GOOGL Jan 2022 620.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed price. Currency in USD
510.00
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 2:54PM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close510.00
Open489.73
Bid674.50
Ask684.50
Strike620.00
Expiry date2022-01-21
Day's range915.70 - 915.70
Contract rangeN/A
Volume1
Open interest7
  • Google and Walmart establish dominance in India's mobile payments market as WhatsApp Pay struggles to launch
    TechCrunch

    Google and Walmart establish dominance in India's mobile payments market as WhatsApp Pay struggles to launch

    In India, it's Google and Walmart-owned PhonePe that are racing neck-and-neck to be the top player in the mobile payments market, while Facebook remains mired in a regulatory maze for WhatsApp Pay’s rollout. Google Pay had more than 75 million transacting users last month, ahead of PhonePe’s 60 million users, people familiar with the companies’ figures told TechCrunch. In comparison, SoftBank -backed Paytm's app saw 30 million transacting users last month and an average of 10 million users transacted each day, people familiar with the matter said.

  • U.K. Lawmakers Share Evidence of Harm From Virus Misinformation
    Bloomberg

    U.K. Lawmakers Share Evidence of Harm From Virus Misinformation

    (Bloomberg) -- Rajeev Fernando, a medical doctor and first responder working in New York, told U.K. lawmakers that one of the biggest challenges he’d faced is public belief in conspiracy theories and bogus cures about Covid-19.“I’ve also heard too many patients say Covid-19 is just like the flu; this misinformation has kept many at home thinking this will disappear,” Fernandosaid. “By the time some people are hospitalized, they’re already in multi-organ failure and death is inevitable.”Executives from Facebook Inc., Twitter Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google will give evidence to British lawmakers on Thursday about how their companies handled the spread of medical misinformation during the Covid-19 pandemic.The parliamentary committee leading the investigation published a selection of evidence it had gathered in advance of the questioning from front-line medical professionals. Much of it is strongly worded, centering around how the public has suffered as a direct result of misinformation, much of it via social media.Read more: Twitter Will Add Labels to Some Misleading Covid-19 TweetsThomas Knowles, a medical doctor in the U.K., said in his written evidence that he’d taken a call from a woman whose symptoms made him “strongly suspect that she was experiencing a heart attack,” he said.Knowles said the woman told him she wouldn’t allow emergency medics in her home to take her to hospital because her doctor had informed her that she had to shield herself because of her other health conditions, and that she’d read on Facebook that it meant she’d definitely die if she went to hospital and caught it.“I was forced to accept her right to decline treatment, and she received no specific care that I’m aware of,” he said.Read more: Google Helps Place Ads on Sites Amplifying Covid ConspiraciesGoogle, Twitter and Facebook have all said in the past that tackling the spread of misinformation on their platforms was a priority. Twitter, for instance, has hidden or deleted posts that contain what it determined potentially harmful information. Google includes links to the World Health Organization at the top of search results for information about the virus.Duncan Maru, an epidemiologist and physician based in Nepal, said his colleagues had treated patients suffering from consuming disinfectants “after reading online that this was a way to cure Covid-19. We can’t be fighting lies and saving lives at the same time,” he wrote.Read more: 5G Virus Conspiracy Theory Drives Phone Mast Attacks in U.K.And Meenakshi Bewtra, an assistant professor of medicine and epidemiology at the University of Pennsylvania, concluded similarly: “It is extremely difficult to be fighting both the global pandemic and the infodemic on social media,” she said. “I have personally been contacted by people who have spent money they do not have on ‘remedies’ or engaged in various practices that have no efficacy whatsoever.”This evidence, published by the U.K.’s Digital, Culture, Media and Sports committee on Thursday, will inform the questions the lawmakers ask tech companies at the hearing. It follows a similar hearing in April that followed the spread of a widely discredited conspiracy theory that 5G wireless technology is contributing to the Covid-19 pandemic.For 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.

  • 3 Top Artificial Intelligence Stocks to Buy in June
    Motley Fool

    3 Top Artificial Intelligence Stocks to Buy in June

    All was well the first two months of the new decade before all hell broke loose, and while the global economy remains in various stages of lockdown and in recession due to you-know-what, the U.S. stock market indices have rallied to close to where they started at the onset of the year. Leading the charge in this new era are technology stocks -- specifically those helping organizations and individuals cope with shelter-in-place and work-from-home orders. Artificial intelligence (AI) was already a promising growth industry, but recent events have made the need for automation and efficient use of data more important than ever.

  • Amazon Eyes $2 Billion Stake in Bharti Airtel: Report
    Bloomberg

    Amazon Eyes $2 Billion Stake in Bharti Airtel: Report

    (Bloomberg) -- Amazon.com Inc. is in preliminary talks to buy a stake in No. 2 Indian carrier Bharti Airtel Ltd. for at least $2 billion, Reuters reported, joining Facebook Inc. and other U.S. giants in betting on one of the world’s fastest-growing internet arenas.The U.S. online retailer is in early-stage discussions to buy about a 5% stake in the Indian wireless operator, Reuters said, citing anonymous sources. A deal will help Amazon access Bharti’s 300 million subscribers -- a user base akin to the entire U.S. population.American technology and investment giants have been buying stakes in Indian companies to build their presence in Asia’s second-most populous nation. Facebook agreed to invest about $5.7 billion into a unit of Mukesh Ambani’s Reliance Industries Ltd. in April, while Microsoft Corp. is reportedly considering a stake in the same company.Amazon already has deep roots in India, where Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos has visited and vowed to build one of his biggest e-commerce operations outside of the U.S. Bezos, now the world’s richest man, said during a trip in January that his company would invest another $1 billion on top of the billions it’s shelled out to bring small and medium-size businesses online. Amazon is now vying with Walmart Inc.’s Flipkart to tap an increasingly affluent population adopting smartphones at a rapid clip.Read more: Jeff Bezos’s India Visit Marked by Probe and ProtestsAn Amazon spokeswoman in India declined to comment. “We routinely work with all digital and OTT players and have deep engagement with them to bring their products, content and services for our wide customer base. Beyond that there is no other activity to report,” a Bharti spokesperson said.An influx of capital would be welcome to New Delhi-based Bharti Airtel, which has come under pressure to beef up its offerings ever since Ambani’s technology venture went on a deal spree to secure about $10 billion in investment from Facebook to KKR & Co. Airtel’s billionaire Chairman Sunil Mittal may be looking to leverage the diverse businesses in his empire just as Ambani goes into overdrive to transform his oil-and-petrochemicals company into an Indian e-commerce and digital payments titan with Jio Platforms.Read more: How Facebook’s Reliance Deal Upends a $1 Trillion Digital ArenaIn its 25 years of operations, Bharti Airtel has survived frequent policy changes in one of the world’s toughest telecommunications markets. It lost its position as India’s largest wireless carrier last year to Ambani’s Reliance Jio Infocomm Ltd., which debuted in 2016 and shook up the industry with free calls and cheap data. The most recent blow to Bharti Airtel came in October, when the nation’s top court in a shock ruling ordered it to pay $3 billion in back fees.The technology ambitions of Ambani, Asia’s richest man, have turned the spotlight on his telecommunications rivals, including Vodafone Idea Ltd., the struggling Indian business of British operator Vodafone Group Plc. The Financial Times reported May 28 that Alphabet Inc.’s Google is considering acquiring a stake in that venture. Vodafone Idea said it isn’t currently considering any such proposal.Besides telecommunications, Mittal’s Bharti Enterprises has businesses spanning insurance, real estate, education and farm food.(Updates with Amazon’s declining comment in the fifth paragraph)For 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.

  • Why Internet Stocks & ETFs Can Keep Rising
    Zacks

    Why Internet Stocks & ETFs Can Keep Rising

    Internet stock are hot since they continue to gain from digital transformation

  • Demand for all things stay-at-home may be over: Goldman Sachs
    Yahoo Finance

    Demand for all things stay-at-home may be over: Goldman Sachs

    New data suggests life is getting back to some form of normal after the worst of the COVID-19 pandemic.

  • Bloomberg

    Zoom's Boom Pokes Holes in the Big-Tech 'Borg' Narrative

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- One of the most feared antagonists in the “Star Trek” universe is the seemingly unstoppable alien species called the Borg. These cybernetic aliens travel the galaxy, conquering and assimilating everything in their path while greeting each new victim with the catch-phrase, “Resistance is futile.”In many ways, the prevailing narrative around Big Tech is similar to this sci-fi series villain story line. Pundits often cite how the technology giants’ vast financial resources and R&D budgets will lead to an inexorable march to control more and more of the economy. And sure, on the surface it makes sense. Apple Inc. and Google-parent Alphabet Inc. sport net cash balances of roughly $100 billion each and dominate their respective markets, generating vast profit streams from smartphones to search engines. Together with Facebook Inc., Netflix Inc. and Microsoft Corp., these behemoths also reign over the stock market with their ballooning valuations. How can any smaller company hope to compete against such power in the current difficult environment?The reality paints a much less daunting picture. It turns out that the Covid-19 era has led to an explosion of innovation and rapid growth for dozens of smaller technology companies. Many of these upstarts — from video-conferencing software maker Zoom Video Communications Inc. to cloud-computing firm Datadog Inc. — are emphatically winning even as the tech giants try to squash them. And they’re doing it in many cases by simply making a better product and having a laser focus on it. There’s a flaw in the concept that Big Tech can easily expand into new markets by leveraging the power of their core businesses. The reason is all companies – big or small – have finite top-tier engineering talent. And of course, companies tend to put their best people on their most important profit-making segments, versus any peripheral new markets, opening the door for the upstart specialists to thrive.Earlier this year, I wrote how  corporations were flocking to software vendors such as Zoom for solutions on how to get the job done at a time when their employees were forced to work from home amid lockdown restrictions. Since then, Big Tech has taken particular aim at the software company as they sought to push their own video-conferencing tools. Last month, Google added a large, blue-colored “Add Google Meet video conferencing” button any time a Google Calendar user tries to add an appointment, while its Gmail accounts with its billion-plus user base also conspicuously have Google Meet in the lower left corner at all times. Microsoft, meantime, has sought to capitalize on early security concerns with Zoom to promote its Teams product. Despite the aggressive moves, you couldn’t see any negative impact in Zoom’s results. Late Tuesday, the upstart posted April-quarter sales results that crushed Wall Street estimates. The company posted first-quarter revenue of $328 million, up 169% from a year earlier, versus the $203 million Bloomberg consensus. It also projected a sales range of $495 million to  $500 million for the current quarter, more than double the $222 million analyst estimate. Zoom shares climbed 5% on Wednesday, adding to year-to-date gains that already topped 200%.That’s just Zoom. There are plethora of cloud software names — including monitoring analytics provider Datadog and user authentication company Okta, Inc. — that are also seeing surging demand for their services and the soaring stock prices to match. These companies are building out comprehensive offerings and stronger leadership positions in their respective categories that will be harder to displace as they grow in stature. And it’s still early innings on the growth curve for many of these firms. The move to cloud-computing is a seminal paradigm shift similar in scope to the transition to mobile smartphones nearly a decade ago. Gartner said the world-wide enterprise technology market was $3.7 trillion last  year. Even if the economy contracts, it will be a large market, with lots of room for fast-growing companies to make meaningful share gains as spending shifts toward new technologies. “The trends of digital transformation and cloud migration remain very much intact over the long term and may even be accelerated or amplified,” Datadog CEO Olivier Pomel said during his May earning call with investors. Another recent example of Big Tech’s failure is Amazon.com Inc.’s foray into gaming. After years of development, the e-commerce giant released its first big-budget video game “Crucible” last month to much fanfare, even advertising the title on the front page of its website. It was meant to be the Amazon’s beachhead into the large attractive gaming market. It didn’t go well. To illustrate,  just a couple weeks after its launch “Crucible” has precipitously fallen in the Twitch charts, a key indicator of gamer engagement, to roughly 100 viewers or barely in the top 500 titles. It turned out to be a complete flop, even as Epic Games Inc.’s Fortnite remains a fan favorite.Despite the worries over Big Tech’s growing dominance, the flip side may actually be the bigger risk. Last month, I wrote how other retailers appear to be taking advantage of Amazon’s service troubles to make incursions, which has allowed them to grow their e-commerce businesses at triple-digit rates. In social media, the short-video platform TikTok has also surged in popularity. Last week, Bloomberg News reported TikTok’s parent ByteDance Ltd.’s revenue for last year more than doubled to more than $17 billion from $7.4 billion in 2018, a level of sales nearly triple that of Twitter Inc. and Snap Inc. combined. Incredibly, if TikTok continues it current growth trajectory, it has the potential to surpass some of Facebook’s key platforms within a few years. And speaking of Facebook, its latest big push into e-commerce space, Facebook Shops, relies in great deal on a partnership with online-store software maker Shopify Inc. and its extensive array of commerce tools for small businesses.History shows the tech industry’s reputation for disruption is unmatched. And if it is any guide, investors  shouldn’t overlook or underestimate the industry’s up-and-comers, even in — or should I say especially in — times like these. This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tae Kim is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Barron's, following an earlier career as an equity analyst.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.

  • Google Pulls Chinese-App Remover From Android for Violations
    Bloomberg

    Google Pulls Chinese-App Remover From Android for Violations

    (Bloomberg) -- Google pulled an application from its Play Store that helps users delete Chinese games and other software from their Android smartphones, citing violations of its policies.The controversial software, Remove China Apps, had drawn millions of downloads in India as tensions between the two countries surged. The program was developed by little-known OneTouch AppLabs, based in Jaipur.China and India have been gathering thousands of troops at a disputed border in a remote area of the Himalayas. The two countries have had a long history of territorial clashes dating back decades.Remove China Apps was designed to be as straightforward as its name. After a smartphone user downloads the software, it helps identify the country of origin for apps installed on the phone, highlighting Chinese ones and suggesting steps for removal.OneTouch AppLabs did not immediately respond to questions. Its website now has a message that thanks customers for their support and confirms Google’s decision to remove the app. The app creators then provided this workaround:“TIP: Its easy to find the origin of any app by searching on google by typing origin countryStay Tuned !! Stay Safe!!”The action came not long after Alphabet Inc.’s Google removed from the Play Store an app called Mitron, which is a popular alternative to TikTok, backed by China’s ByteDance Ltd. Google cited the violation of a policy on repetitive content for the removal.“When violations of these policies are identified, we have an established process of working with developers to help them find remedies,” a Google spokesman said in a statement regarding Mitron.(Updates with comments from spokesman on Mitron in the last paragraph.)For 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.

  • Why HBO Max Isn't on Roku or Fire TV Yet
    Motley Fool

    Why HBO Max Isn't on Roku or Fire TV Yet

    AT&T (NYSE: T) launched HBO Max last week with a couple big missing pieces: You can't watch it on Roku (NASDAQ: ROKU) devices or Amazon's (NASDAQ: AMZN) Fire TV products. CEO of AT&T's Otter Media division, Tony Goncalves, explained the dispute between HBO Max and Roku and Amazon in an interview with The Verge.

  • Google Grapples With Lawsuit Related to User Privacy Concerns
    Zacks

    Google Grapples With Lawsuit Related to User Privacy Concerns

    Alphabet's (GOOGL) Google struggles to clear its name from the $5-billion lawsuit that indicts it for illegally invading the privacy of its users.

  • Facebook, PayPal Invest in Indonesia's Gojek
    Motley Fool

    Facebook, PayPal Invest in Indonesia's Gojek

    Facebook said the investment dovetails with its mission to serve small businesses and bring them into the digital economy.

  • Twitter Promotes Lead Independent Director Patrick Pichette to Chairman of the Board
    Motley Fool

    Twitter Promotes Lead Independent Director Patrick Pichette to Chairman of the Board

    Microblogging veteran Twitter (NYSE: TWTR) is under new leadership. Chairman Omid Kordestani stepped down from his post on June 1 and former Google CFO Patrick Pichette has taken his place. What's new? Pichette also serves as chairman of Twitter's audit committee and a member of the board's compensation committee.

  • Why Elastic Stock Skyrocketed 34% in May
    Motley Fool

    Why Elastic Stock Skyrocketed 34% in May

    The enterprise search stock has bounced back from sell-offs in March and is now up roughly 38% in 2020.

  • Facebook and Google Are No Threat to Pinterest
    Motley Fool

    Facebook and Google Are No Threat to Pinterest

    Pinterest (NYSE: PINS) has released several updates to its shopping features over the last couple of months. Pinners -- what Pinterest calls its users -- can now find products based on pins they've saved to boards, new searches, and even by taking a new photo in its Lens camera. It also partnered with Shopify to enable merchants to easily import their catalogs to Pinterest and create shoppable pins.

  • Globalization’s Winners Are Prime Pandemic Tax Targets
    Bloomberg

    Globalization’s Winners Are Prime Pandemic Tax Targets

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Governments of all political stripes are spending massive sums to overcome the twin challenges of the Covid-19 pandemic — the virus itself, and the recession it’s leaving in its wake — and rightly so. Some $9 trillion in emergency public spending has been rolled out so far, while global borrowing via bonds and loans hit a record high of $2.6 trillion in April. Financial markets have taken this broadly in their stride.Eventually, though, the question of who will ultimately foot the bill will need to be answered — particularly outside of the U.S., which is relatively protected by the dollar’s global clout. Some assume a future economic rebound will be strong enough to comfortably repay debts over time while central banks keep rates low. But this is a hope, not a guarantee. The risk of lower growth and higher rates is real, necessitating all sorts of painful budget choices, as economist Willem Buiter wrote last month. Taxation is bound to be one of those choices. Everybody knows that raising taxes in a recession can produce an entirely unhelpful outcome by further hurting demand, as seen in countries that pursued austerity. But governments clearly reckon they can get away with taxes that target specific sectors, companies or people, especially those that are seen as having come out of this crisis relatively well-off. Hence the plans by several Latin American countries to raise taxes on high-income earners, and Indonesia’s move to raise value-added tax on digital platforms — because, in the words of its finance minister, “their sales have soared amid the Covid-19 outbreak.” It’s not just the developing world: The European Union is mulling a series of taxes, to be raised directly by its executive arm in Brussels, to help fund the pandemic recovery in the 27-nation bloc. They include a tax on high-carbon-emission imports, a tax on digital firms and a tax on 70,000 large multinational companies that access the EU’s single market and its 450 million consumers.These efforts should be taken seriously. Not all the European proposals will get approval, as the EU’s 27 member states are protective of their tax powers, but if done right they can have benefits. Efforts to introduce a digital tax aim to restore fairness to a corporate tax system that has seen the likes of Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google get away with paying very little. “Don’t try to be too smart,” Internal Market Commissioner Thierry Breton told Facebook Inc.’s Mark Zuckerberg recently. “Pay taxes where you have to pay taxes.”A carbon border tax would combine the EU’s clout as a trading zone with its Green Deal ambitions. And while a levy on big EU firms might seem like a job killer, it would go towards funding a 750 billion-euro ($840 billion) recovery plan that pours cash back into the bloc. There’s a clear pro-growth side to these tax proposals, Axa SA Chief Economist Gilles Moec tells me.The risk, however, is that in shifting more of the burden of recovery funding onto foreign firms and trading partners — the top two being the U.S. and China — the EU could end up creating new geopolitical and trade headaches. President Donald Trump’s administration is starting investigations into digital taxes from the EU to India that could lead to retaliatory export tariffs. Targeted taxes don’t raise as much money as broad-brush hikes, and if other governments start rolling out tit-for-tat measures, their benefits will be smothered.But it’s worth trying, especially if we want to create a better world beyond the coronavirus crisis. It could be a good thing if tax systems become more progressive and if public spending spreads the wealth around. If the future is anything like the society that emerged from the rubble of post-war Europe, there will be a focus on investment, big projects, and rebuilding. There are fewer constraints on government finances right now, as Goodbody Stockbrockers Chief Economist Dermot O’Leary points out: Bond vigilantes have scattered, and austerity advocates are quiet.The smoke signals of higher taxes are going to get more visible as governments get settled into their new role as drivers of the world economy. But there’s no free lunch, either. Along with politically popular taxes, expect stealthier ones that aren’t, financial repression and other tactics to shake more money out of the private sector. And a Trump administration ready to hit back.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 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.

  • Google takes down Indian app that removed Chinese ones: spokesman
    Reuters

    Google takes down Indian app that removed Chinese ones: spokesman

    Alphabet Inc's Google has taken down an Indian mobile application from its app store that allowed users to remove other Chinese apps from their phones as it violated certain company policies, a spokesman said on Wednesday. The app, "Remove China Apps", had become top trending free app on Google's mobile app store in India with more than five million downloads since late May. Its popularity rose amid calls for a boycott of Chinese mobile apps in India during a Himalayan border dispute between the two nations. A Google spokesman confirmed to Reuters the app had been removed due to violation of app store policies, but gave no further details.

  • Facebook, PayPal Back Gojek’s Asia Digital Payments Push
    Bloomberg

    Facebook, PayPal Back Gojek’s Asia Digital Payments Push

    (Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. and PayPal Holdings Inc. are investing in Gojek, a big boost for the Indonesian startup’s digital payments business that propels the U.S. companies into a fast-growing Asian internet arena.It’s the second international investment Facebook has made in the past six weeks with a goal of getting more local businesses online, after the social media giant paid $5.7 billion for about 10% of India’s Reliance Jio. It plans to build a commerce and payments business around WhatsApp, on top of letting businesses use the messaging service to interact with customers.The deal announced Wednesday marks Facebook’s first investment in an Indonesian company and is a major boost for the country’s largest startup, a ride-hailing giant that’s morphed into a provider of services like payments and meal delivery. Gojek is now backed by some of the world’s largest internet companies from Alphabet Inc.’s Google to China’s Tencent Holdings Ltd., helping it compete against Singapore’s Grab Holdings Inc.“WhatsApp in particular can be instrumental in creating a more digital Indonesia by bringing more people into one of the fastest growing digital economies in the world,” WhatsApp Chief Operating Officer Matt Idema said in a blog post. The company didn’t specify how much it is investing and a spokesperson declined to share details.Indonesia is one of the world’s most promising internet markets, fueled by rapidly expanding smartphone adoption and economic growth. It’s the largest country in Southeast Asia, anchoring a regional internet economy estimated at more than $100 billion in 2019 and tripling by 2025. Facebook and PayPal join Google and other U.S. corporations in staking out a relatively undeveloped Asian digital payments arena outside of China.Read more: How Facebook’s Reliance Deal Upends a $1 Trillion Digital ArenaFacebook and PayPal joined Gojek’s current funding round, which closed at $1.2 billion around March at the height of the coronavirus pandemic.Gojek and Grab aim to become Southeast Asian consumers’ default, all-purpose app, similar to Tencent’s WeChat. Gojek has drawn hundreds of thousands of merchants to its platform, providing them with access to more than 170 million users across the region.The Indonesian startup, whose backers also include Singaporean state investor Temasek Holdings Pte, has said it will deploy fresh capital to keep expanding despite global economic turbulence. It recently acquired a mobile point-of-sale startup called Moka for about $130 million, people familiar with the deal have said.Gojek, which debuted an app for hailing motorbike taxis in Jakarta in 2015, now also offers a score of other on-demand services such as house cleaning and medicine delivery, and was last valued at $10 billion according to CB Insights.“We see our role as a convener of global tech expertise, facilitating collaboration that will ultimately lead to a better future for everyone in our region,” Gojek Co-Chief Executive Officer Andre Soelistyo said in a statement.(Updates with PayPal’s investment from the first paragraph.)For 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 pulls 'Remove China Apps' from Play Store
    TechCrunch

    Google pulls 'Remove China Apps' from Play Store

    Remove China Apps, an app that gained popularity in India in recent weeks and did exactly what its name suggests, has been pulled from the Play Store. The top trending app in India, which was downloaded more than 5 million times since late May and enabled users to detect and easily delete apps developed by Chinese firms, was pulled from Android's marquee app store for violating Google Play Store's Deceptive Behavior Policy, TechCrunch has learned. Under this policy an app on Google Play Store cannot make changes to a user’s device settings, or features outside of the app, without the user’s knowledge and consent, and it cannot encourage or incentivize users into removing or disabling third-party apps.

  • Bloomberg

    Twitter Names Patrick Pichette as Independent Chairman

    (Bloomberg) -- Twitter Inc. named Patrick Pichette as chairman, replacing Omid Kordestani, who stepped down from the role on Monday.Pichette, former chief financial officer of Google, is a partner at venture firm Inovia Capital and has served as Twitter’s lead independent director since December 2018. Kordestani will remain as a non-employee director, the company said Tuesday.“Given the strength and depth of Twitter’s management team and board, we believe that now is the right time to evolve our governance structure in-line with best practices,” Pichette said in a statement. “We are pleased to demonstrate our commitment to good governance and be in the position to make this important change. We look forward to continuing to benefit from Omid’s expertise on the Board.”Twitter’s corporate governance came under scrutiny earlier this year when activist investor Elliott Management Corp. took a stake in the company with plans to challenge Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey, and potentially replace him. Having an independent chairman was one of the first things Elliott raised with Twitter in their initial meetings as one of the ways the company could improve its governance, according to people familiar with the matter. Pichette will be the first independent chairman for the social-media company.The hedge fund has also pushed Twitter to de-stagger its board, which would allow all directors to stand for re-election every year, said the people, who asked not to be identified because the matter is private. At Twitter’s annual meeting last week, just three of the company’s 11 directors were up for re-election, including Kordestani.Elliott’s push for change at the company was largely focused on improving its leadership, including reviewing whether to replace Dorsey, who divides his time between running Twitter and leading mobile-payments business Square Inc., people familiar with the matter have said. The goal would be to improve operational efficiency and oversight so the company can execute better on its strategy after several stumbles late last year caused its share price to tumble, they said.Twitter agreed to appoint three new directors to its board and create a committee to review its leadership, succession and governance. The committee is expected to deliver its recommendations by year-end. The company named Elliott’s head of U.S. activism, Jesse Cohn, and Egon Durban, co-chief executive officer of private equity firm Silver Lake, to the board at the time. Computer scientist Fei-Fei Li was appointed last month as the third independent director.Last week, Twitter took action against U.S. President Donald Trump for the first time, fact-checking two of his tweets while adding a label to a third for violating rules around glorifying violence. Dorsey and the San Francisco-based company have been criticized for years for failing to do enough to block offensive and harassing posts -- by the president and other users. Trump has since issued an executive order meant to limit some of the protections Twitter and other social media companies receive under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act.(Update with details about Elliott’s involvement and plan to de-stagger board elections.)For 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 faces $5 billion lawsuit in U.S. for tracking 'private' internet use
    Reuters

    Google faces $5 billion lawsuit in U.S. for tracking 'private' internet use

    Google was sued on Tuesday in a proposed class action accusing the internet search company of illegally invading the privacy of millions of users by pervasively tracking their internet use through browsers set in "private" mode. The lawsuit seeks at least $5 billion, accusing the Alphabet Inc unit of surreptitiously collecting information about what people view online and where they browse, despite their using what Google calls Incognito mode. According to the complaint filed in the federal court in San Jose, California, Google gathers data through Google Analytics, Google Ad Manager and other applications and website plug-ins, including smartphone apps, regardless of whether users click on ...

  • Bloomberg

    Apple Music Pauses Browse Feature in Support of #BlackOutTuesday

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc., Spotify Technology Inc. and YouTube joined BlackoutTuesday, an initiative tied to the music industry’s TheShowMustBePaused movement, which supports protests across the U.S. against police brutality and racism toward African Americans.The iPhone maker paused the browse feature on its Apple Music service, presenting users with a message about standing in solidarity “with the Black voices that define music, creativity, and culture.” The feature sends listeners to its “Beats 1” radio program playing motivational songs such as “The People” by Hip-Hop artist Common, and “Sue Me” by rapper Wale featuring gospel singer Kelly Price.Spotify created a “Black Lives Matter” playlist with songs including Public Enemy’s “Fight The Power” and “FDT” by California rapper Y.G., which speaks out against U.S. President Donald Trump. The music division of Google’s YouTube canceled all meetings on Tuesday. Executives for YouTube’s business and music teams also invited staff to take the day off.Warner Music Group’s Atlantic Records announced plans to contribute to “Black Lives Matter and other organizations that are doing crucial work to combat racial injustice.”While artists such as Kehlani and Lil Nas X griped about the initiative’s execution as the industry shouldn’t need a special day to think about the importance of the black community and its contributions, the freed up time may help focus attention on these issues. Record labels led by white executives have relied on or imitated black art for decades, an uneasy relationship that Prince compared to that of the master and slave.Read more: Instagram Flooded with Black Squares to Support ProtestersImages of black squares flooded social media as influencers, celebrities, artists and musicians tried to raise awareness and address racial tensions that have plagued the fabric of American society.For 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.

  • Will Microsoft Be a $2 Trillion Stock?
    Motley Fool

    Will Microsoft Be a $2 Trillion Stock?

    Microsoft (NASDAQ: MSFT) is the odds-on favorite to be the first company to cross the $2 trillion market cap threshold according to Wells Fargo Securities analyst Philip Winslow, citing strong growth in Microsoft's Azure cloud computing business.

  • Zoom Transforms Hype Into Huge Jump in Sales, Customers
    Bloomberg

    Zoom Transforms Hype Into Huge Jump in Sales, Customers

    (Bloomberg) -- Zoom Video Communications Inc. demonstrated that paying customers have flocked to its virtual-meeting software, transforming the once-niche appmaker into a popular communications service and positioning it to benefit as the nature of work, school and life is upended.Zoom reported sales soared in the three months ended April 30, when the coronavirus pandemic spurred a wave of stay-at-home orders for millions of people worldwide. The company expects the trend to continue the rest of the year, and projected that revenue and profit will leapfrog investors’ earlier expectations.“A shift in work culture triggered by the Covid-19 pandemic urges corporations to pull forward adoption of cloud-based video-conferencing tools,” Boyoung Kim, an analyst at Bloomberg Intelligence, wrote Tuesday in a note. Zoom’s “intuitive technology and strong brand recognition should help the company pick up market share in video conferencing, outpacing the industry.”Sales in the current quarter will be as much as $500 million, the San Jose, California-based company said Tuesday in a statement. Revenue in the third and fourth fiscal quarters should be consistent with that performance, Chief Financial Officer Kelly Steckelberg said during a conference call. Overall, Zoom expects to generate as much as $1.8 billion this fiscal year, which is almost triple the size of the business last year. Analysts, on average, estimated $930.8 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.Zoom’s shares jumped 6.6% to $221.80 at 11:44 a.m. Wednesday in New York after closing at a record $208.08 on Tuesday. The stock has tripled this year.Chief Executive Officer Eric Yuan has tried to ensure that his virtual-meeting platform can cope with a swell of demand from people staying home to curtail the spread of Covid-19. While security and privacy issues plagued the system early in the quarantine, Zoom has become an essential service, attracting more than 300 million participants some days, up from 10 million in December. The software maker allows gatherings of as long as 40 minutes for no charge. While Zoom has attracted more buzz than corporate rivals, the results Tuesday suggested it can attract the paying clients needed to compete against services from Microsoft Corp., Cisco Systems Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.The software maker said its potential market has expanded beyond an estimate of $43 billion by 2022 made by analyst IDC, according to a 2019 regulatory filing. And executives said they have expanded hiring plans to take advantage of the opportunity. While Steckelberg warned that the lifting of stay-at-home orders may cause fewer people to use Zoom’s software, the company said it hadn’t seen the numbers decline yet in areas that have reopened.Many educational institutions that teach through Zoom have decided to host virtual classes through at least the fall, pointing to robust demand for the app through the rest of the year. To continue growing at a torrid pace, Zoom will sell its Phone software and Rooms hardware products to existing customers, Steckelberg added. Yuan vowed not to rely on advertising to make money from its legions of free users.In the fiscal first quarter, revenue increased about 170% to $328.2 million. Analysts, on average, expected $203 million, according to data compiled by Bloomberg. Profit, excluding some items, was 20 cents a share, compared with analysts’ average projection of 9 cents.The company said its expects adjusted profit in the fiscal year will be $355 million to $380 million, or $1.21 to $1.29 a share. Analysts had estimated 46 cents, just more than Zoom’s earlier forecast. The company has been spending to bolster its network capacity, including by buying cloud-computing services from Oracle Corp. during the pandemic. Zoom also continues to use Amazon.com Inc.’s cloud service, which provided the majority of the new capacity.Zoom’s daily meeting participants have dipped a bit below the blockbuster 300 million figure revealed in April, but Steckelberg said the company expects to consistently surpass that milestone in the future.The company said it ended the quarter with about 265,400 customers with more than 10 employees, a more than fourfold increase from the same period a year earlier. The company now has 769 corporate clients that have spent more than $100,000 on Zoom’s products over the last 12 months, about double from a year earlier.With Zoom’s popularity has come controversy over the company’s security practices. Trolls have invaded myriad meetings, religious gatherings and other events, to share pornography and shout profanity or racial epithets, in a phenomenon known as “Zoombombing.” The company highlighted or created a raft of tools users can employ to prevent the virtual attacks, including passwords and waiting rooms.There also were instances when Zoom calls were routed through servers in China even when no participant was based there and users were unwittingly sending metadata to Facebook Inc. when they signed in. Zoom put an end to both practices. The company pledged to commit to bolstering privacy over all other concerns for three months, purchasing a secure-messaging company, Keybase, to bring the highest standard of encryption to the platform, and hiring cybersecurity experts to guide safety efforts.Corporate clients will get access to Zoom’s end-to-end encryption service now being developed, but Yuan said free users won’t enjoy that level of privacy, which makes it impossible for third parties to decipher communications.“Free users for sure we don’t want to give that because we also want to work together with FBI, with local law enforcement in case some people use Zoom for a bad purpose,” Yuan said on the call.(Updates with shares in the fifth paragraph.)For 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.

  • YouTube Wants the $10 Billion in TV Ad Spend Up for Grabs
    Motley Fool

    YouTube Wants the $10 Billion in TV Ad Spend Up for Grabs

    Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOG) (NASDAQ: GOOGL) thinks it has an under-utilized option for television advertisers looking for a cost-effective way to reach customers during the coronavirus pandemic. It thinks time spent streaming YouTube on television sets is under-monetized, and it could serve as a better way to spend ad budgets previously earmarked for traditional TV. Many advertisers are pulling back on previous upfront commitments to television networks, and the upfronts for this fall have been delayed indefinitely with the amount of uncertainty facing the economy and production schedules.

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