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(Bloomberg) -- To satisfy regulators, YouTube officials are finalizing plans to end “targeted” advertisements on videos kids are likely to watch, according to three people familiar with the discussion. The move could immediately dent ad sales for the video giant -- though not nearly as much as other proposals on the table.The Federal Trade Commission is looking into whether YouTube breached the Children’s Online Privacy Act (COPPA). The agency reached a settlement with YouTube, but has not released the terms. It is not clear if YouTube’s changes to ad targeting are a result of the settlement. The plans could still change, said the people, who asked not to be identified citing an open investigation.A spokeswoman for YouTube declined to comment. A spokeswoman for the FTC declined to comment. The agency is expected to levy a multimillion-dollar fine.Since targeted, or “behavioral” ads, rely on collecting information about the viewer, COPPA effectively bars companies from serving them to children under 13 without parental permission. These commercial messages that rely on mountains of digital data, such as web-browsing cookies, are integral to the business of Alphabet Inc.’s Google, YouTube’s owner.YouTube has long maintained that its primary site is not for children. (The company says kids should use YouTube Kids app, which does not use targeted ads.) But nursery rhymes and cartoon videos on the main site have billions of views. The platform’s many issues with children’s content-- horrific imagery, problems that led to disabling comments-- have troubled its video creators, worried parents and empowered rivals.Getting rid of targeted ads on children’s content could hit Google’s bottom line -- but this solution would be far less expensive than other potential remedies that aim to placate regulators.In April 2018, a slew of consumer groups complained to the FTC that YouTube regularly collected information about minors to use in targeted advertising. Once the FTC picked up the case, these groups suggested that the agency force YouTube to move all kids’ videos to its designated app for children, YouTube Kids. Joseph Simons, the FTC chairman, has floated another idea. He asked the complainants in a July 1 call whether they would be content with YouTube disabling ads on these videos, Bloomberg News reported earlier.YouTube’s new proposal is even less drastic.Right now, YouTube sells two different types of video ads, broadly speaking. One simply pairs the context of a video with a commercial message. So, a YouTube clip about basketball might have an ad from Adidas. The other type uses an array of digital signals. With these ads, marketers can reach viewers in a demographic group, such as homeowners or new parents, based on Google’s vast data troves -- websites people visit, searches they make and so on.YouTube doesn’t disclose ad sales or prices, but most digital ads are more lucrative when paired with targeting data. Other tech giants, such as Apple Inc., have tried to cull back data-collecting tools in services that kids use.Loup Ventures, a research firm, estimates YouTube’s revenue from children’s media between $500 million and $750 million a year. Paring back targeted ads would dent that revenue, although Google has the ability to make its contextual ads more compelling to mitigate the damage, said Doug Clinton, a Loup Ventures analyst. He pegged the potential impact of YouTube curbing targeted ads at 10% of its overall intake from kids’ videos-- so about $50 million. “That would be the worse case, in my mind,” he said.It’s not clear how YouTube would deliver this targeting ban with the thousands of video channels with whom it splits ad sales. It’s also unclear how YouTube would define which videos are “directed at children” and which aren’t.One certainty: This proposal is unlikely to please complainants. In a July letter to the FTC, the groups argued that bans on YouTube ad targeting would be difficult to enforce. Removing the feature from select kids’ videos doesn’t guarantee that YouTube stops tracking web habits if children watch other clips, said Josh Golin from Campaign for Commercial-Free Childhood, a complainant. “Is Google still going to be collecting all the data and creating marketing profiles?” he said. “That wouldn’t be satisfactory either.”Jeff Chester, executive director of Center for Digital Democracy, another complainant, said that if the FTC settlement only forced YouTube to curb targeting, his group would likely challenge the decision.(Updates with other companies in 10th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Ben Brody and Lucas Shaw.To contact the reporter on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Emily Biuso, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
A new Bank of America Merrill Lynch report lays out a dozen stocks to have during the recession. Half of them are for companies either based in Silicon Valley or that have a strong presence here.
DOW UPDATE Behind declines for shares of Dow Inc. and American Express, the Dow Jones Industrial Average is falling Tuesday afternoon. The Dow (DJIA) was most recently trading 152 points (0.6%) lower, as shares of Dow Inc.
World Wrestling Entertainment, Inc. (NYSE: WWE ) shares traded higher by another 4% on Tuesday after the company announced a new TV deal for its NXT brand to air a two-hour weekly show on Wednesday nights. ...
(Bloomberg) -- The U.S. Justice Department intends to work with state attorneys general in a broad review of whether large technology companies are harming competition, the department’s top antitrust official said.More than a dozen states are interested in the issue and will likely cooperate with the Justice Department, Makan Delrahim, the head of the antitrust division, said Tuesday at a technology conference in Aspen, Colorado.“We will be taking a broad look, and we look at it with no preconceived agendas,” he said. “I anticipate it would be in cooperative manner,” he added about the state and federal efforts.The Justice Department in July said it intended to scrutinize the conduct of the largest tech platforms. It didn’t specify which firms it would look at but strongly suggested Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Amazon.com Inc. are in the cross-hairs, saying it would examine concerns about search, social media and online retail.A group of state attorneys general is also gearing up to investigate tech companies, Bloomberg reported in June.Facebook-Instagram Deal Warrants New Scrutiny, Colorado AG Says“We continue to engage in bipartisan conversations about the unchecked power of large tech companies,” New York Attorney General Letitia James’s office said in a statement. “We must ensure we protect competition, protect our economy, and protect consumers.”Delrahim said cooperation between the Justice Department and the states would reduce the burden on the companies being investigated. His comments are likely to be welcome news to the tech companies. Separate state and federal investigations could mean multiple requests for documents and depositions as well as multiple penalties.Companies that are subjects of the Justice Department investigation are cooperating with investigators to provide information, Delrahim said. He said there is no specific time line for the probe.(Updates with comments on why companies would welcome joint investigation in 7th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Vicky Graham in Arlington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Paula Dwyer, Mark NiquetteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
La Jolla, CA, based Investment company Makaira Partners LLC (Current Portfolio) buys Fox Corp, sells Zebra Technologies Corp, GCI Liberty Inc, Qurate Retail Inc, CDW Corp, L Brands Inc during the 3-months ended 2019Q2, according to the most recent filings of the investment company, Makaira Partners LLC. Continue reading...