GOOGL Jan 2022 1020.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed price. Currency in USD
478.00
0.00 (0.00%)
As of 11:44AM EDT. Market open.
Stock chart is not supported by your current browser
Previous close478.00
Open486.70
Bid0.00
Ask0.00
Strike1,020.00
Expiry date2022-01-21
Day's range478.00 - 487.00
Contract rangeN/A
Volume92
Open interest55
  • Google and Microsoft reportedly considering stakes in telecom firms in India after Facebook deal
    TechCrunch

    Google and Microsoft reportedly considering stakes in telecom firms in India after Facebook deal

    Weeks after Facebook acquired a 9.9% stake in India's Reliance Jio Platforms, two more American firms are reportedly interested in the Indian telecom market. Google is considering buying a stake of about 5% in Vodafone Idea, the second largest telecom operator in India, according to Financial Times. Separately, Microsoft is in talks to invest up to $2 billion in Reliance Jio Platforms, Indian newspaper Mint reported Friday.

  • Appeals court rules in favor of Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter in anti-conservative bias suit
    TechCrunch

    Appeals court rules in favor of Google, Apple, Facebook and Twitter in anti-conservative bias suit

    The same day Donald Trump took to Twitter to threaten to regulate or shut down social media sites, the U.S. appeals court in Washington, D.C. dismissed a lawsuit accusing top tech companies of silencing conservative voices. Filed in 2018 by nonprofit Freedom Watch and right-wing gadfly Laura Loomer, the suit accused Apple, Facebook, Twitter and Google of stifling First Amendment rights.

  • Trump, Furious at Twitter, Aims Order at Tech Giants
    Bloomberg

    Trump, Furious at Twitter, Aims Order at Tech Giants

    (Bloomberg) -- Donald Trump has been raging against Twitter Inc. since the social media platform that helped vault him to the presidency slapped fact-check links on a pair of his tweets.Now, he’s poised to take action Thursday that could bring a flurry of lawsuits down on Twitter, Facebook Inc. and other technology giants by having the government narrow liability protections that they enjoy for third parties’ posts, according to a draft of an executive order obtained by Bloomberg.“This will be a Big Day for social media and FAIRNESS!” Trump said in a tweet Thursday morning.The companies’ protections against lawsuits apply when they act “in good faith” in taking down or limiting the visibility of inappropriate tweets, videos and other social media posts, but the law doesn’t define bad faith. The draft order would push the Federal Communications Commission to issue rules clarifying the issue, potentially allowing users to sue over takedowns if they were inconsistent with companies’ terms of service, did not provide enough notice or meet other suggested criteria.The White House declined to comment early Thursday morning.The draft order would also convene, through the Justice Department, a working group of state attorneys general to look into deceptive practices and review executive ad spending on the platforms.Shares in Twitter were down 4.5% in premarket trading in New York on Thursday. Facebook shares were down 2.9%.The move could set off a legal battle between Washington and Silicon Valley.“Big Tech is doing everything in their very considerable power to CENSOR in advance of the 2020 Election,” the president said Wednesday night -- on Twitter. “If that happens, we no longer have our freedom. I will never let it happen! They tried hard in 2016, and lost. Now they are going absolutely CRAZY. Stay Tuned!!!”Word of the executive order came a day after Twitter added links to a fact-checking page on Trump tweets asserting that mail-in-voting leads to rampant fraud.As Trump himself has observed, Twitter gives him the power to dodge the media and speak directly to the American public. It also allows the president and his vast community of followers to instantly spread a steady stream of pro-Trump messages and attacks on his rivals, including exaggerations and outright falsehoods that not even Twitter’s fact-checking links can dent.He has no legal authority to shut down the service, as he threatened to do Wednesday morning, but doing so would mean silencing his loudest megaphone -- as well as what his campaign calls “keyboard warriors” who both amplify his voice and provide him memes and other free content to broadcast to his 80 million followers.Twitter also serves as a valuable punching bag, which he uses to generate outrage and sympathy among his supporters.The social media platform has become even more important for Trump as the coronavirus pandemic prevents him from holding his trademark rallies, and he seeks a free outlet to attack his likely Democratic challenger, Joe Biden.“He’s going to need to continue to use this platform,” said Amy Becker, a professor at Loyola University Maryland, who focuses on political communication. “It’s going to be his random tweets, it’s going to be him attacking whoever criticizes him, there’s going to be a lot of attacks on Biden, the Democrats.”Liability ProtectionsThe order Trump plans to sign Thursday is his latest attempt to exert control over the formidable technology industry. In 2018, he considered issuing an order instructing federal antitrust agencies to open probes into the practices of tech giants like Alphabet Inc.’s Google and Facebook. The possible measure was criticized as politicizing antitrust enforcement and it was never signed.Trump’s attacks on Twitter and other social media companies are often hyperbolic and rarely lead to immediate concrete action. The government could never silence a company like Twitter without violating First Amendment rights to free speech. However, his threats are a reminder of other significant levers that the president and the rest of the federal government have at their disposal.Senator Josh Hawley, a Missouri Republican, wrote Twitter Chief Executive Officer Jack Dorsey on Wednesday to demand an explanation for the fact-checking links added to Trump’s tweets. He accused the company of choosing to “editorialize.”Hawley repeated a threat that’s been raised by other lawmakers over the years: Revoking the protections that shield Twitter and other platforms from legal liability for content its users post.“Politicians can use the powers of government to make life very difficult for private companies and there’s a long track record of politicians from both parties doing this in the last couple years to social media companies,” said Jesse Blumenthal, a conservative who leads tech policy at Stand Together, part of the political network affiliated with libertarian billionaire Charles Koch.In recent days, Trump had tweeted attacks on cable news host and former Republican Representative Joe Scarborough by pushing a baseless conspiracy theory that he was involved in the death 19 years ago of a woman who worked at his district office in Florida. Her widower sent a letter to Twitter asking the publicly traded company to delete Trump’s tweets, but it chose to leave them online.Scarborough is a frequent critic of the president.80 Million Followers, 52,000 TweetsThe feud with Twitter comes as Trump has been under siege for his handling of the coronavirus pandemic that’s infected more than 1.6 million Americans and killed some 100,000. He trails Biden in general election polls by an average of 5.3 percentage points, according to RealClearPolitics.There has never been a politician as prolific on social media, which he often uses to call opponents names, spread conspiracy theories, dismiss employees and announce policy changes. He has sent more than 52,000 tweets and has more than 80 million followers.Trump has both acknowledged the power he wields when he tweets and the platform’s impact on his 2016 election. At a July 2019 social media event at the White House he boasted about using Twitter to announce that the U.S. would recognize Israel’s sovereignty over the Golan Heights, one of the world’s most contentious foreign policy issues.“Boom,” Trump said of the March 19 tweet. “I press it and, within two seconds, we have breaking news.”At that same event he acknowledged that without the platform he might not have been elected.‘Keyboard Warriors’Trump has a symbiotic relationship with his supporters on Twitter. They often create memes that go viral with his retweets. Earlier this month, he retweeted a meme of himself as the president giving a speech in the 1996 movie “Independence Day,” about an alien invasion. That meme has been viewed 18 million times on Twitter.He’s repeatedly promoted a twitter handle that goes by the name of @sexcounseling that reinforces his messages. Earlier this month he egged on his supporters online with the hashtag obamagate, alleging that President Barack Obama’s administration improperly tried to undermine his election campaign in 2016. His supporters tweeted a series of memes with Obama and Biden.“Thank you to all of my great Keyboard Warriors. You are better, and far more brilliant, than anyone on Madison Avenue (Ad Agencies). There is nobody like you!,” Trump said in a May 14 tweet.Tim Murtaugh, a Trump campaign spokesman, defended the president’s use of Twitter.“Most Americans have a pretty clear understanding of the way that President Trump uses Twitter,” Murtaugh said Wednesday on Fox News. “Twitter is a way for the president to connect with his voters. We hear all the time from the president’s supporters that they like the way that the president expresses himself on Twitter because they say to this day they say listen here’s a guy who finally says the things out loud that I’m thinking to myself.”Going back to the 2016 campaign, Trump and his campaign have cultivated a relationship with his supporters online. That part of his base remains engaged, echoing and spreading his messages, said Eric Wilson, a Republican digital strategist.“The most effective endorsement for a candidate is from someone that you already trust, that you already have a relationship with,” Wilson said.(Updates with latest Trump tweet in third 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.

  • 2 Stocks I'm Never Selling
    Motley Fool

    2 Stocks I'm Never Selling

    Choosing great growth companies is a great first step in investing, but it's not sufficient if you wish to enjoy years of compounding. Businesses with weak competitive moats and an inability to compete and adapt well to changes in the economic environment do not count as good candidates for a robust investment portfolio. Alphabet (NASDAQ: GOOGL) (NASDAQ: GOOG) has grown over the years to become a monster of a technology company.

  • Gilead, Roche Pair Drugs in Trial; Asian Clusters: Virus Update
    Bloomberg

    Gilead, Roche Pair Drugs in Trial; Asian Clusters: Virus Update

    (Bloomberg) -- South Korea reported its biggest spike in new coronavirus cases in nearly two months, raising concerns about a second wave of infections. Small clusters also emerged in several locations in Japan in its first week since the emergency was lifted.Cases continued to soar in Brazil and America reached the grim milestone of 100,000 deaths, the most in the world. The U.K.’s coronavirus tracing program was hit by technical problems on the day of its launch, with some health-care workers unable to log-on to the system.Roche’s immune suppressor Actemra will be paired with Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir in a late-stage trial of a drug combination, while GlaxoSmithKline said it will produce 1 billion doses of a vaccine adjuvant -- a booster that can help any brand of shot -- to support immunization against the pandemic.Key Developments:Virus Tracker: Cases top 5.6 million; deaths over 355,000A radical plan and $2.6 trillion bring Europe back from abyssDisney’s Florida theme parks expected to reopen in JulyGreen shoots emerge in world economy as lockdowns easeYouTube misinformation fight trips on drug touted by TrumpHow can I get it? The evidence on transmission: QuickTakeSubscribe to a daily update on the virus from Bloomberg’s Prognosis team here. Click VRUS on the terminal for news and data on the coronavirus. For a look back at this week’s top stories from QuickTake, click here.U.K. Tracing System Hit By Technical Glitches (7:44 a.m. NY)The U.K.’s coronavirus tracing program was hit by technical problems on the day of its launch, with some health-care workers unable to log on to the system. “As with all large scale operations of this kind, some staff did initially encounter issues logging on to their systems and these are rapidly being resolved,” a spokesperson for the Department of Health and Social Care said by email.The so-called ‘Test and Trace’ service is a key part of Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s plan to help the British economy return to normality, by helping to control the spread of the virus and allowing for lockdown restrictions to be lifted. Under the program, officials contact people who may have been exposed to someone with the virus, and tell them to self-isolate.Harrods Set to Reopen (7 a.m. NY)Luxury British retailer Harrods is set to reopen its flagship London store in June, with “significant” social distancing measures in place, and unveiled plans to open an outlet shop to sell stock left over from the season.The company plans to use footfall monitoring technology to limit capacity at its main Knightsbridge store and ensure social distancing can be maintained. Specific doors will be designated for entering and exiting the store, which was closed in March as the coronavirus outbreak started to spread in Britain.The new concept store, based in West London’s Westfield mall, has been designed to allow more space for customers, the company said. “In the new world in which we find ourselves, the economy needs businesses willing to look at its business model and current operations and think differently to enable growth, while protecting its customers and employees,” Managing Director Michael Ward said. “Harrods Outlet allows us to enable better social distancing across a larger footprint.”WHO Warns Against Austerity (6:37 a.m. NY)The World Health Organization warned against austerity in health spending as Europe’s economies reel from the effects of lockdowns to rein in the coronavirus. “We must learn from the mistakes of the past,” when public spending on health fell in the wake of the euro crisis, Hans Kluge, WHO regional director for Europe, said in a briefing.Cuts in public spending on health shift costs to households who may already be facing financial insecurity, the WHO’s European office warned. Kluge called for solidarity among European governments. “If there’s something we have learned so far it’s that one country, even if it’s doing a great job, is not standing alone. We are safe only when everyone is safe.”‘Safer’ for BOE to Err With Too Much Easing (6:22 a.m. NY)It’s safer for the Bank of England to ease too much rather than too little as it responds to the coronavirus pandemic, according to policy maker Michael Saunders. The U.K. is at risk of a relatively slow recovery from the crisis, which could prove especially damaging, Saunders said on a webinar Thursday. Failing to add more stimulus now could see the economy slip into a “lowflation trap.”“The costs of policy error are, to an extent, asymmetric at present,” he said. “It is safer to err on the side of easing somewhat too much, and then if necessary tighten as capacity pressures eventually build, rather than ease too little and find the economy gets stuck in a low-inflation rut.” The pound slid after the comments and money markets moved to price in a 10 basis-point interest-rate cut for May 2021. That would take the key rate to zero.Synthetic Bio Pioneer Ginkgo Raises $70 Million (6 a.m. NY)Ginkgo Bioworks Inc. has raised $70 million in an effort to build out DNA-based Covid-19 testing on a massive scale. The firm is best known for its efforts to design, modify and manufacture organisms to make industrial processes cheaper and more efficient — for example, it’s working to help program bacteria for treatments as living medicines. Now, Gingko is looking to repurpose the DNA-sequencing and automation infrastructure it developed to read and modify living cells to help address the nation’s shortfall of diagnostic testing.The U.S. has vastly scaled up its testing and is now processing somewhere between 300,000 and 450,000 each day, according to The COVID Tracking Project, a volunteer initiative to compile virus data. But those numbers still fall far short of the tens of millions that some experts have suggested are needed daily to reopen the economy safely and return to a new normal.DNA sequencing, Gingko is betting, might allow those efforts to scale up far more rapidly and cheaply to help achieve that end. The company is worth about $4.2 billion, based on a September effort that raised $290 million. The latest round includes investors such as DNA-sequencing giant Illumina Inc.Google Launches ‘Scam Spotter’ (6 a.m. NY)Alphabet Inc.’s Google has created “Scam Spotter” in partnership with Cybercrime Support Network, an organization that supports victims of online crimes. The website is intended to simplify and organize expert advice about coronavirus-related scams. Scammers have taken advantage of “fear and uncertainty,” around the virus, leading to approximately $40 million in fraud losses, Google said.Indonesia Death Toll Rises Amid Plans to Ease Curbs (5:45 p.m. HK)The death toll from coronavirus pandemic in Indonesia rose to 1,496, the highest in Southeast Asia, as officials weighed plans to relax social distancing measures and reopen the economy. Tests confirmed new infections in 687 patients in the past 24 hours, taking the total count to 24,538. East Java, home to the nation’s second-largest city and a major industrial hub, reported 171 new cases, the most among the nation’s 34 provinces.The government is working on a plan to allow tourists to return to Bali by July, National Planning Minister Suharso Monoarfa said. Authorities are also drawing up plans for a gradual exit from strict social distancing measures, including in capital Jakarta, to pave the way for a V-shaped recovery in Southeast Asia’s largest economy.Meanwhile Malaysia reported the smallest increase in new cases since March 12 as the country expects to end its months-long lockdown in early June. And Philippines is planning to further ease restrictions in the capital region starting June 1, which would reopen most businesses and mass transport, even as reported daily infections rose to a record.Euro-Area Confidence Inches Up (5 p.m. HK)Economic sentiment in the euro area rose from a record low after companies started to reopen across the continent following the easing of restrictions. A small pickup in the European Commission gauge is consistent with similar reports in recent weeks that suggest the 19-nation region is slowly working its way out of the worst crisis in living memory. At the same time, the loss of jobs and business to weeks of lockdowns is likely to leave lasting damage on the fabric of the economy.Swiss Allow Sex Work But Not Judo in Reopening (4:41 p.m. HK)Swiss politicians have decided that sex workers can soon get back to business while sports and activities involving close physical contact such as judo, boxing, wrestling and dancing will remain prohibited.Prostitution is legal in Switzerland and can resume from June 6, along with cinemas, nightclubs and public pools, the government announced this week. Yet sports and activities that involve “close and constant” physical contact remain forbidden in an effort to stop the spread of the coronavirus.Li Says China’s Economy Can Grow (4:40 p.m. HK)China’s economy can grow this year if the key tasks set out by the government, including ensuring employment and people’s livelihoods, are achieved, according to Premier Li Keqiang.It is “practical and realistic” to not set a numerical growth target this year as China is not immune from the economic shocks brought about by the pandemic, the premier said at a press conference as the annual parliament session closed on Thursday. Li said the government has the ability to take further action should the outlook deteriorate.Citigroup To Start Bringing London Traders Back (4:15 p.m. HK)Citigroup Inc. will gradually start bringing traders back to its London offices in the coming weeks as U.K. leaders continue to craft plans to ease social distancing restrictions.The firm will begin by restoring traders and other employees from its markets and securities services unit to its offices in London, according to people familiar with the matter, who asked not to be named discussing private information. The firm has told employees in its investment bank to expect to continue working from home, according to the people.Roche Partners With Gilead (4:09 p.m. HK)Roche Holding AG and Gilead Sciences Inc. are initiating a late-stage trial of a two-drug combination in hopes of creating a new weapon in the battle against Covid-19. The study will pair Roche’s immune suppressor Actemra along with Gilead’s antiviral remdesivir, the only drug shown so far to fight the coronavirus, in treating patients with severe pneumonia. The results of the combination will be compared to those from patients who receive remdesivir and a placebo.The trial adds to the blizzard of research into existing medicines against Covid-19. While antivirals seek to stop viruses from replicating, drugs like Actemra -- often used to treat rheumatoid arthritis -- aim to counter harmful levels of inflammation, sometimes called a cytokine storm, that can be just as damaging as the infection itself.Russian Recoveries Exceed New Cases Again (3:53 p.m. HK)Confirmed cases rose by 8,371 over the past day to 379,051 while 8,785 people recovered, bringing the total to 150,993. This is the third straight day the daily number of recoveries has exceeded new cases as the outbreak shows signs of stabilizing in Russia.The data comes as Moscow prepares to ease a lockdown imposed since the end of March after President Vladimir Putin declared that Russia has passed the peak of the pandemic. City authorities managed “not only to stabilize the situation, but significantly improve it,” Moscow Mayor Sergei Sobyanin told Putin on Wednesday. “We can already talk about the next steps to get out of this crisis.”Travel Companies Urge U.K. to Drop Quarantine Plans (3:41 p.m. HK)More than 70 executives from travel firms have written to the U.K. government calling for the dropping of a controversial quarantine plan that will apply to passengers entering the U.K. from June 8. The signatories include The Ritz, Claridges, The Dorchester and Mandarin Oriental.“The very last thing the travel industry needs is a mandatory quarantine imposed on all arriving passengers which will deter foreign visitors from coming here, deter U.K. visitors from traveling abroad and, most likely, cause other countries to impose reciprocal quarantine requirements on British visitors, as France has already announced,” according to the letter to Home Secretary Priti Patel.EasyJet to Cut Jobs, SAS Seeks Funding (3:25 p.m. HK)EasyJet Plc will cut thousands of jobs representing as much as 30% of the workforce to cope with a long-term hit to demand from the coronavirus crisis. Europe’s second-biggest discount carrier will begin employee consultations on the cuts in coming days, it said. The Luton, England-based firm has about 15,000 employees, suggesting 4,500 posts are at risk.Earlier, SAS AB slumped 15% after Scandinavia’s main carrier warned shareholders it will need to generate more funding to see it through the crisis.Virus Clusters Surface in Korea, Japan (3:16 p.m. HK)South Korea will temporarily close museums, parks and galleries in Seoul and surrounding cities after reporting its biggest spike in new cases in nearly two months, raising fears of a second wave of infections. The country reported 79 new cases, about double the new infections reported a day earlier and marked the highest number of cases since April 5 when it registered 81. The total number of confirmed cases reached 11,344, according to the Korea Centers for Disease Control & Prevention.The surge came as health authorities were investigating a new outbreak at a distribution center for Softbank-backed Coupang Corp., an e-commerce company known for its “rocket delivery” service, which has increased in popularity as more Koreans have turned to online shopping in the wake of pandemic. So far, 82 cases have been linked to the distribution center with the numbers likely to rise as health authorities complete testing of more than 4,000 known contacts.Small clusters have also emerged in several locations in Japan, including the capital, in its first week since a state of emergency was lifted nationwide. More than four people were found to be infected at a hospital in western Tokyo, Nippon Television reported. At least 18 others, mostly patients, are being tested after showing symptoms including fever. In the southwestern city of Kitakyushu, an uptick in new cases -- 22 infections in five days, after more than three weeks without a single case -- prompted the government to send its virus cluster response team to investigate.Glaxo Targets Vaccine Booster (2:45 p.m. HK)Glaxo says its adjuvant can reduce the amount of vaccine required per dose, allowing more people to be immunized, and create longer-lasting immunity, according to a statement Thursday. The U.K. drugmaker is also working to develop a vaccine, but the two efforts are separate. “More than one vaccine will be needed to address this global pandemic,” Roger Connor, president of Glaxo’s vaccines operation, said in the statement.Masks Work, Japan Panel Says (9 a.m. HK)Mask-wearing -- anathema to many in the U.S. -- is one reason why Japan has avoided the heavy coronavirus death tolls seen in many parts of the world, according to the government’s expert panel on the pandemic.While face-coverings have sparked angry confrontations in some parts of the world, and were initially dismissed as ineffective by the World Health Organization, they have long been part of everyday life in Japan. But they won’t be enough for the country to maintain its strong record on containing the virus.Disney Taking ‘Baby Steps’ to Reopen Parks (7:35 a.m. HK)Walt Disney Co. Chief Executive Officer Bob Chapek is planning to be more cautious than other theme-park operators in reopening attractions, saying he wants to take extra time to build trust with customers.The company aims to begin admitting guests back in its parks in Florida in mid-July. Meanwhile, rivals such as Comcast Corp.’s Universal Studios and SeaWorld Entertainment Inc. plan to begin reopening their parks in the state early next month.Merchant Sailors Trapped at Sea (7:25 a.m. HK)Even as countries try returning to some semblance of pre-pandemic life, ongoing restrictions are wearing thin a crucial human link in the global supply chain.More than 200,000 seafarers stuck on merchant ships carrying everything from medical supplies to grain and oil are at increasing risk of mental and physical fatigue as port restrictions and canceled flights snarl the ability of vessels to change crews, according to the International Chamber of Shipping.U.S. Deaths Top 100,000 (6 a.m. HK)The U.S. surpassed 100,000 deaths from the coronavirus, according to Johns Hopkins University data. The milestone comes 126 days since the first case and 87 days since the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention announced the country’s first fatality, on Feb. 29 in Washington state.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.

  • Trump to Sign Executive Order: Social Media Giants Under Fire
    Zacks

    Trump to Sign Executive Order: Social Media Giants Under Fire

    An executive order could mean a lot for social media companies, which are already under the scrutiny of regulators for the way they handle personal data and their privacy policies.

  • Bloomberg

    Google Considers Stake in India’s Vodafone Idea, FT Says

    (Bloomberg) -- Follow Bloomberg on LINE messenger for all the business news and analysis you need.Alphabet Inc.’s Google is considering acquiring a stake in Vodafone Group Plc’s struggling Indian business, the Financial Times reported, joining Facebook Inc. in investing in the world’s fastest-growing mobile arena.Google may take a stake of about 5% in Vodafone Idea, a partnership between the U.K. telecom carrier and the Aditya Birla Group, though the deliberations are at a very early state, the FT cited people familiar with the matter as saying.Any deal would come weeks after Facebook paid $5.7 billion for a slice of digital assets controlled by Mukesh Ambani, Asia’s richest man. The deal was a landmark investment followed in successive days by major influxes of capital into India’s tech industry led by private equity firms.Spokespeople from Vodafone and Vodafone Idea declined to comment. Google itself has big ambitions for India, a country with a huge first-time internet user population that serves as a test-bed for innovations in smartphone technology.Facebook’s alliance with Ambani’s Reliance inserted a powerful new competitor into a crowded Indian internet industry already contested by Google, Walmart Inc., Amazon.com Inc. and SoftBank Group Corp.-backed local outfit Paytm. But none of them have the reach of WhatsApp, the nation’s most popular communications platform.India has been a critical component of Google’s Next Billion Users initiative, its attempt to rope in hundreds of millions of users as they come on the internet in emerging markets like India. It’s targeted users in the market for products as varied as train station Wi-Fi, maps and digital payments. Vodafone’s Indian telecom unit is struggling following a $4 billion demand for back fees in addition to more than $14 billion of debt. The wireless operator, formed by the merger of Vodafone Group’s local unit and billionaire Kumar Mangalam Birla’s Idea Cellular Ltd., hasn’t reported a quarterly profit since announcing the deal in 2017, and is headed toward insolvency in the absence of any relief from the government, Birla warned in December.India’s top court recently sided with the government and ordered that the full amount of back fees be paid within three months. When the companies dithered and filed pleas, the Supreme Court threatened to initiate contempt proceedings for non-compliance.(Updated with context throughout, comment from Vodafone)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 considering taking stake in Vodafone Idea: FT
    Reuters

    Google considering taking stake in Vodafone Idea: FT

    Google is considering buying a stake of about 5% in Vodafone Idea, the FT reported, citing one of the people. Vodafone said it does not comment on market speculation, while Google did not immediately respond to a request for comment. Last month, Facebook Inc agreed to invest $5.7 billion for a 9.99% stake in Reliance Industries' digital arm, Jio, which competes with Vodafone Idea and Bharti Airtel Ltd in India's fiercely competitive telecom market.

  • Expedia Launches a $275 Million Partner Recovery Plan That’s Very Different From Airbnb’s
    Skift

    Expedia Launches a $275 Million Partner Recovery Plan That’s Very Different From Airbnb’s

    Two months after Airbnb rolled out a controversial $260 million coronavirus relief package for hosts, rival Expedia Group is slightly upping the ante with an estimated $275 million recovery package for hotels, destinations, and owners and operators of alternative accommodations. One of the common denominators in their respective programs is both companies attracted funding from […]

  • DIAL Global Virtual Summit: Google, Amazon, Unilever execs talk about diversity and inclusion
    Yahoo Finance UK

    DIAL Global Virtual Summit: Google, Amazon, Unilever execs talk about diversity and inclusion

    Verizon Media is a strategic partner for the global digital event.

  • Nasdaq 100 Futures Drop on Report of Trump Executive Order
    Bloomberg

    Nasdaq 100 Futures Drop on Report of Trump Executive Order

    (Bloomberg) -- Nasdaq 100 Index futures fell on a report Donald Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that could threaten to penalize Facebook Inc., Google and Twitter Inc. for the way they moderate content on their sites.Contracts for June delivery on the Nasdaq 100 fell as much as 0.8%, before paring losses to 0.4% as of 9:32 a.m. in London. Trump’s upcoming executive order aims for federal regulators to review a law that spares tech companies from liability for comments and content posted by users, the Washington Post reported. Investor sentiment was also damped by deteriorating U.S.-China ties.“U.S. tech stocks are dropping on profit taking and risk aversion, as they are at the forefront of the U.S.-China cold war,” said Nader Naeimi, the head of dynamic markets at AMP Capital Investors Ltd. in Sydney. In addition, there is news that “Trump is preparing to sign an executive order that could threaten to penalize Facebook, Google and Twitter.”Trump is poised to take action Thursday that could bring a flurry of lawsuits down on Twitter, Facebook and other technology giants by having the government narrow liability protections that they enjoy for third parties’ posts, according to a draft of an executive order obtained by Bloomberg.While Nasdaq 100 futures declined, contracts on other indexes were mixed. Futures on the S&P 500 were little changed and those on Dow Jones Industrial Average advanced 0.4%. The underlying S&P 500 climbed to the highest since early March on Wednesday, holding above 3,000 level and its average price for the past 200 days.It’s possible that Nasdaq futures are falling on reports of an executive order, “but the U.S. First Amendment is pretty clear, and the White House has very little reach over corporate behavior,” said Michael McCarthy, chief market strategist at CMC Markets Asia Pacific Pty. “Most traders I speak to see this as a hollow threat.”(Updates prices starting in second 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.

  • Trump executive order takes aim at social media firms: draft
    Reuters

    Trump executive order takes aim at social media firms: draft

    U.S. President Donald Trump is expected to order a review of a law that has long protected Twitter, Facebook and Alphabet's Google from being responsible for the material posted by their users, according to a draft executive order and a source familiar with the situation. News of the order comes after Trump threatened to shut down websites he accused of stifling conservative voices. It follows a dispute with Twitter after the company decided to tag Trump's tweets about unsubstantiated claims of fraud in mail-in voting with a warning prompting readers to fact-check the posts.

  • Google sees resurgence in state-backed hacking, phishing related to COVID-19
    Reuters

    Google sees resurgence in state-backed hacking, phishing related to COVID-19

    Google said on Wednesday its Threat Analysis Group saw new activity from "hack-for-hire" firms, many based in India, that have been creating Gmail accounts spoofing the World Health Organization (WHO). Google said it continued to see attacks from hackers on medical and healthcare professionals, including WHO employees.

  • U.S. state of Arizona files consumer fraud lawsuit against Google
    Reuters

    U.S. state of Arizona files consumer fraud lawsuit against Google

    "When consumers try to opt out of Google's collection of location data, the company is continuing to find misleading ways to obtain information and use it for profit," Brnovich said in an interview with the Washington Post. In February, New Mexico Attorney General Hector Balderas sued Google, alleging that its educational software collects young students' personal information without the required parental consent.

  • Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Google Win Dismissal of Anti-Conservative Bias Suit
    Motley Fool

    Facebook, Twitter, Apple, and Google Win Dismissal of Anti-Conservative Bias Suit

    Appeals court judges unanimously reaffirmed that online platforms' rules against hate speech don't violate the First Amendment, because tech companies aren't part of the government.

  • Top Stock Reports for Alphabet, Visa & Bank of America
    Zacks

    Top Stock Reports for Alphabet, Visa & Bank of America

    Top Stock Reports for Alphabet, Visa & Bank of America

  • Twitter, Facebook Win Appeal in Anticonservative-Bias Suit
    Bloomberg

    Twitter, Facebook Win Appeal in Anticonservative-Bias Suit

    (Bloomberg) -- A federal appeals court rejected claims that tech giants Twitter Inc., Facebook Inc., Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google conspired to suppress conservative views online.The U.S. Court of Appeals in Washington on Wednesday affirmed the dismissal of a lawsuit by the nonprofit group Freedom Watch and the right-wing YouTube personality Laura Loomer, who accused the companies of violating antitrust laws and the First Amendment in a coordinated political plot.A three-judge panel held in a decision only four pages long that the organization didn’t provide enough evidence of an antitrust violation and that the companies aren’t state entities that can violate free speech rights.“In general, the First Amendment ‘prohibits only governmental abridgment of speech,’” the judges wrote, quoting a previous decision.Larry Klayman, a lawyer for Freedom Watch and Loomer, said in an interview that he’d file a petition to have the case reheard by an enlarged, “en banc” panel of the court’s judges and take the case to the Supreme Court if necessary. He said he believes the court chose Wednesday to issue its decision as a response to President Donald Trump’s threat to regulate or shutter social media companies for their alleged anticonservative bias.Klayman said the brief decision gave “short shrift” to an important social issue.Two of the three judges on the appellate panel were appointed by Republican presidents and one by a Democrat. The district court judge who dismissed the case, Trevor McFadden, was appointed by Trump.The companies said in a joint brief in March that courts had repeatedly rejected claims that operating a widely used forum for speech by others “is a public function that amounts to state action.” Subjecting private companies to First Amendment requirements would chill efforts to police pornography and cyberbullying, they said.“Private property owners, no matter their social importance, are not the government and are not subject to the constitutional constraints that limit governmental regulation of speech,” the companies said.Read More: Trump Retweets Far-Right Activists in Attack on Social MediaThe case is one of several filed by conservatives linking social media bans to the market dominance of big tech companies. The suit blamed an illegal conspiracy by the companies for a “complete halt” of Freedom Watch’s organizational growth and Loomer’s 30-day ban from multiple social media platforms after she said Representative Ilhan Omar, a Democrat from Minnesota, favors Sharia law and is “anti-Jewish.”The D.C. Circuit’s decision comes after two unlikely allies weighed in on behalf of Freedom Watch and Loomer, asking the court not to affirm the dismissal of the suit without a full proceeding. The District of Columbia’s government and the Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law filed briefs challenging the trial judge’s conclusion that the D.C. Human Rights Act doesn’t ban discrimination online.(Adds Klayman quote and context below it)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.

  • Bloomberg

    France Backs Virus Tracing App Following Tough Privacy Debate

    (Bloomberg) -- French lawmakers from the National Assembly voted in favor of a contact tracing app meant to contain the spread of the coronavirus, following an intense debate over privacy rights as the government prepares to lift more lockdown measures next week.The application, dubbed StopCovid, was designed by a state-led task force, including the leading phone carrier Orange SA, software company Dassault Systemes SE, as well as Inria, the institute for research in digital science and technology. User data collected on the app will be sent to the nation’s health authorities in a bid to contain any re-emergence of the deadly virus.National Assembly lawmakers backed the app use with 338 votes in favor and 215 votes against. The project has drawn criticism from privacy activists in France, who argue such tools accelerate state-surveillance technology on citizens. Digital Minister Cedric O defended the project and said it includes guarantees protecting privacy rights. He said downloading the app is voluntary and data collection and the app itself are both meant to be temporaryFrance started to relax lockdown rules on May 11 and Prime Minister Edouard Philippe is expected to further ease controls next week. The app will be available to download on June 1 on the Apple and Alphabet’s Google app stores, O said on Wednesday.Read More: Apple-Google Virus-Tracking Rules Put Apps in a Privacy BindStopCovid will work with a smartphone’s bluetooth technology and will send out an alert to its user if they come within a meter of a person carrying the virus for more than 15 minutes. In case of exposure, the user will be asked to self-isolate quickly, reach out to their doctor and get tested. The app received the backing from the privacy watchdog CNIL on Tuesday.The approval didn’t come without warnings from lawmakers. Damien Abad, member of the National Assembly for opposition party Les Republicains criticized the app, associating it with a “nightmarish Orwellian society,” of state surveillance in a debate before the vote on Wednesday. Other lawmakers like Virginie Duby-Muller argued this app wasn’t enough to compensate for a lack of testing since the pandemic struck.Read More: The World Embraces Contact-Tracing Technology to Fight Covid-19Contact tracing apps have had a mixed result across the world so far. Singapore was one of the first to launch TraceTogether in March but due to its relatively low adoption, a lockdown couldn’t be avoided in the country. In Australia, which launched its own tool last month, only one person has been identified using data from it, the Guardian reported on May 23. There are still “strong doubts” about StopCovid’s compatibility with similar apps from other European countries, O told lawmakers on Tuesday.The French app, which is similar to one being developed in the U.K., is designed by national players, unlike the apps in Switzerland and Germany, which are based on a platform jointly developed by Apple Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.Read More: France Says Apple Bluetooth Policy Is Blocking Virus TrackerO pushed for the homegrown solution and criticized Apple for not changing its bluetooth settings to allow the French state to ease its app’s use. France’s conflict with Apple is part of a broader debate about how much data U.S. tech giants should collect and who should have access to it.StopCovid is “too serious a hindrance to our right to secrecy,” Sacha Houlie, member of the National Assembly for Macron’s party said before the vote on Wednesday. “I fear the surveillance 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.

  • Bloomberg

    Adobe Says ‘Major Issues’ Took Photoshop, Other Apps Offline

    (Bloomberg) -- Adobe Inc., the maker of Photoshop, said some of its applications were knocked offline Wednesday by “major” technical issues.There were four major issues, down from 13 earlier, and 12 minor issues affecting Creative Cloud, Experience Cloud, Adobe Services and the Adobe Experience Platform as of 2 p.m. in New York, the San Jose, California-based company said. Adobe’s engineers were also trying to resolve other potential issues in progress.“We’re working urgently to get back online as soon as possible,” Adobe told users in a tweet. A spokesman said the technical issues aren’t security related.Major public-cloud vendors Amazon.com Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google reported no service issues, so the problems appear to be isolated with the software company. Adobe’s shares declined 1.6% to $370.76. The stock gained 14% this year through Tuesday’s close.Millions of people rely on Adobe’s creative and document apps. The company said its Creative Cloud apps have been downloaded 376 million times, and users opened 250 million PDFs with an Adobe program in the last year. Many businesses use Adobe’s marketing, advertising and analytics tools, which were disrupted by the technical problems.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.

  • U.S. Under Trump Is Like a Sports Team Without a Coach
    Bloomberg

    U.S. Under Trump Is Like a Sports Team Without a Coach

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Fairness is a theme running through the writings of Michael Lewis, our second guest this week on Masters in Business, and author of bestsellers such as "Moneyball" and "The Big Short." Because fairness is critical in sports, Lewis developed a podcast, "Against the Rules," now in its second season, drawing on some of the parallels between sports and life.He says podcasting allows him to exercise a very different set of muscles from writing. He works with an ensemble to help tell different stories in a different way. The first season of the podcast was about referees while the second season, now underway, is about coaches.Lewis also sees analogies between sports and government. His most recent book, "The Fifth Risk: Undoing Democracy," looks at what happens when the leaders of various government departments don’t show up to begin their jobs -- ever.Former New Jersey Governor Chris Christie, who was appointed head of the Trump transition team after the 2016 election, created a set of tools to help the president-elect assume management of the federal government and its 9.1 million employees. It is required by the Presidential Transition Act of 1963 (updated in 2015), legislation that establishes the formal mechanism for the orderly transfer power after a presidential election.Alas, in 2017, it was not meant to be, and Donald Trump fired the entire Christie-assembled transition team. The result is that there are thousands of government positions still unfilled, including key posts at the National Institutes of Health and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, which perhaps accounts for the U.S.'s chaotic response to the coronavirus pandemic. Lewis describes the transition as a unique failing in presidential history, a refusal to discharge legal obligations in an intelligent, coherent way. Hence, Lewis says, the U.S. as presently governed is “uncoached.”His favorite books are here; a transcript of our conversation is here.You can stream and download our full conversation, including the podcast extras, on Apple iTunes, Spotify, Overcast, Google, Bloomberg and Stitcher.  All of our earlier podcasts on your favorite pod hosts can be found here.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Barry Ritholtz is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is chairman and chief investment officer of Ritholtz Wealth Management, and was previously chief market strategist at Maxim Group. He is the author of “Bailout Nation.”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.

  • Bloomberg

    Twitter Strikes Fair Balance Between Liberty and Lies

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- President Donald Trump says a lot of things on Twitter that aren’t true. Twitter has a set of formal policies designed to combat misleading information. This week, Twitter applied its policies to two of Trump’s tweets, in which the president made misleading claims about voting by mail.Trump responded with a threat:Republicans feel that Social Media Platforms totally silence conservatives voices. We will strongly regulate, or close them down, before we can ever allow this to happen.The threat had an immediate effect on the stock of Twitter Inc.; it fell dramatically afterward.To understand the controversy, we need to step back a bit. Social-media platforms such as Twitter, Facebook and YouTube are not subject to the Constitution at all. The First Amendment, which guarantees freedom of speech, applies only to the government. If Twitter denied a platform to Trump, or if it allowed only Republicans or only Democrats to have access to its platform, it would not be violating the Constitution.Nonetheless, Twitter has good reason to allow something like a free-for-all. Its whole purpose is to permit plenty of diverse people to say plenty of diverse things. That’s its business model. And if it’s providing a public service, as I believe that it is, it should not favor any particular side. It should certainly not appoint itself as the truth police.At the same time, the company has to draw some limits, and it does. Suppose that someone tweets that the presidential election will be held on Nov. 5 this year (it will actually be held on Nov. 3), or that people will not be allowed to vote unless they are at least 30 years old. Twitter does not allow that.Or suppose someone says that “social distancing is not effective” to combat Covid-19, or that “walking outside is enough to disinfect you from the coronavirus.” Twitter will not allow that either.It doesn’t try to remove every falsehood, but it also doesn’t want its platform to be used to compromise public health. So in narrowly defined circumstances, it will remove material that it considers harmful.This month, Twitter announced an updated approach to misinformation in general. Its basic approach consists of labels — warning people that what has been tweeted may not be true, and linking to sources that correct the record. If the potential harm is sufficiently severe, a tweet might be removed.That is the background for the current controversy. In two tweets, Trump said that voting by mail is likely to create a significant increase in fraud. One said this:There is NO WAY (ZERO!) that Mail-In Ballots will be anything less than substantially fraudulent. Mail boxes will be robbed, ballots will be forged & even illegally printed out and fraudulently signed.Twitter appended a short label, saying, “Get the facts about mail-in ballots.” As a spokesperson for Twitter explained, the president’s tweets “contain potentially misleading information about voting processes and have been labeled to provide additional context around mail-in ballots.”It should be clear that Twitter’s approach was fully in line with its current policies and also that it was quite mild. Twitter did not remove Trump’s tweet. It did not say that it was false. Indeed, it did not even declare that it was misleading. It said publicly that it was only “potentially misleading.” Its small label informed people how to “get the facts.”It is perfectly acceptable for a newspaper or magazine to correct the record about public officials — to say, for example, that President Bill Clinton misled the public about his relationship with Monica Lewinsky.But social-media platforms are not newspapers or magazines, and they have to strike a difficult balance. They cannot be expected, and should not be asked, to take down every falsehood that appears on their platforms. But it is legitimate for them to adopt neutral policies that are designed to educate and inform users about misinformation, or about potentially misleading material.There is an irony here. Trump rightly emphasizes the value of freedom of speech, and even though Twitter is unconstrained by the First Amendment, he is correct to say that the company should respect that value. At the same time, a central purpose free speech is to ensure an informed public. With respect to misleading tweets, Twitter’s policy promotes that value — which means that it should be praised, not threatened.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Cass R. Sunstein is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the author of “The Cost-Benefit Revolution” and a co-author of “Nudge: Improving Decisions About Health, Wealth and Happiness.”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.

  • Bloomberg

    Amazon Will Take Robot Cars to a Whole New Level

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Amazon.com Inc.’s interest in acquiring a self-driving car pioneer is the prime example (pun intended) of how expectations for driverless vehicles have been recalibrated.The e-commerce giant is in advanced talks to buy Zoox Inc. for less than the $3.2 billion at which it was valued in 2018, the Wall Street Journal reported on Tuesday. Given the California-based startup’s approach to autonomous cars, its fate is particularly instructive.In a very crowded field, Zoox was practically alone in aiming to build a whole new kind of electric-powered vehicle, and to operate the fleet itself. Peers such as Alphabet Inc.’s Waymo, General Motors Co.’s Cruise unit, Ford Motor Co. and Volkswagen AG’s joint venture Argo AI, and Aurora Innovations Inc. have focused solely on developing the self-driving technology that could subsequently be fitted into vehicles.Zoox wanted to be Tesla Inc., Waymo and Uber Technologies Inc. all rolled into one.Back in 2015, that seemed like an attractive proposition. If the triple threat to the automotive industry was autonomous technology, electric drivetrains and ride-hailing, why not embrace all three? After all, there were expectations that by 2020 robotaxis would ferry you around the world’s metropolises. Capital flowed into self-driving car startups, typified by the $1 billion GM spent acquiring Cruise in 2016.Those dreams, needless to say, have failed to materialize. Companies that had aimed to jump straight to the fourth of five levels of autonomy have quietly downshifted. (The first level of self-driving encompasses driver-assistance functions such as cruise control, and the fifth is full automation.) Bloomberg New Energy Finance doesn’t expect vehicles with Level Four automation to start gaining traction until 2034. Even then, they will likely represent just 831,000 of the 95 million-unit global car market that year.What’s more, the expense of developing, building and operating a fleet of self-driving cars would be considerable. Even deep-pocketed Alphabet and GM have sought outside investment for their efforts. Established carmakers are meanwhile focusing their capital on electric cars, a more imminent threat. And owning and operating a fleet is expensive too. Zoox had a tough sell to investors: In 15 years’ time, it might have been an attractive business.Which brings us to Amazon. Even if robotaxis aren’t coming any time soon, there are alternative applications for autonomous technology that fall squarely in the Seattle-based firm’s wheelhouse, namely, logistics. Given Amazon’s shipping costs are set to hit $90 billion a year, tech from Zoox could help save $20 billion in shipping costs, according to Morgan Stanley analysts. Its solutions could be used across warehousing and distribution. Buying Zoox could take Amazon's other moves in this field — an existing investment in Aurora and experiments with self-driving truck specialist Embark and electric vanmaker Rivian — to a whole new level.Amazon has become the fantasy acquirer for any number of companies seeking a soft landing: theater chains, brick-and-mortar retailers, food deliverers, mobile carriers, real estate brokers, dental suppliers, film studios and plenty more besides.Sometimes, just sometimes, those deals make sense. Zoox is one of them.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or 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.

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