|Day's Range||202.13 - 202.13|
Alphabet is pledging not to sell any data that it collects as part of its proposal for neighborhoods in Toronto. Yahoo Finance's Dan Roberts, Melody Hahm and Myles Udland speak to Jeff Lagerquist.
Streaming services are driving growth in the music industry as questions persist about whether artists and songwriters are getting their fair share of the pie.
The groups behind a push to get the U.S. Federal Trade Commission to investigate YouTube's alleged violation of children's privacy law, COPPA, have today submitted a new letter to the FTC that lays out the appropriate sanctions the groups want the FTC to now take. The letter comes shortly after news broke that the FTC was in the final stages of its probe into YouTube's business practices regarding this matter. The groups' formal complaint with the FTC was filed back in April 2018. The coalition, which then included 20 child advocacy, consumer and privacy groups, had claimed YouTube doesn't get parental consent before collecting the data from children under the age of 13 -- as is required by the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, also known as COPPA.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump complained again about supposed bias against conservatives at social media companies and said the U.S. government should sue Google and Facebook Inc. for unspecified wrongdoing.Trump complained in an interview with Fox Business Network on Wednesday that social media companies are run by Democrats and that Twitter has somehow made it difficult for people to follow his @realDonaldTrump account, from which he tweets prolifically.“What they did to me on Twitter is incredible,” Trump said in the interview with Fox’s Maria Bartiromo. “You know I have millions and millions of followers but I will tell you they make it very hard for people to join me at Twitter and then make it very much harder for me to get out the message.”Twitter said that followers of high-profile accounts may have been deleted as part of an effort to remove fake, abusive and malicious accounts.For More: Trump Accuses Twitter of Political Bias in Culling His FollowersThe White House said Wednesday it’s planning a Social Media Summit July 11 to “bring together digital leaders for a robust conversation on the opportunities and challenges of today’s online environment.”Trump also complained about the European Union targeting U.S. technology companies in the interview. EU Competition Commissioner Margrethe Vestager has fined Google billions of dollars for antitrust violations and has opened an early-stage probe into Amazon.com Inc.‘s potential use of data on smaller rivals’ sales.“You know, look, we should be suing Google and Facebook and all that, which perhaps we will, okay,” Trump said. “They’re suing everybody, they make it almost impossible to do business.”Trump didn’t say what he thinks the U.S. should sue the companies for.Alphabet Inc.‘s Google, Facebook and Twitter shares dipped on the news before recovering and were little changed in early trading.Representatives for Google and Facebook didn’t comment.Social media companies have sought to more aggressively police their sites for what they consider hate speech and fraudulent accounts, but say they have no policies targeting conservatives.Trump’s threat comes after Project Veritas, a conservative organization known for deceptively edited hidden-camera videos, released footage this week allegedly depicting a Google employee saying the company wants to prevent Trump’s re-election.In a blog post, the woman from the video said the notion Google is trying to sway the election “is absolute, unadulterated nonsense.”She said she was explaining that her former team at the company “is working to help prevent the types of online foreign interference that happened in 2016.”House HearingAll three companies were scheduled to testify before a House committee Wednesday on efforts to combat terrorist content and misinformation.Representative Mike Rogers, the top Republican on the House Homeland Security Committee holding the hearing said he had “serious questions” about Google’s ability to be fair given the Project Veritas video.“This report, and others like it, are a stark reminder of why the founders created the First Amendment,” Rogers said in his opening statement. “We are in trouble” if the views in the video represented Google company policy.Google’s global director of information policy testified Wednesday that no single employee could skew search results based on her political beliefs.“We are in the trust business,” the executive, Derek Slater, told Rogers. “We have a long-term incentive to get that right.”Big technology companies are coming under heightened scrutiny in Washington from the government and Congress. Trump’s Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have taken the first steps toward investigating four big platforms for antitrust violations by splitting jurisdiction over them. The Justice Department has taken responsibility for Google and Apple Inc., while the FTC will oversee Facebook and Amazon.The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, led by Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline, has launched a broad investigation into the nation’s biggest technology companies starting with a focus on how companies like Google and Facebook have impacted the news industry.For more: House Panel Kicks Off Antitrust Probe With Focus on News MediaSeparately, state attorneys general, including Nebraska’s Doug Peterson and Louisiana’s Jeff Landry -- both Republicans -- are advancing a broad inquiry into whether the biggest U.S. technology platforms are violating antitrust and consumer protection statutes.(Updates with White House plans to hold social media summit in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from David McLaughlin.To contact the reporters on this story: Alyza Sebenius in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Alex Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org, Sara FordenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
U.S. President Donald Trump on Wednesday suggested the European Union was out of line in suing U.S. technology companies like Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google, saying legal action against those firms should be the purview of the United States. "She hates the United States perhaps worse than any person I've ever met," Trump said in an interview with Fox Business Network in an apparent reference to EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.
Back in early 2016, there were talks of Microsoft buying Slack (WORK) out for $8 billion. However, the deal was shelved in favor of building Skype for business. Fast forward three years and Slack was valued $22 billion on its public debut.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- I was in San Francisco last week, and most of my conversations eventually turned to the same topic: Could some other region supplant the Bay Area as America’s tech hub? San Francisco, after all, has sky-high rents and taxes — not to mention dirty streets, unpleasant strip clubs and numerous homeless. The towns of Silicon Valley are more livable than San Francisco (though rents are still high), but they are dull and not ideal for attracting highly educated young singles.I have a nomination for a potential rival for America’s main tech hub: Los Angeles. Increasingly, I am beginning to wonder whether the Bay Area’s position is truly secure.First, consider the virtues of the Los Angeles area. It has splendid weather — warmer and sunnier than San Francisco — and a deep pool of talent. It is America’s second-largest city, with many nice neighborhoods to choose from (some of them, to the east, even affordable). It even has a subway, albeit an underdeveloped one. I would argue it has much better food, and of course a much larger and more diverse entertainment scene. You might reasonably conclude that top talent might prefer to live in or near Los Angeles rather than the Bay Area.Southern California already has produced some important startups, including Snap, SpaceX and Tinder. No, they haven’t come close to the impact of Google or Facebook, but they show that a tech scene can develop. Caltech, USC and UCLA are not the equal of Stanford, but still they provide a powerful talent base, and Stanford remains not so far away.How could L.A.’s tech scene develop even further? Imagine that virtual reality is the “next big thing” and the gamification of just about everything, including education, proceeds apace. For the next generation of startups, that might throw the balance of power in the direction of expertise in entertainment and design — a sense of the theatrical, in other words, intermediated through tech. That could favor the culture of Los Angeles and Hollywood. Southern California also has a strong background in aerospace and military contracting, two areas that could produce a spillover effect for the next tech booms, especially if they involve transportation. The region also remains the leading U.S. manufacturing center, and that too could be a source of future synergies.Of course, it is unlikely that Google, Facebook or Apple would leave the Bay Area. But over some time horizon they will take on less relative importance. They may become legacy companies that cease to innovate, or they may face legal and regulatory pressures and penalties. That would open up room for Southern California to be the leader for the next generation of tech companies.One huge advantage for Southern California, compared to say New York City or Austin, Texas, is simply that it is so close to Northern California. If you want to set up meetings with Silicon Valley titans, or lure talent to move, the Los Angeles area is a pretty good base of operations in terms of proximity and ease of access.Northern California had an original advantage over Southern California as a center of free thinking and thus as a tech hub. Think back to Haight-Ashbury, the 1960s, Beatniks, LSD and the Whole Earth Catalog, the psychedelic movement, the bohemian and gay cultures of San Francisco. All of that bred an atmosphere of rebellion, and it helped birth the personal computer and a large movement of non-conformist hippie programmers, often working out of their proverbial garages.But those cultural roots have largely faded, and if anything today San Francisco and the Bay Area are better known for political correctness and a conformist culture of scolding and groupthink. That can’t be good for the region’s long-term creativity.Traffic is a big problem for Los Angeles, but the same goes for San Francisco, where it seems to get worse each year. And an underrated benefit of Southern California is that travel is usually more predictable (if slower) on the surface roads than on the freeway. At any rate, some of L.A.’s tech companies are already clustering between LAX and Santa Monica, for (relatively) easy access to each other. You can imagine other companies moving further south or further east to enjoy different intellectual micro-climates, and perhaps for more space and cheaper rents.Oh, and did I mention that Peter Thiel moved his operations to the Los Angeles area last year? Thiel, the venture capitalist who was one of the founders of Paypal, helped to discover and mobilize Mark Zuckerberg, Reid Hofmann and Elon Musk. He was also one of the first major business leaders to recognize the importance of Donald Trump.I’m not yet sold on the idea of Los Angeles displacing the Bay Area. But I’m seeing more signs pointing in that direction.To contact the author of this story: Tyler Cowen at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis 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 bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Shares of Slack Technologies Inc. are up 2.4% in premarket trading Wednesday after Baird analyst William Power initiated coverage of the stock with an outperform rating and $44 target. "With penetration early, we are positive on the strong growth and competitive position," he wrote. "Valuation is rich relative to the SaaS group, though we believe the disruptive competitive position and long-term margin and free-cash-flow opportunity stand out relative to the group." Power is upbeat about the steps Slack has taken to integrate other popular applications into its platform. These include offerings from Salesforce.com Inc. , Microsoft Corp. , and Alphabet Inc.'s Google . Slack's premarket gains come as S&P 500 futures are up 0.4%.
KG Funds Management is an event-driven hedge fund established in December 2008, with its headquarters in New York. The fund was co-founded by Ike Kier, the current CEO, and Ilya Zaides, its present CIO and Portfolio Manager. Ilya Zaides holds a bachelor’s degree in Economics from Berkeley University of California, and J.D. from New York […]
(Bloomberg) -- Micron Technology Inc., the largest U.S. maker of computer memory chips, said it resumed some shipments to China’s Huawei Technologies Co., appearing to find a way around an export ban that threatens growth for the semiconductor industry.Micron, which explained the decision Tuesday as it reported earnings, studied the export restrictions and determined “a subset” of products it sells to Huawei are not subject to the rules, Chief Executive Officer Sanjay Mehrotra said on a conference call. That sent stock surging as much as 11% in extended trading.Micron was forced to halt shipments to one of its largest customers after the Trump administration banned Huawei from buying American technology. Micron makes chips used as the main memory in computers and as storage in mobile devices. Sales to the Chinese telecommunications company generate about 13% of Micron’s annual revenue, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.“We began those shipments in the last two weeks,” Mehrotra said. The company completed its own review of the various and complex restrictions on supplying the Chinese company and made its own decision, he said, without providing further specifics.Micron’s announcement helped other chip shares gain. The Boise, Idaho-based company’s stock had been among the most hardest hit this year by concern that a trade war between would cut U.S. companies off from their largest market, China. Mehrotra also said there are signs that demand is increasing as his customers work through their stockpiles of unused parts.Micron may be the first company to go public about continuing some level of business with Huawei after looking closely at the rules, according to Cross Research analyst Steven Fox. Even when companies have headquarters in the U.S., they may be able, through ownership of overseas subsidiaries and operations, to classify their technology as foreign, he said.“It’s one of those things that’s very hard to calculate,” Fox said. “There’s a partial amount of shipments that you should think about, not just with Micron, but with other companies in the supply chain too, as continuing.”Micron and others may be taking advantage of a loophole, according to Kevin Cassidy, an analyst at Stifel Nicolaus & Co. If less than 25% of the technology in a chip originates in the U.S., then it’s not covered by the ban, he said. That could lead to the transfer of patents to overseas entities, something the U.S. government would oppose, he said.Cassidy said he’s concerned that President Donald Trump’s administration might see the resumption of shipments to Huawei as undermining its goal of putting pressure on the Chinese in trade negotiations and take other actions.The U.S. Senate Foreign Relations Committee passed a resolution Tuesday designating Huawei and fellow Chinese equipment maker ZTE Corp. as threats to national security.Mehrotra has been telling investors that a much broader set of customers will help insulate the industry from the brutal downturns that have wiped out profitability in the past. He said that data-center owners, such as Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc.’s AWS, who had cut orders as they worked through stockpiles of unused components, are now starting to order again.Earlier, Micron Chief Financial Officer David Zinsner said the company’s revenue will be $4.5 billion, plus or minus $200 million, in the period ending in August. Analysts, on average, projected $4.56 billion. Micron reported sales fell 39% to $4.79 billion in the fiscal third quarter, topping analysts’ estimates of $4.68 billion.Profit, excluding certain items, was $1.05 a share in the period ended May 30. Analysts, on average, estimated 78 cents a share. The company projected adjusted profit of 45 cents a share, plus or minus 7 cents, in the current quarter. Analysts estimated 63 cents a share.Last quarter, the company said it would idle 5% of production for DRAM and NAND memory chips because of weaker demand and reduce its planned capital expenses in the fiscal year to about $9 billion. Micron said Tuesday it intends to “meaningfully” reduce its spending on new plants and equipment in its fiscal year 2020, in order to align increases in supply with demand levels.(Updates with comments from analyst in the sixth paragraph.)To contact the reporter on this story: Ian King in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew Pollack, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
What Is a Blue Chip Stock? Blue Chip stocks, legend has it, are called that because the 'blue chips' held the highest value in games of poker. There is no definitive list of 'Blue Chip' stocks, though the genius of Charles Henry Dow and Edward Jones, who together formed Dow Jones & Co., which created the Dow Jones Industrial Average, has been considered the most reliable.
Needham's first-hand checks included conversations with 22 SPs currently on the HomeAdvisor platform along with 11 others who left the platform over the past year, Erickson wrote in a note. Churn was higher compared to prior conversations which may be related to SPs having a more favorable opinion or increased spend on Google.
As media reports keep arriving about the DOJ's antitrust probe of Alphabet/Google, it looks more and more as if Google's search content practices and strategy will get some attention from regulators. If this part of the DOJ's probe results in major changes to what content Google shows within search results, it might have only a moderate, direct impact on Google's search ad business, which is believed to remain by far Google's biggest profit source. The larger risk, though, could be the potential for such changes to affect how frequently consumers turn to Google Search to get the information and content that they're looking for -- particularly on smartphones.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- How can investors use inexpensive index strategies yet still generate returns that outperform the markets? The solution to that particular challenge is the combination of fundamental and factor investing, according to Chris Brightman, chief investment officer and partner at Research Affiliates LL, and this week's guest on Masters in Business.Brightman notes that so-called smart beta allows for simple, transparent and inexpensive index strategies that are not market-cap weighted. He calls this a “simple, elegant way to pursue a contrarian approach” that is more akin to cap-weighted indexes than expensive active stock selection. It also has the benefit of keeping emotions out of the process of selecting and rebalancing individual equites. Bad behavior leads to an average annual underperformance of 200 basis points versus the broad indexes. By using a systematic approach to indexing, investors avoid this performance penalty. In our conversation, we discuss the lagging performance of value stocks, and why they tend to be so cyclical. Every long-term study that looked at the value-versus-growth question historically has confirmed value eventually will outperform growth around the world. The issue is that long time line, which eventually leads investors to becoming bored and shift away from value. Brightman adds that value’s outperformance comes from some assumption of additional risk, as well as investor’s behavior.Brightman was a member of the Investment Fund for Foundations, the Virginia Retirement System, the University of Virginia Investment Management Company, and Strategic Investment Group. Previously, Brightman managed money for the University of Virginia endowment.His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite hosts can be found here.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He founded Ritholtz Wealth Management and was chief executive and director of equity research at FusionIQ, a quantitative research firm. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Federal Trade Commission should force Alphabet Inc.’s Google to delete any personal information it has collected on minors as the agency probes the company’s data collection practices with regards to kids, according to Senator Ed Markey.Markey, a Massachusetts Democrat, said Tuesday in a statement that the FTC should require Google’s YouTube video platform to put in place new privacy policies in any settlement agreement the agency reaches with the company.The FTC is probing whether the world’s largest video site broke the Children’s Online Privacy Protection Act, which makes it illegal to collect information on minors and disclose it to others without parental permission, Bloomberg reported.Markey, who was a key force behind the passage of COPPA, said the FTC should make Google delete all data collected from children under 13, start a campaign to warn parents about minors’ use of YouTube and create ways to identify users under 13. He also said Google should be prohibited from launching any new service targeted at children until it has been approved by an independent panel of experts.“Companies of all types have strong business incentives to gather and monetize information about children,” Markey said. “Personal information about a child can be leveraged to hook consumers for years to come, so it is incumbent upon the FTC to enforce federal law and act as a check against the ever increasing appetite for children’s data.”YouTube is considering more changes to how it handles content for kids, according to the Bloomberg report. The company is mulling moving all videos for children to its separate YouTube Kids app, the Wall Street Journal reported. Such a drastic change is unlikely, a person familiar with the deliberations told Bloomberg.\--With assistance from Ben Brody.To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elizabeth WassermanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Google sibling company Sidewalk Labs has revealed its master plan for the controversial Quayside waterfront development—and it’s a lot bigger.
(Bloomberg) -- Genies Inc. is one of those tech startups that looks to athletes and celebrities for some additional endorsement buzz. But what makes this company different is that it also wants their money. Genies offers superstars a chance to get in on the ground floor of something that might make them richer than they already are. At least, that’s the plan.First, let’s explain what Genies is. It’s a mobile app, which rolls out Monday, that allows you to build a three-dimensional cartoon version of yourself—one that looks and acts like you. So when you message friends, a mini-you mimics what you say. Among the Los Angeles-based company’s boosters is 21-year-old YouTube star Jake Paul, who once said he hopes to become social media’s first billionaire. “I see myself being capable of becoming a young Ashton Kutcher,” he said in an interview. “He used his celebrity to get into these deals. I was looking at him and I was, like, ‘Wait, I can do the same thing.’”Paul said he has more than $1 million invested in 15 companies, including $50,000 in Genies. “I don’t use social media a lot; I’m not your typical 21-year-old in that way,” he said, adding that he doesn’t even have a Bitmoji, the original personalized cartoon avatar. Last year, Bitmoji was the most downloaded iOS application worldwide, followed by Snapchat, which bought Bitmoji's parent company, Bitstrips Inc., in 2016 for $100 million.Nevertheless, Paul said he’s excited about Genies’s prospects. “With tech, you never know,” Paul said. “With Genies, I’m invested in Akash more so as the leader.”Akash Nigam is the 26-year-old behind the startup. Genies are much more than just goofy, cute cartoons, he said in an interview. “The next wave of [communication] in this age of internet is through avatars—a digital identity, an extension of you,” he explained. “We want Genies to represent your digital identity.”If you had asked Nigam two months ago how Genies would make money, he said, he wouldn’t have had an answer. Since then, the phone hasn’t stopped ringing. Companies started calling, asking if they could integrate Genies into their apps and websites. Now, he’s already raised $25 million in its two funding rounds.“We were just looking at it as exposure, but then they offered to pay,” Nigam said. The company has since sold millions of dollars’ worth of its software development kits, which integrate Genies into other platforms. Genies has already established brand partnerships, including one with Gucci. People can dress their Genies in Gucci clothing and, if they like the product, buy it via the Genies app. “It’s a great way to digitize the fashion world,” Nigam said. “We’re the only avatar of this caliber that can integrate into third-party services.” Why did Genies go from not to hot so fast? The involvement of sports stars and celebrities may have had something to do with it. They include professional basketball stars such as Russell Westbrook of the Oklahoma Thunder and Kyrie Irving of the Boston Celtics, pop-star Shawn Mendes, rapper 50 Cent, and professional football players Dez Bryant of the New Orleans Saints and Ndamukong Suh of the Los Angeles Rams.Suh is one of the highest-paid defensive players in the National Football League—and an avid investor.“Any free time that I can get, I’m talking to my advisers," Suh said in a telephone interview. “Anytime I have an opportunity, whether it’s in between meetings or during meeting breaks or on my drive home, I take the time to get on calls and make it useful.”The football star, who said he learned investment strategy from Warren Buffett, put $100,000 into Genies last year and said he plans to put in more. Like Paul, Suh was won over by Akash’s enthusiasm—and he really likes his avatar.“I think it’s spot-on to what I look like, especially from the sideburns perspective,” Suh said. But he’s also confident that Genies will make money; otherwise, he said he wouldn’t have invested.“Cash flow is king,” Suh said. “That’s something Mr. Buffett says all the time.”(Corrects spelling of Warren Buffett’s name in story published Nov. 19.)To contact the author of this story: Sophie Alexander in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: David Rovella at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
A U.S. Senate panel on Tuesday questioned how major social media companies like Facebook Inc and Alphabet Inc's Google unit use algorithms and artificial intelligence to serve up new content to keep users engaged. The Senate Commerce subcommittee on Communications, Technology and Innovation heard from researchers who criticized the use of artificial intelligence to select content for users. Senators said much of that content is conspiracy theories, partisan viewpoints and misleading information on Google's YouTube, Facebook and elsewhere.
Which big tech stocks are looking good in 2019 as they approach new highs, and which ones look like they may be falling behind? Jeff Reeves gives his picks.