|Bid||1,484.00 x 800|
|Ask||1,485.20 x 800|
|Day's Range||1,482.85 - 1,500.50|
|52 Week Range||1,027.03 - 1,500.50|
|Beta (5Y Monthly)||1.02|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||31.93|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||N/A|
Despite ongoing speculation and investor pressure, Netflix is still declining to adopt an advertising-based business model as a means to boost its revenue, Netflix CEO Reed Hastings confirmed on Tuesday. The company on its Q4 earnings call again shot down the idea of an ad-supported option, with Hastings explaining there's no "easy money" in an online advertising business that has to compete with the likes of Google, Amazon and Facebook.
The continued emphasis on “other bets” offers a window into Pichai’s thinking as Alphabet moves into its next phase of growth to maintain its newly attained status as a $1 trillion company in market value.
Index Exchange, a Toronto-based advertising tech company with over 100 employees in the U.S., is opening a Boston office to tap into the local tech talent pool.
(Bloomberg) -- WeWork has sold its minority stake in the female-focused co-working startup the Wing, part of parent company We Co.’s efforts to re-focus on its main office-sharing business.The company had been exploring the sale since last year, Bloomberg previously reported, following the theatrical dissolution of its plans for an initial public offering and the ouster of its chief executive officer, Adam Neumann.“Last quarter, we articulated a long-term plan for disciplined growth and a clear path to profitability, and we continue to execute on this plan each day,” Co-CEO Artie Minson said in a statement.A group of investors purchased WeWork’s stake in the Wing. The group included GV, formerly Google Ventures, as well as existing investors Sequoia Capital and NEA. The Wing also said it had added actress Mindy Kaling as an investor, adding her to a list of backers that also includes athletes Serena Williams and Megan Rapinoe. Fortune earlier reported some details of the sale.“In three years, the Wing has grown from a single location to a global community of women,” co-founder and CEO Audrey Gelman said in a statement.In addition to divesting its stake in the Wing, WeWork said it would sell Teem, a cloud services developer, to iOFFICE, a facility management software company. It also said it was in the process of selling Meetup, a website used to create online groups for in-person events, and Managed by Q, a workplace management platform.On Wednesday, the company also said it is expecting a $1.75 billion credit line from Goldman Sachs Group Inc. that it secured in December to become available within the coming weeks.(Adds investor details in the fourth paragraph.)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, Anne VanderMey, Jillian WardFor 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) -- Four of the five biggest U.S. technology giants boosted their lobbying spending last year as they battled charges of unfair competition, sought to shape privacy legislation and pursued large government contracts in an increasingly hostile Washington.Facebook Inc. led spending increases by Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., and Microsoft Corp. Search giant parent Alphabet Inc. was the lone member of the quintet with a decline.Alphabet’s Google reported a 44% decline in 2019 spending, to $11.8 million from $21.2 million. The company spent much of last year reshuffling its Washington office, including ending its relationships with more than a dozen lobbyists at six outside firms. It also replaced Susan Molinari, a former Republican House member, with Mark Isakowitz, a onetime GOP Senate aide, to head up its Washington policy shop.The tech industry has become one of the biggest spenders in Washington and is rivaling traditional lobbying powerhouses, including the pharmaceutical industry and big business lobbies.Together, the five biggest tech companies by market value shelled out $62.2 million in 2019, 3% less than what they spent the year before. That topped the biggest spender among the business groups, the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, which spent $58.2 million to lobby in 2019.It was also more than double the $28.9 million spent by the pharmaceutical industry’s lead trade group, Pharmaceutical Research and Manufacturers of America, which typically conducts the lion’s share of the industry’s lobbying.On a company level, the five largest U.S. drug makers -- Johnson & Johnson, Merck & Co., Pfizer Inc., Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. and Eli Lilly & Co. -- spent $34.7 million in lobbying last year, 44% less than the five biggest tech companies.While the amounts spent on lobbying by the tech giants pale in comparison with the billions in revenue each company receives and, in some cases now, their trillion-dollar market values -- money can buy influence in the nation’s capital.The disclosures, which are filed quarterly with Congress, include amounts spent to weigh in on legislation or other pressing matters before Congress, the White House and Executive Branch agencies. The reports were due Tuesday.Existential ThreatsWith their broad portfolios, U.S. tech companies have been worried about everything from Trump’s trade deals to stalled privacy legislation and drone regulations. But perhaps their most existential threats are the antitrust probes.The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission are reviewing the biggest internet platforms to determine if they are harming competition. The FTC is scrutinizing Facebook and Amazon, while the Justice Department is investigating Google and is also looking at Facebook.Large coalitions of state attorneys general are likewise considering cases against Facebook and Google.For more: Justice Department Questions Publishers in Ongoing Google ProbeIn addition, the House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel, led by Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline, has a sprawling inquiry underway. Cicilline has hauled executives before his subcommittee and peppered the companies with exhaustive questions about their business practices.Facebook surged to the front of the pack among the tech behemoths. The social-media company spent $16.7 million last year, its highest-ever yearly spending and up 32% from $12.6 million in 2018. It lobbied on such issues as intellectual property, cybersecurity, privacy, cryptocurrency and election integrity, according to the annual lobbying disclosures.E-commerce giant Amazon was close behind Facebook, upping its spending to a record $16.1 million from $14.2 million. Despite the increase, its public policy shop has experienced a number of high-profile failures. In October, for example, Amazon learned that it lost a $10 billion Pentagon cloud contract to rival Microsoft.Amazon has blamed that loss on presidential meddling. Numerous parts of the “evaluation process contained clear deficiencies, errors, and unmistakable bias -- and it’s important that these matters be examined and rectified,” the company said in November.It doesn’t help that Amazon founder Jeff Bezos and President Donald Trump have been feuding since before Trump was elected and that Bezos owns the Washington Post, which Trump sees as one of his fiercest critics.Apple RecordApple’s $7.4 million lobbying outlay last year was also a record. That amount was up 10% from $6.7 million in 2018. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has had a better working relationship with Trump than have many of his tech rivals. He was among several dozen global tech leaders who attended a breakfast with the president at the World Economic Forum conference in Davos, Switzerland, on Wednesday.But Cook is also in the hot seat for his company’s refusal to help the FBI unlock an encrypted iPhone used by the Saudi air force student who allegedly killed three people at a Florida naval base.Microsoft, which spent $10.2 million on lobbying last year, up from $9.5 million the year before, has largely avoided the political pitfalls of its peers. Winning the Pentagon’s lucrative cloud contract was a major victory, considering its underdog status. In August, Pentagon vendors also were awarded a contract worth as much as $7.6 billion to provide Microsoft software to the Defense Department.Privacy PushSome of the big checks Facebook, Google and others are writing in Washington are going to lobbying firms and trade groups pushing industry-friendly privacy bills. The industry hoped to see federal privacy legislation adopted last year, but that didn’t happen.California’s new privacy law went into effect Jan. 1, becoming the most influential U.S. privacy statute. New York, Washington State and others are considering their own privacy bills, which could create a patchwork of state privacy regulations, making compliance difficult for global tech giants.The tech companies, hoping to avoid that, are again lobbying Congress to adopt a federal privacy law before the 2020 elections.Chinese telecommunications company Huawei Technologies Co., after minimal outlays, started spending heavily on lobbying in the second half of last year as it found itself in the crosshairs of the Trump administration. In May, the Commerce Department placed the company on a blacklist designed to cut it off from U.S. suppliers.Huawei spent $1.1 million in the fourth quarter and nearly $3 million for the full year, up from $165,000 in 2018. The increase was primarily to pay lobbyist Michael Esposito, who touts his connections to Trump, though the president has said he doesn’t know him.Trade WarsIn the final months of 2019, companies and trade groups intensified their lobbying on international trade issues as the Trump administration sought to end the tariff war with China and pass a new trade deal with Mexico and Canada.Earlier this year, the U.S. and China signed what they billed as the first phase of a broader trade pact that commits China to do more to crack down on the theft of American technology and avoid currency manipulation. The Senate passed Trump’s U.S.-Mexico-Canada free trade agreement or USMCA, which replaced the North America Free Trade Agreement, following House passage late last year.The National Association of Manufacturers’ spending on federal lobbying rose to $8.4 million in the last three months of 2019, a nearly 313% jump compared with the third quarter, and $14.6 million in all of 2019. The trade group lobbied on both China and North American trade issues, according to its filings.\--With assistance from Naomi Nix.To contact the reporters on this story: Eric Newcomer in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, ;Molly Schuetz at email@example.com, Paula DwyerFor 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.
(Reuters) - Google researchers have found multiple security flaws in Apple Inc's Safari web browser that allowed the tracking of users' browsing behavior, Financial Times reported on Wednesday, citing a soon-to-be published paper.
GM Cruise unveiled the first purpose-built self-driving vehicle, saying it's meant for ride shares not car ownership. GM stock rose.
Apple (AAPL) is expected to begin manufacturing of its unannounced affordable iPhone variant in February ahead of a public debut in March, per Bloomberg.
(Bloomberg) -- Sign up here to receive the Davos Diary, a special daily newsletter that will run from Jan. 20-24.Google’s chief executive officer has left no doubt about how important he thinks artificial intelligence will be to humanity.“AI is one of the most profound things we’re working on as humanity. It’s more profound than fire or electricity,” Alphabet Inc. CEO Sundar Pichai said in an interview at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland on Wednesday.Alphabet, which owns Google, has had to grapple with its role in the development of AI, including managing employee revolts against its work on the technology for the U.S. government. In 2018, a group of influential software engineers successfully delayed the development of a security feature that would’ve helped the company win military contracts.Google has issued a set of AI principles that prohibit weapons work, but doesn’t rule out selling to the military. It has also pledged not to renew its Project Maven contract, which involves using artificial intelligence to analyze drone footage.Pichai, who’s led Google since 2015, took control of Alphabet after founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin stepped down from day-to-day involvement last month.“AI is no different from the climate,” Pichai said. “You can’t get safety by having one country or a set of countries working on it. You need a global framework.”Current frameworks to regulate the technology in the U.S. and Europe are a “great start,” and countries will have to work together on international agreements, similar to the Paris climate accord, to ensure it’s developed responsibly, Pichai said.Technology such as facial recognition can be used for good, such as finding missing people, or have “negative consequences,” such as mass surveillance, he said.Keith Enright, Google’s chief privacy officer, also spoke about the potential of artificial intelligence and machine learning to continue developing new technologies and services using a minimum amount of customer data.“We’re right now really focused on doing more with less data,” Enright said at a data-protection conference in Brussels on Wednesday. “This is counter-intuitive to a lot of people, because the popular narrative is that companies like ours are trying to amass as much data as possible.”Holding on to data that isn’t delivering value for users is “a risk,” he said.Powerful new European Union rules took effect across in May, giving privacy watchdogs the power to fine companies as much as 4% of annual global sales for serious violations. Google has come under scrutiny many times in Europe, with one probe in France resulting in a 50 million euro ($55 million) fine under the new law.Pichai had also stopped by Brussels on his way to Davos, giving a rare public speech, where he called on regulators to coordinate their approaches to artificial intelligence. The European Union is set to unveil new rules AI developers in “high risk sectors,” such as health care and transportation, according to an early draft obtained by Bloomberg.(Updates with privacy officer comments from ninth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Natalia Drozdiak.To contact the reporters on this story: Amy Thomson in London at firstname.lastname@example.org;Stephanie Bodoni in Brussels at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at firstname.lastname@example.org, Peter ChapmanFor 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.
CEO Sundar Pichai says artificial intelligence has the potential to improve health outcomes in the next five to 10 years.
(Bloomberg) -- After revolutionizing software, the open-source movement is threatening to do same to the chip industry.Big technology companies have begun dabbling with RISC-V, which replaces proprietary know-how in a key part of the chip design process with a free standard that anyone can use. While it’s early days, this could create a new crop of processors that compete with Intel Corp. products and whittle away at the licensing business of Arm Holdings Plc.In December, about 2,000 people packed into a Silicon Valley conference to learn about RISC-V, a new set of instructions that control how software communicates with semiconductors. In just a few years, RISC-V has grown from a college teaching tool into an open-source standard being explored by industry giants including Google, Samsung Electronics Co., Alibaba Group Holding Ltd., Qualcomm Inc. and Nvidia Corp.“Most of the major companies are putting substantial efforts into RISC-V,” said Krste Asanovic, a computer scientist at the University of California, Berkeley, who was part of the team that developed the standard. He’s co-founder of SiFive Inc., a startup that sells chip designs based on RISC-V (pronounced “risk five”).Open source harnesses the contributions of multitudes, not just the proprietary ideas of a few companies. New code is shared, so anyone can see it, improve it and build their own contributions on top of it. After being dismissed by giants like Microsoft Corp. in the 1990s, this expanding body of work has become the foundation of the internet, smartphones and many software applications. Last year, IBM bought open-source pioneer Red Hat in the biggest software deal in history. Even Microsoft got on board, acquiring GitHub, the largest repository of open-source code.Opening up even small parts of the chipmaking process is anathema to many in the $400 billion industry. But if enough companies commit to an open-source approach, that could create a shared pool of knowledge that may be hard for Intel and Arm to keep up with.Early developments focus on instruction sets, which govern the basic functions of processors. Only two have mattered for years. One is Intel‘s X86, which dominates computer processors. Buying a chip from Intel or licensee Advanced Micro Devices Inc. is the only real way to use this instruction set. And Intel is the only company that can change it.The other instruction set is the basis of all major smartphone components. It is owned by Arm, a unit of Softbank Group Corp. This can be licensed for a fee, so other companies use it to design their own chips. But again, only Arm can alter the fundamentals.This has left the rest of the industry relying on the innovation of just two companies. That was not a problem for decades because most processors were general-purpose components that got faster and more efficient each year through production advances. Those industry axioms are unraveling, though. The steady march of chip miniaturization has bumped up against the laws of physics, while artificial intelligence and a flood of data from the internet and smartphones require new ways of processing information. A fresh set of instructions will help create better chips to power driverless cars, speech recognition and other AI tasks, RISC-V’s backers say.Google is using RISC-V in its OpenTitan project, which is developing security chips for data center servers and storage devices. “There are a range of other computational tasks, such as machine learning, that could benefit from an open computing architecture,” said Urs Holzle, who has overseen the technical infrastructure of Google’s massive data centers for years.Samsung said it will use SiFive designs in chips it’s making for mobile phone components. RISC-V has appeared in microcontrollers – a basic form of a processor – that are part of more complex chips sold by Qualcomm and Nvidia. Western Digital Corp., one of the largest makers of data-storage devices, plans to use the technology in some products and has open-sourced its designs. Alibaba has announced a chip based on RISC-V and several universities have published open-source designs.There are 200 Chinese members of the RISC-V Foundation, a non-profit group created in 2015 to promote the use of the instruction set. An Indian project developed six processors using the technology.RISC-V specifications are developed, ratified and maintained by the foundation’s technical committee, made up of engineers and other contributors from several member companies. Proposed revisions are posted on GitHub. RISC-V designs can either be free or licensed. While there’s no strict requirement to stick to the official specifications, members have an incentive to make their designs compatible. This gives chip customers multiple options for the blueprints they need to design components that communicate properly with the software, according to backers of the project.It’s still very early days, though. In terms of actual chips created, sold and used, RISC-V is nowhere. Arm’s technology is in almost all the 1.4 billion smartphones made each year. More than 200 million PCs sold annually are based on Intel’s X86 instruction set.One criticism of RISC-V is that it won’t end up saving money because there’s more work involved in using open standards. This echoes complaints raised about Linux and other open-source software when they were gaining ground decades ago.Arm said the idea that RISC-V reduces costs doesn’t make sense. “Innovation goes far beyond an instruction set,” said Tim Whitfield, a vice president of strategy at the company. “Arm’s IP is highly configurable and provides our partners with the flexibility to innovate and differentiate where they can add real value while minimizing risk and cost.”Martin Fink, Western Digital’s former chief technology officer who still advises the CEO, said it’s about spurring innovation in a crucial field that’s still locked down, rather than saving money. “It’s free as in freedom not as in free beer,” he added. “It’s about community and collaboration.”Other RISC-V backers argue that the more-collaborative process will eventually reduce the cost of creating chips, especially for data center operators and other companies that are increasingly designing their own processors, according to David Patterson, a former Berkeley professor and a distinguished engineer at Google. “Companies all over the world are collaborating to develop because it saves them money,” he said.Pressure on the incumbents to step up their game might be the biggest immediate impact of RISC-V. Last year, Arm announced a try-before-you-buy plan with a much lower fee so smaller companies and academic institutions could do exploratory work using its instruction set.Intel said it is adding new instructions that will help with AI processing and other new areas. “Intel engineers have continually advanced the X86 architecture standard, providing best-in-class performance,” the company added in a statement. Qualcomm, one of Arm’s biggest customers, sees room for multiple approaches, including RISC-V, according to Keith Kressin, a senior vice president of product management at Qualcomm.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, Alistair Barr, Vlad SavovFor 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.
DEEP DIVE It’s happening again: The financial media is touting a potential shifting of investors to value stocks from the growth stocks that have propelled the extended bull market in the U.S. This last happened in September and October, though the value buzz ended up being short-lived.
Sundar Pichai, the CEO of Alphabet Inc and its Google subsidiary, said on Wednesday that healthcare offers the biggest potential over the next five to 10 years for using artificial intelligence to improve outcomes, and vowed that the technology giant will heed privacy concerns. U.S. lawmakers have raised questions about Google's access to the health records of tens of millions of Americans. Ascension, which operates 150 hospitals and more than 50 senior living facilities across the United States, is Google's biggest cloud computing customer in healthcare.
Cruise, the self-driving car start-up, in which General Motors Company (NYSE: GM ) owns a majority state, revealed a prototype of its driverless robo-taxi on Tuesday. What Happened The robo-taxi called ...
Google researchers have exposed details of multiple security flaws in its rival Apple’s Safari web browser that allowed users’ browsing behaviour to be tracked, despite the fact that the affected tool was specifically designed to protect their privacy. The flaws, which were ironically found in an anti-tracking feature known as Intelligent Tracking Prevention, were first disclosed by Google to Apple in August last year. In a soon-to-be published paper seen by the Financial Times, researchers in Google’s cloud team have since identified five different types of potential attack that could have resulted from the vulnerabilities, allowing third parties to obtain “sensitive private information about the user’s browsing habits”.
If Google is truly concerned not to “support mass surveillance or violate human rights” — in particular our right to privacy — it needs to fundamentally change its relationship with our data. This must begin by scaling back its advertising-driven business model, pursuant to which Google tracks us across the web and sells our data in return for targeted, behavioural advertising. This includes moving away from data collection based on user consent, and placing a stronger burden of proof on companies such as Google to demonstrate that they have a legitimate interest in the collection and processing of our data.
If 2019 was about “techlash,” the public backlash against Big Tech, 2020 will centre on a race between the world’s largest platform companies — particularly Google, Facebook and Amazon — and the regulators that want to bring them to heel. Margrethe Vestager, EU competition commissioner, has new powers allowing her to bring together the issues of privacy, monopoly and security. Ms Vestager has floated the idea of using obscure rules that could force companies to “cease and desist” from activities considered problematic while waiting for the outcome of antitrust cases.
Online platforms including Facebook and Alphabet Inc's Google face growing pressure to stop carrying political ads that contain false or misleading claims ahead of the U.S. presidential election. 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.