot Stocks to Buy for a Seemingly Sleepy Summer * 6 Chip Stocks Staring At Big Headwinds in 2019 Compare Brokers The post Don't Miss Out On Google Stock as FAANG Make a Comeback appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Lobbying on trade issues could set new record as companies sound off on tariffs, USMCA
    MarketWatch11 hours ago

    Lobbying on trade issues could set new record as companies sound off on tariffs, USMCA

    As the Trump administration puts tariffs on a range of imported goods and pushes a replacement deal for Nafta, lobbying on trade-related issues could set a new record this year.

  • Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi has already sold $100 million in ads
    American City Business Journals11 hours ago

    Jeffrey Katzenberg’s Quibi has already sold $100 million in ads

    Quibi doesn’t launch until next year, and already Jeffrey Katzenberg’s mobile platform for “quick bites” of high-end content has sold two-thirds of its ad inventory.

  • Microsoft’s Missteps Offer Antitrust Lessons for Tech’s Big Four
    Bloomberg11 hours ago

    Microsoft’s Missteps Offer Antitrust Lessons for Tech’s Big Four

    (Bloomberg) -- Of the five biggest tech companies in the U.S., Microsoft is the only one that isn't currently in the crosshairs of U.S. antitrust authorities. The software giant already took its turn through the regulatory wringer starting two decades ago, a years-long confrontation that resulted in the finding that the Redmond, Washington-based company had illegally maintained its monopoly for personal-computer operating-system software. The case dealt with the company's moves to kneecap the Netscape web browser by bundling its own product, Internet Explorer, into Windows, the dominant PC operating system.A federal judge ordered the company split in two in 2000, a fate Microsoft avoided when an appeals court reversed that part of the ruling and the company eventually settled. That 2002 settlement led to nine years of court supervision of the company's business practices and required Microsoft to give the top 20 computer makers identical contract terms for licensing Windows, and gave computer makers greater freedom to promote non-Microsoft products like browsers and media-playing software. Because observers and legal pundits almost uniformly agree the software giant did virtually everything wrong in the course of the investigation -- which had its start as early as 1990, followed by a 1998 Justice Department lawsuit -- in retrospect its story serves as a useful instruction manual of what not to do.While no formal inquiries have yet been opened, the Federal Trade Commission and Justice Department carved up the territory of big tech -- Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. -- as they prepare to dig in on antitrust issues. The Department of Justice will look at Google, which dominates the online search and advertising spaces, and Apple, whose pervasive App Store is likely to be under examination. The FTC drew Facebook, with its behemoth social networking and messaging apps and a slew of recent privacy missteps, and e-commerce giant Amazon, which has been pushing into areas like grocery and health. As these companies build their legal teams and prepare strategies for the fight ahead, here are several lessons that Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook can learn from Microsoft's battle with the feds.Don't deny the obvious. Or don't even put up a fight about whether you have a monopoly. Microsoft, whose Windows software accounted for about 90% of the market for PC operating systems, opted to argue that the space was actually competitive. Parts of the argument included videos where Microsoft employees offered a straight-faced marketing pitch for the benefits of rival Linux programs with a tiny share of the market. The impulse is understandable -- monopoly sounds like a dirty word. But U.S. antitrust law doesn't expressly forbid having a monopoly; it outlaws doing certain things to establish, maintain or extend one. That led some legal scholars to argue that Microsoft would have been better served by copping to the Windows monopoly and establishing a legal beachhead against the idea that it did anything illegal to gain it or keep it. Arguing against something so self-evident via the company's very first witness strained credibility and started the case off on a bad footing.It's easy to imagine a similar issue applying to Google, which has more than 84% of the web-search market and controls 82% of mobile-phone operating systems. In the app-store business, Google and iPhone maker Apple together control more than 95% of all U.S. mobile app spending by consumers, according to Sensor Tower data. Apple CEO Tim Cook earlier this month told CBS that his company doesn’t have a dominant position in any market. But regulators may look at the power it wields through its app store. It could be more effective for these companies not to start by denying that leadership position -- if you have 80% or 90% percent of a market, arguing that you don't really dominate isn't the hill you want your legal reasoning to die on. Don’t resort to spin. Microsoft's credibility with the press was no higher, hurt by constant counterfactual statements and spin. Each day, after a bruising in court as government lawyer David Boies poked holes in executive testimony and Judge Thomas Penfield Jackson alternated between chuckling at the witnesses and chastising them, Microsoft deployed a hapless PR person to the steps of the courthouse to recite the words, "Today was another good day for Microsoft." It never was.  Assume everything will be made public.Among the list of horrifying moments for Microsoft in court was the public showing of parts of the 20 hours of depositions of co-founder and Chief Executive Officer Bill Gates. The tapes (yes, they were tapes -- this was the 90s) showed an ill-lit, evasive and combative Gates engaging in Clintonian word-wrangling, such as asking about the definition of the word "definition" and arguing what "market share" meant. Microsoft claimed it had been assured the tapes would never be shown in court, or the company would have taken greater care with Gates’s appearance and manner. During their playback in court, the judge laughed at several points -- not the impression the software giant wanted to make on either Jackson or the public. Jackson told New Yorker reporter Ken Auletta that Gates came off as "arrogant" in the depositions.Just as bad for Microsoft, an array of internal emails were read aloud in court that contradicted the testimony of its executives, which further angered Jackson. The takeaway? Assume everything will be aired in the court of public opinion. If it was true 20 years ago, it’s even more apparent in the current era of oversharing, thanks to the tech companies’ own services. Don't be condescending about the technology. Most lawyers, judges and regulators don't appreciate being told or having it implied that they lack the ability to apprehend certain tech concepts. Or that the reason they think there's been an antitrust violation is because they just don't "get" the technology. It was true that Jackson and Boies seldom used a computer at the time. But it didn't require a computer science doctorate to divine the legal merits of the case.  At the height of Microsoft's hubris (or carelessness, or both), the company sent Windows chief Jim Allchin to the stand with a doctored video that purported to show how computing performance would be degraded when the browser was removed from Windows on a single PC. It was actually done on several different computers and was an illustration of what might happen rather than a factual test, as the company initially claimed -- a fact that came to light only after several days of the government picking through every inconsistency in the video. Microsoft remade the simulation several times in an effort to save the testimony. The company seemed to think it could get away with baldy stating a technological claim and mocking up something that backed it up, perhaps reasoning that no one would know the difference, but it miscalculated badly (Joe Nocera, now a Bloomberg columnist but then writing for Fortune, recounts the whole cringeworthy story).Choose your lawyers wisely.Microsoft took on the U.S. government led by a combative Gates and an equally aggressive general counsel, Bill Neukom. Gates, the son of an attorney, was outraged, frustrated and convinced the company was being unfairly targeted. One of the company’s outside lawyers, from the firm Sullivan & Cromwell, said the company could put a ham sandwich into Windows if it wanted to. And throughout, Neukom not only failed to tamp down his executives’ worst impulses, he seemed to amp them up. His legal style led observers to point out that his last name -- pronounced `nuke 'em’ -- was quite fitting.The U.S. government’s latest antitrust targets should take heed: If your top executive's style tends towards waving a red flag in front of a bull, you may be wise to consider a top lawyer with a more conciliatory style. Google’s top executives have already raised the ire of lawmakers for refusing to appear before Congress, and no one has ever accused Jeff Bezos of being afraid of a fight. At Facebook, where Zuckerberg regards Gates as a mentor and observers see similarities in their styles and temperaments, this lesson might be particularly important.There are many different ways to lose.Right now, the companies are only at risk of an inquiry -- the agencies are deciding what, if any, action to take. But even at this stage, they should keep in mind that a loss doesn’t only mean a full-scale breakup or forced divestiture. Companies can avoid that extreme fate and still find, as Microsoft did, that the years of distraction from the fight have hampered their business and sucked up executive time and mental energy.In an interview last year at the Code Conference, Microsoft President and Chief Legal Officer Brad Smith lamented the distraction the case caused, and cited it as a reason the company missed out on the search market -- the business that fueled the runaway success of Google, now under the microscope itself. Others have pinned Microsoft’s abysmal performance in mobile computing partially on constraints and distractions from the case. Some of the company’s business missteps can fairly be attributed to poor execution and strategic errors that had nothing to do with the government dispute. Still, the notion that merely fighting an antitrust battle may do almost as much harm as losing one brings us to our last point.Consider settling early.  It's hard to say with certainty what the late 1990s and early 2000s might have looked like for Microsoft had it found a way to settle with the government earlier than 2002. Still, for the government’s current targets, it's worth weighing a settlement against the impact of several years of investigation, a possible loss in court and potentially harsher restrictions or remedies. Amazon, Apple, Facebook and Google probably have a pretty good idea of what regulators may object to, and it’s worthwhile for them to consider ways to assuage those concerns while keeping the core of their businesses and future ambitions intact. The alternative is years of investigations, possibly damaging evidence and testimony, and ample distraction, all leading up to what could be a devastating loss in court. (Updates with earlier comments from Tim Cook. A previous version of this story corrected the attribution of an anecdote about a ham sandwich.)To contact the author of this story: Dina Bass in Seattle at dbass2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Mark MilianFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • YouTube Is Considering Changes to Kids Content After Criticism
    Bloomberg11 hours ago

    YouTube Is Considering Changes to Kids Content After Criticism

    (Bloomberg) -- YouTube is considering more changes to how content for kids shows up on the world’s largest video site as criticism mounts that it’s unsafe for children.YouTube, owned by Alphabet Inc.’s Google, is debating changes involving kids’ content, according to a person familiar with the discussions. The Wall Street Journal earlier reported that the company was mulling moving all videos for children to its separate YouTube Kids app. Such a drastic change is unlikely, according to the person, who asked not to be identified discussing in-house company deliberations.The Google unit has long positioned itself as a neutral platform that lets anyone upload and watch whatever videos they want. But now the site is struggling to convince parents and advertisers that it can protect children from violent, upsetting and harmful content. On Monday, Bloomberg reported that children who use YouTube’s main site far outnumber those who stick to the safer, vetted YouTube Kids app.YouTube has already made tweaks to the platform as it tries to create a safer site for children. The company banned comments on thousands of videos featuring kids after predators were found to be using the comment section to flag parts of the videos showing activities that could be twisted to be construed as sexual.“We consider lots of ideas for improving YouTube and some remain just that -- ideas,” a YouTube spokeswoman said in an email. “Others, we develop and launch, like our restrictions to minors live streaming or updated hate speech policy.”YouTube only recently made “responsible growth” its core metric, after years of focusing on engagement, even after employees flagged harmful and misleading videos to executives, Bloomberg reported earlier this year.Major advertisers have frozen YouTube spending at various times out of fear their ads will be shown next to harmful videos. Still, the video site remains, with Facebook Inc. and Instagram, among the most popular places to advertise online.To contact the reporters on this story: Gerrit De Vynck in New York at gdevynck@bloomberg.net;Lucas Shaw in Los Angeles at lshaw31@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • TheStreet.com13 hours ago

    Facebook's Native Cryptocurrency Libra Will Supercharge Its Platform

    The social media giant on Tuesday unveiled Libra, a global payments system based on blockchain technology. When it launches next year, Facebook's gated community of two billion-plus members worldwide will soon have its own currency. Many technology companies tout their scale.