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In December, The New York Times reported a popular messaging app called ToTok was actually a spying tool used by the government of the United Arab Emirates to track users' conversations, location and social connections. The app was removed from the Google Play store in December, while Google investigated, then reinstated in early January. Google now confirms the app has again been removed, but this time declined to comment as to why. The site 9to5Google first noticed ToTok had again been pulled from Google Play on Friday.
Top stories covered here include Zuckerberg in Europe, EU stand on industrial data, Google talks with publishers and YouTube dumping the App Store.
(Bloomberg) -- For years, Facebook Inc. lobbied governments against imposing tough regulations, warning in some cases that they could harm the company’s business model. Now, it’s pleading for new rules for the good of its business.In a white paper published Monday, Facebook detailed its push for internet regulation, calling on lawmakers to devise rules around harmful content, a different model for platforms’ legal liability and a “new type of regulator” to oversee enforcement.“If we don’t create standards that people feel are legitimate, they won’t trust institutions or technology,” Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in an op-ed in the Financial Times on Monday. That and the publication of the white paper coincided with a visit to Brussels, home of the European Union institutions that have crafted some of the toughest rules in recent years.Silicon Valley firms have suffered from what’s been dubbed as a “tech lash,” with users frustrated over how web platforms profit from their data. Facebook has borne the brunt of that disenchantment following a series of missteps including privacy breaches and accusations it didn’t do enough to stop election manipulation on its platform. Meanwhile, Facebook’s user growth is stagnating in the U.S. and Canada – its most important markets.“I believe good regulation may hurt Facebook’s business in the near term but it will be better for everyone, including us, over the long term,” Zuckerberg said in the op-ed, echoing comments he made over the weekend at the Munich Security Conference.Read more about Zuckerberg’s visit to Brussels here.In Brussels, Zuckerberg has Monday meetings with EU tech czar Margrethe Vestager and other senior officials as the bloc prepares new legislation in areas including artificial intelligence, gate-keeping tech platforms and liability for users’ posts, all of which could impact Facebook’s business.Zuckerberg has previously called for global regulation covering election integrity, harmful content, privacy and data portability.Political Ads, Harmful ContentIn the op-ed, Zuckerberg said Facebook was hoping for clarity around what constitutes a political ad - especially if paid for a group not directly affiliated with a political party, such as a non-governmental organization. Companies also need clearer lines around data ownership to enable users to move their information between services, he said.In addition, the company would look into opening up its content moderation systems for external audit to help governments design regulation in areas like hate speech, he said.Any new rules should hold internet companies accountable for having certain procedures in place and platforms should meet specific performance targets when it comes to handling content that violates their policies, Facebook said in Monday’s white paper. Rules should also define forms of speech that should be prohibited online, even if they’re not illegal, it said.When it comes to liability for what users post on its platform, Zuckerberg said in a media roundtable in Brussels on Monday that a different regulatory system should be created -- somewhere between newspaper publishers, who can be sued for what journalists write in their pages, and telecommunications companies, who aren’t liable for customer conversations. This legislation may require a new type of regulator that is proficient in data, operations and online content, the company said.European Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a press briefing he had discussed platform regulation, market dominance and liability in a meeting with Zuckerberg this afternoon.Breton took note of Facebook’s use of AI systems to take down more harmful content, but said “if we see that it’s not what we need regarding our own standards, then we will have to regulate.” He also warned the EU could regulate the market dominance of platforms like Facebook’s.Brussels VisitsZuckerberg reiterated that companies shouldn’t be in charge of making decisions that balance competing social values, and said he hopes that new laws will draw cleaner lines to help companies navigate those decisions -- even as regulators in Europe are also investigating Facebook over its compliance with existing privacy and antitrust rules.“People need to feel that global technology platforms answer to someone,” Zuckerberg said in the op-ed, but also stressed that the plea “isn’t about passing off responsibility.” He said that Facebook is continuing to make progress on some of the issues on its own.The Facebook chief’s Brussels visit follows a recent trip by Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai in January who came to discuss regulating artificial intelligence. The EU is expected to unveil planned rules for the technology this week, when it’s also likely to flag proposed liability rules for tech platforms coming later this year.It’s not a coincidence that the chief executives of tech firms like Facebook and Google are making the pitch for regulation in the EU capital. They have seen before that, when the EU sets sweeping laws on tech, like the General Data Protection Regulation, the impact can reverberate far beyond its borders.(Updates with Breton comments in 12th, 13th paragraphs)To contact the reporter on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Amy Thomson, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world threatened by trade wars. Sign up here. China might have data and the U.S. might have money, but Europe has purpose.That’s the message European Union tech czar Margrethe Vestager aims to convey on Wednesday when she unveils plans to help the bloc compete with the U.S. and China’s technological might on its own terms, conforming with fundamental EU rights including strict privacy and non-discrimination rules.On the EU’s menu: new rules for AI, possible legislation for gate-keeping platforms, plans to make data centers carbon-neutral, as well as incentives for businesses to share information with the aim of forming data pools that bolster innovation.Vestager, the European Commission’s executive vice president for digital affairs, is trying to reassure anxious Europeans that she can handle concerns Europe is becoming irrelevant while Asian and American companies dominate high-tech markets.The strategy “will produce and deploy much more artificial intelligence” in Europe, but “it will not be the same” as in the U.S. and China, Vestager said in a press briefing to journalists ahead of the announcement. Based on what she knows about their practices, Chinese AI might not meet European standards, she said.Artificial intelligence has started to penetrate every part of society, from shopping suggestions and voice assistants to decisions around hiring, insurance and law enforcement, provoking concerns about privacy, accuracy, safety and fairness. The EU wants to ensure technology deployed in Europe is transparent and has human oversight, particularly for high-risk cases.In situations where the use of AI could pose risks to people’s safety or their legal or employment status, such as those involving self-driving cars or biometric identification, the EU’s requirements could include implementing conformity checks by public authorities, Vestager said.Facial Recognition RulesAccording to a recent draft of the EU document, companies could have to retrain their systems with European data sets if they can’t guarantee the facial recognition or other risky technology was developed in accordance with European values.Facial recognition has sparked an intense debate in the U.S. and Europe as police departments have started testing the technology. In the U.S., reports that police were using technology from Clearview AI -- a startup that’s scraped billions of photos from social media accounts with the aim of helping law enforcement find suspects without criminal records -- caused a backlash from privacy groups and lawmakers.The same groups are urging legislation to prevent abuses of a technology they say is often inaccurate and could restrict people’s freedom to assemble. Meanwhile, law enforcement officials warn against banning a tool that can make societies safer.With the EU’s AI white paper, Vestager said she wanted to start a debate to determine which circumstances it would be justified to deploy remote facial-recognition technology, warning that without such a debate agencies and companies would steam ahead.“Then it will just be everywhere,” Vestager said. She added that one solution for the EU could be to draw up a European-wide legal framework to govern use of the technology.Valley ViewsFollowing Wednesday’s announcement, the EU will begin a 12-week consultation, inviting the public to submit comments to their AI plans before the commission formally proposes legislation as soon as the end of the year.The EU’s plans have already drawn top executives from Silicon Valley to Brussels, including Alphabet Inc.’s Sundar Pichai, to voice their views on how AI should be regulated.Vestager and other EU officials are due to meet Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, who is capping off a trip to Europe with a visit to Brussels to discuss new regulations for the internet.Tech firms have seen before that when the EU sets sweeping laws on tech, like the General Data Protection Regulation, the impact can sprawl far beyond its borders. The EU’s GDPR has spurred similar legislation in Brazil and forced businesses selling into Europe to revise how they collect, store and process information.”EU regulation in this area is likely to have an effect similar to GDPR. People outside Europe are watching the commission,” said Mark Coeckelbergh, a professor of philosophy of media and technology at the University of Vienna. “This is a chance for the EU to set an example of regulation that supports ethical development of AI.”Other parts of the EU’s digital strategy will also serve to rein in U.S. and Chinese companies, potentially to the benefit of European business.Antitrust RulesVestager is also promising a review of antitrust rules, including potential legislation for “gate-keeping platforms,” that would give the EU the ability to crackdown on big tech. While she has fined Google, investigated Amazon.com Inc. and ordered Apple Inc. to pay a massive back-tax bill, the EU has also been criticized for failing to make real changes to how mostly U.S. tech companies have gained power in digital markets.Meanwhile, China’s rapid success in moving into new business areas, taking a global lead on technology and manufacturing where Europe and the U.S. were once ascendant, has also alarmed both Washington and Brussels. German firms have pushed for more barriers to Chinese takeovers and for looser antitrust rules that hinder consolidation between rivals, measures Vestager said she would examine.While EU officials have come to terms with the fact the next Facebook or Google probably won’t come from Europe, they are optimistic about local innovation in robotics, machinery, payments and other business-to-business companies.Plans to encourage data sharing among businesses and with governments -- also to be announced Wednesday --could further boost these firms’ leadership positions. That scheme is also designed to advance the bloc’s AI ambitions by pooling large sets of high-quality industrial data.“We are what we eat and that also goes for artificial intelligence,” Vestager said. “If you eat crappy stuff, well you’re not likely to be a fit for purpose algorithm either.”(Updates with Zuckerberg’s trip to Brussels in 15th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.org;Aoife White in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Amy ThomsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- How often do you see a piece of economic or financial information revised upward by 45%? And how reliable would you regard a data set that’s subject to such adjustments?This is the problem confronting epidemiologists trying to make sense of the novel coronavirus spreading from China’s Hubei province. On Thursday, the tally there surged by 45% — or 14,480 cases. The revision was largely due to health authorities adding patients diagnosed on the basis of lung scans to a previous count, which was mostly limited to those whose swab tests came back positive.The medical data emerging from hospitals and clinics around the world are invaluable in determining how this outbreak will evolve — but the picture painted by the information is changing almost as fast as the disease itself, and isn’t always of impeccable provenance. Just as novel infections exploit weaknesses in the body’s immune defenses, epidemics have an unnerving habit of spotting the vulnerabilities of the data-driven society we’ve built for ourselves.That’s not a comforting thought. We live in an era where everything seems quantifiable, from our daily movements to our internet search habits and even our heartbeats. At a time when people are scared and seeking certainty, it’s alarming that the knowledge we have on this most important issue is at best an approximate guide to what’s happening.“It’s so easy these days to capture data on anything, but to make meaning of it is not easy at all,” said John Carlin, a professor at the University of Melbourne specializing in medical statistics and epidemiology. “There’s genuinely a lot of uncertainty, but that’s not what people want to know. They want to know it’s under control.”That’s most visible in the contradictory information we’re seeing around how many people have been infected, and what share of them have died. While those figures are essential for getting a handle on the situation, as we’ve argued, they’re subject to errors in sampling and measurement that are compounded in high-pressure, strained circumstances. The physical capacity to do timely testing and diagnosis can’t be taken for granted either, as my colleague Max Nisen has written.Early case fatality rates for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome were often 40% or higher before settling down to figures in the region of 15% or less. The age of patients, whether they get sick in the community or in a hospital, and doctors’ capacity and experience in offering treatment can all affect those numbers dramatically.Even the way that coronavirus cases are defined and counted has changed several times, said Professor Raina MacIntyre, head of the University of New South Wales’s Biosecurity Research Program: From “pneumonia of unknown cause” in the early days, through laboratory-confirmed cases once a virus was identified, to the current standard that includes lung scans. That’s a common phenomenon during outbreaks, she said. Those problems are exacerbated by the fact that China’s government has already shown itself willing to suppress medical information for political reasons. While you’d hope the seriousness of the situation would have changed that instinct, the fact casts a shadow of doubt over everything we know.How should the world respond amid this fog of uncertainty?While every piece of information is subject to revision and the usual statistical rule of garbage-in, garbage-out, epidemiologists have ways to make better sense of what is going on. Well-established statistical techniques can be used to clean up messy data. A study this week by Imperial College London used screening of passengers flying to Japan and Germany to estimate the fatality rate for all cases was about 1% — below the 2.7% of confirmed ones found in Hubei province, but higher than the 0.5% seen for the rest of the world.When studies from different researchers using varying techniques start to converge toward common conclusions, that’s also a strong if not faultless indication that we’re on the right track. The number of new infections caused by each coronavirus case has now been identified in the region of 2.2 or 2.3 by several separate studies, for instance — although that number itself can be subject to change as people quarantine themselves and self-segregate to prevent infection.The troubling truth, though, is that in a society that expects to know everything, this most crucial piece of knowledge is still uncertain.Google can track my every move and tell me where I ate lunch last week, but viruses don’t carry phones. The facts about this disease are hidden in the activity of billions of nanometer-scale particles, spreading through the cells of tens of thousands of humans and the environments we traverse. Big data can barely scratch the surface of solving that problem.To contact the author of this story: David Fickling at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
When Warren Buffett turns 90 years old in August, it would be only natural for (BRKA) shareholders to celebrate his success—and worry about the future of the extraordinary company he built. In his 55 years at the helm as CEO, chairman, and investment chief, Buffett turned a struggling textile maker into a $555 billion conglomerate, using investment skills that became the envy of American business. An investor who put $1,000—roughly 50 shares—in Berkshire in 1965 would now have $20 million, against $175,000 for a similar investment in the S&P 500index.
The U.S. government has never been a model of consistency but lately the inconsistencies—foolish and otherwise—emerging from Washington directed at the tech industry have become truly mind-blowing.
The company’s latest results blew past Wall Street’s expectations, but analysts still have to weigh its rapid growth and large, still-untapped market against the stock’s rich valuation.
Google is cutting an unspecified number of jobs at its cloud-computing business as part of a reorganization in hopes of enhancing operations and improving its standing in the booming market.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. is trying to clarify how it will handle a new wrinkle in the world of digital political advertising: politicians paying influencers to post on social media platforms like Instagram, which it owns.In the past, political entities were technically barred from offering money for posts, which has become a common practice for marketers. But Facebook is changing its policy after a New York Times report this week about how Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is paying Instagram creators to make and distribute posts making him “look cool.”(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)A company spokeswoman said Facebook has heard from multiple campaigns about the subject, and wanted it to be easy for users to identify paid political speech, whether it was direct advertising or branded content. “Branded content is different from advertising, but in either case we believe it’s important people know when they’re seeing paid content on our platforms,” the spokeswoman said.Now Facebook is stepping up enforcement of rules — which had been inconsistent — requiring influencers to use Facebook’s tool to tag paid posts with a prominent disclaimer. It said Friday it will require users who worked with the Bloomberg campaign to retroactively add these disclaimers to branded posts the campaign sponsored. “The campaign was explicitly clear that these posts were ads and sponsored content,” said Sabrina Singh, a Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman. “We went above and beyond to follow Instagram’s rules and the text of the post clearly shows that these are the campaign’s paid ads.” Facebook will now require political candidates buying branded content to register as political advertisers with the company. Unlike other political ads, branded posts won't end up in Facebook's ad archive unless the politician also pays Facebook to promote the posts. Elizabeth Warren criticized Facebook for creating a new loophole. "Refusing to catalogue paid political ads because the Bloomberg campaign found a workaround means there will be less transparency for the content he is paying to promote. Mike Bloomberg cannot be allowed to buy an election with zero accountability," she wrote on Twitter. The emergence of political branded content is a reminder of how hard companies have to work to keep up with the changing landscape of political speech. These posts, also known as sponsored content — or, if you must, “sponcon” — have pushed the boundaries of advertising for the last half-decade or so. As individual users on Instagram, Google’s YouTube, Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch and other platforms amassed large audiences, marketers began seeing them as a viable alternative to standard advertising. Influencers now regularly tout products in their posts. Regulators have complained for years that they often do so without explaining that they’re being paid. In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission sent dozens of letters to influencers and marketers requiring them to disclose any “material connection” that someone pitching a product had to advertisers. The commission is currently reviewing its endorsement policies, with an eye toward social media. “We may need new rules for tech platforms and for companies that pay influencers to promote products,” FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra wrote on Twitter this week. While Bloomberg’s campaign has drawn unprecedented attention to political branded content, he isn’t the first politician to fall for the charms of social media influencers. And as more money pours into political advertising in coming months, there will likely be candidates and other political entities willing to explore any potential advantage. Gil Eyal, the chief executive of Hypr, a company that helps marketers find influencers for sponsored content deals, said he’s noticed a recent wave of interest from political entities. “We’ve had a lot of inquiries about how we can do this,” he said. He declined to name anyone who had contacted him, and said they’ve turned down the proposals. “We truthfully say this isn’t our forte,” he said. “I think they underestimate how hard this is to do.” Main Street One, a New York-based startup, has been pitching Democratic and progressive organizations on influencer campaigns for months as a way to drown out online disinformation. It has run several such experiments. Late last year, it helped run an influencer campaign promoting Cory Booker funded by United We Win, a Democratic super PAC. This sparked a debate among influencers about whether accepting money from politicians was appropriate, and whether doing so would be bad for their personal brands. Curtis Hougland, Main Street One’s chief executive officer, said the group doesn’t always pay influencers for posting — it’s also seeking out volunteers. But those it does pay can get as much as $500 per post. Finding the right influencers, he said, is a side-door way to effectively target messages. The company might pay more, he said, for posts from someone whose followers are clustered in a particular geographic region, or who fall into some other demographic they’re trying to reach. The response has been mixed, said Hougland, with some potential clients concerned that the risk of such campaigns outweigh the benefits. In his view, mobilizing left-leaning social media influencers is the best way to reach voters in a distracted and messy online media environment. “Can we live with that risk tolerance?” he said. “I think by being less precious we can be more effective.” (Updates with comments from Bloomberg campaign in the sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Mark Niquette.To contact the author of this story: Joshua Brustein in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at firstname.lastname@example.org, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Regulators and presidential candidates are calling out big tech companies, but self-imposed checks could be even more painful for the industry.
Earnings reports from NVIDIA and Cisco, a stay order on the JEDI contract, Facebook's app to compete with Pinterest and other stories are covered in this daily.
(Bloomberg) -- Canada’s homegrown tech company Shopify Inc. is on a tear.After surging annually since its 2015 initial public offering, it has rallied 36% to a market value of almost C$82 billion ($62 billion) in 2020, making it the seventh largest company on the S&P/TSX Composite Index. That puts it about C$8 billion away from usurping Bank of Nova Scotia -- the fifth biggest company. Canadian National Railway Co. -- is No. 6 on the benchmark.Shopify’s value has climbed about C$7.9 billion just this week as fourth-quarter revenue topped analysts’ estimates and the provider of online shopping tools gave an optimistic forecast for the year.Shares of Shopify have skyrocketed to fresh records amid a dearth of quality tech companies on the S&P/TSX Composite Index. The benchmark tech gauge has a mere 10 members compared with over 71 on the S&P 500’s tech index, which includes FAANG giants such as Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Netflix Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc.Still, Shopify’s meteoric rise has some analysts calling for caution. Credit Suisse analyst Brad Zelnick downgraded the stock to the equivalent of a hold on its “lofty valuation” but raised his share price target for the U.S.-listed stock to $575 from $450. He did, however, contend that company has a “great business.” The stock is currently sitting at about $527.Markets -- Just The NumbersChart of The WeekPoliticsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government will do everything it can to resolve protests that have crippled parts of the country’s railways, leading to disruptions in passenger travel and the shipment of key goods. RBC Capital Markets said the demonstrations are another reason the Bank of Canada will be “biased to ease.”Get the latest news on the pipeline protests hereThe coronavirus continues to spread within China. Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that the epidemic will take a “real” toll on Canada’s economy given it’s global knock-on effects. Reduced tourism from China and lower commodity prices will also impact Canada’s growth.EconomyA new survey showed that Canadians are growing increasingly confident of getting a job with better pay were they to leave their current workplace, another indication of the health of the nation’s labor market as the unemployment rate sits at historic lows and wages climb near the fastest pace since the recession.The housing market in major Canadian cities continued to tighten as home sales fell and prices rose in January. A combination of steady population growth, low unemployment and cheap borrowing costs have brought buyers into the market but shrinking supply is damping transactions and driving bids for homes higher in places like Toronto.Up next, economists will be watching manufacturing sales figures on Feb. 18, inflation data due Feb. 19 and retail sales expected on Feb. 21. The stock market is closed on Monday for a holiday in Ontario and some other provinces.TrendingInCanada1\. Former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, also known as “Hurricane Hazel” turned 99 with NHL’s Maple Leafs team celebrating her birthday. She was in office for 12 terms before stepping back in 2014.2\. An extreme cold warning alert was issued for the city of Toronto Friday as temperatures dip below 30 degrees Celsius (that’s -22 degrees Farenheit).\--With assistance from Shelly Hagan.To contact the reporter on this story: Divya Balji in Toronto at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kyung Bok Cho at firstname.lastname@example.org, Jacqueline Thorpe, Danielle BochoveFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Google competitors in Europe and the United States aren't putting much stock in the search engine's test in Europe where it is placing rivals links in a "carousel" above its own far-more-elaborate boxed collection of vacation rental offerings. Michelle Schwefel, who heads the office of political communications for Deutsche Ferienhausverband (the German Holiday Home Association), […]
(Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Google’s 2.4 billion-euro ($2.6 billion) fine is “a small amount of cash” to the search-engine giant, according to a European Union judge, who also raised the prospect of increasing the antitrust penalty that the company is seeking to overturn.Colm Mac Eochaidh’s persistent questioning of Google’s representatives during the third day of a hearing at the EU’s General Court caused lawyers to scramble through papers seeking a response when he told them the tribunal had the right to increase the 2017 fine, then the highest the EU had ever levied for antitrust abuse. The Irish judge is one of five justices who will rule in the coming months on whether Google unfairly discriminated against smaller shopping rivals.“Did that level of fine deter you from repeating the behavior?” Mac Eochaidh asked before wondering how “might it be justified to increase or alter the fine.” He suggested that the penalty meant little to Google since it was only “a small amount of your cash in hand, so not actually that eye-catching in the light of day.”Google hadn’t bargained for a potentially bigger fine when it attacked the EU’s antitrust findings during the hearing. Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice, EU investigators and company executives were in the Luxembourg court to hear Google argue that regulators had overreached and made crucial errors. The case is the first of three lawsuits against EU antitrust decisions and a loss for the EU could halt its tough enforcement of big tech firms.When Google’s attorney Christopher Thomas said there could be no increase in the fine because EU regulators hadn’t asked for one, Mac Eochaidh immediately contradicted him. The EU’s second highest-court has “unlimited jurisdiction” to increase the fine even if the issue hasn’t been explored, he said.The senior judge on the panel, Stephane Gervasoni, stopped his Irish colleague, asking if his questioning was theoretical or if there were actual reasons to increase the fine. It’s rare for one judge to question another. Judges appeared to move away from the possibility of a higher penalty in the case, stressing that any such move would need additional legal analysis and the opportunity for Google to give its views.It isn’t the first time Mac Eochaidh has needled Google during the three days of hearings on the appeal. On Thursday, he said it was “perfectly apparent” that the company had promoted its own services and demoted others -- a key point for the EU side.On Friday, Mac Eochaidh urged Google’s lawyer to imagine he had savings of 120 euros in his back pocket but was fined 2.4 euros for dropping some litter.“Would you miss the 2.4 euros?” the judge asked.(Updates with judge’s questioning in third paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Aoife White in Luxembourg at email@example.com;Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at email@example.com, Joe Schneider, Anthony LinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Following Netflix and Spotify, YouTube is the latest company to move away from paying Apple's App Store fees. Alphabet is placing more focus on YouTube's revenue potential and expanding its money-making opportunities.
(Bloomberg) -- San Francisco and New York have created thousands of lucrative jobs in technology, but despite efforts to increase diversity in the industry, women are still being left behind.The two cities, sometimes rivals for attracting tech talent, slid backwards in recent years on gender diversity, according to data from SmartAsset, a financial technology company that provides personal finance advice online. From 2013 to 2018 they either did worse or made little progress on women’s workforce participation in tech and gender pay gaps.“No single city or no city’s tech sector has figured this out,” said Eli Dvorkin, editorial and policy director at the Center for an Urban Future in New York. “Tech jobs are falling behind the diversity of the workforce overall. They tend to be whiter, they tend to be much more male and typically see a notable under-representation of blacks and Hispanics.”In the U.S., women made up about 26% of the tech workforce nationally, according to SmartAsset. But while jobs for computer and information technology workers are expected to grow by 12% overall from 2018-2028, employment opportunities for these often well-paying positions still usually favor men, according to the report released earlier this month. Racial diversity isn’t much better. In 2017, the latest year for which data is available, only about 20% of New York’s tech workforce was either black or Hispanic, and only 7.5% of San Francisco’s, according to a 2019 analysis by the Center for an Urban Future.San Francisco and the broader Bay Area is home to many of the biggest U.S. tech companies, as well as major venture capital firms. In recent years, tech giants from Alphabet Inc.’s Google to Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. have been expanding in New York, too, adding to a burgeoning startup scene, helping technology rival finance as the city’s growth engine. But despite industry efforts to increase women in the workforce, progress in the two cities has been limited.One of the main reasons for the lack of representation is limited access to tech skills training. New York in particular, despite having a strong pipeline of programs, is failing to reach under-served communities, according to a study by the Center for an Urban Future and Tech:NYC released Wednesday. The city’s programs focus more on basic digital skills instead of the advanced training required for tech jobs.Exposure to tech training early on is also important to break social conditioning surrounding who belongs in science, tech, engineering, and mathematical occupations. “By the time they get to high school, many boys are socialized to think STEM is for them, while many girls are socialized to think the opposite,” said Dvorkin.Part of the issue is also the high cost of living in the two cities. Women are choosing to move to more affordable cities with growing tech opportunities, according to Denise Roy-Desrosiers, managing director at the nonprofit Girls in Tech New York.“New York has become a less friendly city for both women and men,” said Roy-Desrosiers. “Women are still being paid less to do the same jobs and so while that is still the case, women will take advantage of working in places where they can afford to live comfortably and independently.”New York went from being the fifth-best city for women in tech in 2013 to 27 in 2018, according to SmartAsset data. The percentage of women working in tech declined to 25% from 26%, while the gender pay gap, defined as the percentage of men’s salaries women make for the same jobs, widened. Women in the industry were making 84% of what men made in 2018 compared with 96% five years earlier.Google and other big tech companies expanding in New York represent a significant chunk of the industry’s workforce and the gender imbalance within their ranks is also making New York less like the “haven for disruption and innovative work culture that it once was,” Roy-Desrosiers said.Still, New York does better than San Francisco on most diversity metrics. San Francisco never made it to the Top 10 best cities on SmartAsset’s list for women. It dropped to 33 in 2018 from 23 in 2013. While women’s participation in the workforce increased marginally over five years, the gender pay gap increased to 79% from 88% in the city. Topping the 2020 list of the best cities for women in tech was Baltimore, where women make up 33% of the tech workforce and their average earnings are about 94% that of men in the industry.To contact the reporter on this story: Nikitha Sattiraju in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at email@example.com, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
Yahoo Finance is maintaining a working list companies that have been affected by the outbreak, and are expected to feel the effects through the first half of the year.
Intel (NASDAQ:INTC) has seen its value drop precipitously on several occasions over the past two years. In the summer of 2018, it began a steep decline that lasted well into the fall. Last April, Intel stock dropped 25% in little over a month. However, since then, the stock has been on a tear.Source: Pavel Kapysh / Shutterstock.com It's up 50% since last August. Now trading at $67.46, it has posted a gain of nearly 13% so far in 2020 alone -- helped by a big Q4 earnings beat in January.The question is, will Intel continue to shine in 2020? Or is it due for another one of those big corrections? Here are four factors that have the potential to trip up the company's current run.InvestorPlace - Stock Market News, Stock Advice & Trading Tips Advanced Micro DevicesAdvanced Micro Devices (NASDAQ:AMD) has been a thorn in Intel's side for the past several years. AMD has been cutting into Intel's marketshare in desktop computer PCs.At CES it unveiled new Ryzen mobile processors that seriously outperform Intel's offerings, and announced that over 100 laptops are already signed up to ship with "AMD Inside" in 2020. AMD has also launched an assault on Intel's data center business.Last fall, the company announced second generation Epyc processors that are now being used in data centers by high profile clients, including Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN), Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) and Alphabet's (NASDAQ:GOOG, NASDAQ:GOOGL) Google. AppleThe last big drop in Intel stock was last April, and it kicked off shortly after news that Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL) was dumping Intel modems in the iPhone in favor of a return to Qualcomm (NASDAQ:QCOM).Rumors have been growing that Apple is planning to dump Intel processors in its MacBooks this fall in favor of its own ARM-designed chips. If that happens, it would be another Apple-induced blow to Intel. If Apple is successful, it could also tempt other PC manufacturers to follow suit. ChinaIntel sees 24% of its revenue generated by the Chinese market. Because of that exposure, it's one of the American chipmakers that saw its stock hit by the launch of the trade war between the U.S. and China in 2018.The company has also benefited from the thawing of trade relations between the two countries, especially since the fall of 2019, when a Phase One trade deal was first announced. However, if the trade war should heat up again, Intel is exposed. Another risk is China's slowing economy, with growth recently nearing a 30-year low. CoronavirusA wild card in the 2020 mix for Intel is the coronavirus from China. So far, it's having an impact on the Chinese economy, and there have been plant closures.Should the coronavirus breakout spread further in China, it could result in PC manufacturers closing factories and halting production, slowing demand for Intel chips. In the bigger picture, if the coronavirus turns into a worldwide epidemic, it could trigger a global recession. That would be bad news for virtually all stocks, including shares of Intel. Bottom Line on Intel StockInvestment analysts polled by The Wall Street Journal are taking a cautious line on Intel stock, giving it a consensus "hold" rating. Their median 12-month price target of $66.41 shows no confidence that Intel stock is going to continue its current gains through 2020. Among the 40 in the group, the highest price target is $85, which represents 26% upside. On the other side of the equation, InvestorPlace Markets Analyst Luke Lango has Intel in his list of Strong Value Stocks for 2020. He notes Intel's "combination of big growth exposure and dirt cheap valuation" will help it to out-perform.What will Intel's story end up being for 2020?AMD is a real threat, but other factors are conjecture at this point. If any of them end up coming into play, Intel could stumble. If they don't, Intel stock could very well continue its growth streak and perform well in 2020. As of this writing, Brad Moon did not hold a position in any of the aforementioned securities. More From InvestorPlace * 2 Toxic Pot Stocks You Should Avoid * 7 Exciting Stocks to Buy for Aggressive Investors * 20 Stocks to Buy From the Law of Accelerating Returns * 7 U.S. Stocks to Buy on Coronavirus Weakness The post 4 Reasons Why the Rally In Intel Stock Might Slow Down appeared first on InvestorPlace.
(Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google is in discussions with publishers about paying licensing fees to include excerpts of their articles in Google News search results.The early-stage talks are taking place primarily with French and other European publishers, and may not lead to any agreements, a person familiar with the matter said. A deal would apply only to news products like the Google News vertical, they added, not general web content queries.Google sparked an outcry in France last fall after it said it would show stripped-down French news search results that wouldn’t include article previews or snippets following a new copyright law.It led French publishers and officials, who had hoped to win compensation from platforms as part of the new law, to accuse the search giant of strong-arming them. French antitrust regulators at the time said they would investigate Google over its implementation of the rules.News executives have been calling on Facebook Inc. and Google to pay for the rights to host their articles. They argue that their journalism is what’s drawing users to those platforms, while the two tech giants are capturing most of the online ad dollars.Richard Gingras, Google’s vice president of news, said helping people find quality journalism is “important to informed democracy and helps support a sustainable news industry.”“We’re talking with partners and looking at more ways to expand our ongoing work with publishers,” he added.In Europe, Google’s rocky relationships with publishers have led to legal action, long European Union antitrust investigations and an EU copyright directive that allows news outlets to seek payment from internet sites that display their articles. France was the first country to implement the new rules.In October, Facebook introduced a separate news section in its flagship app and agreed to pay some publishers $1 million to $3 million a year to put their articles in it.In an earnings call last week, News Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson mentioned Google by name, saying there are “positive signs” the search company’s CEO Sundar Pichai “has a thoughtful appreciation for the profound social influence of high quality journalism.”The Wall Street Journal reported the discussions earlier.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at firstname.lastname@example.org;Gerry Smith in New York at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Nate Lanxon, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
When U.S. companies contemplate major expansions in the Sunbelt, Atlanta’s Midtown continues to emerge as a routine contender to land those projects. In a Feb. 6 earnings call with Wall Street analysts, Colin Connolly, president and CEO of Cousins Properties Inc. (NYSE: CUZ), one of the largest office landlords in the South, cited Midtown Atlanta and downtown Austin, Texas, as two of the region’s most rapidly urbanizing districts.
Google is reportedly in talks with select publishers to pay for their news content. The Wall Street Journal reported Friday that most of the publishers are outside the U.S. - including some in France and Europe and that the talks center around Google paying licensing fees for content that would be packaged in a news product. Google's Vice President of News on Friday responded to the report by releasing a statement, saying the company is in talks with its partners and looking at more ways to expand its ongoing work with publishers. While talks are in the early-stage, according to the Journal, and it's not yet clear whether agreements will be reached, such a deal would mark a shift in the search giant's relationship with the news media. While Google sends traffic to news websites by featuring their stories on its feed, it doesn't pay publishers a licensing fee for the content that appears. The tech industry has been blamed for contributing to a decline in revenues at traditional news organizations but there are signs Silicon Valley is looking to rectify that. Last year, Facebook announced it will pay news media for content and for the first time put all professional news articles in a dedicated place on its app. And Apple launched Apple News+, a paid subscription service, in partnership with major news organizations.