GOOG Jan 2020 1390.000 call

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  • Bloomberg

    Inflation Inequality Creates Winners and Losers

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Do the poor suffer more from inflation than the rich? Recent reports to the contrary, the numbers are not complete enough to answer that question in a simple way. What’s clear is that diverging rates of price inflation are creating distinct winners and losers.Because the U.S. tech sector has advanced so much while many other parts of the economy have been relatively sluggish, the benefits from progress are now quite concentrated, though not in a way directly related to income. Rather, they accrue to people with a taste for a particular kind of novelty.Consider people who love to consume information, or as I have labeled them infovores. They can stay at home every night and read Wikipedia, scan Twitter, click on links, browse through Amazon reviews and search YouTube — all for free. Thirty years ago there was nothing comparable.Of course most people don’t have those tastes. But for the minority who do, it is a new paradise of plenty. These infovores — a group that includes some academics, a lot of internet nerds and many journalists — have experienced radical deflation.Another set of major beneficiaries is people who enjoy writing for fun (as distinct from professional writers). They can write to their friends or groups of friends on Whatsapp and Facebook, all day long, also for free. You might also put “people who love to argue” in this same lucky category, though whether that translates into lasting enjoyment is a question that we could … argue about.Lovers of variety are another big winner. You can use eBay to find that obscure collectible, or browse Amazon’s vast inventory, or watch a lot of different TV programs, ranging from Spanish-language news to curling to cooking shows. In short, it is a wonderful time for those who love to browse and sample. Maybe you discover a favorite category or genre and form a deep aesthetic commitment, or maybe you just want to keep on surfing.  Either way, the opportunities are unprecedented.As a side note, I belong to all of those groups: I am an infovore, I write for fun (and for other reasons) and love variety. So I have been a big winner from the last 20 years, in a disproportionate and unrepresentative way — quite apart from any changes to my income.So who might be worse off in this new American world?People who like to spend time with their friends across town are one set of losers. Traffic congestion is much worse, and so driving in Los Angeles or Washington has never been such a big burden. In-person socializing is therefore more costly. On the other hand, the chance that you have remained in touch with your very distant friends is higher, due to email and social media. Those who enjoy less frequent (but perhaps more intense?) visits are on the whole better off for that reason. It is easier than ever to go virtually anywhere in the world and have someone interesting to talk to.Another group of losers — facing super-high inflation rates — are the “cool” people who insist on living in America’s best and most advanced cities. Which might those be? New York, Los Angeles, San Francisco? You can debate that, but they have all grown much more expensive. Many smaller cities, such as Austin, Washington and Boston, are going the same route. Alternatively, if you have more of a taste for isolation or desolation, or a high tolerance for boredom, your pocketbook is not being squeezed so tightly.Medical care is another area that has created big losers and winners. If you suffer from a common malady that simply requires care and attention from the medical establishment, you may well be worse off. The price of medical care is much higher, insurance coverage is by no means guaranteed, and the system has been growing more bureaucratic and arguably more frustrating.If, on the other hand, you have some kind of “frontier” condition, requiring innovative technology or new pharmaceuticals, your chances have never been better.What is the common theme here? It is that those who love or need “the new” are often doing relatively well. Those who value the old standbys — the crosstown friend, the Manhattan brownstone, the uncomplicated visit to the local doctor to have a broken ankle set — are in a more dubious position.As a result, there is an incentive to cultivate a taste for novelty. It’s fun, to be sure, but maybe also a bit confusing and alienating. So when people feel that way, and express it in unexpected ways, perhaps we should not be altogether surprised.To contact the author of this story: Tyler Cowen at tcowen2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at mnewman43@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tyler Cowen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of economics at George Mason University and writes for the blog Marginal Revolution. His books include "Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero."For more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Medtech firm Biofourmis doubles valuation with acquisition, Novartis deal
    American City Business Journals

    Medtech firm Biofourmis doubles valuation with acquisition, Novartis deal

    Boston’s Biofourmis Inc. is acquiring longtime partner Biovotion, leveraging its software and data-collection capabilities in a new multi-year partnership with Novartis.

  • SoftBank to Create Japan Internet Giant to Battle Global Rivals

    SoftBank to Create Japan Internet Giant to Battle Global Rivals

    (Bloomberg) -- Masayoshi Son, after backing startups around the world, is engineering a complex deal on his home turf to create a national champion that can more effectively compete with global rivals like Google and Inc.Son’s SoftBank Group Corp. plans to combine its Yahoo Japan internet business with Line Corp. in a deal that values the country’s leading messaging service at $11.5 billion. SoftBank and South Korea’s Naver Corp. will take Line private and then fold Line and Yahoo Japan into a new joint venture. The deal requires shareholder approvals and is scheduled to close by October 2020.The two companies said the combination is driven by a sense of crisis that global giants are increasing their grip on the technology industry and countries like Japan risk falling behind. Together, Line and Yahoo Japan, which now operates as Z Holdings Corp., will be able to share engineering resources, access broader sets of data and invest more in areas like artificial intelligence, the chief executive officers said in a Tokyo press conference.“The internet industry often operates on the winner-takes-all principle and the strong only get stronger,” said Line co-CEO Takeshi Idezawa. “Even combined, our market capital, business scale and R&D expenditures are dwarfed by the global tech giants.”At the event, the CEOs gave unusual emphasis to their corporate vulnerabilities and the incumbent risks for Japanese consumers, perhaps in an attempt to preempt government scrutiny of a deal that will combine two of the country’s largest internet companies. The chiefs said they need to join forces to mount a serious challenge to much larger rivals from the U.S. and China.“We want to become an AI tech company that leads the world from Japan,” said Kentaro Kawabe, CEO of Z Holdings. Kawabe wore a bright green tie, Line’s trademark hue, while Idezawa donned one in Yahoo Japan red.Under the proposed transaction, Z Holdings and Naver will buy out Line’s public shareholders in a tender offer at a projected 5,200 yen per share, a 13% premium to Line’s share price before news of the talks. Each company plans to spend 170 billion yen ($1.56 billion) on the bid. Naver already owns 73% of Line, while SoftBank Corp., the domestic telecom arm of Son’s business empire, holds a roughly 44% stake in Z Holdings.The companies have been in talks about a possible alliance since June and settled on the idea of a merger in August, according to the statement. After taking Line private, SoftBank and Naver will undertake a reorganization that will eventually result in a 50-50 ownership of the new company. The combined entity will hold stock in Z Holdings, which will remain public with Yahoo Japan and Line as wholly-owned subsidiaries.SoftBank and Line have increasingly competed in fields such as digital payments, and an alliance may allow them to save money on expenses like subsidies. Both companies have also been investing in artificial intelligence to improve their services. While the announcement didn’t say how the mobile payment rivalry will be resolved, it said the resulting company aims to spend 100 billion yen annually on development of AI-powered products.“Big data is key for the future of both companies,” said Koji Hirai, the head of M&A advisory firm Kachitas Corp. “The merger will enable them to create a massive repository of client data.”Idezawa and Kawabe said there are potential synergies in a number of services areas spanning media content, fintech, advertising, communications and commerce, but didn’t give further details. The combined company will also have about 20,000 employees, a major benefit in an industry where competition for talent intensifies year after year, they said.Steps to the planned merger:Step 1 - Final signing of the deal planned for DecemberStep 2 - Naver and SoftBank to buy out Line’s public shareholders and create a new 50-50 joint ventureStep 3 - SoftBank moves its stake in Z Holdings to the JV, while Z Holdings issues 2.8 billion new shares to the JVStep 4 - Line and Yahoo Japan become fully owned subsidiaries of Z Holdings, which will be owned by the JV. The companies plan to complete the deal by October 2020Silicon Valley giants like Google, Amazon and Facebook Inc. and Chinese startups have taken the lead in both pushing AI development and turning the research into commercial products. That has left most other companies scrambling to attract scarce talent and collect the data necessary to conduct research in fields like deep learning.Line and Yahoo Japan are betting they can leverage local knowledge to stay in the race in their home country and markets where their services are popular, including South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand and Indonesia. Line and Z Holdings shares rose on the deal.Yahoo Japan was once the country’s leading search engine, web portal and major e-commerce player, but has lost ground as users migrated from PCs to smartphones. The company’s online shopping offering has been squeezed by Amazon and Rakuten Inc., while smartphone-native newcomer Mercari Inc. lured customers from its auction service. Yahoo Japan counts some 48 million daily active users across its portfolio of more than 100 mobile phone apps.Line’s origins date back to the turn of the century, when Naver dispatched Shin Jung-ho to Japan to promote its search engine technology. Shin led the company through its first decade in relative obscurity, distributing online games and dabbling in social networking services. In 2010, Line acquired Livedoor Inc., a once high-flying Japanese web portal that had fallen on hard times after its founder was thrown in jail for accounting fraud. It launched Japan’s dominant messaging service in 2011 and went public in 2016.Shin, who shares the CEO title with Takeshi Idezawa at Line, will become the newly created entity’s chief product officer. The post will give him control over the 100 billion yen AI budget and oversight of service development for both Line and Yahoo Japan.Line has 82 million monthly active users in Japan and is also the dominant messenger in Taiwan and Thailand, where it has 21 million and 45 million customers respectively. The company has been expanding into financial services by partnering with Nomura Holdings Inc. and Mizuho Financial Group Inc. It has also been developing a lineup of AI-powered hardware products, including speakers and earphones. Outlays on the new businesses have led to losses in four out of five past quarters.In the Tokyo press conference, the CEOs repeatedly spoke about getting outgunned by GAFA, or Google, Amazon, Facebook and Apple Inc. They said they wouldn’t want see Japan lose out on world-leading services like search and e-commerce, but they want to create a local alternative that can address domestic needs and tastes.“GAFA’s biggest threat is the kind of loyalty they command from their users,” said Kawabe. “We want to give users a domestic AI option. By focusing on Japan’s unique challenges, we can offer services others cannot.”(Updates with the deal strategy from first paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Pavel Alpeyev in Tokyo at;Takahiko Hyuga in Tokyo at thyuga@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.netFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Apple iPhone 11 Scores Early China Success, Official Data Shows

    (Bloomberg) -- Chinese consumers are rediscovering their appetite for iPhones.Apple Inc. shipped 10 million iPhones in China during September and October, based on Bloomberg’s calculations from government data on overall and Android device shipments. That’s the first indication of the company’s performance following the autumn release of its latest gadgets, and it shows iPhone shipments up 6% from a year earlier, according to the China Academy of Information and Communications Technology, which is run by the country’s technology ministry.That affirms expectations that Apple’s iPhone 11 is selling more strongly than its predecessor, particularly in a market that’s second only to the U.S. in its importance to Apple’s bottom line. The company had recently been stuck in a rut in China, ceding ground to local rivals like Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp., which offer more enticing pricing, better specifications and increasingly premium design. Apple also lost market share to Samsung Electronics Co. and Huawei globally prior to the iPhone 11’s release. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has said new pricing, a monthly payment program and trade-in offers helped the iPhone’s performance in China.“Chinese customers seem to be receiving the iPhone 11 series better than last year’s models because of the lowered retail price,” said Nicole Peng, a Canalys analyst. “We see weaker shipments for old models but the latest products are going strong.”Read more: Apple Assembler’s Profit Beat Signals Good iPhone 11 DemandOverall Chinese smartphone shipments dropped 5% to 69.3 million units during the two months, according to reports published by the academy, which is run by the Ministry of Industry and Information Technology and tracks the number of smartphones that get permits to be sold in China.Apple took major strides to increase battery life in its iPhone 11 and 11 Pro devices while lowering the starting price by $50. After years of stagnation in cameras, the company overhauled the iPhone’s image quality this year, catching up to category leaders Google and Huawei. This approach drew an overwhelmingly positive critical reception.In China, however, Apple still faces an uphill climb against local brands like Huawei and Xiaomi. Beyond new device sales, Apple’s other major challenge there will be to make available more of its lucrative subscription services. As the company transitions to a business model more reliant on recurring fees -- such as via iTunes Music, Apple TV+ and Apple Arcade -- their unavailability in China becomes increasingly a hurdle to growth.Apple Now Has the Best Smartphone Cameras: iPhone 11 Pro Review\--With assistance from Colum Murphy.To contact Bloomberg News staff for this story: Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at, Vlad SavovFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Google’s Stadia takes aim at $130bn video game market

    This year’s most hotly anticipated launch in the world of computer games is not a new console, or even a new title. Google on Tuesday will launch Stadia, a service that will stream an initial 10 computer games across 14 countries at launch. While Nintendo’s Switch sold a huge 1.5m units in its opening weekend in 2017, Google suggests that it will have a potential customer base of hundreds of millions from day one across North America and Western Europe.

  • Financial Times

    Our personal data needs protecting from Big Tech

    showed that numerous healthcare websites, including WebMD and Healthline, have been sharing sensitive user data with big technology platforms, such as Google, Amazon, Facebook and Oracle and a number of smaller companies. Google amassed personal medical records on tens of millions of patients, without notifying them or their doctors. The bank will keep its brands on the product, but Google will mine the data.


    Retirement Savers Are Turning to Dividend Stocks for Income. Here’s How to Use Them in Your Portfolio.

    Investors are increasingly turning to equities with cash payouts for their nest eggs. But the strategies carry risk if not done right.

  • 5 Mega Cap Stocks Hedge Funds Are Crazy About
    Insider Monkey

    5 Mega Cap Stocks Hedge Funds Are Crazy About

    One of the best tools for ordinary investors who are on the hunt for new ideas is 13F filings. Hedge funds hire some of the smartest Ivy League graduates as their analysts, have access to industry insiders whom they "consult" with, unconventional data sources that cost tens of thousands of dollars, years of experience and […]

  • Autonomous Taxis Become a Rough Ride for Europe

    Autonomous Taxis Become a Rough Ride for Europe

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- As recently as March, Daimler AG, the German carmaker, promised to put 10,000 autonomous taxis on the streets by 2021. But this week, Daimler chairman Ola Kaellenius announced that the company was taking a “reality check” on the project and focusing on self-driving long-haul trucks instead. It’s fine that self-driving cabs aren’t coming as fast as some expected — and it’s even better that Silicon Valley-style big talk appears to be going out of fashion.Kaellenius’s “reality check” has some solid business reasons: Daimler is cutting costs and can’t commit to a large, capital-intensive project without a clear idea of what kind of first-mover advantage it might confer. But mostly, it comes because of a long-obvious technical problem. Making sure self-driving cars aren’t a menace in city traffic is a job that’ll take more than a couple of years. Investigators are still trying to get to the bottom of the March 2018 accident in which a driverless Uber killed a pedestrian in Tempe, Arizona, and it appears Uber Inc.’s cars had been involved in dozens of previous nonfatal incidents in the course of the same testing program. No one wants to be in the same situation as Uber — so General Motors Co. subsidiary Cruise won’t be launching self-driving taxis in San Francisco this year, as previously promised, and maybe not next year, either. There's been lots of news stories about Waymo Llc, an Alphabet Inc. subsidiary, launching a self-driving taxi service in Arizona, and in April, it even put an app for it on the Google Play store. But in September, Morgan Stanley lowered Waymo’s valuation because of delays in the commercial use of its technology, and last month, Waymo chief executive John Krafcik said driverless delivery trucks could come before a taxi service.For European carmakers, which have to deal with older cities not laid out on a grid, launching autonomous taxi services appears even more daunting than for Americans. They know it’s a long way from Tempe to Amsterdam or Rome. That’s one reason Volkswagen AG, a latecomer to self-driving development, isn’t worried about being overtaken. Alexander Hitzinger, chief executive of Volkswagen’s autonomous-vehicle subsidiary, said in a recent interview that even an industry pioneer such as Waymo was “a long way away from commercializing the technology” and that Volkswagen’s autonomous vehicles would be developed by the mid-2020s.That time frame may be no more realistic than the previous hype about big 2019 and 2020 launches. Autonomous car developers can complain all they want about unpredictable human drivers and pedestrians who are causing all the accidents with their flawlessly superhuman creations, but nobody is going to clear the cities of people to give self-driving cars a spotless safety record. And making sure that, after millions of hours of training, artificial intelligence is finally able to drive like a human after a few hundred hours on the road, is not all that’s required for robotaxis to be viable. There's still the whole matter of figuring out how to reduce rather than increase urban congestion by using cars that don't “think” like humans.It’s also dangerous to adopt any kind of specific framework for the launch of automated truck services, even though that’s an easier project than taxis because the routes are fixed. The presence of humans in what is still a predominantly human world has rather unpredictable consequences for robot behavior. And the first movers have an obvious disadvantage: Like Uber with a taxi, they can get burned in ways that could set the whole business back years, and the earnings potential is unclear.None of this means, of course, that self-driving development has failed or even hit a dead end. Given enough time and a few technological breakthroughs, autonomous vehicles will be safe around actual people in actual winding, narrow, crowded streets. Engineering challenges exist to be overcome. The problem isn’t with the tech, which is moving along at a reasonably rapid pace, but with how that progress is communicated.Nobody forced experienced managers at venerable companies such as Daimler or GM to make overly optimistic statements about self-driving taxi launches. Waymo is a cash-burning startup, and it’s difficult to hold it responsible for getting ahead of itself. But the adults in the room look silly for having tried to play catch-up. There’s no reason for the big car companies to make any promises on self-driving at all. Unlike with vehicle electrification, which is part of many countries' climate policies, there’s no regulatory pressure to eliminate human drivers. And autonomous mobility-related business models are purely theoretical at this point.It would be enough for companies involved in autonomous car development to say they’re working on it. Pretty much all the big players are, to some extent. The time for any other kind of announcement will come when someone is really ready to launch a commercial service, whenever that may be. No rush.To contact the author of this story: Leonid Bershidsky at lbershidsky@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Tobin Harshaw at tharshaw@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Leonid Bershidsky is Bloomberg Opinion's Europe columnist. He was the founding editor of the Russian business daily Vedomosti and founded the opinion website more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Financial Times

    Cache crunch: Google-Citi deal could be future of banking

    The idea seems to be that customers would enjoy a whizzy Google banking interface, backed by an old-fashioned current account at Citi. Silicon Valley has already cracked payments. This phenomenon is not new: 20 years ago, Walmart tried to get into the retail banking business.

  • American City Business Journals

    The Sobrato Organization holds onto No. 1 spot in Silicon Valley charitable giving

    The rankings for this year's top Silicon Valley corporate philanthropists were announced Thursday evening at the Business Journal's Corporate Philanthropy Awards.

  • Google Gets Supreme Court Hearing in Oracle Copyright Clash

    Google Gets Supreme Court Hearing in Oracle Copyright Clash

    (Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Supreme Court will hear an appeal from Alphabet Inc.’s Google in a multibillion-dollar clash that has divided Silicon Valley, agreeing to decide whether the company improperly used copyrighted programming code owned by Oracle Corp. in the Android operating system.The justices said they’ll review a federal appeals court’s conclusion that Google violated Oracle’s copyrights. Oracle says it’s entitled to at least $8.8 billion in damages.The case, which the court will resolve by July, promises to reshape the U.S. legal protections for software code, particularly the interfaces that let programs and devices communicate with one another. Google contends the appeals court ruling would make it harder to use interfaces to develop new applications.The ruling “has upended the computer industry’s longstanding expectation that developers are free to use software interfaces to build new computer programs,” Google argued.The appeals court decision reversed a jury finding that Google’s copying was a legitimate “fair use” of Oracle’s Java programming language.“There is nothing fair about taking a copyrighted work verbatim and using it for the same purpose and function as the original in a competing platform,” the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit said in a 3-0 ruling.At issue are pre-written directions known as application program interfaces, or APIs, which provide instructions for such functions as connecting to the internet or accessing certain types of files. By using those shortcuts, programmers don’t have to write code from scratch for every function in their software, or change it for every type of device.Oracle says the Java APIs are freely available to those who want to build applications that run on computers and mobile devices. But the company says it requires a license to use the shortcuts for a competing platform or to embed them in an electronic device.“We are confident the Supreme Court will preserve long established copyright protections for original software and reject Google’s continuing efforts to avoid responsibility for copying Oracle’s innovations,” said Deborah Hellinger, an Oracle spokeswoman. “In the end, a finding that Google infringed Oracle’s original works will promote, not stifle, future innovation.”Oracle says Google was facing an existential threat because its search engine -- the source of its advertising revenue -- wasn’t being used on smartphones. Google bought the Android mobile operating system in 2005 and copied Java code to attract developers but refused to take a license, Oracle contends.‘Incalculable’ Harm“Naturally, it inflicted incalculable market harm on Oracle,” Oracle told the Supreme Court. “This is the epitome of copyright infringement, whether the work is a news report, a manual, or computer software.”Android generated $42 billion for Google between 2007 and 2016, according to Oracle court filings. Google said it welcomed the court’s decision to review the case.“We hope that the court reaffirms the importance of software interoperability in American competitiveness,” said Google’s chief legal officer, Kent Walker. “Developers should be able to create applications across platforms and not be locked into one company’s software.”At the Supreme Court, Google argues that software interfaces are categorically ineligible for copyright protection. Google also contends that the Federal Circuit restricted the “fair use” defense to copyright infringement so much as to make it impossible for a developer to reuse an interface in a new application.“What Oracle is seeking here is nothing less than complete control over a community of developers that have invested in learning the free and open Java language,” Google argued.The Trump administration is backing Oracle at the Supreme Court and urged the justices to reject the appeal. Microsoft Corp., Mozilla Corp. and Red Hat Inc. are among the companies that urged the Supreme Court to give Google a hearing.The appeal encompasses two decisions by the Federal Circuit in the six-year-long battle. The first is a 2014 decision that the programming language can be copyrighted, and the second is a 2018 ruling that overturned the jury’s verdict of “fair use.” The Supreme Court had previously rejected Google’s petition over the 2014 decision.If Oracle wins, the case will go back to a federal jury in California, where the only issue will be how much Google should pay in damages. Should Google win on either question, that would end the case.The case is Google v. Oracle America, 18-956.(Updates with company comments beginning in ninth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Naomi Nix.To contact the reporters on this story: Greg Stohr in Washington at;Susan Decker in Washington at sdecker1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Joe Sobczyk at, Elizabeth Wasserman, Jon MorganFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Airbnb Hosts Will Be Able to Pay to Fast-Track Verification of Their Listings

    Airbnb Hosts Will Be Able to Pay to Fast-Track Verification of Their Listings

    Airbnb is moving ahead with plans to verify all of its home listings, adding its experiences offering to that pledge, the company said Friday. Still, it is grappling with how to carry this out on such a massive scale. What's more, in a recent Recode Decode podcast, CEO Brian Chesky said Airbnb plans to let […]

  • Don't be a pest: Carlyle Group co-founder and billionaire David Rubenstein on asking for money
    American City Business Journals

    Don't be a pest: Carlyle Group co-founder and billionaire David Rubenstein on asking for money

    The room was packed with the CEOs of companies that Case and his fund have invested in, as his semi-regular bus tour and investment ethos has grown into two formalized funds with big-name backers, including Rubenstein, Google (NASDAQ: GOOG) CEO Eric Schmidt, Spanx founder Sara Blakely, fellow Revolution co-founder Ted Leonsis, the Koch family and former eBay and Hewlett-Packard chief Meg Whitman. "You shouldn’t ever be saying 'I am sorry to ask you for money.' Because if you are sorry to ask somebody for money don’t ask the person for money," Rubenstein said. "There is a big difference between being a pest and bothering somebody and then being somewhat persistent," Rubenstein said.

  • U.S. Supreme Court to hear Google bid to end Oracle copyright suit

    U.S. Supreme Court to hear Google bid to end Oracle copyright suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear Google's bid to escape Oracle Corp's multi-billion dollar lawsuit accusing Google of infringing software copyrights to build the Android operating system that runs most of the world's smartphones. Google has appealed a lower court ruling reviving the suit in which Oracle has sought at least $8 billion in damages. A jury cleared Google in 2016, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington overturned that decision in 2018, finding that Google's inclusion of Oracle's software code in Android did not constitute a fair use under U.S. copyright law.

  • MarketWatch

    Supreme Court says it will hear Oracle vs. Google copyright suit

    A major copyright dispute stretching to 2010 between Oracle Corp. and Alphabet Inc.'s Google division is headed to the Supreme Court, the court said on Friday. The dispute centers on 11,500 lines of code that Google is accused of copying from Oracle's Java programming language, Oracle claims in a 9-year-old lawsuit seeking $9 billion in damages. Google, which deployed the code in Android, had won in lower courts but lost an appeal before the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit, which ruled last year for Oracle.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 3-U.S. Supreme Court to hear Google bid to end Oracle copyright suit

    The U.S. Supreme Court on Friday agreed to hear Google's bid to escape Oracle Corp's multi-billion dollar lawsuit accusing Google of infringing software copyrights to build the Android operating system that runs most of the world's smartphones. Google has appealed a lower court ruling reviving the suit in which Oracle has sought at least $8 billion in damages. A jury cleared Google in 2016, but the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit in Washington overturned that decision in 2018, finding that Google's inclusion of Oracle's software code in Android did not constitute a fair use under U.S. copyright law.

  • Reuters

    UPDATE 2-Alphabet features self-driving garbage cans, apartment noise monitors in Toronto smart city project

    Alphabet's Sidewalk Labs has provided more details on the technology it intends to use to develop a futuristic smart city in Toronto, which includes self-driving garbage cans and infra-red sensors to track foot traffic in stores, a document released by the company on Friday said. Waterfront Toronto, the agency in charge of developing the waterfront area of Canada's biggest city, gave a tentative approval to the project two weeks ago after Sidewalk agreed to walk back many of its original proposals, including putting all data collected into an Urban Data Trust, which critics said would not be subject to adequate oversight. The 12-acre project, close to Toronto's central business district, would feature adaptive street design and responsive sounds to help blind people find their way around, the document showed.

  • If Not for Spectacles 3, SNAP Stock Would Be Sitting Pretty

    If Not for Spectacles 3, SNAP Stock Would Be Sitting Pretty

    Snap (NYSE:SNAP) announced third-quarter results Oct. 22 that were reasonably strong. In the three weeks since, though, SNAP stock has mostly tread water.Source: Christopher Penler / If not for Spectacles 3, Snapchat stock would be sitting pretty. Let me explain.Snapchat's Spectacles 3 augmented reality glasses went on sale on Nov. 12 at $380 a pop. When they did, even tech-friendly sites such as Techcrunch questioned the sanity of such a purchase.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips"Spectacles 3 are too expensive to be a toy, but don't excel at being much more," Techcrunch's Josh Constine wrote. "Videography influencers might enjoy having a pair in their tool bag, but it's hard to imagine anyone not sharing content professionally paying for the gadget."Even CEO Evan Spiegel doesn't foresee augmented reality glasses being adopted en masse by consumers for at least a decade. * 7 Silver and Gold Stocks to Buy That Offer Contrarian Upside So, why bother? Why not just keep perfecting prototypes that remain under lock and key until that day arrives?Six letters that spell V-A-N-I-T-Y.In August, I addressed the subject of Spectacles 3. "Until it's generating positive free cash flow, investors ought to be suspicious of vanity projects such as this one. They're a waste of time, resources and focus," I wrote. "While I still believe Snap stock could still hit $20 in 2019, the company's insistence on maintaining the Spectacles business portends a potential correction in 2020."As I reminded readers, Spectacles 3 is a project for a company of Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) size and profitability. It can afford to blow a few hundred million on something like a pair of AR glasses. Snap, most definitely, cannot. Setting the Table for 2020There's no question a 163% return year to date through Nov. 14 is an excellent showing. As I write this, the SNAP stock price is within $2.50 of its March 2017 IPO pricing. In July, it actually pushed through its $17 IPO price, only to lose most of its momentum come the fall.With just six weeks left on the calendar for 2019, I doubt it can rally to $20, something I pondered earlier in the year, suggesting it was "one of the more intriguing low-priced bets available in today's market."In early October, I discussed some of the reasons that Morgan Stanley analysts liked Snapchat stock. At the time, the average target price amongst analysts covering SNAP stock was $17.62. Five weeks later, the target price has inched up 39 cents to $18.01. More importantly, the number of "buy" ratings has grown to 15 from 12 with no sell recommendations, just one at "underperform" and 23 sitting on the fence with a "hold" rating. One of Morgan Stanley's arguments for SNAP stock is the fact that the bank's analysis has continued to underestimate the job Spiegel and company have done delivering financial and operational discipline, the kind that demonstrates it has a pathway to profitability. That pathway is by continuing to chip away at the number of daily active users (DAUs) it has at the end of each quarter. As Snap said in its Q3 2019 report, the social media platform's DAUs were 210 million at the end of September, seven million higher than in the second quarter, and 24 million higher than in the same quarter a year earlier.That's sequential and year-over-year growth of 3.4% and 12.9%, respectively. Not bad for a company that was on the ropes in 2018. The Bottom Line on SNAP StockFor Snapchat stock to get to $20, in addition to adding DAUs each quarter, it's got to convince more investors that it's stopped the bleeding and turned a corner.While I wouldn't say it's there just yet (it still lost $244.5 million on an adjusted EBITDA basis through the first nine months of the year, a 53% decline) the company has made a lot of progress.In fact, for all the disappointment about revenue guidance for the fourth quarter, it's hard to ignore that Snap could make money in the final quarter of the year.Even though Snap lost momentum in 2018, I sense Evan Spiegel has figured out how to get more out of the business in terms of sales without spending more to get those sales. It's critical it continues on this path if it wants to get to $20. I expect SNAP to head into 2020 with some momentum behind it. I just wish it would get rid of the glasses.At the time of this writing Will Ashworth did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Silver and Gold Stocks to Buy That Offer Contrarian Upside * 7 Earnings Reports to Watch Next Week * 5 Online Retail Stocks to Buy on the Dip The post If Not for Spectacles 3, SNAP Stock Would Be Sitting Pretty appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • Factbox: How social media sites handle political ads

    Factbox: How social media sites handle political ads

    In the United States, the Communications Act prevents broadcast stations from rejecting or censoring ads from candidates for federal office once they have accepted advertising for that political race, although this does not apply to cable networks like CNN, or to social media sites, where leading presidential candidates are spending millions to target voters in the run-up to the November 2020 election. Facebook exempts politicians from its third-party fact-checking program, allowing them to run ads with false claims.

  • User Growth Is the Biggest Catalyst for Apple Stock

    User Growth Is the Biggest Catalyst for Apple Stock

    This time last year the investment community fretted over Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) offering less transparency in its business. People worried it would make Apple stock less attractive.Source: Shutterstock As you'll recall, Apple stopped reporting unit sales of its iPhones, suggesting instead that investors turn its focus on its services business.Today, AAPL stock is at all-time highs and enjoys a market capitalization that is over $1 trillion. What is there to like with Apple stock and at yearly highs, what should investors do?InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsOn Oct. 30, Apple reported Q4 GAAP EPS of $3.03. Revenue grew just 1.8% to $64.04 billion. Markets cheered on the strong profits by sending the stock higher. Unit sales are of little interest to investors now. So, after Apple launched the iPhone 11, lower unit sales will not matter much.Even if that happens, investors are not pricing in that risk. The iPhone 11 and iPhone 11 Pro models are sure to reverse the 9% decline over last year. This is still an improvement over the 15% decline Apple saw across the first three quarters. Positive reviews, customer feedback, and in-store responses for the latest iPhone suggest device revenue will grow. * 7 Silver and Gold Stocks to Buy That Offer Contrarian Upside In the September quarter, iPhone revenue was 33%. Looking ahead, the iPhone 11's powerful A13 chip, a dual camera, and longer battery life should drive sales higher in the coming quarter. iPhone 11 Pro and Pro Max have a triple camera system and better night mode photography. Such advanced features will compel Apple's biggest fans to upgrade. Strong Services GrowthApple's "Services" revenue grew 18% Y/Y to $12.5 billion. Strong performance from App Store, AppleCare, Music, and cloud services lifted results. Apple is on track to double its service revenue sometime next year.In the transactions business, Apple Pay topped 3 billion transactions. Looking ahead, Apple Card is a promising new endeavour. The card launched in August and is in the early phases.The current quarter will include results from its Apple TV+, which Apple launched in over 100 countries and regions. Its all-original video subscription service faces a tough market.Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) is the incumbent to beat. AT&T (NYSE:T) will try to gain market share with HBO Max. And Disney+ (NYSE:DIS) charges just a token amount of $6.99 a month, or $69.99 a year ($5.83 a month). Growth from Apple TV+Consumers have plenty of choices. If it picks Apple TV+, then expect Apple stock enjoying a P/E multiples expansion. That implies Apple stock could trade to the $300 range in the future.So, if Apple's EPS next year is around $15 next year, its forward P/E would expand from 17.5 times to 20 times. That is still a conservative multiple. For instance, it compares favourably to Roku (NASDAQ:ROKU), which is not yet profitable on a GAAP EPS measure.In addition, Sony Corporation (NYSE:SNE) is valued at ~15 times forward earnings but EPS will grow at 9%. Conversely, Apple's earnings could grow in the low teens, driven by its services unit expanding. Growth from WearablesGoogle's (NASDAQ:GOOG) $2.1 billion acquisition of Fitbit (NYSE:FIT) validates the importance of Apple Watch. Apple reported revenue of $6.5 billion in the third quarter from the Wearables, Home and Accessories division.Fitbit health data and the smartwatch may give Google valuable insight into customers. And for Apple, Watch is becoming an integrated offering for Apple customers. Watch Series 5 now has Always-On Retina display.New location features help users with navigation. And international emergency calling services is now possible directly from the Apple Watch. This is supported in over 150 countries. Your Takeaway on Apple StockApple is a consumer electronics giant whose product line-up keeps trending favorably. Competitors in the Android space will keep trying to take Apple's market share. Yet Apple has a loyal user base who will get more services available on the platform.Disclosure: As of this writing, the author did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Silver and Gold Stocks to Buy That Offer Contrarian Upside * 7 Earnings Reports to Watch Next Week * 5 Online Retail Stocks to Buy on the Dip The post User Growth Is the Biggest Catalyst for Apple Stock appeared first on InvestorPlace.

  • States’ Google Antitrust Probe Will Dig Into Search, Android Too

    States’ Google Antitrust Probe Will Dig Into Search, Android Too

    (Bloomberg) -- The multi-state antitrust investigation into Google will dig into its operations in search and mobile software, going beyond an initial focus on the company’s advertising business, according to two people familiar with the probe.States including Iowa and North Carolina will take the helm to scrutinize Google’s search and Android operations, one of the people said. Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton will continue to lead the investigation into Google’s advertising business.State officials met Monday in Denver, where they divided the work, according to the people familiar with the investigation, who asked not to be identified so they could discuss the law enforcement information. They also heard from experts who presented a range of concerns about the company, said a third person familiar with the talks.A coalition of 48 state attorneys general opened a probe into Alphabet Inc.’s Google in September. Google is also the subject of a competition investigation by the Justice Department.CNBC reported earlier on the enforcers’ interests.Spokesmen for Google and Iowa Attorney General Tom Miller declined to comment. A representative for North Carolina Attorney General Josh Stein and a spokeswoman for Paxton didn’t respond to requests for comment. Paxton’s office referred CNBC to comments it issued in October that said the states’ probe was focusing on ads, but that it would let facts uncovered during the course of the investigation lead the way.Google dominates web search in the U.S., and rivals have complained that the company has prioritized its own services, such as travel and restaurant reviews, in results. Google’s Android operating system runs on a majority of the world’s smartphones. While the software is free, handset makers have to install Google apps like Gmail and YouTube as part of business agreements. Rivals have complained about those deals, too.The European Union has fined Google on three separate competition cases involving the company’s practices in Android, advertising and shopping results in search.\--With assistance from David McLaughlin.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at btenerellabr@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at, Molly Schuetz, Sara FordenFor more articles like this, please visit us at©2019 Bloomberg L.P.


    Google Is Facing More Legal Scrutiny. Investors Don’t Seem Worried.

    The stock of Google parent company Alphabet are up almost 28% since the Wall Street Journal reported in June that the Justice Department was preparing an antitrust investigation of Google.

  • With Bilibili Stock Stuck in Neutral, Study Now and Buy Later

    With Bilibili Stock Stuck in Neutral, Study Now and Buy Later

    Third-quarter earnings for Bilibili (NASDAQ:BILI) stock will come out on Monday, Nov. 18, after the market close. The Chinese social media company launched its IPO in the spring of 2018. However, it remains mostly unknown to Americans.Source: rafapress / Still, with robust revenue growth and a large user base, Bilibili has become a name that China-focused investors should begin to watch.Consensus profit estimates point to a loss of 14 cents per share for the company's third quarter. This would come in 3 cents per share lower than the same quarter last year when BILI earnings came in at a loss of 11 cents per share.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading TipsWall Street also predicts revenues for the quarter of $248.8 million. If this holds, it will represent a 65.2% increase from year-ago levels when the company brought in $150.3 million. What Is Bilibili?However, before commenting on the financial performance, most American investors need an explanation of BILI stock itself. Bilibili is a Chinese social media company that operates as a mix of Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) YouTube and Twitter (NYSE:TWTR). Its teen demographic also resembles that of Snap (NYSE:SNAP). Users can upload videos and add subtitles that resemble tweets. * 7 Silver and Gold Stocks to Buy That Offer Contrarian Upside The Bilibili site also offers mobile gaming. Hence, one can consider it a direct peer to Zynga (NASDAQ:ZNGA) or Glu Mobile (NASDAQ:GLUU), or, in its home country, Tencent (OTCMKTS:TCEHY). Its first quarter saw the company top 100 million monthly users for the first time.The difficulty investors will have going into earnings is whether to buy beforehand. Honestly, this decision looks like a coin toss.With the company not expected to turn a profit until 2021, investors only have revenues to evaluate the stock. Revenue growth is robust, with the amount of money brought in expected to increase by 51.6% this year and 47.2% in fiscal 2020. Also, its price-to-sales ratio stands at about 6.8. This is well above S&P 500 averages but significantly below other newly minted growth stocks.Looking at the charts, it rose in October before plateauing this month. At a BILI stock price of just over $16 per share, it trades roughly at the halfway point between its 52-week lows and highs. Keep China-Related Factors in MindThat said, investors should keep in mind two China-related factors. As most of you know, it's harder to invest in Chinese companies directly. Consequently, BILI stock is in a Cayman Islands-based holding company representing Bilibili. Hence, the market will discount it somewhat for this reason.The other China factor hinges on the trade war. Granted, BILI stock has no direct relationship to the U.S. Nonetheless, traders have a history of buying and selling other Chinese peers based on the trade war, so these U.S.-China negotiations will likely affect Bilibili stock good or bad.So, when will BILI stock become a buy? Since the decision to buy now looks like a tossup, I would wait until after earnings. However, if the report leads to a significant pullback, I see Bilibili stock as a buy on any dip. Moreover, if it rockets higher and can sustain itself above the $21.50 per share high, it could keep moving higher.Still, with the stock showing few price changes, and the fundamentals not pointing in any direction, BILI stock could go either way at current levels. The Bottom Line on BILI StockInvestors need to put BILI stock on their watch lists. However, with the stock not offering any clear direction, investors should wait until after the report to buy. Wall Street forecasts the company will post higher losses on more revenue growth. Still, longer term, analysts expect that growth to take Bilibili into profitability by 2021.For now, BILI stock posts no short-term signals to either buy or sell. It supports a P/S ratio that seems neither high nor low for a new growth equity. Moreover, it trades in the middle of its yearly range.The earnings report could make it a buy, but investors should wait until after the company's announcement to make a move. I expect BILI stock to become a long-term winner. However, as this is a new equity to most Americans, traders should focus on learning now and buying later.As of this writing, Will Healy did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned stocks. You can follow Will on Twitter at @HealyWriting. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Silver and Gold Stocks to Buy That Offer Contrarian Upside * 7 Earnings Reports to Watch Next Week * 5 Online Retail Stocks to Buy on the Dip The post With Bilibili Stock Stuck in Neutral, Study Now and Buy Later appeared first on InvestorPlace.


    TCI Fund Bulks Up on Alphabet in 3rd Quarter

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