GOOGL Jun 2020 1155.000 put

OPR - OPR Delayed price. Currency in USD
5.90
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 2:22PM EST. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close5.90
Open5.90
Bid0.00
Ask0.00
Strike1,155.00
Expiry date2020-06-19
Day's range5.90 - 5.90
Contract rangeN/A
Volume10
Open interest41
  • Facebook asks for a moat of regulations it already meets
    TechCrunch

    Facebook asks for a moat of regulations it already meets

    It's suspiciously convenient that Facebook already fulfills most of the regulatory requirements it's asking governments to lay on the rest of the tech industry. Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg is in Brussels lobbying the European Union's regulators as they form new laws to govern artificial intelligence, content moderation and more. The idea was to strengthen privacy and weaken exploitative data collection that tech giants like Facebook and Google depend on for their business models.

  • Elon Musk Calls Bill Gates Underwhelming After Billionaire Buys a Porsche
    Bloomberg

    Elon Musk Calls Bill Gates Underwhelming After Billionaire Buys a Porsche

    (Bloomberg) -- Bill Gates paid Tesla Inc. a compliment for coaxing the car industry to go electric. If he was expecting kind words in return from Elon Musk, he apparently shouldn’t have spoken about challenges that still lie ahead -- or about his new Porsche.Gates, the billionaire co-founder of Microsoft Corp., spoke with a YouTube influencer last week about the challenges of reducing emissions to slow climate change. He called the passenger-car industry “one of the most hopeful” sectors taking action in this regard.“And certainly Tesla, if you had to name one company that’s helped drive that, it’s them,” Gates told YouTuber Marques Brownlee.Then Gates discussed recently buying a Porsche Taycan. While he called the electric sports car “very, very cool,” he acknowledged its premium price -- the initial Turbo S models start at $185,000 -- and said consumers still have to overcome anxieties about EVs offering limited range and taking longer to recharge. Gasoline-powered cars travel longer between quick refuels at stations that outnumber charging points.When a Tesla enthusiast posted about being disappointed in Gates’s decision to buy a Taycan instead of a Tesla and his comments about range anxiety, Musk replied: “My conversations with Gates have been underwhelming tbh.”Musk, 48, is of course no stranger to tweeting dismissively about fellow billionaires. The Tesla chief executive officer questioned Facebook Inc. CEO Mark Zuckerberg’s understanding of artificial intelligence risks in 2017. Last year, he called Jeff Bezos a copycat after the Amazon.com Inc. CEO embarked on an internet-satellite project that could rival one that Musk’s closely held company SpaceX is pursuing.The Tesla CEO’s commentary on Porsche’s Taycan has been mixed. After chiding the sports car brand for using internal combustion engine nomenclature for the high-end version of its debut electric vehicle, he tweeted in September that it “does seem like a good car.”(Updates with Musk’s tweets on Taycan in last paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Craig Trudell in New York at ctrudell1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Craig Trudell at ctrudell1@bloomberg.net, Will DaviesFor 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.

  • 20 years after dot-com peak, tech dominance keeps investors on edge
    Reuters

    20 years after dot-com peak, tech dominance keeps investors on edge

    SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Wall Street approaches the 20th anniversary of the piercing of the dot-com bubble, today's decade-old rally led by a few small players shows some similarities that cautious investors are keeping an eye on. March 11, 2000 marked the beginning of a crash of overly-inflated stocks that would last over two years, lead to the failure of investor favorites including Worldcom and Pets.com and take over 13 years for Wall Street to recover from.

  • Graphic: 20 years after dot-com peak, tech dominance keeps investors on edge
    Reuters

    Graphic: 20 years after dot-com peak, tech dominance keeps investors on edge

    SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - As Wall Street approaches the 20th anniversary of the piercing of the dot-com bubble, today's decade-old rally led by a few small players shows some similarities that cautious investors are keeping an eye on. March 11, 2000 marked the beginning of a crash of overly-inflated stocks that would last over two years, lead to the failure of investor favorites including Worldcom and Pets.com and take over 13 years for Wall Street to recover from. Now, after hitting a record high on Feb. 13, the Nasdaq has reached over 9,700 points, almost double its high point in 2000 and about eight times the level of its trough in 2002.

  • Bloomberg

    Facebook’s Business Model Is What Brussels Hates

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- It’s not very surprising that Mark Zuckerberg’s state-visit-style trip to Brussels got a pretty chilly reception from European Union officials. The Facebook Inc. co-founder is pleading for more regulation to solve what he and his top lobbyist Nick Clegg consider to be a failure of public policy: If only governments could agree on how to regulate the internet without curbing free expression, the social network would be only too happy to comply.This analysis is not new, and entirely misdiagnoses the problem in the Europeans’ view: It is Facebook’s business model, which hoovers up billions of users’ intimate thoughts and behavior patterns to better target ads, which is the issue. And it’s one that the social network would prefer just to tinker with at the margins, given the costs involved.Judging by Facebook’s new 22-page paper on regulating online content, and Zuckerberg’s published speeches, the company views its own misadventures as simply symptoms of a bigger online disease. If regulators could just define harmful or illegal content, set the limits on free speech, quantify targets for the quality control that tech platforms should perform on their networks’ content — and do so at a global level — the results would be clear.There’s a clear self-interest on display here. Aside from being short on detail and big on “stakeholder” dialog, Facebook’s vision would conveniently raise the barriers to entry for smaller rivals in a market that is already dominated by a handful of players, while itself continuing to benefit from the scale effects of keeping Whatsapp and Instagram under one roof. Together, Facebook and Google controlled over half of digital ad revenue in 2018.One-size-fits-all regulation would be ideal for a globe-straddling company that boasts billions of users, an array of interlocking and addictive apps, and plans to launch its own digital currency to further lock people into its walled garden. There would be less to fear from the idea of data “portability” — even if users had the freedom to leave with all of their data and contacts, where else would they go? Facebook might also be only too happy to push quantifiable regulatory targets onto its 30,000 frazzled and overloaded content moderators. No wonder European Commissioner Thierry Breton dismissed Zuckerberg’s ideas as “too slow” and “too low” in terms of accountability.The real blind spot for Zuckerberg is the Facebook business model, which is precisely what the EU wants the firm to address. Mark Zuckerberg says he cannot be responsible for 100 billion pieces of content — but that’s not really true. It’s more that it would be very painful — possibly existential — for the economics of Facebook to hire the necessary moderators and engineers to make it happen. Zuckerberg’s idea that Facebook is somewhere between a newspaper and a telecom operator is exactly the kind of vision that European regulators reject: They are more inclined to view Facebook as a financial-services firm, where valuable consumer deposits — or personal data — rub up against speculative and risky activity, such as targeted advertising and monopoly power. Systemic risk merits systemic scrutiny.Therein lies the challenge for Brussels. So far, the sum total of regulatory action against Facebook is akin to “being nibbled to death by ducks,” a view recently expressed by Roger McNamee, one of Facebook’s earliest investors.  Facebook’s stock price slumped last month after its results showed slowing growth and higher expenses, but it has since rebounded. This is still a $610 billion company with an adjusted net income margin of 35% that makes over $20 billion in revenue per quarter. Shareholder challenges to company management have hit the brick wall of Zuckerberg’s absolute control of voting rights. And despite some U.S. politicians’ calls to break up Facebook, there’s increasing convergence between Zuckerberg’s interests and Donald Trump’s geopolitical ambitions. European attempts to better tax tech companies have resulted in swift U.S. counter-blows on trade; Trump also sees Facebook’s financial-services push as an extension of the U.S. dollar’s power.If the aim is to change the way Facebook works, there will have to be a lot more biting going forward, from enforcement of privacy law and upgrading of antitrust law to more scrutiny of how the company’s algorithms and content moderation are working. Otherwise Zuckerberg’s next visit to Brussels risks being depressingly familiar.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at llaurent2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Melissa Pozsgay at mpozsgay@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Lionel Laurent is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Brussels. He previously worked at Reuters and Forbes.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Apple Is Handcuffed to the iPhone. Just Like Its Customers
    Bloomberg

    Apple Is Handcuffed to the iPhone. Just Like Its Customers

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Apple Inc.’s earnings warning is an unfortunate reminder that, for all of its work to change investor perceptions over the past few years, it remains “the iPhone company.”For much of its six-year reign as the world’s biggest company by market capitalization through to the end of 2018, Apple was actually less valuable than Google parent Alphabet Inc. and Facebook Inc. on one crucial measure. The smartphone maker’s shares traded at a discount to those of the advertising technology giants based on its projected earnings — meaning investors were willing to pay more for a share of its rivals’ future profit. Even in its pomp three years ago, Apple’s stock traded at just 14 times forward earnings. Alphabet and Facebook traded at 20 times and 24 times earnings respectively.This showed that investors were more confident in Google and Facebook maintaining, or increasing, their profits that they were in Apple doing the same. That was largely because Apple is fundamentally a hardware company: At the time it was getting almost two-thirds of its revenue from the iPhone. It has lower gross profit margins since it has to pay for all the components used to make the handsets, as well as the labor and shipping costs. And, in order to meet its earnings targets, Apple has to convince consumers to spend another $800 on a smartphone every two years. If it ever came up with a dud iPhone, then earnings would suffer.As software companies, Google and Facebook have much higher gross profit. And given their stranglehold on internet advertising, they can count on regularly recurring revenue from that business. Back in 2017, Facebook knew it could generate an average of $21 per quarter for each user from fees that brands would pay to get their ads in front of users’ eyeballs. It wasn’t dependent on any one consumer product to keep that income flowing.Apple, unhappy about its relative discount, has spent much of the past four years working to lose it by moving beyond hardware. In 2019, iPhone sales represented 55% of its total revenue, down from a 2015 peak of 66%. In part, that’s because sales of the smartphone have declined, but Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook has also invested aggressively in new services (think Apple Music, TV+, News+, Arcade and so on), as well as wearable devices such as the Apple Watch and AirPods.This has made Apple less dependent on the iPhone. And it’s made the company’s customers more dependent on the device. Since the Apple Watch must be paired with an iPhone, for instance, it reduces the chance of customers trading in their Apple handset for a phone that runs on Android. The handcuffs are tightened every time somebody installs a new game from Arcade or adds songs from Apple Music to their library – they’d lose them all by abandoning the company’s operating system.Apple’s valuation has reacted commensurately. The stock is trading at 23 times forward earnings, more than Facebook’s 21 times and just shy of Alphabet’s 24 times. That’s partly down to the adtech giants’ own regulatory troubles — brought on by their troubling use of personal data and disquiet about their online ads duopoly. But Apple has succeeded too in convincing investors that it has dependable recurring revenue.That faith will have been shaken a little on Tuesday morning, after the company said revenue in the first three months of the year won’t hit the low end of its expected $63 billion to $67 billion range. The stock was trading some 4% lower in out-of-hours trading. The new coronavirus has stifled demand from Chinese shoppers less able to leave the house, and made it harder to recruit the workers needed to make its new low-cost handset.That stifled demand will no doubt recover once the virus abates. Nonetheless, this is a clear reminder that, for all its efforts, the iPhone is still Apple’s chief source of income. And that it will always be vulnerable to the capricious nature of consumer demand.To contact the author of this story: Alex Webb at awebb25@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Apple’s Outlook Cut Revives Questions About China Over-Reliance
    Bloomberg

    Apple’s Outlook Cut Revives Questions About China Over-Reliance

    (Bloomberg) -- For the second time in as many years, Apple Inc. has had to temper its sales outlook because of unexpected shifts in China, the country that’s served as the engine of its growth and success. First a trade war with the U.S. and now the outbreak of a novel coronavirus have called into question China’s role as a reliable market and supply chain partner for the world’s most valuable maker of consumer electronics.The coronavirus that’s stifled China’s meticulously orchestrated production and logistics has hit both Apple’s supply and demand -- factories are resuming work slower than expected, the company announced, and most of its 42 stores in the country lie dormant -- illustrating how heavily exposed its business is to disruptions in the world’s most populous country. A fall in sales within China is likely to be the most immediate impact this quarter, while widespread production bottlenecks there risk hurting global iPhone revenue in subsequent months.Amid its coronavirus troubles, Apple has been preparing to launch a new low-cost iPhone at around $400, Bloomberg News has reported. The model is still on track to launch in March, though the plans are still fluid, according to people familiar with the matter. Apple has also been preparing updated iPad Pro models with a new camera system for the first half of 2020 and the virus may yet impose delays or constraints on those plans.Apple Won’t Meet Quarterly Revenue Target Due to CoronavirusUpon joining the company in the late 1990s, Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook transformed Apple’s supply chain into the efficient juggernaut that’s been the longtime envy of the industry. Products are manufactured in China with the help of low-cost, but skilled, labor and shipped around the world in a matter of days. Relying on Taiwan’s Foxconn Technology Group to run on-the-ground operations and China’s abundant investment in transport to ensure logistics, Apple has become a trillion-dollar company largely by selling made-in-China iPhones, iPads, Macs and accessories.Responsible for millions of jobs in the country, Cook’s Apple has also garnered enough goodwill with the Chinese government to gain access to its market that is unmatched among U.S. tech heavyweights. Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google are looking in from the outside, whereas Apple can sell all of its gadgets there. The Cupertino, California firm brings in more than $40 billion per year from Greater China, shy only of its takings from the U.S. and Europe. This strength is also the source of Apple’s vulnerability.On Monday, Apple cut its earnings guidance for the quarter ending Mar. 31, which was already wider than usual because of the unpredictability of the coronavirus fallout. U.S. stock index futures and shares in Apple suppliers from Japan to Hong Kong fell after the outlook warning kindled concerns about the damage the epidemic is causing global corporations and the Apple ecosystem. Last year, the company adjusted earnings because of a shortfall in iPhone demand in China, which it blamed in part on the ongoing trade war between Washington and Beijing.Production snarls at Apple’s main iPhone-making base of Zhengzhou may extend well into the June quarter and possibly beyond. Foxconn’s Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. only started seasonal recruitment on Monday, weeks behind schedule, and it’s been severely hindered by new policies intended to curb the spread of Covid-19 on campus. One recruiter, speaking on condition of anonymity, told Bloomberg News that the company was only hiring new workers from the local Zhengzhou area, tightening restrictions and eliminating the vast majority of available labor pool.Implementing a rolling quarantine of up to 14 days for returning workers from more distant provinces, Foxconn faces additional challenges in managing the movement of untold numbers of staff. In Shenzhen, as many as 10 workers are packed in each dorm room as they endure their assigned sequester period. The available beds are running short as a growing number of workers travel back, according to one person who helped arrange the program.‘Nightmare’ for Global Tech: Virus Fallout Is Just BeginningVirus contagion has shuttered plants across China for weeks longer than anticipated after the Lunar New Year break, and the nightmare scenario feared by Foxconn and its ilk is the infection spreading across factory floors, which could potentially freeze parts of the supply chain and trigger cascading shortages. Apple’s facilities have all reopened, said the U.S. firm, but evidence on the ground suggests they’re still far from fully operational.Existing iPhone inventories at retailers will soften the immediate blow of slower manufacturing, but analysts anticipate worldwide shortages will follow, extending the impact of the present disruption.“I expect we’re going to start seeing iPhone shortages outside of China, which plays into the guidance,” said Apple analyst Shannon Cross from Cross Research. “In theory, it shouldn’t be demand destructive. It should just mean there should be a larger backlog of demand when these issues are resolved.”The immediate reaction to Apple’s forecast cut has been a drag on Asian tech shares, especially those of suppliers to the company. But some impact on Apple was already widely anticipated.Tech Investors Jolted by Apple Pin Hopes on a Fast Turnaround“We’ve been getting nothing but headlines about the virus for weeks. Starbucks is closing its stores, Caterpillar is shutting its facilities. Company after company has been saying this,” Jim Paulsen, chief investment strategist at Leuthold Group, said by phone, expressing investor optimism for a fast turnaround. “We have been expecting bad sales headlines, this isn’t good, but it’s not surprising.”Moving entirely out of China would be practically impossible for Apple in the short term, given the scale of its established network and the country’s incomparable ability to mobilize a workforce of millions. Similarly strong disruption threats to its supply chain arose in 2018 and 2019, largely spurred by trade war conflagrations, but Cook’s team has held steadfast in its commitment to the region and hasn’t shown any significant momentum toward a major move out.“Apple’s supply chain in China is so tight and large, it would be difficult to replicate outside the region,” Cross said. “I think you’ll continue to see small expansions into India, but the vast majority of production will remain in China.”Apple has indicated that its overall business is still strong, saying that it remained on track revenue-wise in regions outside of China for both products and services. The company is engaged in a long-term diversification shift that’s seen it pour billions of dollars into creating its own streaming content for Apple TV+ and building out subscription services like Apple Music and Apple Arcade. Its strongest step to reduce its China dependence to date has been this move to be less reliant on pure hardware sales for the bulk of its revenue.Addressing the wider smartphone industry in China, Strategy Analytics this month projected a significant hit to shipments in the first half of 2020, to be followed by a recovery and a slight increase in shipments in the closing months of the year. If Apple follows a similar trajectory, it could see iPhone demand shift into later quarters rather than vanishing entirely.“I think Apple remains in a very good position long-term,” Cross said. “I would assume there would be some pressure on the stock, but assuming this is a short term bump in the road, investors will look through it.”To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at mgurman1@bloomberg.net;Debby Wu in Taipei at dwu278@bloomberg.net;Gao Yuan in Beijing at ygao199@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net, Vlad Savov, Edwin ChanFor 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.

  • Crypto Giant Binance Launches Cloud Service in Revenue Shift
    Bloomberg

    Crypto Giant Binance Launches Cloud Service in Revenue Shift

    (Bloomberg) -- Binance Holdings Ltd., one of the world’s largest cryptocurrency-trading platforms, has made its first foray into business services by lending its technology and liquidity to those who want to start their own exchanges.The Malta-based crypto behemoth announced its cloud operation to help business clients and partners set up crypto exchanges using Binance’s tech infrastructure, ranging from matching engines to risk controls and data security systems, according to a company statement.Tech giants like Amazon.com Inc. and Alphabet Inc. have over the years evolved beyond their core consumer-facing services and become some of the world’s biggest cloud providers -- and Binance envisions the same type of success in crypto. Binance Cloud will overtake the company’s main exchange to become its biggest source of revenue in five years, co-founder and CEO “CZ” Zhao Changpeng estimates.“Theoretically speaking, we can let anyone in the world create their own exchanges, and the demand is huge,” the 43-year-old coder-turned-entrepreneur said in an interview. “Even during the crypto winter of 2018 and 2019, hundreds of new exchanges popped up every day.”The cloud division -- which started just three months ago and now has nearly 20 people -- complements Binance’s strategy of attracting fiat money. Like its peers, Binance makes money mostly via transaction fees on its trading platforms, which fluctuate wildly with crypto prices. The shift into enterprise-oriented businesses could also help the startup unlock a more steady revenue stream.Binance started off in 2017 as a crypto-to-crypto trading platform, and gained momentum quickly by handling only tokens like Bitcoin and Ether, which allowed it to avoid dealing with banks and government watchdogs. Now a major player, Zhao’s firm is working to shake off its reputation as a regulatory arbitrageur: It has set up regulatory-compliant fiat exchanges in jurisdictions like Singapore and Jersey as it seeks to appeal to a much larger user base that hasn’t bought digital money yet.Binance Applied for Singapore’s New Crypto License, CEO SaysAnd this isn’t Zhao’s first crack at the cloud business. Before Binance, he was the founder of a Shanghai-based startup called BijieTech specializing in outsourcing tech solutions for crypto exchange operators.Zhao said Binance would favor fiat exchanges as its cloud clients, especially those that target regions or communities where the company doesn’t yet have a strong foothold. Ideally they would also have “good compliance status, relationships, and even strong influence with regulators,” he said.Competition is still nascent in cloud services for crypto exchanges. Binance rival Huobi rolled out its cloud operation in 2018 and has signed up partners including Russia’s VEB Bank and Taiwan’s Chi Fu Group, according to its website.Binance will announce the first fiat exchange powered by its cloud service in the coming weeks, while it has confirmed four other clients in the lineup, Zhao said, without sharing specifics.Aside from tapping into Binance tech, Zhao said clients will also be able to access the order books of all the existing trading pairs on Binance.“Liquidity is a chicken-and-egg problem for small exchanges,” he said. “Without liquidity, they won’t have users.”To contact the reporter on this story: Zheping Huang in Hong Kong at zhuang245@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Edwin Chan at echan273@bloomberg.net, Joanna Ossinger, David ScanlanFor 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.

  • Apple Won’t Meet Quarterly Revenue Target Due to Coronavirus
    Bloomberg

    Apple Won’t Meet Quarterly Revenue Target Due to Coronavirus

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. doesn’t expect to meet its revenue guidance for the March quarter because of work slowdowns and lower smartphone demand, showing that the virus outbreak in China is taking a bigger-than-predicted toll on one of the world’s most valuable companies.The company said that the iPhone, which generates the bulk of Apple’s revenue, is temporarily constrained due to production ramping up more slowly than anticipated. “Work is starting to resume around the country, but we are experiencing a slower return to normal conditions than we had anticipated,” the company said in a statement Monday. In addition, demand for iPhones has been reduced because stores in China have been closed or operating with reduced hours and few customers, the company said.Apple had forecast revenue of $63 billion to $67 billion for the fiscal second quarter ending in March. Analysts on average estimated $65.23 billion, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. The company said in January when it announced its guidance that it anticipated factories reopening beginning Feb. 10. That process however has been slow as factory workers and manufacturing partners look to contain the virus, which has resulted in about 1,800 reported deaths in China, from spreading further.U.S. stock futures slid after Apple amplified worries about the blow to corporate earnings and economic growth from the deadly coronavirus. Apple suppliers TDK Corp. and Murata Manufacturing Co. slid more than 3% in early Asian trade.“This is the double-edged sword of being in China,” said longtime Apple analyst and Loup Ventures co-founder Gene Munster. “They’re the only big company with China exposure, so they are working through the pain of what has largely been a success for the company over the past decade.” Apple is the only major U.S. technology giant to offer the majority of its products and services in China. Products from Facebook Inc., Alphabet Inc.’s Google, Amazon.com Inc. and Netflix Inc. are either limited or unavailable.Still, Apple isn’t the only big tech company impacted by the virus. Nintendo Co. is likely to struggle with production of its Switch gaming device due to coronavirus, while Facebook previously said that it will see production of its Oculus VR headsets drop due to the epidemic.Apple said that, outside of China, products and services sales have been “strong to date and in line with our expectations.”The Cupertino, California-based technology giant didn’t say what its new revenue outlook is for March but that situation is “evolving.” The company said it will share more information during its April earnings call. The disclosure marks the second time in two years that Apple has readjusted its earnings forecast due to China-related factors. For fiscal 2019, it cut holiday earnings projections on slower than expected iPhone sales in China, which it attributed in part to the trade war with the U.S.Apple had been planning to start producing a new low-cost iPhone in February, putting it up for sale as early as March, Bloomberg News has reported. It’s unclear how coronavirus has impacted those plans.Read more: ‘Nightmare’ for Global Tech: Virus Fallout Is Just Beginning (3)“This unexpected news confirms the worst fears of the Street that the virus outbreak has dramatically impacted iPhone supply from China/Foxconn with a demand ripple impact worldwide,” Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities, said in a research note. He kept an outperform rating on the stock and remains bullish on the longer-term outlook.The company said that despite missing its guidance, all of its manufacturing sites for iPhones in the region have reopened. In addition to iPhone constraints, the company cited its inability to sell products at its retail and partner stores in China due to the virus. China represents Apple’s third-biggest market in terms of revenue and has 42 stores, which have been closed for much of February.“Stores that are open have been operating at reduced hours and with very low customer traffic,” Apple said in its statement. “We are gradually reopening our retail stores and will continue to do so as steadily and safely as we can.” Apple said its contact centers and corporate offices in China have already reopened. It has opened a few stores in China, including in Beijing and Shanghai, but with limited operating hours.(Updates with Asian share action from the third paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at mgurman1@bloomberg.net;Sarah Frier in San Francisco at sfrier1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Martin, Catherine LarkinFor 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.

  • Tech Daily: Zuckerberg in Europe, EU Industrial Data, YouTube Dumps App Store, More
    Zacks

    Tech Daily: Zuckerberg in Europe, EU Industrial Data, YouTube Dumps App Store, More

    Top stories covered here include Zuckerberg in Europe, EU stand on industrial data, Google talks with publishers and YouTube dumping the App Store.

  • Facebook Needs Regulation to Win User Trust, Zuckerberg Says
    Bloomberg

    Facebook Needs Regulation to Win User Trust, Zuckerberg Says

    (Bloomberg) -- For years, Facebook Inc. lobbied governments against imposing tough regulations, warning in some cases that they could harm the company’s business model. Now, it’s pleading for new rules for the good of its business.In a white paper published Monday, Facebook detailed its push for internet regulation, calling on lawmakers to devise rules around harmful content, a different model for platforms’ legal liability and a “new type of regulator” to oversee enforcement.“If we don’t create standards that people feel are legitimate, they won’t trust institutions or technology,” Facebook’s Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg said in an op-ed in the Financial Times on Monday. That and the publication of the white paper coincided with a visit to Brussels, home of the European Union institutions that have crafted some of the toughest rules in recent years.Silicon Valley firms have suffered from what’s been dubbed as a “tech lash,” with users frustrated over how web platforms profit from their data. Facebook has borne the brunt of that disenchantment following a series of missteps including privacy breaches and accusations it didn’t do enough to stop election manipulation on its platform. Meanwhile, Facebook’s user growth is stagnating in the U.S. and Canada – its most important markets.“I believe good regulation may hurt Facebook’s business in the near term but it will be better for everyone, including us, over the long term,” Zuckerberg said in the op-ed, echoing comments he made over the weekend at the Munich Security Conference.Read more about Zuckerberg’s visit to Brussels here.In Brussels, Zuckerberg has Monday meetings with EU tech czar Margrethe Vestager and other senior officials as the bloc prepares new legislation in areas including artificial intelligence, gate-keeping tech platforms and liability for users’ posts, all of which could impact Facebook’s business.Zuckerberg has previously called for global regulation covering election integrity, harmful content, privacy and data portability.Political Ads, Harmful ContentIn the op-ed, Zuckerberg said Facebook was hoping for clarity around what constitutes a political ad - especially if paid for a group not directly affiliated with a political party, such as a non-governmental organization. Companies also need clearer lines around data ownership to enable users to move their information between services, he said.In addition, the company would look into opening up its content moderation systems for external audit to help governments design regulation in areas like hate speech, he said.Any new rules should hold internet companies accountable for having certain procedures in place and platforms should meet specific performance targets when it comes to handling content that violates their policies, Facebook said in Monday’s white paper. Rules should also define forms of speech that should be prohibited online, even if they’re not illegal, it said.When it comes to liability for what users post on its platform, Zuckerberg said in a media roundtable in Brussels on Monday that a different regulatory system should be created -- somewhere between newspaper publishers, who can be sued for what journalists write in their pages, and telecommunications companies, who aren’t liable for customer conversations. This legislation may require a new type of regulator that is proficient in data, operations and online content, the company said.European Industry Commissioner Thierry Breton said in a press briefing he had discussed platform regulation, market dominance and liability in a meeting with Zuckerberg this afternoon.Breton took note of Facebook’s use of AI systems to take down more harmful content, but said “if we see that it’s not what we need regarding our own standards, then we will have to regulate.” He also warned the EU could regulate the market dominance of platforms like Facebook’s.Brussels VisitsZuckerberg reiterated that companies shouldn’t be in charge of making decisions that balance competing social values, and said he hopes that new laws will draw cleaner lines to help companies navigate those decisions -- even as regulators in Europe are also investigating Facebook over its compliance with existing privacy and antitrust rules.“People need to feel that global technology platforms answer to someone,” Zuckerberg said in the op-ed, but also stressed that the plea “isn’t about passing off responsibility.” He said that Facebook is continuing to make progress on some of the issues on its own.The Facebook chief’s Brussels visit follows a recent trip by Alphabet Inc. Chief Executive Officer Sundar Pichai in January who came to discuss regulating artificial intelligence. The EU is expected to unveil planned rules for the technology this week, when it’s also likely to flag proposed liability rules for tech platforms coming later this year.It’s not a coincidence that the chief executives of tech firms like Facebook and Google are making the pitch for regulation in the EU capital. They have seen before that, when the EU sets sweeping laws on tech, like the General Data Protection Regulation, the impact can reverberate far beyond its borders.(Updates with Breton comments in 12th, 13th paragraphs)To contact the reporter on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at ndrozdiak1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Amy Thomson, Jennifer RyanFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • EU Fights For ‘Purpose’ in Grand Plan for Tech, AI Rules
    Bloomberg

    EU Fights For ‘Purpose’ in Grand Plan for Tech, AI Rules

    (Bloomberg) -- Terms of Trade is a daily newsletter that untangles a world threatened by trade wars. Sign up here. China might have data and the U.S. might have money, but Europe has purpose.That’s the message European Union tech czar Margrethe Vestager aims to convey on Wednesday when she unveils plans to help the bloc compete with the U.S. and China’s technological might on its own terms, conforming with fundamental EU rights including strict privacy and non-discrimination rules.On the EU’s menu: new rules for AI, possible legislation for gate-keeping platforms, plans to make data centers carbon-neutral, as well as incentives for businesses to share information with the aim of forming data pools that bolster innovation.Vestager, the European Commission’s executive vice president for digital affairs, is trying to reassure anxious Europeans that she can handle concerns Europe is becoming irrelevant while Asian and American companies dominate high-tech markets.The strategy “will produce and deploy much more artificial intelligence” in Europe, but “it will not be the same” as in the U.S. and China, Vestager said in a press briefing to journalists ahead of the announcement. Based on what she knows about their practices, Chinese AI might not meet European standards, she said.Artificial intelligence has started to penetrate every part of society, from shopping suggestions and voice assistants to decisions around hiring, insurance and law enforcement, provoking concerns about privacy, accuracy, safety and fairness. The EU wants to ensure technology deployed in Europe is transparent and has human oversight, particularly for high-risk cases.In situations where the use of AI could pose risks to people’s safety or their legal or employment status, such as those involving self-driving cars or biometric identification, the EU’s requirements could include implementing conformity checks by public authorities, Vestager said.Facial Recognition RulesAccording to a recent draft of the EU document, companies could have to retrain their systems with European data sets if they can’t guarantee the facial recognition or other risky technology was developed in accordance with European values.Facial recognition has sparked an intense debate in the U.S. and Europe as police departments have started testing the technology. In the U.S., reports that police were using technology from Clearview AI -- a startup that’s scraped billions of photos from social media accounts with the aim of helping law enforcement find suspects without criminal records -- caused a backlash from privacy groups and lawmakers.The same groups are urging legislation to prevent abuses of a technology they say is often inaccurate and could restrict people’s freedom to assemble. Meanwhile, law enforcement officials warn against banning a tool that can make societies safer.With the EU’s AI white paper, Vestager said she wanted to start a debate to determine which circumstances it would be justified to deploy remote facial-recognition technology, warning that without such a debate agencies and companies would steam ahead.“Then it will just be everywhere,” Vestager said. She added that one solution for the EU could be to draw up a European-wide legal framework to govern use of the technology.Valley ViewsFollowing Wednesday’s announcement, the EU will begin a 12-week consultation, inviting the public to submit comments to their AI plans before the commission formally proposes legislation as soon as the end of the year.The EU’s plans have already drawn top executives from Silicon Valley to Brussels, including Alphabet Inc.’s Sundar Pichai, to voice their views on how AI should be regulated.Vestager and other EU officials are due to meet Facebook Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg on Monday, who is capping off a trip to Europe with a visit to Brussels to discuss new regulations for the internet.Tech firms have seen before that when the EU sets sweeping laws on tech, like the General Data Protection Regulation, the impact can sprawl far beyond its borders. The EU’s GDPR has spurred similar legislation in Brazil and forced businesses selling into Europe to revise how they collect, store and process information.”EU regulation in this area is likely to have an effect similar to GDPR. People outside Europe are watching the commission,” said Mark Coeckelbergh, a professor of philosophy of media and technology at the University of Vienna. “This is a chance for the EU to set an example of regulation that supports ethical development of AI.”Other parts of the EU’s digital strategy will also serve to rein in U.S. and Chinese companies, potentially to the benefit of European business.Antitrust RulesVestager is also promising a review of antitrust rules, including potential legislation for “gate-keeping platforms,” that would give the EU the ability to crackdown on big tech. While she has fined Google, investigated Amazon.com Inc. and ordered Apple Inc. to pay a massive back-tax bill, the EU has also been criticized for failing to make real changes to how mostly U.S. tech companies have gained power in digital markets.Meanwhile, China’s rapid success in moving into new business areas, taking a global lead on technology and manufacturing where Europe and the U.S. were once ascendant, has also alarmed both Washington and Brussels. German firms have pushed for more barriers to Chinese takeovers and for looser antitrust rules that hinder consolidation between rivals, measures Vestager said she would examine.While EU officials have come to terms with the fact the next Facebook or Google probably won’t come from Europe, they are optimistic about local innovation in robotics, machinery, payments and other business-to-business companies.Plans to encourage data sharing among businesses and with governments -- also to be announced Wednesday --could further boost these firms’ leadership positions. That scheme is also designed to advance the bloc’s AI ambitions by pooling large sets of high-quality industrial data.“We are what we eat and that also goes for artificial intelligence,” Vestager said. “If you eat crappy stuff, well you’re not likely to be a fit for purpose algorithm either.”(Updates with Zuckerberg’s trip to Brussels in 15th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at ndrozdiak1@bloomberg.net;Aoife White in Brussels at awhite62@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Amy ThomsonFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Big Data Won't Save You From Coronavirus
    Bloomberg

    Big Data Won't Save You From Coronavirus

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- How often do you see a piece of economic or financial information revised upward by 45%? And how reliable would you regard a data set that’s subject to such adjustments?This is the problem confronting epidemiologists trying to make sense of the novel coronavirus spreading from China’s Hubei province. On Thursday, the tally there surged by 45% — or 14,480 cases. The revision was largely due to health authorities adding patients diagnosed on the basis of lung scans to a previous count, which was mostly limited to those whose swab tests came back positive.The medical data emerging from hospitals and clinics around the world are invaluable in determining how this outbreak will evolve — but the picture painted by the information is changing almost as fast as the disease itself, and isn’t always of impeccable provenance. Just as novel infections exploit weaknesses in the body’s immune defenses, epidemics have an unnerving habit of spotting the vulnerabilities of the data-driven society we’ve built for ourselves.That’s not a comforting thought. We live in an era where everything seems quantifiable, from our daily movements to our internet search habits and even our heartbeats. At a time when people are scared and seeking certainty, it’s alarming that the knowledge we have on this most important issue is at best an approximate guide to what’s happening.“It’s so easy these days to capture data on anything, but to make meaning of it is not easy at all,” said John Carlin, a professor at the University of Melbourne specializing in medical statistics and epidemiology. “There’s genuinely a lot of uncertainty, but that’s not what people want to know. They want to know it’s under control.”That’s most visible in the contradictory information we’re seeing around how many people have been infected, and what share of them have died. While those figures are essential for getting a handle on the situation, as we’ve argued, they’re subject to errors in sampling and measurement that are compounded in high-pressure, strained circumstances. The physical capacity to do timely testing and diagnosis can’t be taken for granted either, as my colleague Max Nisen has written.Early case fatality rates for Severe Acute Respiratory Syndrome were often 40% or higher before settling down to figures in the region of 15% or less. The age of patients, whether they get sick in the community or in a hospital, and doctors’ capacity and experience in offering treatment can all affect those numbers dramatically.Even the way that coronavirus cases are defined and counted has changed several times, said Professor Raina MacIntyre, head of the University of New South Wales’s Biosecurity Research Program: From “pneumonia of unknown cause” in the early days, through laboratory-confirmed cases once a virus was identified, to the current standard that includes lung scans. That’s a common phenomenon during outbreaks, she said. Those problems are exacerbated by the fact that China’s government has already shown itself willing to suppress medical information for political reasons. While you’d hope the seriousness of the situation would have changed that instinct, the fact casts a shadow of doubt over everything we know.How should the world respond amid this fog of uncertainty?While every piece of information is subject to revision and the usual statistical rule of garbage-in, garbage-out, epidemiologists have ways to make better sense of what is going on. Well-established statistical techniques can be used to clean up messy data. A study this week by Imperial College London used screening of passengers flying to Japan and Germany to estimate the fatality rate for all cases was about 1% — below the 2.7% of confirmed ones found in Hubei province, but higher than the 0.5% seen for the rest of the world.When studies from different researchers using varying techniques start to converge toward common conclusions, that’s also a strong if not faultless indication that we’re on the right track. The number of new infections caused by each coronavirus case has now been identified in the region of 2.2 or 2.3 by several separate  studies, for instance — although that number itself can be subject to change as people quarantine themselves and self-segregate to prevent infection.The troubling truth, though, is that in a society that expects to know everything, this most crucial piece of knowledge is still uncertain.Google can track my every move and tell me where I ate lunch last week, but viruses don’t carry phones. The facts about this disease are hidden in the activity of billions of nanometer-scale particles, spreading through the cells of tens of thousands of humans and the environments we traverse. Big data can barely scratch the surface of solving that problem.To contact the author of this story: David Fickling at dfickling@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Rachel Rosenthal at rrosenthal21@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.David Fickling is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering commodities, as well as industrial and consumer companies. He has been a reporter for Bloomberg News, Dow Jones, the Wall Street Journal, the Financial Times and the Guardian.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Here's why Big Tech is winning the war against the government
    Yahoo Finance

    Here's why Big Tech is winning the war against the government

    The U.S. government has never been a model of consistency but lately the inconsistencies—foolish and otherwise—emerging from Washington directed at the tech industry have become truly mind-blowing.

  • Facebook Prepares for Wave of Influencer Marketing in Politics
    Bloomberg

    Facebook Prepares for Wave of Influencer Marketing in Politics

    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. is trying to clarify how it will handle a new wrinkle in the world of digital political advertising: politicians paying influencers to post on social media platforms like Instagram, which it owns.In the past, political entities were technically barred from offering money for posts, which has become a common practice for marketers. But Facebook is changing its policy after a New York Times report this week about how Michael Bloomberg’s presidential campaign is paying Instagram creators to make and distribute posts making him “look cool.”(Bloomberg is the founder and majority owner of Bloomberg LP, the parent company of Bloomberg News.)A company spokeswoman said Facebook has heard from multiple campaigns about the subject, and wanted it to be easy for users to identify paid political speech, whether it was direct advertising or branded content. “Branded content is different from advertising, but in either case we believe it’s important people know when they’re seeing paid content on our platforms,” the spokeswoman said.Now Facebook is stepping up enforcement of rules — which had been inconsistent —  requiring influencers to use Facebook’s tool to tag paid posts with a prominent disclaimer. It said Friday it will require users who worked with the Bloomberg campaign to retroactively add these disclaimers to branded posts the campaign sponsored. “The campaign was explicitly clear that these posts were ads and sponsored content,” said Sabrina Singh, a Bloomberg campaign spokeswoman. “We went above and beyond to follow Instagram’s rules and the text of the post clearly shows that these are the campaign’s paid ads.” Facebook will now require political candidates buying branded content to register as political advertisers with the company. Unlike other political ads, branded posts won't end up in Facebook's ad archive unless the politician also pays Facebook to promote the posts.  Elizabeth Warren criticized Facebook for creating a new loophole. "Refusing to catalogue paid political ads because the Bloomberg campaign found a workaround means there will be less transparency for the content he is paying to promote. Mike Bloomberg cannot be allowed to buy an election with zero accountability," she wrote on Twitter.  The emergence of political branded content is a reminder of how hard companies have to work to keep up with the changing landscape of political speech.  These posts, also known as sponsored content —  or, if you must, “sponcon” — have pushed the boundaries of advertising for the last half-decade or so. As individual users on Instagram, Google’s YouTube, Amazon.com Inc.’s Twitch and other platforms amassed large audiences, marketers began seeing them as a viable alternative to standard advertising. Influencers now regularly tout products in their posts.  Regulators have complained for years that they often do so without explaining that they’re being paid. In 2017, the Federal Trade Commission sent dozens of letters to influencers and marketers requiring them to disclose any “material connection” that someone pitching a product had to advertisers. The commission is currently reviewing its endorsement policies, with an eye toward social media. “We may need new rules for tech platforms and for companies that pay influencers to promote products,” FTC commissioner Rohit Chopra wrote on Twitter this week. While Bloomberg’s campaign has drawn unprecedented attention to political branded content, he isn’t the first politician to fall for the charms of social media influencers. And as more money pours into political advertising in coming months, there will likely be candidates and other political entities willing to explore any potential advantage.  Gil Eyal, the chief executive of Hypr, a company that helps marketers find influencers for sponsored content deals, said he’s noticed a recent wave of interest from political entities. “We’ve had a lot of inquiries about how we can do this,” he said. He declined to name anyone who had contacted him, and said they’ve turned down the proposals. “We truthfully say this isn’t our forte,” he said. “I think they underestimate how hard this is to do.”  Main Street One, a New York-based startup, has been pitching Democratic and progressive organizations on influencer campaigns for months as a way to drown out online disinformation. It has run several such experiments. Late last year, it helped run an influencer campaign promoting Cory Booker funded by United We Win, a Democratic super PAC. This sparked a debate among influencers about whether accepting money from politicians was appropriate, and whether doing so would be bad for their personal brands.   Curtis Hougland, Main Street One’s chief executive officer, said the group doesn’t always pay influencers for posting — it’s also seeking out volunteers. But those it does pay can get as much as $500 per post. Finding the right influencers, he said, is a side-door way to effectively target messages. The company might pay more, he said, for posts from someone whose followers are clustered in a particular geographic region, or who fall into some other demographic they’re trying to reach.  The response has been mixed, said Hougland, with some potential clients concerned that the risk of such campaigns outweigh the benefits. In his view, mobilizing left-leaning social media influencers is the best way to reach voters in a distracted and messy online media environment. “Can we live with that risk tolerance?” he said. “I think by being less precious we can be more effective.” (Updates with comments from Bloomberg campaign in the sixth paragraph.)\--With assistance from Mark Niquette.To contact the author of this story: Joshua Brustein in New York at jbrustein@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tech Daily: NVIDIA & Intel Earnings, JEDI Stay Order, Facebook App, More
    Zacks

    Tech Daily: NVIDIA & Intel Earnings, JEDI Stay Order, Facebook App, More

    Earnings reports from NVIDIA and Cisco, a stay order on the JEDI contract, Facebook's app to compete with Pinterest and other stories are covered in this daily.

  • Shopify’s Sweetheart Week Has It Encroaching on Market Stalwarts
    Bloomberg

    Shopify’s Sweetheart Week Has It Encroaching on Market Stalwarts

    (Bloomberg) -- Canada’s homegrown tech company Shopify Inc. is on a tear.After surging annually since its 2015 initial public offering, it has rallied 36% to a market value of almost C$82 billion ($62 billion) in 2020, making it the seventh largest company on the S&P/TSX Composite Index. That puts it about C$8 billion away from usurping Bank of Nova Scotia -- the fifth biggest company. Canadian National Railway Co. -- is No. 6 on the benchmark.Shopify’s value has climbed about C$7.9 billion just this week as fourth-quarter revenue topped analysts’ estimates and the provider of online shopping tools gave an optimistic forecast for the year.Shares of Shopify have skyrocketed to fresh records amid a dearth of quality tech companies on the S&P/TSX Composite Index. The benchmark tech gauge has a mere 10 members compared with over 71 on the S&P 500’s tech index, which includes FAANG giants such as Facebook Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Apple Inc., Netflix Inc. and Google parent Alphabet Inc.Still, Shopify’s meteoric rise has some analysts calling for caution. Credit Suisse analyst Brad Zelnick downgraded the stock to the equivalent of a hold on its “lofty valuation” but raised his share price target for the U.S.-listed stock to $575 from $450. He did, however, contend that company has a “great business.” The stock is currently sitting at about $527.Markets -- Just The NumbersChart of The WeekPoliticsPrime Minister Justin Trudeau said the government will do everything it can to resolve protests that have crippled parts of the country’s railways, leading to disruptions in passenger travel and the shipment of key goods. RBC Capital Markets said the demonstrations are another reason the Bank of Canada will be “biased to ease.”Get the latest news on the pipeline protests hereThe coronavirus continues to spread within China. Finance Minister Bill Morneau said that the epidemic will take a “real” toll on Canada’s economy given it’s global knock-on effects. Reduced tourism from China and lower commodity prices will also impact Canada’s growth.EconomyA new survey showed that Canadians are growing increasingly confident of getting a job with better pay were they to leave their current workplace, another indication of the health of the nation’s labor market as the unemployment rate sits at historic lows and wages climb near the fastest pace since the recession.The housing market in major Canadian cities continued to tighten as home sales fell and prices rose in January. A combination of steady population growth, low unemployment and cheap borrowing costs have brought buyers into the market but shrinking supply is damping transactions and driving bids for homes higher in places like Toronto.Up next, economists will be watching manufacturing sales figures on Feb. 18, inflation data due Feb. 19 and retail sales expected on Feb. 21. The stock market is closed on Monday for a holiday in Ontario and some other provinces.TrendingInCanada1\. Former Mississauga Mayor Hazel McCallion, also known as “Hurricane Hazel” turned 99 with NHL’s Maple Leafs team celebrating her birthday. She was in office for 12 terms before stepping back in 2014.2\. An extreme cold warning alert was issued for the city of Toronto Friday as temperatures dip below 30 degrees Celsius (that’s -22 degrees Farenheit).\--With assistance from Shelly Hagan.To contact the reporter on this story: Divya Balji in Toronto at dbalji1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Kyung Bok Cho at kcho7@bloomberg.net, Jacqueline Thorpe, Danielle BochoveFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Google’s $2.6 Billion Fine Is Like Loose Change, Judge Says
    Bloomberg

    Google’s $2.6 Billion Fine Is Like Loose Change, Judge Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Want the lowdown on European markets? In your inbox before the open, every day. Sign up here.Google’s 2.4 billion-euro ($2.6 billion) fine is “a small amount of cash” to the search-engine giant, according to a European Union judge, who also raised the prospect of increasing the antitrust penalty that the company is seeking to overturn.Colm Mac Eochaidh’s persistent questioning of Google’s representatives during the third day of a hearing at the EU’s General Court caused lawyers to scramble through papers seeking a response when he told them the tribunal had the right to increase the 2017 fine, then the highest the EU had ever levied for antitrust abuse. The Irish judge is one of five justices who will rule in the coming months on whether Google unfairly discriminated against smaller shopping rivals.“Did that level of fine deter you from repeating the behavior?” Mac Eochaidh asked before wondering how “might it be justified to increase or alter the fine.” He suggested that the penalty meant little to Google since it was only “a small amount of your cash in hand, so not actually that eye-catching in the light of day.”Google hadn’t bargained for a potentially bigger fine when it attacked the EU’s antitrust findings during the hearing. Officials from the U.S. Department of Justice, EU investigators and company executives were in the Luxembourg court to hear Google argue that regulators had overreached and made crucial errors. The case is the first of three lawsuits against EU antitrust decisions and a loss for the EU could halt its tough enforcement of big tech firms.When Google’s attorney Christopher Thomas said there could be no increase in the fine because EU regulators hadn’t asked for one, Mac Eochaidh immediately contradicted him. The EU’s second highest-court has “unlimited jurisdiction” to increase the fine even if the issue hasn’t been explored, he said.The senior judge on the panel, Stephane Gervasoni, stopped his Irish colleague, asking if his questioning was theoretical or if there were actual reasons to increase the fine. It’s rare for one judge to question another. Judges appeared to move away from the possibility of a higher penalty in the case, stressing that any such move would need additional legal analysis and the opportunity for Google to give its views.It isn’t the first time Mac Eochaidh has needled Google during the three days of hearings on the appeal. On Thursday, he said it was “perfectly apparent” that the company had promoted its own services and demoted others -- a key point for the EU side.On Friday, Mac Eochaidh urged Google’s lawyer to imagine he had savings of 120 euros in his back pocket but was fined 2.4 euros for dropping some litter.“Would you miss the 2.4 euros?” the judge asked.(Updates with judge’s questioning in third paragraph)To contact the reporters on this story: Aoife White in Luxembourg at awhite62@bloomberg.net;Stephanie Bodoni in Luxembourg at sbodoni@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Anthony Aarons at aaarons@bloomberg.net, Joe Schneider, Anthony LinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • New York and San Francisco Tech Industries Are Leaving Women Behind
    Bloomberg

    New York and San Francisco Tech Industries Are Leaving Women Behind

    (Bloomberg) -- San Francisco and New York have created thousands of lucrative jobs in technology, but despite efforts to increase diversity in the industry, women are still being left behind.The two cities, sometimes rivals for attracting tech talent, slid backwards in recent years on gender diversity, according to data from SmartAsset, a financial technology company that provides personal finance advice online. From 2013 to 2018 they either did worse or made little progress on women’s workforce participation in tech and gender pay gaps.“No single city or no city’s tech sector has figured this out,” said Eli Dvorkin, editorial and policy director at the Center for an Urban Future in New York. “Tech jobs are falling behind the diversity of the workforce overall. They tend to be whiter, they tend to be much more male and typically see a notable under-representation of blacks and Hispanics.”In the U.S., women made up about 26% of the tech workforce nationally, according to SmartAsset. But while jobs for computer and information technology workers are expected to grow by 12% overall from 2018-2028, employment opportunities for these often well-paying positions still usually favor men, according to the report released earlier this month. Racial diversity isn’t much better. In 2017, the latest year for which data is available, only about 20% of New York’s tech workforce was either black or Hispanic, and only 7.5% of San Francisco’s, according to a 2019 analysis by the Center for an Urban Future.San Francisco and the broader Bay Area is home to many of the biggest U.S. tech companies, as well as major venture capital firms. In recent years, tech giants from Alphabet Inc.’s Google to Facebook Inc. and Amazon.com Inc. have been expanding in New York, too, adding to a burgeoning startup scene, helping technology rival finance as the city’s growth engine. But despite industry efforts to increase women in the workforce, progress in the two cities has been limited.One of the main reasons for the lack of representation is limited access to tech skills training. New York in particular, despite having a strong pipeline of programs, is failing to reach under-served communities, according to a study by the Center for an Urban Future and Tech:NYC released Wednesday. The city’s programs focus more on basic digital skills instead of the advanced training required for tech jobs.Exposure to tech training early on is also important to break social conditioning surrounding who belongs in science, tech, engineering, and mathematical occupations. “By the time they get to high school, many boys are socialized to think STEM is for them, while many girls are socialized to think the opposite,” said Dvorkin.Part of the issue is also the high cost of living in the two cities. Women are choosing to move to more affordable cities with growing tech opportunities, according to Denise Roy-Desrosiers, managing director at the nonprofit Girls in Tech New York.“New York has become a less friendly city for both women and men,” said Roy-Desrosiers. “Women are still being paid less to do the same jobs and so while that is still the case, women will take advantage of working in places where they can afford to live comfortably and independently.”New York went from being the fifth-best city for women in tech in 2013 to 27 in 2018, according to SmartAsset data. The percentage of women working in tech declined to 25% from 26%, while the gender pay gap, defined as the percentage of men’s salaries women make for the same jobs, widened. Women in the industry were making 84% of what men made in 2018 compared with 96% five years earlier.Google and other big tech companies expanding in New York represent a significant chunk of the industry’s workforce and the gender imbalance within their ranks is also making New York less like the “haven for disruption and innovative work culture that it once was,” Roy-Desrosiers said.Still, New York does better than San Francisco on most diversity metrics. San Francisco never made it to the Top 10 best cities on SmartAsset’s list for women. It dropped to 33 in 2018 from 23 in 2013. While women’s participation in the workforce increased marginally over five years, the gender pay gap increased to 79% from 88% in the city. Topping the 2020 list of the best cities for women in tech was Baltimore, where women make up 33% of the tech workforce and their average earnings are about 94% that of men in the industry.To contact the reporter on this story: Nikitha Sattiraju in New York at nsattiraju@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Molly Schuetz at mschuetz9@bloomberg.net, Andrew PollackFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Boeing, Apple, Google top growing list of companies warning about a coronavirus impact
    Yahoo Finance

    Boeing, Apple, Google top growing list of companies warning about a coronavirus impact

    Yahoo Finance is maintaining a working list companies that have been affected by the outbreak, and are expected to feel the effects through the first half of the year.

  • Google In Talks with Publishers to Pay for Displaying News
    Bloomberg

    Google In Talks with Publishers to Pay for Displaying News

    (Bloomberg) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google is in discussions with publishers about paying licensing fees to include excerpts of their articles in Google News search results.The early-stage talks are taking place primarily with French and other European publishers, and may not lead to any agreements, a person familiar with the matter said. A deal would apply only to news products like the Google News vertical, they added, not general web content queries.Google sparked an outcry in France last fall after it said it would show stripped-down French news search results that wouldn’t include article previews or snippets following a new copyright law.It led French publishers and officials, who had hoped to win compensation from platforms as part of the new law, to accuse the search giant of strong-arming them. French antitrust regulators at the time said they would investigate Google over its implementation of the rules.News executives have been calling on Facebook Inc. and Google to pay for the rights to host their articles. They argue that their journalism is what’s drawing users to those platforms, while the two tech giants are capturing most of the online ad dollars.Richard Gingras, Google’s vice president of news, said helping people find quality journalism is “important to informed democracy and helps support a sustainable news industry.”“We’re talking with partners and looking at more ways to expand our ongoing work with publishers,” he added.In Europe, Google’s rocky relationships with publishers have led to legal action, long European Union antitrust investigations and an EU copyright directive that allows news outlets to seek payment from internet sites that display their articles. France was the first country to implement the new rules.In October, Facebook introduced a separate news section in its flagship app and agreed to pay some publishers $1 million to $3 million a year to put their articles in it.In an earnings call last week, News Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson mentioned Google by name, saying there are “positive signs” the search company’s CEO Sundar Pichai “has a thoughtful appreciation for the profound social influence of high quality journalism.”The Wall Street Journal reported the discussions earlier.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at ndrozdiak1@bloomberg.net;Gerry Smith in New York at gsmith233@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at gturner35@bloomberg.net, Nate Lanxon, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

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