IBM Nov 2019 137.000 call

OPR - OPR Delayed price. Currency in USD
1.0900
+0.0200 (+1.87%)
As of 3:57PM EST. Market open.
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Previous close1.0700
Open1.1700
Bid1.0900
Ask1.1500
Strike137.00
Expiry date2019-11-29
Day's range0.9300 - 1.5500
Contract rangeN/A
Volume141
Open interest158
  • PR Newswire

    International Business Machines Corp - Doc re Form 8-K

    Company INTERNATIONAL BUSINESS MACHINES CORPORATION TIDM IBM Headline Notification of filing of document The Corporation's current report on Form 8-K dated [Nov. 12, 2019] was filed with the United States Securities Exchange Commission and in Luxembourg with the Luxembourg Stock Exchange as the officially appointed mechanism for the central storage of regulated information and with the CSSF on [Nov. 12, 2019]. The report is available at www.sec.gov and www.bourse.lu.

  • Business Wire

    IBM Elects Thomas Buberl to Its Board of Directors

    The IBM (IBM) board of directors has elected Thomas Buberl to the board, effective April 28, 2020. Mr. Buberl, 46, is the chief executive officer of AXA S.A. Headquartered in Paris, France, AXA is one of the world’s largest global insurance firms. Since becoming CEO in September 2016, Mr. Buberl has been leading AXA through a digital transformation, accelerating business innovation and leveraging data to meet customers’ rapidly evolving needs in the digital world.

  • Is Now An Opportune Moment To Examine International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM)?
    Simply Wall St.

    Is Now An Opportune Moment To Examine International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM)?

    Today we're going to take a look at the well-established International Business Machines Corporation (NYSE:IBM). The...

  • iPhones Are Big in China, But Apple’s Services Play Gets Mired in Censorship
    Bloomberg

    iPhones Are Big in China, But Apple’s Services Play Gets Mired in Censorship

    (Bloomberg) -- When it comes to many of Apple Inc.'s latest services, iPhone users in China are missing out. Podcast choices are paltry. Apple TV+ is off the air. News subscriptions are blocked, and Arcade gaming is nowhere to be found.For years, Apple made huge inroads in the world's most populous nation with hardware that boasted crisp displays, sleek lines and speedy processors. It peddled little of the content that boxed U.S. internet giants Google and Facebook Inc. out of the country. But now that Apple is becoming a major digital services provider, it’s struggling to avoid the fate of its rivals. Apple services such as the App Store, digital books, news, video, podcasts and music, put the company in the more precarious position of information provider (or at least overseer), exposing it to a growing online crackdown by China’s authoritarian government. “There's a headwind around services there, and it's unclear what services can be available,” said Gene Munster, a veteran Apple analyst and co-founder of Loup Ventures. “It points to an issue with China more broadly with how U.S. companies can operate there, and it will likely remain a headwind on Apple services for a long time."While standard iPhone services like iMessage work in China, many paid offerings that help Apple generate recurring revenue from its devices aren’t available in the country. That includes four new services that Apple announced this year: TV+ video streaming, the Apple Card, Apple Arcade and the News+ subscription. Other well-known Apple services can’t be accessed in the country either, including the iTunes Store, iTunes Movie rentals, Apple Books and the Apple TV and Apple News apps. This is a concern for investors because Apple is relying on services to power future revenue and profit. If the company can’t sell these offerings in the world’s large internet market, it will be harder to keep growing. About 10% of Apple’s services revenue comes from China, while the country accounts for roughly 18% of iPhone sales, according to Dan Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities. "The missing puzzle piece for services is China,” he added. An Apple spokesman declined to comment.Older services, such as the App Store, Apple Pay, and Apple Music are available in China. So is iCloud, but, unlike in other countries, it is operated by a local provider backed by the government, giving authorities greater access to Chinese user data. Other Apple apps are in the country, too, but sometimes lack features offered in the rest of the world. When an iPhone owner in mainland China opens Apple’s Podcasts app, the experience is far more limited. Search results turn up a fraction of the podcasts available globally. And Categories, the easy way to find podcasts that fit users’ interests, are nowhere to be found. Over the past year, Apple’s Weather app lost its ability to show air quality index, or AQI, data for Chinese cities — regardless of the user's location. AQI is an important metric given high levels of pollution in many areas of the country. AQI support for China was announced at Apple’s developer conference in June 2016, and users started reporting that the feature stopped consistently showing data for China last year. Recent Bloomberg tests confirmed that the information isn’t available for Chinese cities such as Shanghai, while it continues to work for other supported regions, including the U.S., India and parts of Europe. Air pollution is a sensitive issue for China’s government. It has made sweeping efforts to improve the situation but has also blocked some air-quality information online, including one episode in 2014 that was reported by the Washington Post. AQI data for the Apple Weather app comes from the Weather Channel, a unit of International Business Machines Corp. Apple removed the information for Chinese cities after the Weather Channel changed how it collects the data in the country, according to a person familiar with the situation. The Weather Channel used to get AQI information on the ground in China, but now collects it via satellites, which is less accurate, said the person, who asked not to be identified discussing private deliberations. A spokeswoman for the Weather Channel didn’t respond to a request for comment.Greater China became Apple’s second-largest region in the 2015 fiscal year, generating $59 billion in revenue. Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook visits frequently and the company employs about 10,000 people there directly. More than a million other workers assemble Apple products in the country for Foxconn and other Apple manufacturing partners. China’s first major move to limit an Apple service happened in 2008, when the company’s iTunes Music Store was axed in the region. In 2016, iTunes Movies and iBooks, the former name of Apple Books, were blocked in China. This wasn’t so much of an issue when iPhones were selling well and revenue was surging. But more recently, iPhone sales have slowed and the company switched some of its focus to services. This is a $46 billion-a-year business now, and Apple expects it to be a major source of future growth, topping $50 billion a year in 2020. So Apple has a lot more at stake as China continues to crack down on online activity.Apple’s $50 Billion Dilemma: Listen to Bloomberg’s Decrypted podcast here.The App Store, Apple’s most lucrative services business, has been particularly affected in recent years. The company has been forced to remove several apps from the App Store in China, including the New York Times and Quartz news apps. The government’s media control and censorship is likely why Apple's own News app, launched in 2015, is barred. The company’s News+ subscription service, rolled out this year, is not available on Apple devices purchased in China, and the app loses its functionality for users from other countries who travel there. Apple has also pulled hundreds of VPN apps that helped users evade China’s Great Firewall and access banned Western internet services such as Facebook, Google and Twitter. In the second half of last year, Apple removed 634 apps from its App Store due to take-down requests. More than 80% of those were in mainland China, according to Apple’s latest transparency report. Each app that disappears is a lost revenue opportunity. When iPhone and iPad users pay to download apps, Apple takes a 30% cut. And when consumers make in-app purchases or sign up for paid app subscriptions, the company takes a cut too. Last year, the Chinese government slowed down Apple’s ability to approve new video games for the App Store, and this contributed to a sales decline in the region. Chief Financial Officer Luca Maestri said in January that the issue was “affecting our business.” Apple’s Arcade gaming subscription service would likely be hard to pull off in China given this tortured approval process.On its fiscal fourth-quarter call last week, Cook was more upbeat, saying Apple’s services business in China grew at a “double digit” rate. But his comments showed how much the company relies on China’s government for digital services like this. “We began to see more gaming approvals in the quarter, or I should say some key gaming approvals. It's not all about quantity, but about which ones,” he added. A few weeks earlier, one of Apple’s App Store decisions sparked a rare rebuke from the People’s Daily, a mouthpiece of China’s ruling Communist Party. Apple was excoriated by the newspaper for approving an app called HKmap.live that let users monitor Hong Kong police activity to stay safe in the midst of democracy protests in the city.“People have reason to assume that Apple is mixing business with politics, and even illegal acts. Apple has to think about the consequences of its unwise and reckless decision,” the paper said. “Apple and other corporations should be able to discern right from wrong. They also need to know that only the prosperity of China and China’s Hong Kong will bring them a broader and more sustainable market.”Soon after, Apple removed the app, saying it violated local laws and endangered law enforcement. The paper also said the song “Glory to Hong Kong,” which has become a rallying cry for pro-democracy demonstrators, had reappeared on Apple Music. Soon after, the track was unavailable on Apple’s service, in addition to Spotify. Even Apple’s new TV+ video service has felt the influence of China’s censorship. BuzzFeed recently reported that Apple told show creators to avoid portraying China in a poor light. The TV+ offering launched Nov. 1 in more than 100 countries, but not in China. Apple’s new credit card is only available in the U.S., but would also be a hard sell in China given the dominance of local payment providers like Alipay and WeChat. Still, some analysts are optimistic about the longer-term outlook for Apple services in China. “At some point, it will be economic forces that drive access to Apple services, and that will be a major boon for Apple along with other companies that are currently restricted from access to China,” said Ivan Feinseth, chief investment officer at Tigress Financial Partners. “You can only hold back access to information for so long.”Apple’s App Store and other services have so much potential that the company can also keep growing with limited access to Chinese consumers, he added. “They have barely scratched the surface of penetration into their almost 1 billion iPhone installed user base globally, and even if you exclude China, there is still a tremendous market,” Feinseth said. For a few years, Apple highlighted Chinese features when it announced major new versions of its iOS and macOS operating systems. At its 2012 annual conference for software developers, Craig Federighi, Apple’s software engineering chief, said, “It’s going to be important, get your apps ready for China,” during a presentation slide dedicated to new China features. That year, iOS 6 added support for Baidu web search and the micro-blogging service Sina Weibo, in addition to new text-input features. 2013’s iOS 7 came out with a Chinese-English dictionary, handwriting recognition and support for Tencent’s Weibo service. A year later, iOS 8 had turn-by-turn maps for China and the lunar calendar.Apple hasn’t promoted China features as much in recent years, but it is still adding some. iOS 10 in 2016 added the air-quality-index data that have now been removed. The following year, iOS 11 came out with QR code scanning. This year, Apple upgraded that QR feature, improved the handwriting keyboard and added a new Junction View feature to its Maps service for improved local lane guidance on complicated highways. To keep growing in China, Apple will either need to get more of its services up and running in the country or find its next hardware hit beyond the iPhone.“The company still has an opportunity on hardware there, especially for future iPhone models, the AirPods, Apple Watches and other wearables,” Munster said. \--With assistance from Yuan Gao.To contact the author of this story: Mark Gurman in Los Angeles at mgurman1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Alistair Barr at abarr18@bloomberg.net, Andrew MartinFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Oracle Revives Charges That Pentagon Bid Was Tainted by Amazon Conflicts
    Bloomberg

    Oracle Revives Charges That Pentagon Bid Was Tainted by Amazon Conflicts

    (Bloomberg) -- Oracle Corp. opened its appeal in a legal challenge of a Pentagon cloud-computing contract valued at as much as $10 billion with a familiar argument: the procurement was unfairly tailored for Amazon.com Inc.In in its opening brief, which was filed on Friday, Oracle said the cloud project violated federal procurement law and was tainted by relationships between former Pentagon officials and Amazon.Oracle is appealing a July ruling from the U.S. Court of Federal Claims that dismissed its legal challenge to the cloud contract based on similar claims. At the same time, Amazon is mulling its own potential legal challenge of the project after losing the deal to Microsoft Corp. late last month, Bloomberg News has reported.The legal challenges could revive fresh criticism from industry, lawmakers and analysts of the Pentagon’s handling of the controversial cloud project, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI. The project is designed to consolidate the Defense Department’s cloud computing infrastructure and modernize its technology systems.The department is facing accusations that former employees with ties to Amazon may have structured the deal to favor Amazon and that President Donald Trump may have unfairly intervened in the process against Amazon. Trump has long been at odds with Amazon Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos, who also owns the Washington Post.“As DOD has asserted throughout this litigation, and as confirmed by the court, DOD reasonably evaluated and equally treated all offerors within the framework of a full and open competition,” Elissa Smith, a Department of Defense spokeswoman, said in a statement in response to Oracle’s latest move. She said rulings from the claims court and the Government Accountability Office “validated that DoD followed all the applicable acquisition processes.”Trump Surprise“It is difficult to recall any prior procurement of this scale, value and significance in which two of the four leading competitors had compelling conflicts of interest or bias allegations,” said Steven Schooner, a professor of government procurement law at George Washington University. “This is extraordinary.”Trump surprised the industry earlier this year when he openly questioned whether the contract was being competitively bid, citing complaints from Microsoft, Oracle and International Business Machines Corp.A new book by Guy Snodgrass, a speechwriter to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, alleges that Trump, in the summer of 2018, told Mattis to “screw Amazon” and lock it out of the bid. Mattis didn’t do what Trump asked, Snodgrass wrote. Mattis has criticized the book.Dana Deasy, the Pentagon’s chief information officer, said during his confirmation hearing last week that to the best of his knowledge, no one from the White House reached out to any members of the JEDI cloud contract selection team.Amazon didn’t immediately respond to a request for comment.Criteria ChallengedFederal Claims Court Senior Judge Eric Bruggink dismissed Oracle’s lawsuit in July, saying the company didn’t meet the criteria for the bid and thus didn’t have the standing to challenge the procurement.The Pentagon eliminated Oracle and IBM as potential bidders in April, leaving Amazon and Microsoft as the final competitors for the contract.In its appeal, Oracle contends that the Pentagon’s minimum requirements for the contract, as well as its decision to pick just one winner, violated federal procurement laws designed to ensure competition. Under the law, two different Pentagon officials are required to offer separate legal justifications for choosing just one vendor for an award of this size.Bruggink said in his July ruling that one of the Pentagon’s legal justifications was “completely reasonable” while acknowledging that the second one “does not fit the contract.”The government has said choosing one winner would reduce security risks and better enable it to consolidate its technology products.Tainted RelationshipsOracle is claiming that the procurement has been marred by conflicts of interest, including ties between former Defense Department officials and Amazon. At least two of the former employees were offered jobs at the company while working on the contract, according to the lawsuit.In one case, Deap Ubhi, who had worked at Amazon before joining the government, helped craft the JEDI procurement for weeks after accepting a job offer in October 2017 from Amazon Web Services, the company’s cloud unit, according to the lawsuit. Ubhi had advocated in favor of the Pentagon’s decision to choose just one winner for the JEDI award, the lawsuit said.Bruggink ruled that the conflict of interest allegations “raise eyebrows,” but that the Pentagon’s contracting officer properly determined the relationships had no adverse impact on the integrity of the acquisition process, and that Amazon didn’t gain a substantive advantage as a result.But Oracle’s appeal contends that “JEDI suffers from corruption of a high order” and that the court’s argument that the conflicts of interest had no impact on the procurement “lacks a rational basis.”Separately, the Defense Department’s inspector general has been reviewing potential unethical conduct surrounding the bid, but said there is no reason why the Pentagon can’t move forward with an award.(Updates with Defense Department comment in sixth paragraph)To contact the reporter on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Mark NiquetteFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Perficient (PRFT) to Post Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?
    Zacks

    Perficient (PRFT) to Post Q3 Earnings: What's in the Cards?

    Perficient's (PRFT) third-quarter results are likely to reflect higher client additions.

  • Bloomberg

    Adobe Pitches Illustrator, Photoshop for iPad With Sales Slowing

    (Bloomberg) -- Adobe Inc. announced a slew of products, led by a version of Illustrator for Apple Inc.’s iPad, meant to fortify its position as the leading provider of creative software.Design app Illustrator will come to the iPad in 2020, the San Jose, California-based company said Monday in a statement. Bloomberg News reported last month that Adobe would announce a version of Illustrator for the iPad. Adobe also formally launched Photoshop for iPad, a year after announcing the product. The company introduced the new offerings at its annual creative conference, called Max, in Los Angeles.While many of the applications cater to creative professionals seeking more sophisticated capabilities, Adobe also is trying to expand the appeal of its photo-editing and illustration software to hobbyists. The strategy may boost revenue growth for the Creative Cloud unit. Adobe projected in September that sales growth for its smaller marketing software unit would slow down in the current period, raising pressure on the main creative business.Adobe, founded in 1982, is among the best-performing software companies this decade. Its stock has increased almost ninefold since the beginning of 2012, gaining 23% this year to $277.82 at Friday’s close. Now, the company is revamping major apps for mobile devices amid waning consumer enthusiasm for PCs. The new apps underscore Adobe’s need to deliver software to consumers on whatever devices they use as it tries to fuel continued growth.The announcements Monday are akin to “launching a new version of Creative Cloud for a new era of creativity,” Scott Belsky, chief product officer of Adobe’s Creative Cloud division, said in a blog post.The company said it was eager to get feedback from Illustrator users as it develops a mobile version of the software for the first time.“We’re still in the early stages, but fundamentally, we’re reimagining the Illustrator experience from the ground up to take advantage of the unique capabilities a tablet offers in terms of touch and Apple pencil,” Adobe said in a blog post.The company also revealed a new tool for its XD software interface design app that allows users to collaborate on the same project in real time, called Co-Editing. It’s currently in beta testing. The concept is similar to that of Figma Inc., a creative startup whose main product competes with the XD app.Here are Adobe’s other major announcements:The software maker expanded a partnership with International Business Machines Corp.’s design services arm. The deal lets IBM iX offer design software for business clients built on the Adobe XD platform.Adobe launched an augmented reality software program, called Aero, which it first announced last year at Max.The company updated its Rush mobile video-editing app to share videos directly to viral social media app TikTok, owned by China’s ByteDance Inc.To contact the reporter on this story: Nico Grant in San Francisco at ngrant20@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at jward56@bloomberg.net, Andrew Pollack, Alistair BarrFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bitcoin's Government Enemies Are Planning Their Revenge
    Bloomberg

    Bitcoin's Government Enemies Are Planning Their Revenge

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- China loves the blockchain, and the blockchain loves it back. Despite the People’s Republic having the least free internet in the world, and a ban on cryptocurrency trading, the Communist Party’s endorsement of the technology last month sent Bitcoin prices soaring almost 30% in a few days.The irony is striking, considering Bitcoin’s anarchic origins. But there’s something broader going on here. The future of digital money is being shaped increasingly by national governments. Politicians are under pressure to make electronic payments more efficient, to neutralize the threat of cryptocurrencies to their sovereignty and to crack down on illicit money flows. None of that is good news for the blockchain’s true believers, however much a Beijing stamp of approval boosts the price of a Bitcoin.States dabbling in blockchain technology, or planning to issue their own digital currencies, isn’t flattery – it’s competition. Some 70% of central banks surveyed by the Bank for International Settlements are examining their options in this area. In places like Sweden, rapidly going cashless, electronic “fiat” money is seen as a path to easier payments. If that works out, stateless crypto coins would lose one of their selling points.The first central bank digital currency could be here within five years, according to International Business Machines Corp. It may be sooner given the political pressure and the financial Cold War between the U.S. and China. President Donald Trump has made clear that Facebook Inc.’s Libra will only get off the ground if it helps the U.S. dollar. Beijing is betting that its own digital currency efforts will help it resist American power. The euro zone thinks similar.So we can assume more competition for the “legacy” cryptocurrencies from state actors. But what about the “crypto” (secret) part of digital money that attracts people? If e-dollars or e-yuan are centrally controlled and monitored (which they most certainly will be), surely that will compel privacy-craving users to stick with Bitcoin and its ilk.Politicians are looking to destroy this competitive advantage for non-state digital currencies by making them less secure. Governments are investing heavily in a technology that could one day — in theory — crack the public-key cryptography underpinning Bitcoin: Quantum computing. The Trump administration has committed $1.2 billion to this endeavor. China is active too.Google Inc.’s recent declaration of “quantum supremacy” doesn’t mean the tech is ready for this task; the author Olivier Ezratty notes that the kind of algorithm needed to crack Bitcoin encryption would demand much more power. But that may be available within a decade.Already simpler tools are shining a light on cryptocurrency transactions by organized crime. Last month blockchain analysis helped U.S. and Korean authorities bring down one of the world’s largest markets for child pornography.Crypto believers hate the idea of losing the cloak of privacy to prying government eyes. But will the general public feel the same? People are happy when states shine a light on the parts of the financial system that allow money laundering and tax-dodging. And if dollars or euros become digital assets issued by central banks, they might look more like the future of money than the power-sucking mining rigs that dominate Bitcoin.In praising the blockchain, governments are out to bury the cryptocurrencies that gave birth to it. “Innovation in blockchain technology does not mean we should speculate in virtual currencies,” the People’s Daily newspaper wrote. Bitcoin fans take note.To contact the author of this story: Lionel Laurent at llaurent2@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: James Boxell at jboxell@bloomberg.netThis 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/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Microsoft Wrests Pentagon Contract from Amazon
    Zacks

    Microsoft Wrests Pentagon Contract from Amazon

    Despite all the controversy, Microsoft's win is the best proof of its growing prowess in the cloud.

  • CyberArk (CYBR) to Report Q3 Earnings: What's in Store?
    Zacks

    CyberArk (CYBR) to Report Q3 Earnings: What's in Store?

    CyberArk's (CYBR) Q3 earnings might have gained from increasing clientele of its Privileged Account Security offering. However, high expenses are likely to have weighed on margins.

  • 5 Top-Ranked Cheap Stocks Trading Under $20 to Buy Right Now
    Zacks

    5 Top-Ranked Cheap Stocks Trading Under $20 to Buy Right Now

    Today we found 5 cheap stocks currently trading for under $20 per share using our Zacks Stock Screener that investors might want to buy heading into November...

  • The OUTstanding Top 50 LGBT+ Ally Executives
    Yahoo Finance UK

    The OUTstanding Top 50 LGBT+ Ally Executives

    All of the allies — who must be senior executives who are not LGBT+ but support LGBT+ inclusion — were nominated by peers and colleagues, or put themselves forward.

  • Trump's Head Is in Amazon's Cloud, and Bezos Knows It
    Bloomberg

    Trump's Head Is in Amazon's Cloud, and Bezos Knows It

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Dana Deasy, it’s fair to say, has a sterling reputation as a chief information officer. He first took on that role in 2003 at the age of 44, when he became the CIO of Tyco International Ltd. He has also been the CIO at BP PLC, GM North America, and JPMorgan Chase & Co., where he managed 40,000 technologists before retiring in 2017. He was inducted into the CIO Hall of Fame in 2012 and the International Association of Outsourcing Professionals Hall of Fame in 2013. You get the picture.Since May 2018, Deasy has been the Department of Defense’s CIO. It’s a huge, important job. His group manages cybersecurity for the department and works on artificial intelligence and machine learning. It also works to make sure troops in the field have the data they need at their fingertips. It is in the middle of a desperately-needed digital modernization effort, which includes moving the Defense Department to cloud computing. (Just last week, Forbes reported that the department controlling U.S. land-based nuclear missiles had only recently stopped using 8-inch floppy disks.)Yet on Tuesday morning, at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing, Deasy found himself, for probably the first time in his career, having to answer questions about the integrity of his office. You see, it was Deasy’s office that last week awarded a $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft Corp. instead of Amazon.com Inc.Amazon’s web services division is far and away the leader in cloud computing and was generally assumed to be the favorite. More importantly, in 2013, Amazon had landed a $600 million contract to build a cloud for the Central Intelligence Agency. It has been working with top secret data for years, and already having proper clearances presumably gave it a leg up over rivals.But, of course, there was one person in the federal government who really didn’t care if Amazon was best for the job. President Donald Trump had made it no secret of that he preferred another company — any other company — to get the contract over Amazon. In his nearly three years in office, Trump has frequently gone after Amazon, presumably because its chief executive officer, Jeff Bezos, also owns the Washington Post, a paper Trump loathes.The Defense Department contract was originally supposed to be awarded in August. But shortly before the expected announcement, Trump weighed in. “I’m getting tremendous complaints about the contract with the Pentagon and with Amazon,” Trump told reporters. The contract hadn’t been competitively bid and the terms were stacked in Amazon’s favor, he complained.(We also now know, thanks to a new biography(2) of former Defense Secretary James Mattis, that Trump directed him to “screw Amazon” out of the contract in the summer of 2018. Mattis told those making the decision to ignore Trump’s directive.)Then, in late September, the White House asked the new defense secretary, Mike Esper, “to review the contract after President Trump expressed concerns that the award would go to Amazon,” as the Washington Post put it. The Post reported on October 22 that Esper had recused himself from the review because, he said, his son worked for one of the bidders, International Business Machines Corp. (IBM had already been eliminated, however.) Four days later, the Defense Department announced that Microsoft had won the contract.Is this starting to sound familiar? Think back to some of the moves by the Justice Department’s antitrust division under Trump: It tried to bust up AT&T Inc.’s merger with Time Warner Inc. while letting the merger of the Walt Disney Co. and 21st Century Fox Inc. sail through. It stretches credulity to believe that it is purely a coincidence that Time Warner’s CNN unit is another media outlet Trump hates while Fox is owned by Trump’s biggest media ally, Rupert Murdoch.More recently, the antitrust division embarked on a truly ludicrous investigation of auto companies that chose to side with California in its dispute with the Trump administration over auto emissions.Americans need to have faith that federal agencies are acting without bias — and especially that they are not doing the bidding of a president who wants to weaponize the agencies to harm his enemies and reward his friends. It’s hard to have that faith with Trump in charge.And so it is when looking at the Defense Department contract. Maybe because of his prior reputation Deasy didn’t face harsh questioning, but a few Democrats did ask the operative question: Did the president’s desire to keep Amazon from getting the contract play a role in the decision?Not surprisingly, Deasy said no. The team evaluating the bids were kept anonymous so no one could influence them, he insisted. “Never in my discussions with the deputy secretary of defense or the secretary of defense…did I divulge who the awardee was,” he said in the hearing. “To the best of my knowledge,” he added, “no one from the White House contacted any member of the source selection team.” The Democrats at the hearing seemed mollified by his response. But they’ll never really know. Nor will the country.There is a decent likelihood that Amazon will try to get the decision reversed, either by appealing to the General Accounting Office or by going to court. Whether or not Trump was involved, the perception that he was will be a key part of Amazon’s appeal.And yet another federal agency will see its reputation stained by that perception — whether it’s true or not. (1) The book is titled, “Holding the Line:Inside Trump’s Pentagon with Secretary Mattis.”To contact the author of this story: Joe Nocera at jnocera3@bloomberg.netTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Timothy L. O'Brien at tobrien46@bloomberg.netThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Joe Nocera is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He has written business columns for Esquire, GQ and the New York Times, and is the former editorial director of Fortune. His latest project is the Bloomberg-Wondery podcast "The Shrink Next Door."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • PR Newswire

    SDC 19: Samsung and IBM Bring 5G and AI-Powered Mobile Solutions on IBM Cloud for Enterprises

    The collaboration between the two companies brings together IBM's capabilities with the Samsung Galaxy ecosystem for today's enterprise customers. "The mobile industry is undergoing a dramatic transformation and opening up new ways of business by bringing innovative technologies like 5G, AI and IoT to enterprises," said DJ Koh, President and CEO of IT & Mobile Communications Division, Samsung Electronics.

  • Business Wire

    IBM Board Approves Quarterly Cash Dividend

    The IBM board of directors today declared a regular quarterly cash dividend of $1.62 per common share, payable December 10, 2019 to stockholders of record November 8, 2019.

  • Amazon Seen Focusing on Trump in Pentagon Contract Challenge
    Bloomberg

    Amazon Seen Focusing on Trump in Pentagon Contract Challenge

    (Bloomberg) -- Within hours of Amazon.com Inc. losing a lucrative Pentagon cloud-computing contract to rival Microsoft Corp. there were hints that the Seattle giant would challenge the decision.Amazon has several options to do so, extending from federal courts to Capitol Hill -- and, with the clock ticking on some of them, the company is expected to move expeditiously.The Defense Department late Friday awarded the closely watched contract to modernize the Pentagon’s computing infrastructure to Microsoft, an upset victory for a company initially viewed as a distant second to Amazon in the market for cloud-computing services. The project could be worth as much as $10 billion over a decade and lead to other contracts.High-profile federal procurement projects often face legal or administrative appeals, and experts in federal contracting say a protest from Amazon became more likely after President Donald Trump earlier this year publicly suggested that the Joint Enterprise Defense Initiative, or JEDI, was unfairly structured to give the Seattle company an advantage.“Amazon has the president on record clearly stating that he was looking at intervening in the procurement process,” said Barbara Kinosky, a managing partner at Centre Law and Consulting LLC, a specialist in federal contracting. “I am guessing Amazon and its legal team did not spend the weekend watching the World Series.”Amazon is considering its options for legal challenges, a person familiar with the matter has said. The company had been preparing for the award under the assumption that the Pentagon’s decision would wind up in court regardless of the winner, said another person familiar with Amazon’s thinking.For Amazon, the value of the contract far exceeds $10 billion, technology analysts and experts in government procurement say. The company’s Amazon Web Services division gained legitimacy as a provider of technology tools to big companies and governments in part with a deal, signed in 2013, to provide services to the Central Intelligence Agency.With JEDI, Amazon had the opportunity to earn another seal of approval and take a step toward making AWS the default option for federal agencies. Instead, Amazon faces the prospect that a contract it was widely expected to win will instead bolster the credentials of its most capable rival at a time when AWS’s growth rate is slowing.“The JEDI loss challenges what once looked like clear dominance in the federal market for Amazon,” said James Bach, an analyst with Bloomberg Intelligence. “By picking Microsoft, the Pentagon, with its sensitive workloads and rigorous security requirements, made clear that Amazon can’t rest on its laurels as cloud-market leader to win deals.”Government Accountability Office rules give Amazon 10 days from the date of a contract award, or five days from their official debriefing from the Pentagon, to file a protest and pause the procurement. The debriefing is designed to give Amazon feedback on its bid. AWS and the Defense Dept. didn’t return messages seeking comment on Monday.Such a challenge would trigger a review that the GAO must complete within 100 days and prevent the contract from taking effect in the meantime, though the Pentagon has the power to override the hold and proceed anyway. Two years after first outlining the project, there are signs the Pentagon is eager to move quickly.Even while Oracle Corp. challenged the bidding process in court earlier this year, the Pentagon started to lay the groundwork for implementation by various defense agencies. And it’s notable that Oracle’s challenge failed and is now under appeal -- a sign of how high the bar is to challenge the bidding process.Amazon also could file a lawsuit with the U.S. Court of Federal Claims seeking an injunction to prevent the contract from taking effect. Courts in such cases ultimately tend to defer to the government agency that awarded the deal. But a lawsuit would give Amazon’s lawyers the opportunity to seek documents from the Pentagon and Microsoft that might make the public case for a rehearing of the contract, said Charles Tiefer, a professor of government contracting law at the University of Baltimore. Amazon could also seek to apply pressure on Capitol Hill, he said.“The issue of whether President Trump intervened either explicitly or implicitly might well get the attention of a House committee or subcommittee,” Tiefer said. “Trump was very, very loud in his expression of bias.”When Amazon was seen as the likely winner, rivals like Oracle and International Business Machines Corp. lobbied the Pentagon to award components of the deal to multiple suppliers. The Defense Department could try to forestall an Amazon protest by offering a portion of the deal to AWS.On Tuesday, Dana Deasy, nominated to be the Pentagon’s chief information officer, said that to the best of his knowledge the White House didn’t reach out to the contract selection team. Deasy was speaking at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on his nomination.Though no law flatly prohibits a president from weighing in on a contract, Trump’s comments broke precedent and struck some as a violation of longstanding norms separating contracting from political considerations. Strict rules govern what factors agencies can consider in awarding government business. The White House didn’t respond to a request for comment.Amazon could argue that Trump’s actions and the Pentagon’s decision, made under the appearance of public pressure from the White House, has the effect of blacklisting Amazon from contract work during the administration, said Steven Schooner, a professor of government procurement law at George Washington University. Formally disbarring a contractor is by law supposed include a notice period and guarantees of due process, he said.“The challenge for Amazon will be proving that the pressure was applied and proving that the pressure worked,” he said.(Updates with Pentagon CIO nominee comment in 16th paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Matt Day in Seattle at mday63@bloomberg.net;Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.net;Daniel Seiden in Washington at dseiden5@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, Robin AjelloFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Welcome to the Age of Quantum Computing

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Has the era of quantum computing finally dawned? In a field long plagued by hype and hubris, there’s reason for some cautious optimism.A team of scientists at Google’s research lab announced last week in the journal Nature that they had built a quantum computer that could perform calculations in about 200 seconds that would take a classical supercomputer some 10,000 years to do. An age of “quantum supremacy” was duly declared.Rather uncharitably, IBM researchers were quick to point out that the feat was less than advertised. They estimated that by using all of the hard disk space at the world’s most powerful classical computer, the Summit OLCF-4 at Oak Ridge National Laboratory, they could do the same calculation in 2.5 days, not 10,000 years. Google’s claim to have achieved quantum supremacy — that is, to have accomplished a task that traditional computers can’t — was premature.QuickTake: Why Quantum Computers Will Be Super Awesome, SomedayThis was to miss the bigger picture: A rudimentary quantum machine has improved on the fastest supercomputer ever built by a factor of 1,080 — an immense achievement by any measure. Although the specific problem that Google’s computer solved won’t have much practical significance, simply getting the technology to work was a triumph; comparisons to the Wright brothers’ early flights aren’t far off the mark.So is the world prepared for what comes next?Quantum computers, to put it mildly, defy human intuition. They take advantage of the strange ways that matter behaves at the subatomic level to make calculations at extraordinary speed. In theory, they could one day lead to substantial advances in materials science, artificial intelligence, medicine, finance, communications, logistics and more. In all likelihood, no one has thought up the best uses for them yet.They also pose some risks worth paying attention to. One is that the global race to master quantum computing is heating up, with unpredictable consequences. Last year, President Donald Trump’s administration signed a $1.1 billion bill to prioritize the technology, which is a decent start. But the U.S. will need to do more to retain its global leadership. Congress should fund basic research at labs and universities, ensure the U.S. welcomes immigrants with relevant skills, invest in cutting-edge infrastructure, and use the government’s vast leverage as a consumer to support promising quantum technologies.A more distant worry is that advanced quantum computers could one day threaten the public-key cryptography that protects information across the digital world. Those systems are based on hard math problems that quantum computers might theoretically be able to crack with ease. Security researchers are well aware of the problem, and at work on creating “post-quantum” systems and standards. But vigilance — and serious investment — is nonetheless called for.No doubt, the quantum-computing era will have its share of false starts, dashed hopes and fiendishly difficult problems to overcome. As Google is showing, though, that’s how technology advances: bit by bit, into a very strange future.\--Editors: Timothy Lavin, Clive Crook.To contact the senior editor responsible for Bloomberg Opinion’s editorials: David Shipley at davidshipley@bloomberg.net, .Editorials are written by the Bloomberg Opinion editorial board.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Microsoft Just Won a $10 Billion Defense Cloud Contract
    Zacks

    Microsoft Just Won a $10 Billion Defense Cloud Contract

    The U.S. Department of Defense awarded a 10-year, $10 billion cloud computing contract to Microsoft, beating out other cloud titans.

  • Bloomberg

    Microsoft Wins $10 Billion Pentagon Cloud Contract, Beating Amazon

    (Bloomberg) -- Microsoft Corp. has won the sought-after JEDI cloud computing contract with the Pentagon valued at as much as $10 billion over a decade, dealing a blow to the market leader, Amazon.com Inc., which had been the front-runner.The decision, which was announced by the Defense Department late Friday, may be challenged by Amazon, according to a person familiar with the matter, because President Donald Trump weighed in on the bidding process. The terms of the competition were also hotly contested by another rival, Oracle Corp.The Pentagon has said the cloud project, known as the Joint Enterprise Defense Infrastructure, or JEDI, is intended to help bring American military technology into the modern era.The Defense Department is investing in commercial cloud services, which host computing power and storage in remote data centers, to improve data security and speed up real-time sharing of information across the military.The Pentagon said the contract was expected to be completed by 2029. Microsoft shares rose 0.6% to $140.73 at Friday’s close.Amazon, which won a lucrative cloud contract with the Central Intelligence Agency in 2013, was long seen to have the upper hand in the competition. But politics entered the picture. Trump has long been at odds with Amazon’s Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos. Bezos also owns the Washington Post, which Trump claims has treated him unfairly in its coverage“We’re surprised about this conclusion,” said Douglas Stone, an Amazon spokesman. He added that the company was “the clear leader in cloud computing, and a detailed assessment purely on the comparative offerings clearly lead to a different conclusion. We remain deeply committed to continuing to innovate for the new digital battlefield where security, efficiency, resiliency, and scalability of resources can be the difference between success and failure.”Trump surprised the industry earlier this year when he openly questioned whether the contract was being competitively bid.A new book by Guy Snodgrass, a speechwriter to former Defense Secretary Jim Mattis, alleges that Trump, in the summer of 2018, told Mattis to “screw Amazon” and lock it out of the bid. Mattis didn’t do what Trump asked, Snodgrass wrote. Mattis has criticized the book.Amazon was believed to be the front-runner until Friday evening.The decision is a big boost for Microsoft’s cloud business.“This is a paradigm changer for Microsoft,” said Daniel Ives, an analyst at Wedbush Securities who has a “buy” rating on Microsoft. “It’s a landmark win that will change the cloud computing battle over the next decade. It’s a shocker to Amazon and Bezos to lose it. But for Microsoft it signals a new era of growth in cloud. This adds $10 to the stock in my opinion.”A Microsoft representative referred questions to the Defense Department announcement. The White House did not respond to a request for comment.Amazon Web Services, the retail giant’s cloud computing arm, has a wide lead in the business of selling cloud services to businesses and governments, with $32.5 billion in sales during the most recently reported 12 months. Microsoft, which doesn’t break out comparable sales for its Azure unit, likely pulled in a fraction of that, analysts say.In a statement released later Friday night, the Defense Department said that “the acquisition process was conducted in accordance with applicable laws and regulations. The process cleared review by” the U.S. General Accounting Office and the Court of Federal Claims.“All offerors were treated fairly and evaluated consistently with the solicitation’s stated evaluation criteria,” the department added, saying that “additional contracts are planned for both cloud services and complementary migration and integration solutions necessary to achieve effective cloud adoption.”The Pentagon’s inspector general said in a separate statement on Friday night that it had “not found evidence that we believe would prevent the DoD from making a decision about the award of the contract.” The watchdog agency, which was leading a review by “multidisciplinary team of auditors, investigators, and attorneys,” was aiming to have its work done by the end of November.The Defense Department had come under criticism for its handling of the winner-take-all project, which was marred by accusations of improper ties between former Pentagon officials and Amazon. Oracle and International Business Machines Corp. waged a fierce lobbying and legal campaign over the decision to choose just one provider, arguing it would imperil the Pentagon’s data and stiffle innovation. Both companies were later eliminated from the competition, but Oracle filed suit.A judge said the company did not have the legal standing to challenge the terms of the procurement process. Oracle has appealed that verdict. Alphabet Inc.’s Google, another large cloud provider, withdrew from consideration last year amid employee concerns over the company’s ties to defense contracting.As recently as Tuesday, the Pentagon said Defense Defense Secretary Mark Esper had recused himself from any decisions involving the contract to avoid the appearance of a conflict of interest because his son works with one of the original applicants.IBM confirmed that Esper’s son has been a digital strategy consultant with the company since February but said that his job was “unrelated to IBM’s pursuit” of the cloud deal.The government has ramped up scrutiny of large technology companies, including Amazon, Apple Inc., Facebook Inc. and Google, over issues ranging from consumer privacy to marketplace competition. Yet even as Microsoft spent much of the 1990s wrangling with U.S. officials, ultimately losing a landmark case that accused the software maker of anti-competitive practices, it has largely stayed out of the recent round of regulatory glare. The company has even become a steady government contractor.Chris Lynch, the former director of the Pentagon’s Defense Digital Service who helped design the JEDI project, praised the decision on Twitter. “JEDI Cloud is critical to our women and men in uniform,” he wrote.But Representative Steve Womack of Arkansas, one of several Republican lawmakers who took their concerns about the process to the White House, said he remained “concerned with the contract structure.” He has said that the single source bid amounts to “limiting competition.”Bezos and Microsoft founder Bill Gates are the two richest men in the world, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.\--With assistance from Dina Bass, Sara Forden, Ben Brody, Ryan Beene and Matt Day.To contact the reporters on this story: John Harney in Washington at jharney2@bloomberg.net;Naomi Nix in Washington at nnix1@bloomberg.netTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at sforden@bloomberg.net, John Harney, Tom GilesFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Tech Stocks' Q3 Earnings Lineup for Oct 24: INTC, TWTR & More
    Zacks

    Tech Stocks' Q3 Earnings Lineup for Oct 24: INTC, TWTR & More

    Here is a sneak peek into how four technology stocks, namely, Intel, Twitter, Citrix and VeriSign, are poised ahead of their third-quarter 2019 earnings releases on Oct 24.

  • The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Google, IBM and Amazon
    Zacks

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Google, IBM and Amazon

    The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Microsoft, Google, IBM and Amazon

  • How is Cloud King Microsoft (MSFT) Geared Up for  Q1 Earnings?
    Zacks

    How is Cloud King Microsoft (MSFT) Geared Up for Q1 Earnings?

    Microsoft to report fiscal Q1 earnings after market close on Oct 23. Will the cloud business and strong outlook help it in surpassing estimates?

  • Microsoft is a cloud story: analyst
    Yahoo Finance

    Microsoft is a cloud story: analyst

    Microsoft is becoming a "major player in the cloud space," says portfolio manager Dan Morgan.

  • AI’s Impact Will Extend to 100% of Jobs: IBM
    Bloomberg

    AI’s Impact Will Extend to 100% of Jobs: IBM

    Nov.01 -- IBM Vice President of People and Culture Obed Louissaint discusses results of the MIT-IBM Watson AI Lab report on ‘The Future of Work,” examining technology’s impact on the U.S. workforce. He speaks with Bloomberg’s Alix Steel on "Bloomberg Daybreak: Americas."

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