VIV.PA - Vivendi SA

Paris - Paris Delayed price. Currency in EUR
23.18
+0.07 (+0.30%)
At close: 5:36PM CEST
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Previous close23.11
Open23.18
Bid0.00 x 0
Ask0.00 x 0
Day's range23.04 - 23.27
52-week range16.60 - 26.42
Volume1,722,848
Avg. volume2,968,090
Market cap26.482B
Beta (5Y monthly)0.75
PE ratio (TTM)18.11
EPS (TTM)1.28
Earnings date30 Jul 2020
Forward dividend & yield0.60 (2.60%)
Ex-dividend date21 Apr 2020
1y target est24.84
  • Italy's Mediaset prevents Vivendi trust from voting at AGM
    Reuters

    Italy's Mediaset prevents Vivendi trust from voting at AGM

    Mediaset said on Friday it would not allow the trust that holds most of French group Vivendi's stake in the Italian broadcaster to vote at its annual shareholder meeting. Vivendi and Mediaset have been at odds since the French conglomerate dropped a deal to buy Mediaset's pay-TV unit in 2016 and then built up a 29% stake in the group, which the Italian broadcaster considers hostile. Two-thirds of Vivendi's stake in Mediaset is held in a trust called Simon Fiduciaria following a ruling by the Italian telecoms watchdog over Vivendi's excessive presence in the country's media and telecoms sectors, given its 24% holding in telecoms operator Telecom Italia.

  • Bloomberg

    Apple Deserves the EU Antitrust Scrutiny It's Getting

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- And it begins. Apple Inc. now officially faces a double threat on the regulatory front.On Tuesday, the European Union announced it has opened two formal antitrust investigations into the tech giant to see if the company has broken competition laws with its App Store and Apple Pay services. Specifically, the regulators plan to investigate Apple’s rules surrounding its in-app purchase system, where its charge developers a 30% cut for digital content or services sold on its platform (the 30% fee is lowered to 15% after the first year for subscriptions), along with the company’s restrictions on developers from informing users of alternative purchasing avenues inside their iOS apps. The EU will also look into how Apple Pay is the only payment solution allowed to use Apple mobile devices’ “tap and go” payment functionality inside physical stores.Of the two, the potential regulation of the App Store is the bigger deal. For years, the digital store’s excessive fee structure has been a main point of contention for app developers. Epic Games Inc. CEO Tim Sweeney has repeatedly said the commission rate was too high given the actual middle-man services Apple provides. Further, in 2019 music-streaming company Spotify Technology SA filed a complaint with the EU, citing Apple’s fees and restrictive rules, which the regulator has now cited as an impetus for the formal investigation. The detractors have a point — the Apple App Store has attained excessive power in the marketplace. Companies have no choice but to accept Apple’s terms to get access to the more than 1.5 billion iOS devices in active use and the 500 million people who use the App Store on a weekly basis. Antitrust laws were designed to ensure vigorous competition and protect consumers from harmful anti-competitive business practices. And the Apple App Store’s onerous practices fit that bill.Apple has long argued the App Store has spurred a wave of innovation over the last decade and allowed startups to scale their customer bases rapidly with its “safe, secure” platform. But the company’s user base has grown so large and is too dominant in the market. Outside of Google’s Android there is little to no competition in the smartphone space to reach such a large audience. Apple also has hurt its standing by relaxing its App Store rules for certain large companies. In April, Bloomberg News reported that the company allowed a handful “premium subscription video” providers — including Amazon.com Inc., Vivendi SA, and Altice USA Inc.’s Altice One — the ability to charge consumers directly using their own payment systems without paying a commission to Apple.Unfortunately, not all companies have the negotiation leverage of Amazon. Regulators should stand up for the smaller companies that frankly need the fee break more.  Moreover, the EU should at least mandate Apple to allow developers to inform users they can purchase content outside the app.At the end of the day, a lower App Store commission rate wouldn’t be the end of the world for Apple. For all the talk about the company’s strategic shift to services, the segment, of which the App Store is only a part, accounted for just 18% of its sales in its most recent fiscal year. But a 50% reduction, for example, would be a tremendous boon for smaller companies — spurring more innovation and lower prices for consumers. That’s an end result regulators should fight for.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tae Kim is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Barron's, following an earlier career as an equity analyst.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • The Vivendi Sa share price – where next?
    Stockopedia

    The Vivendi Sa share price – where next?

    The Vivendi Sa (EPA:VIV) share price has risen by 15.4% over the past month and it’s currently trading at 22.66. For investors considering whether to buy, hold...

  • Motley Fool

    How the Music Industry Has Changed

    Music publishing has gone from physical to digital distribution and streaming. How has the business changed?

  • Sidley Austin Attorneys: SPAC Extensions Hit Record After Coronavirus Freeze
    IPO-Edge.com

    Sidley Austin Attorneys: SPAC Extensions Hit Record After Coronavirus Freeze

    By John Jannarone When the coronavirus put Wall Street on pause, the clock didn’t stop on special-purpose acquisition companies (SPACs), which have a finite amount of time to find a target. Many of them were able to find a solution – ask investors for an extension. A total of 28 extensions have been granted on […]

  • David Bowie's Record Label Is Dancing in the Street
    Bloomberg

    David Bowie's Record Label Is Dancing in the Street

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- The world’s two biggest record labels have achieved a sweet harmony over the market value of music.Warner Music Group Corp., the label behind David Bowie, Bruno Mars, Lizzo and Tom Petty, on Wednesday priced the shares for its initial public offering at $25 apiece. That valued the debt and equity of the world’s second-biggest record label at $15 billion, or about 24 times trailing Ebitda, a measure of earnings.That’s almost exactly the same valuation multiple that Universal Music Group, its larger rival, was afforded when French parent Vivendi SA sold a 10% stake to a consortium led by Tencent Holdings Ltd. earlier this year. The alignment reinforces what looked like a pretty generous offer for the Universal stake at the time. And Warner’s shares did even better in the immediate aftermath of the IPO, rising by 15%. For an industry that seemed to be on its knees not that long ago — and not in a flattering “rock star on stage” way — these are heady times.How to price record labels has long seemed a difficult question. For more than a decade, the onslaught of music piracy seemed to suggest that their value was, essentially, nothing. But the surge in online streaming services means that those beleaguered assets have suddenly become attractive. Spotify SA’s 2018 IPO first hinted at the phenomenon: The streaming giant is now valued at some $30 billion, even though it isn’t expected to be profitable this year. The labels, who take a generous cut from Spotify in the form of royalties, are getting in on the act. Universal’s owner, Vivendi, had long bemoaned the so-called “conglomerate discount” in its own shares, arguing that the music business and other assets weren’t being assessed at their full worth by investors. As such, Chief Executive Officer Arnaud de Puyfontaine has been holding out the prospect of a Universal Music IPO since 2017, and investor optimism about the prospective listing — boosted by the stake sale to Tencent — has helped its stock outperform France’s benchmark CAC 40 Index. Even now, however, Vivendi is only talking about an IPO by 2023.Instead it is Len Blavatnik who has blazed a musical trail. The Ukraine-born billionaire bought Warner for just $3.3 billion in 2011, and the IPO has delivered a handsome return. The Universal stake sale will have given him one yardstick by which to set a price, and now Vivendi will have a barometer on the public markets that it can use in the same way.The pop in the Warner share price will have gladdened the heart of Vincent Bollore, the Breton billionaire who controls Vivendi. But he’ll also know that if the shares of the rival music label ever falter, then Universal’s prospects will be judged accordingly. There’s a downside to singing in a duet.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Upbeat broker recommendations for Vivendi Sa
    Stockopedia

    Upbeat broker recommendations for Vivendi Sa

    The Vivendi Sa (EPA:VIV) share price has risen by 1.58% over the past month and it’s currently trading at 20.01. For investors considering whether to buy, hold...

  • Bloomberg

    French Tycoons Like to Scratch Each Others’ Backs

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Another day, another billionaire takes a seat at the table at storied French publisher and retailer Lagardere SCA. Luxury tycoon Bernard Arnault yesterday joined Vincent Bollore and Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere as a player in a busy field of French establishment figures gaining influence at the company. For ordinary shareholders, it’s a very mixed blessing.Lagardere is worth just 1.9 billion euros ($2.1 billion). Even a dramatic turn in its fortunes would make scant difference to a billionaire’s net wealth. But one titan after another has rushed to the aid of scion and general partner Arnaud Lagardere after London-based hedge fund Amber Capital U.K. LLP pressed for an overhaul of the company’s governance.Bollore’s Vivendi SA and Ladreit de Lacharriere took big stakes last month, helping to defeat Amber’s resolutions for new board members at the annual meeting. (Vivendi has further upped its stake in the company to 16%.) That took the pressure off Lagardere personally. A new board might have pushed him to make changes to the so-called commandite partnership structure through which he controls the group with just a 7% shareholding.But there was still a question of whether Lagardere might try to bolster his own finances by selling the commandite of his own accord. Surrendering control would, after all, be compensated. That would improve the financial position of the holding company through which he holds his Lagardere stake.The intervention by Arnault further complicates the dynamics. Unlike the others, the head of LVMH Moet Hennessey Louis Vuitton SE is investing not in Lagardere the company directly but in Arnaud Lagardere’s personal vehicle, taking approximately 25%, reportedly for less than 100 million euros. While Arnault owns a radio station and two national newspapers, the move looks more personal than tactical. He and Lagardere’s father Jean-Luc were friends. Both families have sat on each other’s boards. He appears to be doing Lagardere a big favor.The precise transaction terms aren’t clear. It’s likely that Lagardere himself receives some cash directly, with the rest going into the vehicle to cut leverage. Either way, it’s a huge boost for him. If the failure of Amber’s resolutions meant the board was unlikely to push to make Lagardere a normal French corporation, it’s now less likely that he will rush to seek the transformation himself.As things stand, Lagardere may still technically be in control, but he has gained a co-pilot in Arnault, and the luxury billionaire now appears closer to the steering wheel than Bollore. It’s a messy situation and the logic for ending the commandite remains. With the pressure off, Lagardere is in a more advantageous position to negotiate terms to his liking. Minority shareholders can but hope everyone involved sees a mutual interest in getting round the table and talking.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.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.

  • Vivendi's Dailymotion forms partnership with Huawei Video
    Reuters

    Vivendi's Dailymotion forms partnership with Huawei Video

    Vivendi's Dailymotion video platform and China's Huawei Video on Tuesday announced a partnership to offer international and local video content, as Huawei continues its plans to increase its presence in France and Europe. The companies said in a joint statement that Huawei Video would integrate the video player of Dailymotion - whose main rival is YouTube - in its application. In February, Huawei had said it would build its first European manufacturing plant in France, as the Chinese telecom giant seeks to ease worldwide concerns stoked by U.S. charges that Beijing could use its equipment for spying.

  • Spotify Signs Joe Rogan, Becomes More Like Netflix
    Bloomberg

    Spotify Signs Joe Rogan, Becomes More Like Netflix

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- Spotify Technology SA has long purported to be the next Netflix Inc. Signing Joe Rogan in a deal that could earn the podcaster more than $100 million helps the music streamer start to deliver on that promise.The Stockholm-based tech firm has a stubborn problem: For every dollar in revenue the music streaming giant earns, it sends 65 cents straight to the record industry.The royalties that Spotify pays the labels, publishers and artists cap its earnings potential. That’s only fair: Without the musicians, the company wouldn’t exist. But it also means that, for all the superficial similarities between Spotify and Netflix as subscription services offering an endless supply of content, Spotify’s business model is less robust.If Netflix pays, say, $30 million to make a new season of a drama like Ozark, that cost doesn’t increase if it attracts more eyeballs. Media Rights Capital, which produces the show, makes the same money from Netflix irrespective of whether the audience is 5,000 or 50 million.That is not the same for Spotify. Costs rise with subscribers. Every stream of, for instance, Billy Eilish’s Grammy Award-winning hit Bad Guy will see another slice of the listener’s monthly subscription fee directed towards Universal Music Group, the Vivendi SA unit that owns her recording and publishing rights. Spotify’s gross margin will likely hit just 25% of revenue this year – a low figure for what is supposed to be a software and services business. Netflix, for all of the billions it spends on content, is expected to enjoy gross profit representing 39% of sales.With just three major record labels controlling most of the music industry, Spotify’s relatively high costbase is unlikely to change any time soon. And it’s hard for Spotify to cultivate its own artists. That would rile the labels, and musicians usually want to be on the greatest number of possible platforms as that helps sell concert tickets.Podcasts provide Spotify with a revenue stream over which it has more control. The firm has recently spent more than $600 million acquiring four podcasting firms – the Ringer, Gimlet Media, Anchor and Parcast. Tuesday’s signing of Rogan brings one of the world’s most popular podcasts.For a fixed — or capped — cost, Spotify attracts new listeners and potentially subscribers — especially if it’s making the podcasts itself. The more time listeners spend on podcasts, the less money Spotify gives to the record labels.Then there’s the advertising opportunity. Spotify made just 4.42 euros ($4.84) per user from its subscription business in the first quarter, and an additional 91 cents per user in advertising revenue. Facebook Inc.’s thriving ads business helped it make $34.18 for each of its North American users in the same period. Advertising could account for 12% of Spotify revenue by 2022, up from the current 8%, according to Bloomberg Intelligence.True, Spotify still has to grow into its $33 billion market capitalization, a multiple of 3.7 times expected revenue (it’s not expected to be profitable this year). But Chief Executive Officer Daniel Ek is starting to play the tunes that investors need to hear.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Alex Webb is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering Europe's technology, media and communications industries. He previously covered Apple and other technology companies for Bloomberg News in San Francisco.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • French Establishment Saves Lagardere from Hedge Fund Humiliation
    Bloomberg

    French Establishment Saves Lagardere from Hedge Fund Humiliation

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- An outsider’s attempt to storm Paris has failed after the French establishment pulled rank. London-based hedge fund Amber Capital U.K. LLP didn’t win enough support to replace the board of Lagardere SCA, owner of the Hachette publishing house, at Tuesday’s annual meeting. Lagardere’s independent shareholders have regrettably missed the chance to have some influence over the company at a critical moment in its history.The shares fell upon the news, and it’s not hard to see why. The vote largely preserves an existing board that has overseen abysmal returns for investors. That poor performance over such a long period provided a sufficient argument for overhauling the company’s governance. But Amber, headed by former Societe Generale prop trader Joseph Oughourlian, also shone a light on the deficiencies of its so-called commandite partnership structure. This has kept managing partner and 7% shareholder Arnaud Lagardere richly rewarded, even as outside investors suffered. Meanwhile, the supervisory board went along with the situation and lacked the power to forcibly change management.The activist campaign gained traction amid the broad endorsement of proxy voting firms. That, however, prompted a reaction from Lagardere’s allies. Vivendi SA, the media conglomerate controlled by billionaire Vincent Bollore, took a big stake in the company last month. So did French investor Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere, Les Echos reported. They likely rejected Amber’s resolutions. The key poll results would otherwise have hung in the balance rather than being split roughly 60:40.It is a shame for outside shareholders that not even one of Amber’s eight nominees were elected. The board could have used an immediate injection of outsiders. Sometimes a partial victory is as good as it gets in activism. Might Bollore have been open to supporting a handful of candidates if the campaign had not become so heated? Perhaps. What happens next? Lagardere’s shares continue to suffer amid measures to curb the coronavirus, given the firm’s reliance on the advertising and travel businesses. So the board needs to be ready to defend the company against opportunistic bids for all or part of the business.The company would be in a stronger position if it ended the commandite, thereby rebooting the standalone investment case. That requires the board to make Arnaud Lagardere an offer, probably in the form of an additional stake, that persuades him to give up the structure. It would be a wrench to cede control of an institution that bears his family name. Much will depend on his personal financial situation, especially as the company is no longer in a position to pay the generous dividends he previously received.Both a sale of the commandite and any deal for all or part of the group would present challenging negotiations. Outside shareholders will want a board that delivers substantially better results for them than it has in the past. The French establishment may have saved Lagardere from outright humiliation, but this protest vote should not be ignored.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.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

    One Hedge Fund Takes on the French Establishment

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- A storied French media group is a challenging target for shareholder activism — especially when the agitator is a foreign hedge fund. But Lagardere SCA, owner of the Hachette publishing house, is facing real pressure from Amber Capital U.K. LLP. Stake building by media group Vivendi SA and, reportedly, French investor Marc Ladreit de Lacharriere suggests a chess game is about to start. Amber Capital’s case for stronger oversight gets more compelling by the day.Lagardere has evolved from a conglomerate into a group with a twin focus on media and travel retail. The business mix may make sense now but the dealmaking needed to get there generated painful writedowns. Lagardere has underperformed the European media and retail sectors on a total shareholder return basis over the five years to Dec. 31, and the broader market over the last decade.Amber convincingly blames the company’s so-called “commandite” partnership structure. This preserves de facto control for scion Arnaud Lagardere as general partner and managing partner, even though he owns only 7% of the stock. And it has sustained generous remuneration at Lagardere despite poor shareholder returns.Because of the unusual corporate structure, the company’s supervisory board has limited sway. Amber, an investor since 2016, thinks directors could nevertheless have done more, in particular when reviewing the business’s high central costs and payments to Arnaud Lagardere’s personal company, which provides the executive team.Ordinary shareholders can’t do much about all of this in a hurry. But they can change the supervisory board as a start. Amber is proposing a near-full slate to replace all but a couple of recent appointments, including former French President Nicolas Sarkozy.What difference would that make? A refreshed board still couldn’t force a change in the management team. True, it would have the power to put Lagardere’s next managing partner nomination to a shareholder vote in 2021. But vetoing the nominee requires two-thirds backing from shareholders, according to proxy adviser ISS. A few investors friendly to the current management could block that move, assuming they amassed decent sized holdings. With Lagardere capitalized at just 2.3 billion euros ($2.5 billion), such blocking stakes are inexpensive for the French establishment.Vivendi, in which billionaire Vincent Bollore controls a 29% stake, declared an 11% interest on Tuesday. Ladreit de Lacharriere has up to 3.5% of Lagardere, Le Figaro reported. They appear to be positioning as kingmakers. The risk for other shareholders is that their influence determines a strategy that goes against the interests of everyone else.Nor could a refreshed board force the abolition of the commandite. Only Arnaud Lagardere himself can make that happen. But directors could try to persuade him to give up legal control and convert the company to the standard French corporate structure, the societe anonyme (SA). The obvious attraction for him would be if he’s offered an enlarged stake in the group in exchange.Lagardere, as general partner, would lose some income provided by the old structure. But his shares would probably command a higher valuation, inflating both his existing holding and the extra stake. Other investors might be better off despite the modest dilution. With the company having suspended its dividend and cut pay in response to the Covid-19 pandemic, selling the commandite status may now be more attractive.There’s a deal to be done. Amber’s resolutions provide the chance for ordinary shareholders to reform a structure that simply isn’t working for them. The commandite’s implicit trade-off is limited investor influence for higher performance. Yet returns have been terrible. Seeing Bollore and Ladreit de Lacharriere land on the register with unclear intentions reinforces the value of transforming Lagardere into a company where all shareholders have real power.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Chris Hughes is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering deals. He previously worked for Reuters Breakingviews, as well as the Financial Times and the Independent newspaper.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.

  • Vivendi shareholders approve dividend of 0.60 euro per share
    Reuters

    Vivendi shareholders approve dividend of 0.60 euro per share

    The amount represents an increase of 20% over the dividend paid for the previous fiscal year, Vivendi said in a presentation of resolutions made at the shareholder meeting. Vivendi's shareholders also approved the appointment of French billionaire Laurent Dassault as a new member of the supervisory board, chaired by Yannick Bollore.

  • Investing.com

    Vivendi Earnings Miss, Revenue Beats In Q1

    Investing.com - Vivendi (PA:VIV) reported on Monday first quarter earnings that missed analysts' forecasts and revenue that topped expectations.

  • Vivendi investors back hiked dividend in defiance of France's crisis call
    Reuters

    Vivendi investors back hiked dividend in defiance of France's crisis call

    Media conglomerate Vivendi's <VIV.PA> shareholders almost unanimously backed the payout of a higher dividend for 2019 on Monday, defying calls by the French government to limit or cancel payouts due to the coronavirus crisis. Most large French listed companies have either scrapped, cut or put under review their dividend policies in the wake of the coronavirus outbreak, which led to massive state-supported schemes to safeguard companies from bankruptcy. By contrast, Vivendi kept its resolution offering a dividend of 0.60 euro per share for the fiscal year 2019, an increase of 20% from a year earlier.

  • Universal keeps Vivendi sales on track in first quarter
    Reuters

    Universal keeps Vivendi sales on track in first quarter

    Vivendi's first quarter revenue rose on a strong performance at music label Universal, home to Taylor Swift and Lady Gaga, but the French media giant warned on Monday that smaller businesses would be hit by the coronavirus crisis. The Paris-based group, controlled by billionaire Vincent Bollore, said first quarter sales grew by 4.4% from a year earlier, to 3.87 billion euros ($4.2 billion) as revenue at the world's biggest music label, which has been Vivendi's <VIV.PA> main driver of growth in recent years, jumped 13%. By contrast, Vivendi's second-biggest division, pay-TV Canal Plus, which has shed jobs and cut costs in France in the face of competition from original content producers such as Netflix <NFLX.O> and new sport rights distributors, saw its sales grow by 1%.

  • There's A Lot To Like About Vivendi SA's (EPA:VIV) Upcoming €0.60 Dividend
    Simply Wall St.

    There's A Lot To Like About Vivendi SA's (EPA:VIV) Upcoming €0.60 Dividend

    Some investors rely on dividends for growing their wealth, and if you're one of those dividend sleuths, you might be...

  • Apple's New Deal With Amazon Prime Video Is a Game Changer
    Bloomberg

    Apple's New Deal With Amazon Prime Video Is a Game Changer

    (Bloomberg Opinion) -- What was once sacrosanct is no more. Apple Inc. seems to have blinked.Late Wednesday, Bloomberg News reported that Apple has relaxed its rules requiring a 30% cut for any content sold inside video apps on its iOS platform. The tech giant said its program allows “premium subscription video” providers the ability to charge consumers directly using their own payment systems without paying a commission to Apple.For customers of Amazon.com Inc., which started taking advantage of the change on Wednesday,  it means Amazon’s Prime Video subscribers in the U.S., U.K. and Germany, can now buy or rent video content using the e-commerce company’s app on Apple’s platforms. Amazon.com Inc. had previously only allowed video purchases outside of Apple’s ecosystem, such as its website. Canal+, owned by Vivendi SA, and Altice USA Inc.’s Altice One had already joined Apple’s program in recent years.As recently as last year, Apple CEO Tim Cook told CBS News the company didn’t have a dominant position in any market. But analysts have said Apple’s App Store may be the one business where it actually had excessive power over developers, because of the steep commission it was able to demand in exchange for allowing their apps, in-app purchases and subscriptions to be sold on its platforms. (The 30% subscription fee is lowered to 15% after the first year.)The Apple App Store’s high commission structure has been infuriating for many companies. In 2019, music-streaming company Spotify  Technology SA filed a complaint against Apple with the European Commission, while Epic Games Inc. CEO Tim Sweeney, whose company makes Fortnite, has consistently railed against Apple’s commission structure as unjustified. Netflix Inc. even abandoned using Apple’s payment system altogether to avoid the fee in 2018.Why did Apple budge? Perhaps it’s a move to preempt further pressure from regulators. Whatever the reason, once the first step is made toward lower fees, there is no turning back.It’s only a matter time before other companies such as Netflix, Spotify and countless others ask for better terms as well. Lower middle-man fees can also be good news for consumers if it leads to lower prices, too.This column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tae Kim is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist covering technology. He previously covered technology for Barron's, following an earlier career as an equity analyst.For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinionSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Bloomberg

    Apple Lets Some Video Apps Sell Shows Without Taking 30% Cut

    (Bloomberg) -- Apple Inc. has relaxed a controversial policy that took a 30% cut of payments when video apps on its platform sold TV shows and movies.Amazon.com Inc. started taking advantage of the change on Wednesday, selling and renting movies via its Prime Video service on Apple devices without needing to give Apple a share of the money.“Apple has an established program for premium subscription video entertainment providers to offer a variety of customer benefits,” the Cupertino, California-based technology giant said in a emailed statement. The program applies to multiple services, including Amazon Prime Video. Canal+, a unit of Vivendi SA, started participating in 2018. Altice One, a cloud-based video service from Altice USA Inc., signed up in February.The program lets these premium services charge viewers via their own payment method instead of Apple’s in-app-purchase system, which takes a 30% cut. “Customers have the option to buy or rent movies and TV shows using the payment method tied to their existing video subscription,” Apple said in the statement.Apple said the program also provides a number of other benefits, including “integration with the Apple TV app, AirPlay 2 support, tvOS apps, universal search, Siri support and, where applicable, single or zero sign-on.”Most other types of apps and services on Apple devices like the iPhone, iPad, and Apple TV require the use of Apple’s in-app-purchase system for downloads and upgrades. Some developers, including Spotify Technology SA, have said Apple’s system is an antitrust issue and have had to raise their prices by 30% for iPhone users to offset Apple’s fees.Read more: Apple and Google Face Growing Revolt Over App Store ‘Tax’ (Updates with details of program participants in fourth paragraph.)For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.comSubscribe now to stay ahead with the most trusted business news source.©2020 Bloomberg L.P.

  • Vivendi closes sale of 10% stake in Universal to Tencent consortium
    Reuters

    Vivendi closes sale of 10% stake in Universal to Tencent consortium

    The French conglomerate, in which billionaire Vincent Bollore's holding company has the biggest stake, said it would now examine the possible sale of other minority interests in UMG, with an initial public offering of those assets planned for early 2023. The previously announced deal allows both companies to expand in a recovering global music market.

  • Did Changing Sentiment Drive Vivendi's (EPA:VIV) Share Price Down By 29%?
    Simply Wall St.

    Did Changing Sentiment Drive Vivendi's (EPA:VIV) Share Price Down By 29%?

    Passive investing in an index fund is a good way to ensure your own returns roughly match the overall market. Active...

  • Reuters

    Vivendi files appeal against Milan court OK to Mediaset revamp

    France's Vivendi <VIV.PA> has filed an appeal against a decision by a Milan judge to clear the way for a planned reorganization at Mediaset <MS.MI>, Italy's biggest commercial broadcaster said on Thursday. Mediaset <MS.MI> wants to merge its Italian and Spanish <TL5.MC> businesses into a Dutch unit, dubbed MediaforEurope (MFE). Vivendi, which owns 29% stake in the media group controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, is challenging the plan in courts across Europe, saying the new governance set-up would harm minority shareholder interests.

  • Reuters

    Dutch court rejects Vivendi's bid to suspend Mediaset's overhaul

    MILAN/AMSTERDAM (Reuters) - A Dutch court on Wednesday rejected a request by France's Vivendi <VIV.PA> to suspend Mediaset's plans to create a pan-European broadcasting holding company, an official document seen by Reuters showed. Controlled by the family of former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi, Mediaset <MS.MI> wants to merge its Italian and Spanish <TL5.MC> businesses into a Dutch unit, dubbed MediaforEurope (MFE). Vivendi, a major shareholder in Mediaset led by billionaire Vincent Bollore, is fighting the plan in courts across Europe, saying the governance structure of the new entity would strengthen Berlusconi's grip on the company.

  • Spanish court upholds block on Mediaset merger plan
    Reuters

    Spanish court upholds block on Mediaset merger plan

    MADRID/MILAN (Reuters) - A regional court in Madrid has upheld the suspension of broadcaster Mediaset's <MS.MI> plan to merge its Italian and Spanish divisions under a Dutch holding company after rejecting the Italian company's appeal, a document seen by Reuters showed on Monday. Mediaset, controlled by the family of former Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi wants to merge its Italian and Spanish units under the Dutch holding firm MediaforEurope (MFE). Vivendi, led by French billionaire Vincent Bollore, says the governance structure of the new entity would strengthen Berlusconi's grip on the company.

  • Vivendi plans IPO of Universal by early 2023 at the latest
    Reuters

    Vivendi plans IPO of Universal by early 2023 at the latest

    French media conglomerate Vivendi said on Thursday it planned to list its most-prized asset, Universal Music Group, by early 2023 at the latest, following a year of record profit for the division. This represents a new milestone in a two-year process launched by Vivendi's top investor, Vincent Bollore, to make the most of the world's biggest music label, home to artists Taylor Swift, Drake and Lady Gaga. Chief Executive Officer Arnaud de Puyfontaine declined to give further details on the potential IPO but said Universal's stellar performance could draw further interest from investors.

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