|Bid||10.70 x 70000|
|Ask||10.80 x 70000|
|Day's range||10.70 - 10.70|
|52-week range||7.40 - 13.70|
|Beta (5Y monthly)||1.48|
|PE ratio (TTM)||N/A|
|Forward dividend & yield||0.18 (1.67%)|
|Ex-dividend date||10 Mar 2020|
|1y target est||N/A|
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- One big change brought on by Covid-19 is that virtually all the scientific research being produced about it is free to read. Anyone can access the many preliminary findings that scholars are posting on “preprint servers.” Data are shared openly via a multitude of different channels. Scientific journals that normally keep their articles behind formidable paywalls have been making an exception for new research about the virus, as well as much (if not all) older work relevant to it.This response to a global pandemic is heartening and may well speed that pandemic to its end. But after that, what happens with scientific communication? Will everything go back behind the journal paywalls?Well, no. Open-access advocates in academia have been pushing for decades to make more of their work publicly available and paywall-free, and in recent years they’ve been joined by the government agencies and large foundations that fund much scientific research. Covid-19 has accelerated this shift. I’m pretty sure there’s no going back. But the transition from a mostly closed system of scientific communication to a mostly open one will not be straightforward. Popular accounts often depict the move to open access as a simple toppling of a few for-profit publishers. As I have learned since writing such an account five years ago, the infrastructure around publishing, evaluating and repurposing scientific information has grown up over centuries and is not just going away.The scientific publishing industry has already proved to be, by the standards of the modern media world, impressively resilient. Its staying power is more than just a business story. The industry’s structure shapes not just how science is communicated but how it is done, affecting the career incentives of scientists, the priorities of research universities and, to a certain extent, the course of scientific progress. To understand where scientific communication is headed, you must first understand how it got to be this way.How it all beganScientific journal publishing got its start in January 1665, when French lawyer Denis de Sallo began publishing the Journal des scavans (an archaic version of “savants”), which consisted of book reviews, obituaries and legal reports, as well as scientific articles. Two months later Henry Oldenburg, a German theologian employed as secretary of the recently established Royal Society of London for Improving Natural Knowledge, started, as a for-profit side gig, a monthly publication with somewhat more focus. His Philosophical Transactions had book reviews and obits too, but the main attraction was reports of scientific discoveries and research — some from Royal Society members but most from Oldenburg’s correspondents around Europe — which Society members vetted before publication in an early form of peer review.Both journals are still being published, which tells you something about the resilience of the medium. As opposed to the books and less-formal means of scientific communication that preceded them, they performed four main functions (this list paraphrases one by industry expert Michael Mabe) that still apply today:Establishing who had an idea or performed an experiment first. Certifying quality, often through the mechanism of peer review. Recording the final, authorized versions of papers and archiving them. Disseminating papers to a targeted scholarly audience.By the late 1700s some scientists were already complaining that there were too many journals for anyone to keep up with. The solution turned out to be yet more journals, increasingly dedicated to single disciplines as science became more specialized. In the 19th century many of these emerged from the burgeoning ranks of non-profit scientific societies, such as the American Medical Association (founded in 1847) and American Chemical Society (founded in 1876), but for-profit publishers played a role, too.Early on they did so mainly in London. The Philosophical Magazine, founded in 1798 and now a journal of condensed-matter physics, became the first building block of the still-significant scientific publishing firm of Taylor & Francis. The Lancet and Nature, founded in 1823 and 1869, respectively, became the world’s two most famous commercial scientific journals. All started out as eclectic publications aimed at practitioners and general readers as much as scientists, but now are known chiefly for their peer-reviewed scientific articles.It was in Germany, though, that the modern approach to commercial journal publishing took shape. As the country became the center of scientific research in the late 1800s and early 1900s, publishers such as Springer in Berlin and Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft (Academic Press) in Leipzig produced journals for scientific societies and signed up promising young scholars to launch new, even more specialized publications. They left the article-writing and also the editorial decisions to outside scientists; the publisher’s job was to keep the editorial process moving and handle copy-editing, typesetting, printing, distribution and marketing.That tidy little business kept growing even through the hyperinflation and other ills that plagued Germany in the 1920s. Things did go backward with the Great Depression, the Nazi seizure of power and World War II, but after the war, big increases in research spending and university enrollments — first in the U.S., then elsewhere in the developed world — ushered in an entrepreneurial golden age for scientific publishing.The postwar golden ageThe Akademische Verlagsgesellschaft was under Communist control in East Germany and missed this boom, but former employees founded Academic Press and Interscience in New York, and a former intern built North-Holland Publishing in the Netherlands. Springer, meanwhile, got back on its feet with help from a Czech-born British Army officer who was detached to the press section of the British Embassy in Berlin after the war. The officer, who had taken the name Robert Maxwell, then started a joint venture with Springer in the U.K. that he later took control of, rechristened Pergamon Press and rapidly expanded. Maxwell wined and dined scientists around the world and launched International Journal of This after International Journal of That, before using the company to launch himself into a star-crossed career as full-fledged media mogul.The specialized journals these companies started often had circulations in the low thousands or even hundreds. So production costs per copy were quite high, even without paying the authors. Before World War II, many smaller society journals made ends meet by actually charging authors per-page fees to publish; by contrast, the commercial publishers launching new journals after the war were able to get by on subscription charges that university librarians, particularly in the U.S., were willing to pay. Library budgets were growing, professors who published in the journals insisted that their universities subscribe and favorable exchange rates kept the prices charged by European publishers within reason in dollar terms.The floating of the world’s major currencies in 1971, and the economic troubles that followed, brought complaints about high journal prices and kicked off a more complicated era for the business overall. New journals kept popping up, but the ranks of journal publishers began to consolidate. Leading that process was a relative newcomer to the field: Elsevier, a Dutch publisher best known in its home country for its encyclopedia, newspapers and eponymous weekly newsmagazine. Elsevier (pronounced el-suh-veer) began to dabble in scientific publishing in the 1930s, started its first English-language journal in 1947 and became a major force in the field after merging its scientific arm with North-Holland in 1970.Soon after that, it found the leader who would drive it to the top. Pierre Vinken was a neurosurgeon who became a part-time editor at the non-profit medical abstracts service Excerpta Medica in the 1950s, moved into a full-time executive role in the 1960s and then persuaded his colleagues to convert to for-profit status so they could sell out to Elsevier in 1971. He became head of Elsevier’s science division in 1972 and of the whole company in 1979, bringing a relentless focus on profit maximization and shareholder value — a recent biography is titled (in Dutch) “Against Idealism.”Scientific journals were Elsevier’s most profitable business, so increasing their number became key. Elsevier picked up Pergamon and its 418 journals from a cash-strapped Maxwell in 1991, then went on to add the Lancet and Academic Press to its portfolio, among many others. It merged with British publisher Reed in 1992 and today is the chief profit center of the most profitable and valuable media company that hardly anybody has heard of: Relx Plc boasts a market capitalization more than six times that of Rupert Murdoch’s News Corp., three times that of ViacomCBS Inc. and 36% higher than Thomson Reuters Corp.In a report published last year, veteran industry analyst Claudio Aspesi estimated Elsevier’s share of the worldwide academic journal market at 17.5%. Springer Nature, the product of a 2015 merger between Springer and a number of scientific publishing properties owned by its fellow German publisher Holtzbrinck (including the aforementioned journal Nature), was No. 2 at around 13%. No. 3 at about 9% was John Wiley and Sons Inc., the venerable New York area publisher of Herman Melville and Edgar Allan Poe, which expanded into scientific journals when it bought Interscience in 1961. Aspesi didn’t calculate a market share for Taylor & Francis, now a subsidiary of Informa Plc, but it’s generally seen as rounding out the industry’s Big Four. Together, they control between 40% and 50% of the market.Measuring impactA fifth key corporate power in scientific communication is Clarivate Plc, which is not a journal publisher but a provider of what it calls “insights and analytics to accelerate the pace of innovation.” Spun off from Thomson Reuters in 2016, it derives most of its revenue from a science division that has its roots in a 1955 Science article by American chemist-turned-librarian Eugene Garfield. Garfield believed that keeping track of the postwar explosion in scientific research required new approaches that the rise of the computer would enable. He founded a company to do this work, the Institute for Scientific Information, which Thomson acquired in 1992. The metrics it created ended up shaping science and the world in all sorts of unexpected ways.One key concept in Garfield’s 1955 article was what he called the “impact factor,” a measure of influence based on how frequently an article was cited by others. In 1972 he unveiled his first ranking of journals by impact factor, with the Journal of the American Chemical Society coming in first. Such a metric, he mused at the time, might help librarians in deciding which journals to subscribe to and journal editors in looking for “objective and timely measures of their success.”Editors working for commercial publishers have certainly taken heed. For-profit journals occupied 14 of the top 20 spots in the 2019 impact factor rankings, as opposed to just four in 1972. Cell Publications, founded by a molecular biologist and former Nature editor in 1974 and sold to Elsevier in 1999 for a rumored $100 million, is often held up as the apotheosis of the impact-maximization approach. But nowadays, Nature and its many spinoffs (Nature Reviews Drug Discovery, Nature Materials, Nature Energy, etc.) dominate the rankings.Also paying attention to Garfield’s work were Sergey Brin and Larry Page, who based the PageRank algorithm that spawned Google on nearly identical premises. So, for that matter, was Elsevier, which has built up its own set of research metrics to compete with Clarivate. Several smaller corporate players have entered the field as well.The metrics these companies churn out now play a huge role in determining academic success. Hiring, tenure and grant decisions often turn on how many articles a scholar has published in high-impact journals, and international university rankings rely heavily on faculty publication and citation metrics as well. The measures pioneered by Garfield are surely more objective and fairer than previous gauges of prestige and success, but even he came to rue their overuse. Too heavy a reliance on performance metrics of any kind can shortchange creativity, innovation and other hard-to-measure things. The reliance on citation metrics in particular appears to discourage researchers from publishing negative or inconclusive results, producing an increasingly skewed picture of scientific knowledge and possibly encouraging scientific fraud. Big moneyAlthough many in academia are uneasy about the ways in which private companies have come to shape scientific communication and research evaluation, what seems to spur the most vocal opposition is the money they make doing it. The overall market for scientific and medical information adds up to about $25 billion in revenue a year, according to a 2018 report from the International Association of Scientific, Technical and Medical Publishers. Journal publishing accounts for $10 billion — or about 2% of overall spending on academic research, Belgian open-science expert Jean-Claude Burgelman estimated earlier this year.That makes the industry sound kind of small, but it is quite profitable. Elsevier had an operating-profit margin of 37% last year, which helps explain the high valuation of its parent company. At Taylor & Francis the operating profit margin was 29%, at Wiley’s research publishing arm 27% and at Springer Nature (as reported in the prospectus for a canceled 2018 initial public offering) 23%. Just for comparison, the 2019 operating margin at famously profitable Google was 26%.Being profitable is not a crime. Making those profits while paying authors and peer-reviewers nothing and many journal editors little to nothing, though, is a source of endless amazement and enragement in academia and beyond. When French materials scientist Sylvain Deville asked on Twitter in January for people to “Explain academic publishing to me like I am Five,” he got a lot of responses like this one from Ned Potter, a librarian at the University of York in the U.K.:Cows make milk. They milk themselves. Other cows check the milk (for free). Cows - get this - PAY THE FARMER to take the milk away. Then the farmer (you won’t believe this, honestly) sells the milk *back to the cows.*It’s not exactly the same cows. Those that produce the milk are professors and other researchers; those that buy it are generally librarians. Also, at the multidisciplinary journals Nature and Science, as well as most leading biomedical journals, the milkers (aka editors) are full-time staffers with substantial salaries. But the overall picture of universities handing over research papers for free and then paying to read them is correct. U.S. college and university libraries spent $2.3 billion on subscriptions for scientific journals and other publications in the 2015-2016 academic year, according to the National Center for Education Statistics, or 28% of their total expenditures. In 1993-1994 that was $690.4 million, 17% of total expenditures and about $1.2 billion in current dollars.This trajectory is not the one that many foresaw as the internet rose to ubiquity in the 1990s. Tim Berners-Lee’s original proposal for the World Wide Web intended it as a means of better communication among scientists; it was widely assumed that most such communication would be free of charge, and that the scientific publishing business was headed for major disruption. A now-legendary 1995 Forbes article about Elsevier was headlined, “The Internet’s First Victim?”It most definitely was not. Instead, Elsevier kept buying journals and investing heavily in their digitization — and other big publishers followed. They began offering “big deals” in which, as one university librarian described it in 2001, “libraries agree to buy electronic access to all of a commercial publisher’s journals for a price based on current payments to that publisher, plus some increment.” Along with Jstor, created by the Mellon Foundation in the late 1990s to digitize back issues of journals published by scholarly societies and university presses, these deals expanded the amount of research at the fingertips of university students and faculty, while slashing the cost of storing paper journals. University libraries would appear to be getting more for their money today than they did in the mid-1990s.Still, it’s a lot of money. The University of California system’s recently expired Elsevier subscription cost a reported $10 million a year, and many of the journals included in such big deals are seldom read. The digitization of journal content has also made the journals’ high cost apparent to lots of people who aren’t university librarians. Anyone with an internet connection can find just about any article in the archives of Elsevier, Springer Nature, Wiley, Taylor & Francis and other publishers, but without possessing the right university library card (not every school subscribes to every publication) or a steep per-article payment, you usually can’t read past the opening paragraphs.Against paywallsThese digital paywalls have inspired major efforts to get around them. One of the best known, because of its tragic end, was that of internet activist Aaron Swartz, who downloaded millions of Jstor articles from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s network starting in September 2010, intending to make them free to all. After being caught in early 2011, he gave up the downloaded documents, and Jstor asked that no charges be pressed. But the U.S. Attorney’s office in Boston plowed ahead, and Swartz killed himself in 2013 while awaiting trial. By then, Kazakhstani computer programmer Alexandra Elbakyan had started an effort to make all academic-journal articles free to read via SciHub, a self-proclaimed “pirate website” that operates outside the reach of Western authorities and publishers.There’s a growing number of legal paths around the paywalls, too. Public sharing of the aforementioned preprints (unedited early drafts) started with physicists’ ArXiv server in 1991, was followed by other disciplines over the decades and has now exploded in response to Covid-19. With Harvard leading the way in 2008, universities have also established policies in which professors are expected to assign joint copyright to the institution (they can opt out) when they publish an article in a journal, and post a copy in its open-access repository. Social networks for researchers, such as ResearchGate and Academia.edu, allow scholars to make their own published works available for easy search and downloading, a practice some big publishers have made their peace with while others have not. Funding agencies in Europe and the U.S. now require that publications based on research they paid for be made freely available after an embargo of six or 12 months. And paywalled journals often make public the appendices and datasets that go with their articles, which can be of more interest to other researchers than the articles themselves.Still, the pressure to make all research publications free — or at least all those enabled by substantial government or foundation funding — keeps growing. Coalition S, a European Commission project backed by the research-funding agencies of 12 European countries, the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation and the Wellcome Trust, is pushing for all the research its members fund to be published open access, with no embargo, by next year. The White House Office of Science and Technology Policy is contemplating a similar shift for the U.S.Paying for free articlesOf course, publishing scientific articles, even if you don’t pay the authors or the peer reviewers or in some cases even editors, still costs money. Publishing veteran Kent Anderson’s has an occasionally updated list of the “102 Things Journal Publishers Do,” many of which are less-than-earthshaking — “depositing content and data,” “pay for and comply with terms of publisher insurance policies,” etc. — but do add up. Even preprint servers, which perform only a few of the 102 functions, cost a couple million dollars a year to run.So far preprint servers have mostly relied on donations to pay the bills, which may not be the most sustainable financial model. Open-access journals, meanwhile, live off what are called article processing charges — a modern version of the page fees that helped sustain journals before World War II.Two of the most prominent all-open-access journals are the Public Library of Open Science’s PLoS One and Springer Nature’s Nature Communications, both multi-disciplinary publications with a biomedical tilt. Publishing a research article in the first will set you back $1,695; in the second, $5,380. For those funded by the likes of the National Institutes of Health or the Gates Foundation, or who have jobs at well-endowed universities, neither of these fees represents much of a barrier, and both journals waive fees for researchers from the very poorest countries. But a sizable minority of scholars do get stuck with the bill or simply can’t pay, and in general those from universities, countries and academic disciplines with fewer resources struggle the most.The reliance on article fees also tilts journals toward publishing more articles, and there are “predatory journals” that will publish anything as long you pay. But the divergent fees at PLoS One and Nature Communications are a sign that even legitimate open-access journals can take very different approaches. PLoS One accepts two-thirds of the papers submitted to it, according to industry analyst Christos Petrou, and publishes two-and-a-half times as many as Nature Communications. This allows Nature Communications to exercise greater quality control, resulting in its articles having four to five times the average impact (as measured by citations) as those in PLoS One — which has quite intentionally not aimed to maximize its impact factor, welcoming research papers that report negative or inconclusive results. Career-minded scholars seem to still care about impact, though. Submissions to PLoS One have been declining, and the Public Library of Open Science, which also publishes six more specialized open-access journals, reported a deficit of $6 million on revenue of $32 million in its 2018 financial statement.To allow for such differences in business models, the funders in Coalition S are not planning to cap the article fees they’re willing to pay, but they are demanding transparency from publishers about costs, with the goal of keeping journal profit margins down. Another approach, adopted by multiple European national university systems, is to replace Big Deal journal-subscription contracts with similarly priced “transformative” deals, in which publishers agree to publish their faculty’s research without paywalls or article fees, while continuing to grant subscription access to paywalled articles.In the more dispersed U.S. academic landscape, such deals can be harder to arrange. A few U.S. universities have entered into them, with the biggest North American transformative deal so far announced recently between Springer Nature and the University of California system. The UC system has been unable to agree on terms with Elsevier, though, and has done without direct access to new Elsevier journal articles for more than a year now. Meanwhile, other universities in the U.S. have been breaking their big deals with publishers into narrower contracts, a practice that seems likely to accelerate as Covid-driven budget cuts begin to pinch, presumably making it harder to finance a wholesale shift to open access.The shape of the open-access futureSubscriptions are a simple, time-honored and clearly sustainable way to pay for a publishing operation. The news media’s re-embrace of them, after decades of experimentation with advertising-supported business models online, is evidence that this may be even more true in the digital age. Scientific publishers are being pushed to abandon subscriptions and embrace open science for a lot of good reasons, as the Covid-19 crisis has made clear, but there will be consequences.The most perverse of those consequences, from the perspective of many open-access advocates, is an increase in the power and profits of the big commercial publishers. Clout has already begun shifting away from scientific societies, which often rely on journal subscriptions to subsidize other activities or as a perk to retain and recruit members. Many societies seem at a loss for how to proceed in an open-access environment. Several have recently handed their journal operations over to commercial publishers — a trickle that some in the industry expect to become a flood.Those commercial publishers, meanwhile, have been buying up preprint servers, academic social networks, journal-hosting platforms, research evaluation tools and other services meant to make them more essential to academia. Elsevier stopped calling itself a publisher a while ago — it’s now “a global information analytics business specializing in science and health.”In 2011 Claudio Aspesi, then an analyst at brokerage firm Sanford C. Bernstein and Co., advised clients to steer clear of Elsevier parent Relx out of fear that library budget crunches and the rise of open access would threaten profit margins. After the share price roughly doubled over the next three years, he concluded that maybe open access wasn’t as big a threat to its business as he had thought. Lately he’s been examining the industry on behalf of the Scholarly Publishing and Academic Resources Coalition, a pro-open access group, and finding reasons for alarm not for shareholders but for universities.In an article published in Science in May, Aspesi and MIT Press Director Amy Brand warned that Elsevier and other big publishers are positioning themselves to play ever bigger roles in measuring researchers’ productivity and universities’ quality, and possibly even to act as one-stop portals for the global exchange of information within scientific disciplines. “The dominance of a limited number of social networks, shopping services, and search engines shows us how internet platforms based on data and analytics can tend toward monopoly,” they wrote. Such concentration isn’t inevitable in scientific communication, they concluded, but preventing it will require “the academic community to act in coordination.”As anybody who’s sat through a faculty meeting knows, that’s a lot easier said than done. The commercial scientific communication industry exists in part because professors aren’t so great at collective action. It also exists because they have other things to focus on, such as their research, and there’s no reason why for-profit service providers shouldn’t continue to help scientists share and make use of that research. The challenge will be to keep the service providers from running the show.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Justin Fox is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering business. He was the editorial director of Harvard Business Review and wrote for Time, Fortune and American Banker. He is the author of “The Myth of the Rational Market.”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.
"In the coming months, we will need to streamline the business and take some tough decisions, saying goodbye to some valued and talented colleagues," Brooks said in the letter seen by Reuters. The review has been triggered by the impact of the coronavirus outbreak and its resulting lockdown, according to a News UK spokeswoman. News UK includes the Times of London, The Sunday Times and The Sun newspapers, along with Virgin Radio, talkSPORT and talkRADIO.
News Corp. (NWSA) reported earnings 30 days ago. What's next for the stock? We take a look at earnings estimates for some clues.
The Australian arm of Rupert Murdoch's News Corp <NWSA.O> said on Thursday it will stop printing more than 100 regional newspapers after the coronavirus shutdown gutted advertising revenue, accelerating a downturn in the country's media sector. From next month, the company which dominates Australia's media and political landscape said it would take 76 regional mastheads online only and shut another 36 altogether. "Print advertising spending which contributes the majority of our revenues has accelerated its decline," said News Corp Australasia Executive Chairman Michael Miller in a statement.
Scores of regional and community titles will be published only digitally from June 29 under the reorganisation, the Australian arm of the mass media and publishing firm News Corp <NWSA.O> said in a statement on Wednesday. It said its print publications had become unsustainable amid the coronavirus pandemic and the loss of revenue to digital platforms that use its content without payment. "To meet these changing trends, we are reshaping News Corp Australia to focus on where consumers and businesses are moving and to strengthen our position as Australia’s leading digital news media company," News Corp Australasia Executive Chairman Michael Miller said.
What happened Shares of media giant News Corp. (NASDAQ: NWS) (NASDAQ: NWSA) jumped sharply on Friday. Both tickers were up about 13% as of 1:05 p.m. EDT. The stock's gain follows the company's better-than-expected fiscal third-quarter bottom line.
News Corporation's (NWSA) third-quarter revenues decline on account of fall in subscription revenues at Foxtel and lower print-related advertising revenues at the News and Information Services segment.
Thank you very much, Hello, everyone, and welcome to News Corp's fiscal third-quarter 2020 earnings call. On the call today are Robert Thomson, chief executive; and Susan Panuccio, chief financial officer.
The company's chief executive officer, Robert Thomson, who is giving up three-quarters of his annual cash bonus, said on Thursday News Corp would cut costs in all its units as it tries to limit the hit of the pandemic on its business. "The collective cuts in bonuses and other cost initiatives will have a positive impact on profitability and our cash position," Thomson said in a statement.
News Corp. (NWSA) delivered earnings and revenue surprises of 50.00% and -1.85%, respectively, for the quarter ended March 2020. Do the numbers hold clues to what lies ahead for the stock?
The company's chief executive officer, Robert Thomson, who is giving up three-quarters of his annual cash bonus, said on Thursday News Corp would cut costs in all its units as it tries to limit the hit of the pandemic on its business. "The collective cuts in bonuses and other cost initiatives will have a positive impact on profitability and our cash position," Thomson said in a statement.
The source confirmed a report in the New York Times, which said that Rhodes' return stoked speculation he could play a role at Fox News. Rhodes's current role is unrelated to Fox News, the source said. News UK includes the Times of London, The Sunday Times, The Sun newspapers, and Virgin Radio, talkSPORT and talkRADIO, which include video offerings on YouTube.
(Bloomberg) -- Billionaire activist investor Christopher Hohn has called on Wirecard AG to remove Chief Executive Officer Markus Braun after an independent audit of past revenues criticized the German payments processor for internal “shortcomings.”The probe by KPMG was unable to obtain the data needed to verify revenues of 1 billion euros ($1.1 billion) in transactions with third parties. Wirecard hired the accounting firm in October to look into its third-party partner business as well as operations in India and Singapore following a series of reports by the Financial Times that accused the company of accounting fraud in several countries.Shares in Wirecard fell 12.6% in early trading in Frankfurt, taking the drop since start of trading Tuesday to 37%.Given management didn’t provide KPMG with the necessary documentation to verify the revenue, “we are of the view that the supervisory board is legally obliged to intervene,” Hohn’s TCI Fund Management Ltd. said in a letter also posted on its website.“In our opinion, the necessary intervention is now to remove the CEO from all management duties,” TCI said. Failing that, the board must take responsibility for the investigation and remove Wirecard’s management from involvement in the audit until the allegations have been resolved, it said.TCI has a short position in Wirecard, equivalent to 1.04% of the company’s stock.Hohn’s hedge fund, which managed about $30 billion before suffering its steepest ever monthly decline in March, specializes in taking large stakes in companies and agitating for change to boost the firms’ share prices.His bets have included companies such as ABN Amro Bank NV, News Corp. and most recently some attempted agitation against the London Stock Exchange Group Plc.The tactic has worked well for TCI -- it’s made money every year since 2008. It gained 41% in 2019, its best annual performance in six years.(Updates with share price, corrects company name.)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.
Readers are flocking to news outlets for information about the pandemic, but ad revenue has still plummeted for many publishers as companies slash marketing budgets and hesitate to have their brands advertised near coronavirus coverage. News Corp said book publishing sales and revenue from video subscription services would also likely be dented as brick-and-mortar retail stores are shuttered and sporting events that it broadcasts are canceled or postponed. A representative for Reuters news organization previously said the company has also experienced an impact on advertising revenue.
(Bloomberg) -- AT&T Inc. is cooperating with the U.S. Justice Department in its Google investigation, which is exploring whether the online search and advertising giant violated antitrust laws, according to a person familiar to the situation.The discussions are part of a probe into Google’s digital advertising and search operations, and antitrust officials have been meeting with a range of parties, people with knowledge of the matter have said previously. That includes discussions with companies and organizations other than those that have voiced complaints about google in the past, such as Oracle Corp., News Corp. and Yelp Inc.Google controls much of the technology that online publishers and marketers use to serve ads across the internet. Media companies and rivals have complained that Google’s dominance hinders competition, and its business practices have brought scrutiny in both the U.S. and Europe.The Justice Department said it doesn’t comment on specific investigations or meetings.“As a general matter, it is usual for the department’s antitrust division to meet with a range of third parties during an investigation,” it said in a statement. “The department takes protecting the privacy of third parties seriously so as to protect them from any potential retribution from the target.”The Wall Street Journal reported earlier on AT&T’s talks with the Justice Department.The company had its own clash with the Justice Department starting in 2017, when antitrust enforcers sued to block AT&T’s $85 billion acquisition of Time Warner. But the telecom carrier ultimately prevailed and was able to close the transaction the following year.AT&T has pushed deeper into online ads in recent years, putting it in Google’s orbit. It agreed to buy AppNexus in 2018, giving it an online-ad exchange that is now part of a business AT&T calls Xandr. AppNexus has been a frequent critic of Google’s practices.(Updates with Justice Department comment in fourth paragraph)\--With assistance from David McLaughlin.To contact the reporter on this story: Scott Moritz in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Nick Turner at email@example.com, Jillian WardFor 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.
Australian Associated Press (AAP) will close its news production and sub-editing businesses from June after losing its battle to compete with free online publishers, the 85-year old wire-service said on Tuesday. AAP had for decades provided media organisations first-account reports and breaking news on topics ranging from politics, to business and sports. "Its reporters, photographers and production staff have accurately recorded the first cut of contemporary Australian history and the nation is in their debt," AAP chairman Campbell Reid, who is also a News Corp executive, said in a statement.
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- Look for this week to be full of news about governments and central banks signaling their “whatever it takes” willingness to take additional policy measures to fight the contractionary impact of the coronavirus on virtually every economy around the world. Already, the Federal Reserve signaled on Friday readiness to loosen monetary conditions in the United States while Italy announced on Sunday a “shock therapy” of fiscal measures.As more announcements materialize during the week, it will be crystal clear that the question will not be about the willingness to act but about the effectiveness of those actions. For the most part, the answer will be only partly satisfactory in the short term until two underlying health conditions change. Less obvious will be the need to weigh immediate benefits — partial and as necessary as they are — against the possibility of longer-term unintended consequences associated with the inevitable use of ill-suited policy tools for the task at hand. Those include more borrowing of growth from the future and even greater reliance on activities bolstered by central bank liquidity injections.An increasing number of sectors and countries are experiencing sudden-stop dynamics as the economic effects of the coronavirus spread more widely around the world. Both demand and supply are being hit hard and in multiple ways. For example, News Corp., the owner of the Wall Street Journal, banned nonessential travel for its employees this weekend; more conferences are being cancelled around the world; airlines are reducing flights; and companies are asking employees to work from home. It’s a dynamic that builds on itself in the short term, fueled by a “fear virus” and other behavioral traits that engender paralysis and insecurity. It also promotes self-reinforcing vicious economic cycles with adverse social, political and institutional spillover effects, amplified by the considerable risk of pockets of financial market malfunctioning.The impact of all this will be a repeat internationally of what I called on Friday the “shock number” out of China: The manufacturing purchasing managers’ index for February not only came in well below expectations — 35.7 compared with the consensus estimate of 45.0 — but was also the worst reading on record. Several countries now face a high likelihood of recession, including Germany, Italy, Japan and Singapore, to name just a few, and some of the more financially stressed ones will experience a rise in credit risk and increasing threats of outright credit rationing.With that, a growing number of companies will again be forced to revise downward their earnings guidance for the year or withdraw it altogether because of the exceptional uncertainties. Some, with limited cash cushions and maturing debt like their sovereign counterparts, will also have to worry about their refunding prospects, with mounting risk of higher defaults for the most exposed sectors.In light of all this, it should come as no surprise that a growing number of countries will be announcing emergency stimulus measures. Indeed, those already signaled contain important information:Friday’s rare four-line statement by the Fed pointed to the “evolving risks” facing the U.S. economy and the central bank’s readiness to deploy “tools and act as appropriate to support the economy.” Just like the Fed’s dramatic 180-degree policy turn a year ago from a multiyear path of raising rates to one of immediate cuts during the year, this opens the door for other central banks to loosen financial conditions. If not coordinated, it will be another year of correlated monetary policy stimulus, in which central bankers respond to the same economic conditions but do not cooperate.Italy’s announcement highlights not just the more targeted policy focus — tax credits for companies suffering large hits to revenue and additional help to the health sector — but also the willingness of a government to act even in the context of prior fiscal constraints and potential tensions with Brussels.But the considerable willingness of governments and central banks to act should not be confused with effectiveness.For the reasons I have detailed before, countering an economic sudden stop, such as the one connected with the coronavirus, is a lot harder in the immediate term than resolving a financial sudden stop. It requires not just well-targeted national and local responses but also internationally coordinated, and not just correlated, efforts. (Think, for example, of the April 2009 G-20 meeting in London.) And, given the use of rapidly designed and poorly suited policy tools, it inevitably involves some collateral damage and unintended consequences, especially for longer-term economic well-being and financial stability.The best that fiscal and monetary policy interventions can realistically hope for in the next few weeks and months is to:Support sectors critical to a holistic recovery, medical services in particular. Target the most vulnerable, responsive and highly consequential contracting sectors. Provide focused relief to corporate and household balance sheets. Bolster emergency assistance to countries overwhelmed by this exogenous and external shock. Counter pockets of market malfunctioning through timely direct liquidity injections. Provide increasing clarity as to what lies ahead for the global economy, national responses and global policy coordination. These efforts, however, will not be able to engineer in the short term a generalized global and sustained recovery of the three main drivers of economic activity: consumption, investment and trade.Consumption will be curtailed by households’ lack of confidence to interact in the economy. Weak demand prospects, as well as disrupted supply chains, will limit corporate investment spending. Trade in goods and services will languish as more countries impose restrictions in their quest to protect the health and safety of their citizens.To decisively turn the corner, the global economy needs evidence of two health accomplishments: success in containing the spread of the virus, particularly when it comes to community transmission; and sustained success in illness recovery and avoidance, with the latter best done through the availability of a new vaccine.As for financial markets, look for significant price and liquidity swings as traders navigate the tug-of-war between deepening economic and corporate damage on the one hand and central bank liquidity injections, policy announcements and health news on the other. The immediate opportunity for investors will differ depending on whether they favor highly tactical drivers (that is, day trading and exploiting arbitrage opportunities because of indiscriminate behavior in markets) or secular and structural ones (those looking for longer-term portfolio positioning that can withstand the considerable volatility ahead). To contact the author of this story: Mohamed A. El-Erian at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Daniel Niemi at email@example.comThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Mohamed A. El-Erian is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is the chief economic adviser at Allianz SE, the parent company of Pimco, where he served as CEO and co-CIO. He is president-elect of Queens' College, Cambridge, senior adviser at Gramercy and professor of practice at Wharton. His books include "The Only Game in Town" and "When Markets Collide."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) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google has reached a settlement with state attorneys general over the states’ use of consultants in their antitrust investigation of the internet search giant.Google in October went to court to restrict the Texas Attorney General’s office from disclosing sensitive information to consultants who have worked for competitors and other companies such as News Corp. and Microsoft Corp that have complained about Google to regulators.Both sides reached a settlement that places some restrictions on how the experts can access confidential business information, Google said on Friday.Google had raised concerns over Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton’s hiring of consultants including Cristina Caffarra, an economist with Charles River Associates. She has worked for Google adversaries News Corp. and Microsoft as well as Russia’s Yandex NV, according to court filings.“We remain concerned with the irregular way this investigation is proceeding, including unusual arrangements with advisers who work for our rivals and vocal critics,” Google said in a statement.Paxton later released a statement saying, “With this agreement, experts retained by the state will not be burdened with the unreasonable prohibitions sought by Google. They will be able to lend their important expertise to the state without fear of being frozen out of other employment within their field.”(Updates with Paxton statement, in final paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at firstname.lastname@example.org;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, John HarneyFor 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) -- Alphabet Inc.’s Google is in discussions with publishers about paying licensing fees to include excerpts of their articles in Google News search results.The early-stage talks are taking place primarily with French and other European publishers, and may not lead to any agreements, a person familiar with the matter said. A deal would apply only to news products like the Google News vertical, they added, not general web content queries.Google sparked an outcry in France last fall after it said it would show stripped-down French news search results that wouldn’t include article previews or snippets following a new copyright law.It led French publishers and officials, who had hoped to win compensation from platforms as part of the new law, to accuse the search giant of strong-arming them. French antitrust regulators at the time said they would investigate Google over its implementation of the rules.News executives have been calling on Facebook Inc. and Google to pay for the rights to host their articles. They argue that their journalism is what’s drawing users to those platforms, while the two tech giants are capturing most of the online ad dollars.Richard Gingras, Google’s vice president of news, said helping people find quality journalism is “important to informed democracy and helps support a sustainable news industry.”“We’re talking with partners and looking at more ways to expand our ongoing work with publishers,” he added.In Europe, Google’s rocky relationships with publishers have led to legal action, long European Union antitrust investigations and an EU copyright directive that allows news outlets to seek payment from internet sites that display their articles. France was the first country to implement the new rules.In October, Facebook introduced a separate news section in its flagship app and agreed to pay some publishers $1 million to $3 million a year to put their articles in it.In an earnings call last week, News Corp. Chief Executive Officer Robert Thomson mentioned Google by name, saying there are “positive signs” the search company’s CEO Sundar Pichai “has a thoughtful appreciation for the profound social influence of high quality journalism.”The Wall Street Journal reported the discussions earlier.To contact the reporters on this story: Natalia Drozdiak in Brussels at email@example.com;Gerry Smith in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Nate Lanxon, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.
News Corp <NWSA.O> on Wednesday launched a free news aggregation service, Knewz, to address its long-held criticism of how Google and Facebook <FB.O> treat publishers and journalists. The service uses artificial intelligence to scan more than 400 national and local news sources across the political spectrum - including Mother Jones, Washington Examiner, and The Nation - and relies on a small team of editors and technical staff to curate articles.
(Bloomberg) -- Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell is cosponsoring a bipartisan bill that would help news publishers jointly negotiate with internet platforms such as Facebook Inc. and Alphabet Inc.’s Google.The Kentucky Republican added his support to the bill on Monday, according to Congress’s website. The legislation would grant publishers a four-year exemption from antitrust laws so they could negotiate financial terms with the tech giants that often serve as a gateway for readers and online advertisers.McConnell’s support arrives as the companies increasingly come under fire in Washington on issues ranging from privacy to election interference. They have also been accused of controlling too much of the advertising market, to the detriment of news outlets who rely on the companies to reach advertisers and their audiences.The bill, which has seven Senate supporters in total, was introduced by Senators John Kennedy, a Louisiana Republican, and Amy Klobuchar, a Minnesota Democrat. A companion measure in the House was introduced by the chairman of the antitrust subcommittee, Democratic Representative David Cicilline of Rhode Island, and the Judiciary Committee’s top Republican, Representative Doug Collins of Georgia.Last month, two additional senators, Cory Booker, a New Jersey Democrat, and Rand Paul, a Kentucky Republican also signed onto the legislation.David Chavern, president of the News Media Alliance, a trade group for publishers that supports the bill, said the latest sponsorships suggest the proposal is gaining momentum.“There is bipartisan concern about the future of local news,” said Chavern, whose group counts the New York Times, the Washington Post and News Corp. as members. “Local news in particular needs to find its way to a new economic model and that economical model runs through Google and Facebook.”Bloomberg News does not belong to the publishers’ group.In response to criticism in recent years, tech companies have been making changes to the way they handle news content. Last year, Facebook introduced a separate news section in its flagship app, offering users more control over articles they see and providing money to the publishers whose stories are featured. Google has said it drives readers to publishers’ websites and has created new programs to improve advertising and technology practices of media companies.Representatives for Google and Facebook did not immediately comment on McConnell’s move. Both companies have lobbied on the measure, as has News Corp., according to disclosures with Congress.Carl Szabo, vice president of the tech trade group NetChoice, which counts Facebook and Google as members, said the measure would be “absurd” and urged lawmakers to reject it.“If passed, an antitrust exemption would likely only cement media cartels dominated by the likes of Rupert Murdoch, not local journalists,” said Szabo, referring to the founder of News Corp.To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org;Naomi Nix in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, Elizabeth Wasserman, Jon MorganFor 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.
The London-listed firm said as part of the deal, it would issue about 6.91% of its voting share capital to News Corp, the owner of the Wall Street Journal and The Times. As more people switch to online services, ad dollars are also moving to digital platforms like Facebook and Google, making video advertising a lucrative market. News Corp will be subject to a lock-up period of 18 months and both parties have agreed to spending 30 million pounds ($39.25 million) in ads over three years.
(Bloomberg) -- State officials investigating Alphabet Inc.’s Google met Monday to dive into competition issues surrounding the search giant as they press forward with an investigation into whether the company is violating antitrust laws, according to people familiar with the matter.The officials met privately in Denver with outside experts with the goal of gaining a deeper understanding of Google’s businesses and the dynamics of the markets it operates in, including digital advertising, said one of the people.The gathering comes two months after all but two states opened an antitrust investigation into Google with an initial focus on its advertising practices, according to an investigative demand sent to the company. Publishers have long complained that Google’s dominance in the technology that delivers ads across the web harms competition.The meeting was similar to one held last month in New York where state officials met with experts about Facebook Inc. The social media giant is under investigation by 45 states, Guam and the District of Columbia.One of the aims of the Google meeting was to help state officials prepare for an investigation that will likely present challenging competition issues, said one of the people. The states were also planning to map out a strategy for dividing the workload of the investigation, said two of the people.Among those advising the states is Cristina Caffarra, an economist at Charles River Associates. Google has complained about Caffarra’s work for the state because of her past work for Google adversaries News Corp., Microsoft Corp., and Russia’s Yandex NV.The states are investigating Google in parallel to a Justice Department antitrust probe of the company. The House Judiciary Committee’s antitrust panel is also conducting an inquiry into Google and other large tech companies.(Updates from fifth paragraph with challenges of the antitrust investigation. A previous version of this story was corrected to clarify the number of states and attorneys general investigating.)To contact the reporters on this story: David McLaughlin in Washington at email@example.com;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.org;Naomi Nix in Washington at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at firstname.lastname@example.org, John HarneyFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
As streaming has turned the television industry on its head, one media mogul went against the trend this year. He revealed the advice from News Corp. Founder Rupert Murdoch by way of Oracle CEO Larry Ellison that led him to do it.