|Bid||0.00 x 1300|
|Ask||0.00 x 800|
|Day's range||1,146.73 - 1,158.54|
|52-week range||977.66 - 1,296.97|
|Beta (3Y monthly)||1.02|
|PE ratio (TTM)||28.94|
|Earnings date||25 Jul 2019|
|Forward dividend & yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y target est||1,335.22|
Netflix will deliver its second-quarter financial results after the market close Wednesday.
Rep. David Cicilline, chairman of the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee, has a lot of questions for Facebook as
(Bloomberg) -- Google’s chief executive officer told U.S. Senator Mark Warner that the company has ended some partnerships in China, the lawmaker said Tuesday on Bloomberg Television.The search giant’s ties to China were in the spotlight this week after technology investor Peter Thiel suggested on Sunday that the U.S. government probe Google’s “seemingly treasonous” work. President Donald Trump said he wanted the U.S. attorney general to look into the claims.Google pulled its search engine from mainland China in 2010. But the company began developing a separate prototype Chinese search service as early as 2016. Reports of the project, called Dragonfly, surfaced shortly after Google nixed a U.S. military contract, drawing criticism from the Pentagon and U.S. politicians from both parties. Earlier this year, Google said it had moved staff off of Dragonfly, and on Tuesday Karan Bhatia, Google’s policy chief, said the project was “terminated.”Warner, a Democrat from Virginia, didn’t specify what projects he discussed with Google CEO Sundar Pichai. A spokeswoman for the senator said they spoke about a “range of partnerships.”“I do think there’s some explaining that Google needs to make,” Warner said in an interview with Emily Chang on “Bloomberg Technology.” “I’ve met with the Google CEO. He said they are backing out of some of those partnerships, and they’re willing to work with the U.S. government.”A Google spokeswoman declined to comment on Warner’s interview.In January 2018, Google parent Alphabet Inc. signed a deal with Chinese tech giant Tencent Holdings Ltd. to cross-license technology and intellectual property. Google was also in talks with Tencent and several other Chinese firms about bringing its cloud services to China, Bloomberg News has reported. Google has a research partnership with Beijing’s Tsinghua University.In a speech on Sunday, Thiel, a Facebook Inc. board member, raised the question of whether Google’s management was “infiltrated” by foreign intelligence agencies. On Monday, the company said it has never worked with the Chinese military.“I think that Mr. Thiel and Mr. Trump’s statements are a little over the top,” Warner said.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.org;Emily Chang in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
MSFT stock has soared 35% in 2019. So, with the tech firm set to release its Q4 fiscal 2019 financial results on Thursday, let's see what to expect from its top and bottom lines and key business units such as Intelligent Cloud.
(Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. was challenged by a top House lawmaker over whether the online retail giant is harming competition as the biggest tech companies faced their harshest antitrust scrutiny in years on Capitol Hill.Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who chairs the House antitrust panel, put Amazon on the hot seat at a hearing Tuesday, suggesting its business model suffers from conflicts of interest and that it can use its control over data to thwart competition from third-party sellers on its platform.“You are selling your own products on a platform you control and they’re competing with products from other sellers,” Cicilline said.Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton denied the company uses data it collects on sales to favor its own products over third-party sellers. He also argued that it’s common in the retail industry for stores to sell their own brands that compete against others.Cicilline fired back: “The difference is Amazon is a trillion-dollar company that runs an online platform with real-time data on millions of purchases and billions in commerce and can manipulate algorithms on its platform and favor its own product -- that is not the same as a local retailer,” he said.The exchange, as Amazon’s Prime Day sales event extended into a second day, came at hearing where four of the biggest U.S. tech firms -- Amazon, Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Apple Inc. -- defended their businesses against criticism that they are too dominant. The session marked the first time the companies have faced grilling from Congress about whether they are hindering competition.Cicilline said his inquiry is still in the fact-gathering stage but the series will eventually lead to legislative steps that go beyond self-regulation.“I think it will absolutely require some action by Congress, either by way of regulation, new statutory enactments, new resources for antitrust agencies, more likely a combination of those three things,” he told reporters after the executives testified.Cicilline is bearing down on the companies as antitrust enforcers prepare their own scrutiny after a mostly hands-off approach to the industry.The Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission, which share antitrust jurisdiction, have taken the first steps toward investigating conduct by the biggest companies by divvying up oversight with the Justice Department taking responsibility for Google and Apple, and FTC overseeing Facebook and Amazon.A report by the University of Chicago’s Stigler Center this year found that digital markets tend to be winner-take-all in which one firm comes to dominate. That creates an incentive for the companies to edge out new challengers that could threaten that dominance.Republican Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin on Tuesday cautioned against calls for breaking up the big technology companies.“Just because a business is big doesn’t mean that it is bad,” he said. Antitrust laws “do not exist to punish businesses just because they are big.”All four companies repeatedly insisted that they face abundant competition, from one another and from other companies. Although Amazon controls about half of U.S. e-commerce sales, Sutton pointed out the company makes up just 4% of all retail sales, with competition from Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co., among others. Facebook’s Director of Public Policy Matt Perault pointed to competition from Apple, Amazon and Google, among others.That argument met with skepticism from lawmakers. Representative Joe Neguse, a Colorado Democrat, pointed out that Facebook has the most monthly active users worldwide of any social media platform, with its Instagram, Whatsapp, and Facebook messenger in the top six.“You can understand the skepticism because when a company owns four of the largest six entities measured by active users in the world in that industry, we have a word for that, and that’s monopoly – or at least monopoly power,” he said.\--With assistance from Daniel Stoller.To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at email@example.com;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at email@example.com, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- U.S. technology giants are headed for their biggest antitrust showdown with Congress in 20 years as lawmakers and regulators demand to know whether companies like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook Inc. use their dominance to squelch innovation. The House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee is holding a hearing Tuesday on the market power of the largest tech companies. Executives from Apple Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Google and Facebook are testifying. Here’s the latest from the committee room:Facebook Denies Its Integration Plan Designed to Thwart Breakup (5:37 p.m.)Facebook’s Matt Perault denied that the company’s planned integration of its Messenger app, its WhatsApp chat service and its Instagram photo app was designed to thwart calls to break up the properties.“There are many services in the market that offer more privacy-protective services,” he told Democratic Representative Jamie Raskin of Maryland. “Our pivot toward privacy with respect to inter-operating our services was because of the competition that we faced in the market.”Raskin had suggested the announcement was a “ploy” and said it coincided with growing calls to break up Facebook by splitting off WhatsApp and Instagram.Democrat David Cicilline, who chairs the panel, also asked Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton about reports that the fees merchants must pay have been increasing in recent years.“Aren’t these steady fee hikes by Amazon a pure exercise of its outsize buyer power?” Cicilline asked.Sutton said that the estimates weren’t accurate.“The fees that are necessary to be paid in our store to sell items have actually been steady for a number of years and slightly declining,” Sutton told Cicilline.Heated Exchange Over Amazon’s Third-Party Sellers (4:32 p.m.)Democrat David Cicilline of Rhode Island, who is chairing the hearing, pressed Amazon on whether its business model suffers from a conflict of interest because it sells its own products that compete directly against those from third-party sellers. That is a complaint also raised by Democratic presidential candidate Elizabeth Warren.“You are selling your own products on a platform you control and they’re competing with products from other sellers,” Cicilline said.Amazon lawyer Nate Sutton said it’s common in retail for stores to sell their own brands that compete against others.Cicilline fired back: “The difference is Amazon is a trillion-dollar company that runs an online platform with real-time data on millions of purchases and billions of commerce and can manipulate algorithms on its platform and favor its own product -- that is not the same as a local retailer,” he said.Cicilline repeatedly pressed Sutton about whether the company uses data on the third-party sellers to advantage its own products. Sutton said Amazon ranks results by the same criteria and doesn’t use data to compete against sellers.“You do collect enormous data,” Cicilline said. “You’re saying you don’t use that in any way to promote Amazon products, and I remind you sir, you’re under oath.”Cicilline says companies have de facto ‘immunity’ (3:38 p.m.)Cicilline slammed the dominance of the tech companies, saying they are shielded from competitive threats because of barriers to rivals that could potentially take them on. They also use their resources to prevent startups from challenging them and pose a risk to small businesses, he said.Cicilline said the dominance of tech companies stems from policy choices. Antitrust enforcers haven’t challenged a single one of their acquisitions or sued them for anticompetitive conduct like they did with Microsoft Corp. 20 years ago, he said.“Congress and antitrust enforcers allowed these firms to regulate themselves with little oversight,” Cicilline said in his opening remarks. “As a result, the internet has become increasingly concentrated, less open, and growingly hostile to innovation and entrepreneurship.”“Together, these enforcement decisions have created a de facto immunity for online platforms,” Cicilline added.Companies argue they face widespread competition (2:56 p.m.)The four tech giants tried to head off criticism that they dominate their respective markets, as executives in prepared testimony all cited intense competition they say they face from rivals.Nate Sutton, a lawyer for Amazon, which controls about half of U.S. e-commerce sales, told the House antitrust panel that the company makes up just 4% of U.S. retail sales, with competition from Walmart Inc. and Kroger Co.Facebook’s Director of Public Policy Matt Perault pointed to competition from Apple, Amazon and Google, among others, in his remarks.The companies also touted their development of innovative products that have won over consumers and their investment in research and development. Google’s director of economic policy, Adam Cohen, said the company spent $21.4 billion on R&D, three times more than in 2013.The hearing, led by Cicilline, started at about 3 p.m. Dozens of people were waiting in line to get into the hearing room.Here’s What Tech Faces in Washington:The hearing is one of a several that big tech companies face this week in Congress as Washington calls the giants to task for a range of concerns. President Donald Trump is pressuring the companies in Twitter barrages for issues including anti-conservative bias, while the Justice Department and the Federal Trade Commission have taken the first steps toward investigating their conduct. The Justice Department is taking responsibility for scrutiny of Google and Apple, as the FTC oversees Facebook and Amazon.Also on Tuesday, David Marcus, who leads Facebook’s Libra and block chain efforts, heard from disdainful Democrats at a Senate Banking Committee hearing on the company’s proposed cryptocurrency.Trump said Tuesday morning that his administration will look into allegations by billionaire Peter Thiel that Google’s work with China is “seemingly treasonous.”Trump has also said he wants gather tech executives at the White House.Google’s global public policy chief is scheduled to testify Tuesday before a Senate hearing focused on allegations the company engages in censorship.More on tech and antitrust: Did Big Tech Get Too Big? U.S. Joins Europe in Asking: QuickTakeTo contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ben Brody in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Meredith Whittaker, who helped lead employee protests at Google over the search giant’s military work, artificial intelligence and policies, is leaving the company.In a blog, she warned that the internet giant’s AI software and huge computing resources are helping it expand in unsettling ways."Google, in the conventional pursuit of quarterly earnings, is gaining significant and largely unchecked power to impact our world (including in profoundly dangerous ways, such as accelerating the extraction of fossil fuels and the deployment of surveillance technology)," she wrote in a blog on Tuesday. "How this vast power is used — who benefits and who bears the risk — is one of the most urgent social and political (and yes, technical) questions of our time."Whittaker helped spark a broader uprising among workers at some of the world’s largest technology companies, including Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Microsoft Corp. and Amazon.com Inc. They are concerned these corporations are gaining too much power through AI-powered, machine-based decision making that has flaws and little or no accountability.Over the past year, some staff at Google erupted in protest, prompting the company to drop a Pentagon AI contract and a censored search project in China. Whittaker, who led Google’s Open Research group, was one of the most outspoken voices. She was one of six women who organized massive walkouts after reports that Google paid handsome sums to executives accused of sexual harassment.Other Google protesters were saddened by Whittaker’s resignation, but hopeful that their attempts to hold large tech companies accountable will continue."Our movement has moved into a new phase," said Irene Knapp, a senior software engineer at Google. "Those of us who remain at the company have been focused on disseminating knowledge and teaching our organizing skills to new people. I am sure that Meredith would not be leaving if she didn’t know that she’s accomplished that, and I know that I very much feel she has. We’re set up for the long haul."While at Google, Whittaker also served with AI Now, a research institute at New York University that she co-founded. The group often criticizes businesses and government agencies for using AI systems, like facial recognition, in policing and surveillance. Whittaker also publicly denounced some Google decisions, including the appointment of Kay Coles James, a conservative think tank leader, to an AI ethics board. Google soon nixed the board."People in the AI field who know the limitations of this tech, and the shaky foundation on which these grand claims are perched, need to speak up, loudly. The consequences of this kind of BS marketing are deadly (if profitable for a few)," Whittaker wrote on Twitter on Sunday.In April, about six months after the big employee walkout, Whittaker and another protest leader, Claire Stapleton, said the company was retaliating against them for their role in the activity. In an email to colleagues, Whittaker said her Google manager told her to "abandon [her] work on AI ethics" and blocked a request to transfer internally. At the time, Google denied it retaliated against Whittaker.To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Bergen in San Francisco at email@example.com;Joshua Brustein in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Alistair Barr, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Google VP of policy Karan Bhatia started sweating early as hearing chair Ted Cruz brings out an internal presentation created within the company.
A wave of quarterly reports from Netflix and other top-tier, high-growth companies starting on Wednesday will test Wall Street's willingness to extend a recent rally driven by expectations of lower interest rates. Facebook, Amazon and Google-owner Alphabet, all part of the so-called FANG group of widely held stocks, have jumped over 5% so far in July, with investors increasingly willing to bet on the volatile names thanks to expectations the Federal Reserve will cut rates later this month by as much as half a percentage point to support economic growth. The FANG companies, combined with investor favourites Apple and Microsoft, account for about 17% of the S&P 500's $26 trillion market capitalisation, making reaction to their quarterly results key to Wall Street sentiment.
But it's important to separate this very real threat from Thiel's specific allegations about Google, which were presented without proof, and from his claims that Google has participated in "treasonous" activity.
A wave of quarterly reports from Netflix and other top-tier, high-growth companies starting on Wednesday will test Wall Street's willingness to extend a recent rally driven by expectations of lower interest rates. Facebook , Amazon and Google-owner Alphabet , all part of the so-called FANG group of widely held stocks, have jumped over 5% so far in July, with investors increasingly willing to bet on the volatile names thanks to expectations the Federal Reserve will cut rates later this month by as much as half a percentage point to support economic growth. The FANG companies, combined with investor favorites Apple and Microsoft , account for about 17% of the S&P 500's $26 trillion market capitalization, making reaction to their quarterly results key to Wall Street sentiment.
(Bloomberg) -- President Donald Trump said he wants Attorney General William Barr to look into businessman Peter Thiel’s allegations that Google’s work with China is “seemingly treasonous.”Trump made the comments in a cabinet meeting on Tuesday after earlier saying in a tweet that Thiel is “a great and brilliant guy who knows this subject better than anyone!”“I think we’ll all look at that,” Trump said at the meeting. “We’ll see if there’s any truth” to the claim.Thiel, one of Trump’s top Silicon Valley supporters and donors, took aim at Google and the tech industry over the companies’ focus on global markets while brushing aside U.S. interests in a speech Sunday in Washington.Thiel, a Facebook Inc. board member, singled out Google for agreeing to work closely with China, trying to get its search engine back into the country, while deciding to let lapse a U.S. Defense Department contract that gave the military access to its artificial intelligence tools.A spokesman for Google said the company doesn’t work with the Chinese military but declined to comment further.Thiel argued that the kind of AI developed by DeepMind, which like Google is a subsidiary of Alphabet Inc., should be thought of as a potential “military weapon.” He then suggested Google’s actions were “seemingly treasonous,” asking whether DeepMind or Google senior management had been “infiltrated” by foreign intelligence agencies.(Updates with shares in the third paragraph.)\--With assistance from Max Chafkin.To contact the reporter on this story: Terrence Dopp in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Michael Shepard at email@example.com, Elizabeth Wasserman, Kasia KlimasinskaFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
President Donald Trump says his administration will “take a look” at allegations made by Silicon Valley venture capitalist Peter Thiel that Google-parent Alphabet Inc. has been infiltrated by the Chinese government.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. is moving a step closer to launching its long-delayed WhatsApp payments service in India after wrapping up an audit of related data practices, according to people familiar with the matter.The payments offering has been in beta mode in India since early 2018 for a million users, but the nationwide debut has been delayed, in part because of government regulations. WhatsApp is required to show a third-party auditor that all data involved in payments will be stored on servers only in India. WhatsApp is preparing to submit the report for approval to India’s banking regulator, the Reserve Bank of India, said one of the people, asking not to be named as the matter is confidential.WhatsApp is moving into a crowded and competitive field, where local startups and global players are already slugging it out. Amazon Pay and Paytm, the country’s most popular digital payments service, have already complied with the Reserve Bank’s data localization guidelines. India’s digital payments market is projected to grow five-fold and hit $1 trillion by 2023, according to a report by investment bank Credit Suisse Group AG.WhatsApp has substantial strengths including an India user base that’s estimated at more than 300 million. The Facebook unit could grab market share from rivals and shake up the industry, said Arnav Gupta, an analyst who tracks digital payments at Forrester Research.“Everybody from eight to 80 years old in India are clued into WhatsApp, giving it phenomenal reach,” said Gupta. “Besides, peer-to-peer businesses like MakeMyTrip and BookMyShow, which are already using WhatsApp, will find it very easy to route payment transactions through the messaging app.”WhatsApp declined to comment on whether or not an audit is underway. "WhatsApp looks forward to providing WhatsApp Payments based on the UPI standard to all users in India and we continue to work with our local partners towards a shared goal of supporting a more Digital India," spokesman Carl Woog said in an email.The India initiative comes after Facebook unveiled plans to introduce its own cryptocurrency, called Libra, next year with multiple partners. That project will face hurdles in India, as it does in the U.S., since the country’s central bank has banned all regulated entities from dealing in virtual currencies. But Libra is conceived as a means to let people easily send money around the world, including through its own WhatsApp payment service. Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook chief executive officer, has said that “it should be as easy to send money to someone as it is to send a photo”.The India payments audit currently underway meets the regulator’s stipulation which asks that all data be stored in India including “full end-to-end transaction details / information collected / carried / processed as part of the message / payment instruction.” India’s central bank gave foreign and Indian payments services time to comply. “For the foreign leg of the transaction, if any, the data can also be stored in the foreign country, if required,” the Reserve Bank stipulated.The messaging app’s entry into India’s digital payments market has been likened to that of WeChat, given that it has a massive user base, and is also expected to reshape payments like the Chinese player did when it expanded beyond messaging. The pilot version was praised as user-friendly and threatens other players like Paytm and Google Pay which lack the vital messaging component. But it’s drawn criticism too. Vijay Shekhar Sharma, founder of rival Paytm Payments Bank, had claimed that WhatsApp bypassed security requirements and parent Facebook was attempting to build a walled payments garden.Separate from payments and regulation, WhatsApp has faced criticism in India. Its messaging service has been used to spread fake news and rumors, including some that said to fuel nearly two dozen lynchings in the country.To contact the reporter on this story: Saritha Rai in Bangalore at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at email@example.com, Peter Elstrom, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The venture-capital business is one marked by a fundamental asymmetry, says Scott Kupor, managing partner at VC firm Andreessen Horowitz and this week's guest on Masters in Business: The average venture capitalist has done hundreds or maybe even thousands of deals; the typical entrepreneur is raising capital for the first time.This information and experience asymmetry creates issues, not only for the entrepreneur, who doesn't want to be taken advantage of, but also for the VC, who is concerned with finding and funding quality deals. Kupor, author of the new book "Secrets of Sand Hill Road: Venture Capital and How to Get It," describes the road map for startups that want to better understand the nature of venture capital. He explains the advantages that accrue to any founder who knows how to successfully navigate the perils and pitfalls of the capital-raising process.Kupor explains why Y Combinator and other seed funds were such game changers for start-ups. As entrepreneurs became more educated, the deal funnel and gate-keeper relationship that was previously controlled by a handful of connected VCs was altered. These changes were quite significant: Since 2005, Y Combinator has backed more than 2,000 startups with a combined valuation of more than $100 billion.The influence of venture capital on the U.S. economy is hard to overstate. Venture-backed companies now spend 44% of the entire research-and-development budget for public companies, and the 656 publicly traded businesses that were VC backed make up 20% of the total market capitalization of all public companies.Kupor's favorite books are here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast, Castbox, and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak with Allison Schrager, co-founder of LifeCycle Finance Partners and author of “An Economist Walks into a Brothel: And Other Unexpected Places to Understand Risk.”To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at email@example.comThis 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.