GOOGL - Alphabet Inc.

NasdaqGS - NasdaqGS Real-time price. Currency in USD
1,183.53
-16.91 (-1.41%)
At close: 4:00PM EDT
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Previous close1,200.44
Open1,191.83
Bid1,184.54 x 800
Ask1,196.83 x 900
Day's range1,183.05 - 1,197.40
52-week range977.66 - 1,296.97
Volume927,445
Avg. volume1,600,631
Market cap820.366B
Beta (3Y monthly)0.98
PE ratio (TTM)23.89
EPS (TTM)49.53
Earnings date23 Oct 2019 - 28 Oct 2019
Forward dividend & yieldN/A (N/A)
Ex-dividend dateN/A
1y target est1,411.37
Trade prices are not sourced from all markets
  • Waymo self-driving cars head to Florida for rainy season
    TechCrunch

    Waymo self-driving cars head to Florida for rainy season

    Waymo is taking some of its autonomous vehicles to Florida just in time forhurricane season to begin testing in heavy rain

  • IFTTT warns against migrating Nest devices to Google accounts
    TechCrunch

    IFTTT warns against migrating Nest devices to Google accounts

    Google says it’s moving Nest devices over to a unified Google ecosystem for the sake of simplicity. IFTTT’s popular applets for the company’s camera, smoke detector and thermostat are among those exceptions. Do not migrate your Nest account to a Google account.

  • Two Homegrown Companies Defy Argentina’s Gloom
    Bloomberg

    Two Homegrown Companies Defy Argentina’s Gloom

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Investors in Argentina would seem to have no peers among global losers.After voters resoundingly rejected President Mauricio Macri and his free-market policies in primary elections earlier this month, the stock market, as measured by the S&P Merval Index, lost almost half its value in the biggest crash in at least six decades. The country’s currency, the peso, suffered its biggest decline since December 2015. The government’s benchmark-equivalent bond plummeted a record 26% to trade at 56 cents on the dollar, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Argentina, whose economy is the third largest in Latin America, was already reeling from recession and inflation as high as 57.3% in May. The fear among investors now is the return to power of the Peronist party that traditionally stiffed creditors, defaulted on the nation’s bonds and rigged economic data so much that lenders had no incentive for a rescue.Amid the financial carnage, however, are two companies based in Argentina that highlight the country’s potential and showcase possible building blocks for its recovery. They are MercadoLibre Inc., Latin America’s largest online marketplace and biggest provider of online payment and digital financial services, and Globant SA, a software developer and technology services provider. Both are listed in the U.S., but if they were listed in their home country they would be 1.5 times the value of the local stock market, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. MercadoLibre and Globant increased their worldwide workforces 30% and 31%, respectively, to 7,239 and 8,384 in 2018 when most of the nation’s employers were either letting people go or not hiring during the recession.MercadoLibre is the most valuable publicly traded company based in Argentina, with a market value of $30 billion and revenue last year of $1.4 billion. Chief Executive Officer Marcos Eduardo Galperin, who is 47, started the company in his Buenos Aires garage in 1999 after studying at Stanford University. When he was a student, he successfully pitched the idea for the company to an investor while he was driving him to the airport. The company he has built now has operations in 18 countries and is referred to frequently as the Amazon.com of Latin America, with a healthy dose of PayPal thrown in because of its successful payments system.MercadoLibre, which went public in 2007, has gained 442% during the past five years and is still delivering a 109% total return this year. Its revenue is expected to increase 53% this year and 39% in 2020, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg. And while its 48% gross margin is down from previous years, it has been investing heavily in its businesses.Even with that success, Galperin sees a lot more room for growth. “Latin America has 600 million people and we have roughly 50 million people using our platform, up from 4 million” when the company went public, he said during an interview earlier this month at his Buenos Aires headquarters. MercadoLibre “can grow another 10 times from 50 million to 500 million” because “the number of transactions that are done per user in Latin America is still a 10th of what is happening in China.” The company derives only 21% of its revenue inside Argentina, so there’s plenty of room for expansion there.Martin Migoya, the 51-year-old chairman, CEO and co-founder of Globant, shared Galperin’s views about growth opportunities, calling the digital space “the largest single opportunity in the planet today.” His company, which was started in 2003, develops software and services for an array of mobile, social media, cloud-computing, gaming and big-data purposes, including artificial intelligence and machine learning. Its clients, 90% of which are in the U.S., have included such prominent companies as Google, Electronic Arts and Walt Disney.During an interview earlier this month at his Buenos Aires headquarters, Migoya said Globant, which generates only 5% of its sales in Argentina, is especially prepared to benefit from “a $5 trillion market in the next five years” made up of “digital transformation and cognitive transformation, which means applying artificial intelligence to pretty much everything.”Globant, which has a market value of $3.3 billion and generated $522 million in revenue last year, has gained 621% over the past five years and is returning 60% this year. Its sales are expected to increase 24% in 2019 and 21% next year, according to analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.The performances of MercadoLibre and Globant haven’t gone unnoticed. Toronto-based Dynamic Power Global Growth Fund, managed by Noah Blackstein, produced the largest total returns during the past 10, five and one years among more than 1,000 global mutual funds, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. MercadoLibre is the largest holding, accounting for more than 7% of the fund, according to the most recent filing. Globant makes up 5%.Blackstein looks for companies, not countries, when he invests. “My focus is finding the biggest opportunities for growth wherever they lie in the world, be they in technology, health care and retail,” he said in a July interview.By his measure, Argentina has some of the brightest prospects. As the country descends once again into political and economic instability, MercadoLibre and Globant can remind citizens and investors alike that a downward spiral doesn’t have to be the status quo.To contact the author of this story: Matthew A. Winkler at mwinkler@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at dniemi1@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Matthew A. Winkler is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the editor-in-chief emeritus of Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Twitter Helps China Push Agenda Abroad Despite Ban in Mainland

    (Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. removed hundreds of accounts linked to the Chinese government this week meant to undermine the legitimacy of Hong Kong protests. It also said it would no longer allow state media to purchase ads on its platform.What Twitter didn’t mention in its series of blog posts this week was the increasing number of Chinese officials, diplomats, media, and government agencies using the social media service to push Beijing’s political agenda abroad. Twitter employees actually help some of these people get their messages across, a practice that hasn’t been previously reported. The company provides certain officials with support, like verifying their accounts and training them on how to amplify messages, including with the use of hashtags.This is despite a ban on Twitter in China, which means most people on the mainland can’t use the service or see opposing views from abroad. Still, in the last few days, an account belonging to the Chinese ambassador to Panama took to Twitter to share videos painting Hong Kong protesters as vigilantes. He also responded to Panamanian users’ tweets about the demonstrations, which began in opposition to a bill allowing extraditions to China.China’s ambassador to the U.S. tweeted that “radical protesters” were eroding the rule of law embraced by the silentmajority of Hong Kongers. The Chinese Mission to the United Nations’ Twitter account asked protesters to “stop the violence, for a better Hong Kong,” while social media accounts of Chinese embassies in Manila, India and the Maldives shared articles from China’s state media blaming Westerners for disrupting the city. “Separatists in Hong Kong kept in close contact with foreign elements,” one story says above a photo of U.S. Vice President Mike Pence."We know China is adept at controlling domestic information, but now they are trying to use Western platforms like Twitter to control the narrative on the international stage,” said Jacob Wallis, a senior analyst at the Australian Strategic Policy Institute’s International Cyber Policy Centre.It’s unclear if any of these diplomats were set up on the service by Twitter, but the state-backed attempt to discredit Hong Kong protesters continues to reach millions of global Twitter users. In many cases, the Chinese officials are promoting views similar to those in 936 accounts Twitter banned on Monday.The practice of supporting Chinese officials who use Twitter to spread the Communist Party agenda raises questions about the social media company’s commitment to rooting out disinformation and misinformation on the internet. It also raises concerns around why Twitter is helping Beijing make its case to a global audience when the service is banned in China, where dissenting voices are prohibited and officials sometimes detain users accessing the platform through virtual private networks.Twitter’s recent effort to curtail China’s government-directed misinformation campaigns, which provoked outrage from state media, seems at odds with continuing to welcome pro-Beijing accounts that attack Hong Kong protesters, said Wallis.“There’s a clear tension for Twitter here having seen that Beijing is willing to use the platform in deceptive and manipulative ways, whilst desiring to use the platform for state diplomacy,” Wallis said.The tweets are part of a broader campaign by China to reshape the narrative over Hong Kong, particularly in Western nations more sympathetic to the democratic aspirations of protesters. China this week also sent a 43-page letter to senior editors at foreign news outlets, including the Wall Street Journal, Reuters and Bloomberg.Twitter says it works with public officials and politicians around the world, not just in China, and that everyone deserves a voice in the public discourse, as long as they follow its rules and policies. The company has used the same argument to defend hosting tweets by U.S. President Donald Trump, which some users have questioned. Twitter has said it aims to “advance global, public conversation” and that public figures “play a critical role in that conversation because of their out-sized impact on our society,“ in a blog post last year.On Monday, Twitter said in a blog post that it would stop accepting advertising from state-controlled media: "Any affected accounts will be free to continue to use Twitter to engage in public conversation, just not our advertising products."Twitter’s embrace of Chinese officials on the platform also highlights how some American tech companies try to make inroads in the enormous market, despite government restrictions on their services. Facebook Inc. founder Mark Zuckerberg, for example, has repeatedly expressed a desire to enter China. Twitter oversees the China business from offices in Hong Kong and Singapore.Like Google, Facebook and other sites blocked in China, Twitter sells advertising to Chinese companies like Huawei Technologies Co. and Xiaomi Corp. that are trying to reach overseas users. Before Twitter’s policy change this week, it had also sold ad space to Chinese state media companies that used them to push the narrative that Hong Kong protests were orchestrated by foreign forces and angry mobs unrepresentative of the city’s majority. Facebook didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.YouTube, part of Alphabet Inc., doesn’t have a specific policy that bars state-funded media, but the company’s ad policies require government-funded channels to be labeled as such. This week, state media including the Global Times published videos about the Hong Kong demonstrations, including an interview with a police officer who said he was “critically injured by violent protesters.” The company didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment on the matter.Both Twitter and Facebook have established programs to make sure public figures around the world sign up for their sites and understand how to use them effectively. The idea is that people who have a following — athletes, actors or singers — will create interest for their other users in the website. For years, the work has extended to politics, with the social networks signing up and training political figures. For example, Facebook has embedded staff with or trained Trump; Philippines President Rodrigo Duterte, known for encouraging extrajudicial killings; and Germany’s anti-immigrant Alternative for Germany party (AfD) in how to most effectively use the platform, Bloomberg News has reported.Twitter and Facebook have implemented terms of service that ban certain practices, including bot accounts that appear to be real people and promote misinformation. But government officials and state media still have wide latitude to say what they want.“If Trump is going to use Twitter to deliver his message to the Chinese government, then it makes perfect sense China should be using this medium to send signals back,” said Samm Sacks, cybersecurity policy and China digital economy fellow at think tank New America. “But then we get into this coordinated state misinformation domain and it raises problematic questions around what is propaganda and what is misinformation.”\--With assistance from Mark Bergen, Kurt Wagner and Daniel Ten Kate.To contact the reporters on this story: Shelly Banjo in Hong Kong at sbanjo@bloomberg.net;Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Peter Elstrom at pelstrom@bloomberg.net, Edwin ChanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Palantir Renews U.S. Immigration Contract Despite Protests
    Bloomberg

    Palantir Renews U.S. Immigration Contract Despite Protests

    (Bloomberg) -- Palantir Technologies Inc. agreed to extend a contract to provide U.S. immigration authorities with data-mining software, dismissing concerns from activists who say the technology enables unethical policies, including the separation of migrant families.The contract with Immigration and Customs Enforcement will continue through 2022, according to a redacted document made public this week. The value of the deal wasn’t disclosed. The agreement strengthens a longstanding relationship, wherein immigration officials use Palantir’s data management software to build profiles on people.Peter Thiel, the billionaire supporter of President Donald Trump, is a founder and primary backer of Palantir. The privately held company got its start working with U.S. intelligence agencies and also counts the Defense Department among its major clients. Officials have described the software as an essential investigative tool.Palantir is the only company capable of upgrading its own software, and switching providers would be an extremely costly prospect for a government agency. For those reasons, the contract extension would be seen as routine in a less politically charged environment. Yet, Alphabet Inc.’s Google faced a similar decision last year, when employees fiercely opposed a project to provide artificial intelligence tools to the U.S. military. Workers said Google was effectively supplying a weapon, and the company decided to let the contract lapse.Although Palantir hasn’t faced a major protest from its workers, activists have taken up the cause. Picketers from the Latino advocacy group Mijente and other organizations swarmed the company’s headquarters in Palo Alto, California, last week, the latest in a months-long campaign against the company.Alex Karp, the chief executive officer of Palantir, has said companies have a civic duty to defend American interests. Thiel, meanwhile, called for a federal investigation of Google for its decision to abandon the military project while maintaining a presence in China. The White House said it looked into the matter and found nothing of concern. A spokeswoman for Palantir didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.To contact the reporter on this story: Lizette Chapman in San Francisco at lchapman19@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Mark Milian at mmilian@bloomberg.net, Anne VanderMeyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Better Buy Amid Market Volatility: Amazon (AMZN) vs. Walmart (WMT) Stock
    Zacks

    Better Buy Amid Market Volatility: Amazon (AMZN) vs. Walmart (WMT) Stock

    Let's take a look at which stock, Amazon (AZMN) vs. Walmart (WMT), looks like a better buy amid market volatility...

  • Why Alteryx Should Be on Your Radar
    Motley Fool

    Why Alteryx Should Be on Your Radar

    This data analytics company is still independent after Alphabet and Salesforce went on their recent shopping sprees.

  • YouTube Plans to End Targeted Ads on Videos Aimed at Kids
    Bloomberg

    YouTube Plans to End Targeted Ads on Videos Aimed at Kids

    (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 mbergen10@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Emily Biuso, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • DOJ Talking With States in ‘Broad’ Tech Antitrust Probe
    Bloomberg

    DOJ Talking With States in ‘Broad’ Tech Antitrust Probe

    (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 dmclaughlin9@bloomberg.net;Vicky Graham in Arlington at vgraham7@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Paula Dwyer, Mark NiquetteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • CooTek (Cayman) Inc (CTK) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript
    Motley Fool

    CooTek (Cayman) Inc (CTK) Q2 2019 Earnings Call Transcript

    CTK earnings call for the period ending June 30, 2019.

  • Could Accusing Google Help Trump in the 2020 Election?
    Market Realist

    Could Accusing Google Help Trump in the 2020 Election?

    During the heated run-up to the 2020 election, Alphabet (GOOGL) has faced frequent criticism from President Trump. Google stock has fallen 1.5% this month.

  • Apple's TV Splurge Just Adds to the Madness
    Bloomberg

    Apple's TV Splurge Just Adds to the Madness

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Get ready, TV fans, because the next few months are going to be wild. Apple Inc., AT&T Inc., Netflix Inc. and Walt Disney Co. are spending billions of dollars on so much new streaming content that there will be little reason to leave your couch this winter – or to keep your cable subscription.Apple gave a taste yesterday of what it’s been working on by releasing a trailer for “The Morning Show,” an original series that looks so good it could easily be mistaken for an HBO production. With an all-star cast led by Jennifer Aniston, Reese Witherspoon and Steve Carell, Apple is said to be spending $300 million alone for the first two seasons. The company has committed a whopping $6 billion overall to produce original shows and movies, according to the Financial Times, which would match what Netflix spent in 2017 and would also be in the same ballpark as Amazon.com Inc.’s expected content investment for this year. Other outlets have disputed that Apple’s budget is quite so large. Either way, it’s clear the iPhone maker is serious about streaming. The Apple TV+ and Disney+ video-on-demand apps will both be available by mid-November, followed by AT&T’s HBO Max product. They are game-changers for the pay-TV industry, already littered with live-TV streaming products from Sling TV to YouTube TV.Disney has spent about $15 million per episode to make “The Mandalorian,” a live-action “Star Wars” series that will serve as the flagship of Disney+, according to the Wall Street Journal. That’s about $120 million for the first season, which isn’t far from what Disney shelled out for “Captain Marvel,” the third-biggest movie of the year in terms of U.S. box-office ticket sales. The company expects to invest more than $1 billion in original content for the app next year and another roughly $1 billion for licensed content. These streaming wars are risky. Studio owners generally have a sense of what a TV program could deliver in advertising revenue and how large of a theater audience a film might draw. But Disney+ will charge just $7 a month and contain no ads. The company is betting it can build a large enough customer base so that all these pricey investments that have shareholders wincing right now will pay off some day.In the Apple TV trailer above, Aniston’s character at one point says, “I just need to be able to control the narrative so that I am not written out of it.” It struck me as funny because that’s exactly what Disney and its peers are trying to do as they flood the market with content and turn a blind eye to the cost. Disney predicts it will have 60 million to 90 million Disney+ subscribers globally by the end of fiscal 2024, when the app finally begins making money. Analysts see Apple TV+ topping 100 million in the next five years, according to Bloomberg News. While both are starting from zero, they do have the advantage of strong, far-reaching customer relationships – Disney through its movies and theme parks, and Apple by physically being in most of our pockets already. Netflix is protecting its turf by lighting it on fire. It’s projected to spend about $15 billion for in-house and licensed content this year while burning $3 billion of free cash flow. The company paid $100 million just to keep “Friends” on its platform through 2019. Even though the sitcom hasn’t aired new episodes in more than 15 years, it’s the second-most-watched program on Netflix. After this year, AT&T is reclaiming the rights to the show for its HBO Max product.A little over a year ago, Casey Bloys, HBO’s programming chief, referred to such spending as “irrational exuberance.” But then earlier this year, his boss, HBO Chairman Richard Plepler, left the company in a shake-up by its new parent AT&T. HBO is now ramping up its production slate to reduce churn, or the rate at which bored subscribers are canceling, and HBO Max is reportedly paying $425 million to carry “Friends” for five years starting in 2020. Likewise, the Wall Street Journal reported that Comcast Corp.’s NBCUniversal has its own $500 million five-year exclusive rights deal for “The Office,” the No. 1 show on Netflix. There is a potential fallacy in the companies’ thinking around these lavish deals: What if Netflix subscribers were streaming “Friends” and “The Office” for hours on end simply for background noise, something to mindlessly tune in and out of as they scrolled Instagram or did chores? In that case, perhaps users won’t necessarily miss those specific shows and won’t switch to other services at a rate that would come close to justifying nearly $1 billion for two old sitcoms. In any case, I keep writing about the frustration of needing to pay for and toggle between numerous apps just to access all your favorite content and the confusion that comes with doing so. It’s only going to get worse once Apple TV+, Disney+ and HBO Max launch. But at least there will be no shortage of stuff to watch, and with all this money being thrown around, you know it’ll be good. To contact the author of this story: Tara Lachapelle at tlachapelle@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Beth Williams at bewilliams@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tara Lachapelle is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals, Berkshire Hathaway Inc., media and telecommunications. She previously wrote an M&A column for Bloomberg News.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Facebook's Libra Currency Gets European Union Antitrust Scrutiny
    Bloomberg

    Facebook's Libra Currency Gets European Union Antitrust Scrutiny

    (Bloomberg) -- European Union antitrust regulators are already probing Facebook Inc.’s two-month-old Libra digital currency project, according to a document seen by Bloomberg.The European Commission is "currently investigating potential anti-competitive behavior" related to the Libra Association amid concerns the proposed payment system would unfairly shut out rivals, the EU authority said in a questionnaire sent out earlier this month.Officials said they’re concerned about how Libra may create "possible competition restrictions" on the information that will be exchanged and the use of consumer data, according to the document, which is a standard part of an early-stage EU inquiry to gather information.The investigation into founder Mark Zuckerberg’s ambitions to take on traditional cash adds to another preliminary EU investigation into how Facebook may unfairly use its power to squeeze rival apps. The Brussels-based commission, Europe’s most feared regulator, has already targeted Google and Apple Inc.Facebook and the commission both declined to comment on the investigation. The Menlo Park, California-based company has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Global CurrencyLed by a social network with more users than the combined population of China and the U.S., Libra represents a potential challenge that the guardians of money have never faced: a global currency they neither control nor manage.The EU questionnaire said regulators are also examining the possible integration of Libra-backed applications into Facebook services such as WhatsApp and Messenger. It said their investigation focuses on the governance structure and membership of the Libra Association.Facebook has previously promised to appease all regulators before launching the cryptocurrency, a process that could take some time.Visa Inc. declined to comment while the Libra Association representatives didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Mastercard Inc. had no immediate comment.Aside from the antitrust division, other EU regulators are "monitoring market developments in the area of crypto assets and payment services, including Libra and its development," a spokesman for the commission’s financial services department said.Data-protection supervisors are also worried about how Libra will share information. They said earlier this month that Facebook had the potential to combine "vast reserves of personal information with financial information and cryptocurrency, amplifying privacy concerns about the network’s design and data-sharing arrangements."\--With assistance from Alexander Weber, Alastair Marsh and James Hertling.To contact the reporters on this story: Lydia Beyoud in Arlington at lbeyoud2@bloomberg.net;Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Peter Chapman, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Alphabet, Apple, Microsoft and Amazon

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon, Apple, Fitbit and Alphabet
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon, Apple, Fitbit and Alphabet

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Amazon, Apple, Fitbit and Alphabet

  • Can Growing Partner Base Aid salesforce's (CRM) Q2 Earnings?
    Zacks

    Can Growing Partner Base Aid salesforce's (CRM) Q2 Earnings?

    salesforce's (CRM) second-quarter fiscal 2020 results are likely to gain from the growing adoption of its cloud offerings, aided by its expanding partner ecosystem.

  • Motley Fool

    Disney Announces Additional Launch Dates for Disney+

    Soon after its U.S. debut, the streaming service will begin rolling out globally.

  • 3 New Ways Macy's Is Trying to Turn Itself Around
    Motley Fool

    3 New Ways Macy's Is Trying to Turn Itself Around

    But will a cloud partnership, subscription rental service, and a clothing resale platform really win back shoppers?

  • Google Android Will Remain on Top for a Long Time
    Market Realist

    Google Android Will Remain on Top for a Long Time

    Google’s (GOOGL) Android software will continue to dominate the global mobile operating system market. Android will also widen its market share.

  • Bloomberg

    The Venture-Capital Opportunity in Basic Sciences

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Venture capitalists tend to focus mostly on funding software, apps and technology rather than the basic sciences. This created an opportunity for this week's guest on Master in Business, Josh Wolfe, and his partners at Lux Capital. The venture firm was set up to “support scientists and entrepreneurs who pursue counter-conventional solutions to the most vexing puzzles in physical and life sciences.”In our conversation, Wolfe, a Lux co-founder, discusses the process of investing in entrepreneurs in basic sciences, noting that it requires a mix of skill and luck, and a healthy dose of contrarian thinking.One of Lux’s first investments epitomized this: In an era of rising alternative-energy technologies such as solar, wind, biofuels, ethanol and batteries, Lux went in a different direction. Concluding that nuclear energy was being neglected by the venture community, Lux invested in a high-tech solution to nuclear waste. The work required expertise in a variety of basic sciences, including materials, chemicals, physics and vitrification. The firm backed a start-up to address the issue, naming it Kurion (after Marie Curie). When the Fukushima disaster occurred in Japan, Kurion played an important role in the cleanup. The company was eventually sold to French energy giant Veolia Environnement SA, returning a 100-fold return on the initial investment.Wolfe also discussed the advantages of locking up investor capital for seven to 10 years, seeking a threefold return on invested funds. The assumption is that all the gains will be the result of one of two companies out of many seeded with capital, while the others will break even or be losers.His favorite books are here.You can stream/download the full conversation, including the podcast extras on Apple iTunes, Bloomberg, Spotify, Google Podcasts, Overcast and Stitcher. All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite hosts can be found here.Next week, we speak Jay Bowen of Bowen Hanes & Co., which has been the sole manager of the Tampa Firefighters’ and Police Officers’ Pension Fund during the past 44 years, outperforming the markets during that period.To contact the author of this story: Barry Ritholtz at britholtz3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Greiff at jgreiff@bloomberg.netThis 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.

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