|From: Glenn Petersen||10/6/2020 9:39:04 PM|
|House Democrats say Facebook, Amazon, Alphabet, Apple enjoy ‘monopoly power’ and recommend big changes|
PUBLISHED TUE, OCT 6 20204:06 PM EDT
UPDATED 36 MIN AGO
Lauren Feiner @LAUREN_FEINER
-- After a 16-month investigation into competitive practices at Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, the House Judiciary subcommittee on antitrust has released its findings and recommendations on how to reform laws to fit the digital age.
-- The report concludes that the four Big Tech companies enjoy monopoly power and suggests Congress take up changes to antitrust laws that could result in parts of their businesses being separated.
-- Republicans have voiced objections to some of the bolder proposals in the report, such as imposing structural separations.
A Democratic congressional staff report recommends changes to antitrust laws and enforcement that could result in major changes for Big Tech companies, such as spinning off or separating parts of their businesses or making it harder to buy smaller companies.
The staff found, after a 16-month investigation into competitive practices at Apple, Amazon, Facebook and Google, that the four businesses enjoy monopoly power that needs to be reined in by Congress and enforcers.
In a nearly 450-page report, the Democratic majority staff laid out their takeaways from hearings, interviews and the 1.3 million documents they scoured throughout the investigation.
You can read the full report here.
The recommendations from Democratic staff include:
-- Imposing structural separations and prohibiting dominant platforms from entering adjacent lines of business. This means that the Democratic staff recommends solutions including forcing tech companies to be broken up or imposing business structures that make different lines of business functionally separate from the parent company. For example, this could include a scenario such as forcing Google to divest and separate from YouTube, or Facebook doing the same with Instagram and WhatsApp. Subcommittee Chairman David Cicilline, D-R.I., has previously referred to this method as a type of “Glass-Steagall” law for the internet, referring to the 1930s law that separated commercial from investment banking.
-- Instructing antitrust agencies to presume mergers by dominant platforms to be anticompetitive, shifting the burden onto the merging parties to prove their deal would not harm competition, rather than making enforcers prove it would.
-- Preventing dominant platforms from preferencing their own services, instead, making them offer “equal terms for equal products and services.”
-- Requiring dominant firms to make their services compatible with competitors and allow users to transfer their data.
-- Overriding “problematic precedents” in antitrust case law.
-- Requiring the Federal Trade Commission to regularly collect data on concentration.
-- Increasing budgets for the FTC and Department of Justice Antitrust Division.
-- Strengthening private enforcement by eliminating forced-arbitration clauses and limits on class-action lawsuits.
Republicans have voiced objections to some of the bolder proposals in the report, such as imposing structural separations. Rep. Ken Buck, R-Colo., a key ally of the subcommittee majority who has been in favor of antitrust reform, has prepared his own response to the report outlining areas of “common ground” and “non-starters,” according to a draft version obtained by CNBC.
Following the majority report’s release, Judiciary Committee ranking member Rep. Jim Jordan, R-Ohio, put out his own response about allegations of platforms’ bias against conservatives, which the companies have repeatedly denied. Four other Republicans signed onto the report, including Buck and former Judiciary ranking member Doug Collins of Georgia, and subcommittee members Reps. Matt Gaetz and Greg Steube of Florida.
Buck stressed in his own response, however, that he is supportive of the investigation and its findings and continues to push for bipartisan antitrust reform.
Subcommittee ranking member Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner, R-Wis., said in a statement that while he does not approve of sweeping changes to the antitrust laws, “There actually is a lot that we agree on, including the lack of sufficient scrutiny on past activity by these companies.”
He expressed support for greater funding of antitrust enforcers but said he was skeptical of the Glass-Steagall type of approach, presumptive bans on merger activity and mandates for data interoperability, fearing it would stifle innovation.
The Democratic report found that the four tech companies enjoy monopoly power in their respective domains. Below are some of the key findings the staff laid out in the report for each company:
Facebook enjoys monopoly power in the online advertising and social networking markets, according to the report.
One surprising finding in the course of the investigation had to do with Facebook’s acquisition of Instagram, according to a counsel for the antitrust subcommittee who spoke with reporters Tuesday. According to the counsel, documents outlining Instagram’s projected growth just before its $1 billion acquisition by Facebook in 2012 painted the picture of a fast-growing company, rather than a weak competitor that might have floundered without Facebook’s help. While there is no way to reverse engineer what would have happened to Instagram were it to remain independent, the question of whether Facebook bought Instagram to squander a growing competitor has been a recurring one for many antitrust observers.
Recommendations by the Democratic majority staff would address the concern that dominant companies may be able to engage in “killer acquisitions” of competitors by shifting the burden onto those companies to prove their deals won’t harm competition.
The report also discusses what it calls the “Cunningham memo,” a document produced in 2018 by a senior Facebook data scientist named Tom Cunningham that was first reported by The Information in 2019. According to the report, it was prepared for senior executives including Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg.
In an interview with the subcommittee staff, a former senior employee at Instagram who sat in on meetings as the memo was being prepared said the document was meant to answer how the company could “position Facebook and Instagram to not compete with each other,” according to the report. The former employee told the staff in an interview cited with Friday’s date that then-Instagram chief Kevin Systrom “wanted Instagram to grow naturally and as widely as possible. But Mark was clearly saying ‘do not compete with us.’ ... It was collusion, but within an internal monopoly.”
CNBC previously reported that new information on the Facebook-Instagram deal from a whistleblower had prompted the report’s first delay, according to a source.
“Facebook is an American success story. We compete with a wide variety of services with millions, even billions, of people using them,” a Facebook spokesperson said in a statement. “Acquisitions are part of every industry, and just one way we innovate new technologies to deliver more value to people. Instagram and WhatsApp have reached new heights of success because Facebook has invested billions in those businesses. A strongly competitive landscape existed at the time of both acquisitions and exists today. Regulators thoroughly reviewed each deal and rightly did not see any reason to stop them at the time.”
Amazon has monopoly power over most of its third-party sellers and many of its suppliers, the majority staff alleges.
Amazon’s market share of U.S. online retail sales is “likely understated” at 40%, according to the report, which says “more credible” estimates place it around 50% or more.
The staff claim “Amazon’s market power is at its height” when it comes to its relationship with third-party sellers on its platform.
“Amazon has engaged in extensive anticompetitive conduct in its treatment of third-party sellers,” the report’s authors write. “Publicly, Amazon describes third-party sellers as ‘partners.’ But internal documents show that, behind closed doors, the company refers to them as ‘internal competitors.’”
Amazon has argued in written statements and testimony that it relies on its third-party sellers to fuel its platform and that it would not be in its interest to work against them. The staff argues, however, “Amazon’s dual role as an operator of its marketplace that hosts third-party sellers, and a seller in that same marketplace, creates an inherent conflict of interest. This conflict incentivizes Amazon to exploit its access to competing sellers’ data and information, among other anticompetitive conduct.”
The authors also claim Amazon reached its dominance partly through acquiring competing sites such as Diapers.com and Zappos as well as adjacent businesses to add customer data and “shor[e] up its competitive moats.”
In a statement, an Amazon spokesperson said: “All large organizations attract the attention of regulators, and we welcome that scrutiny. But large companies are not dominant by definition, and the presumption that success can only be the result of anti-competitive behavior is simply wrong. And yet, despite overwhelming evidence to the contrary, those fallacies are at the core of this regulatory spit-balling on antitrust. This flawed thinking would have the primary effect of forcing millions of independent retailers out of online stores, thereby depriving these small businesses of one of the fastest and most profitable ways available to reach customers. For consumers, the result would be less choice and higher prices. Far from enhancing competition, these uninformed notions would instead reduce it.”
Apple’s monopoly power exists in the market for software app distribution on iOS devices, according to the Democratic staff.
The report says Apple’s mobile ecosystem has provided “significant benefits” to both consumers and app developers. Even so, the report alleges Apple uses its control of its operating system and app store “to create and enforce barriers to competition and discriminate against and exclude rivals while preferencing its own offerings.”
The staff also alleges Apple uses its market power “to exploit app developers through misappropriation of competitively sensitive information and to charge app developers supra-competitive prices within the App Store.”
Apple CEO Tim Cook pressed on whether App Store treats all developers equally
In the past year, Apple has faced a growing number of app developers complaining about its rules and commission in exchange for placement on its App Store. Most recently, Apple faces a lawsuit from Epic Games over such complaints.
“In the absence of competition, Apple’s monopoly power over software distribution to iOS devices has resulted in harms to competitors and competition, reducing quality and innovation among app developers, and increasing prices and reducing choices for consumers,” the staff wrote.
In a statement, Apple said, “The App Store has enabled new markets, new services and new products that were unimaginable a dozen years ago, and developers have been primary beneficiaries of this ecosystem. Last year in the United States alone, the App Store facilitated $138 billion in commerce with over 85% of that amount accruing solely to third-party developers. Apple’s commission rates are firmly in the mainstream of those charged by other app stores and gaming marketplaces. Competition drives innovation, and innovation has always defined us at Apple. We work tirelessly to deliver the best products to our customers, with safety and privacy at their core, and we will continue to do so.”
Google has a monopoly of the online general search and search advertising markets, the majority staff concluded.
It described Google’s dominance as operating “as an ecosystem of interlocking monopolies.” By linking together various services with extensive user data, Google is able to reinforce its dominance, the report alleges.
Based on internal communications from Google, the staff wrote, “Google exploits information asymmetries and closely tracks real-time data across markets, which—given Google’s scale—provide it with near-perfect market intelligence. In certain instances, Google has covertly set up programs to more closely track its potential and actual competitors, including through projects like Android Lockbox.”
Google has been able to maintain its dominance with high barriers to entry, including the default position it’s secured in many browsers and devices, according to the staff. It’s also maintained its monopoly in search “through a series of anticompetitive practices,” according to the report.
Google allegedly boosted its own vertical offerings by misappropriating content from third parties, the staff said, based on documents it reviewed. Competitors such as Yelp have previously complained of such conduct, and Google agreed in a 2012 FTC settlement not to scrape content from third parties.
The staff wrote that Google has been “blurring the distinction between paid ads and organic results” since capturing its monopoly in general search while stacking its results page with ads.
“As a result of these tactics, Google appears to be siphoning off traffic from the rest of the web, while entities seeking to reach users must pay Google steadily increasing sums for ads,” according to the report. “Numerous market participants analogized Google to a gatekeeper that is extorting users for access to its critical distribution channel, even as its search page shows users less relevant results.”
The report also alleges Google used “anticompetitive contracts” to maintain its monopoly power in search. For example, it would require smartphone manufacturers to pre-install Google apps and give them default status, according to documents reviewed by the subcommittee staff. The authors claim such status harmed competitors in search and app markets. Google may once again be looking to maintain its monopoly as mobile voice becomes more popular for search, the staff alleged, based on interviews with third parties.
“Google’s free products like Search, Maps and Gmail help millions of Americans and we’ve invested billions of dollars in research and development to build and improve them,” a Google spokesperson said in a statement. “We compete fairly in a fast-moving and highly competitive industry. We disagree with today’s reports, which feature outdated and inaccurate allegations from commercial rivals about Search and other services.”
The spokesperson said Google supports Congress working to clarify laws in certain areas mentioned in the report, such as data portability and interoperability.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||10/12/2020 7:06:04 AM|
|Feds may target Google’s Chrome browser for breakup|
Prosecutors for the Justice Department and state attorney general offices are discussing ways of curbing the search giant's market power as they prepare to sue the company.
By LEAH NYLEN
10/10/2020 07:00 AM EDT
Justice Department and state prosecutors investigating Google for alleged antitrust violations are considering whether to force the company to sell its dominant Chrome browser and parts of its lucrative advertising business, three people with knowledge of the discussions said Friday.
The conversations — amid preparations for an antitrust legal battle that DOJ is expected to begin in the coming weeks — could pave the way for the first court-ordered break-up of a U.S. company in decades. The forced sales would also represent major setbacks for Google, which uses its control of the world’s most popular web browser to aid the search engine that is the key to its fortunes.
Discussions about how to resolve Google’s control over the $162.3 billion global market for digital advertising remain ongoing, and no final decisions have been made, the people cautioned, speaking anonymously to discuss confidential discussions. But prosecutors have asked advertising technology experts, industry rivals and media publishers for potential steps to weaken Google’s grip.
DOJ is separately preparing an antitrust suit accusing Google of abusing its control on the online search market, which the department could file as soon as next week. Targets of that complaint are expected to include the ways Google uses its Android mobile operating system to help entrench its search engine, POLITICO reported last week.
Spokespeople for Google and the Justice Department declined to comment Friday.
The expected litigation comes as Google and fellow tech industry heavyweights Facebook, Amazon and Apple are facing growing scrutiny from both Republicans and Democrats in Washington for issues such as their squashing of competitors, treatment of users’ private data and handling of disinformation in the presidential race.
One major question facing the prosecutors in both suits: What fixes should they seek to curb Google’s power?
In the advertising investigation, DOJ and state attorneys general have asked rivals and other third parties for their views on which businesses Google should have to sell. They have also asked whether any existing competitors should be off-limits as potential buyers, the people said.
The lawyers have also asked whether any of Google’s properties outside of the advertising technology market should be targeted for potential sale — leading some to single out Google’s Chrome browser, they said.
The browser, which Google introduced in 2008 and has the largest market share in the U.S., has been at the center of rivals’ accusations that the search giant uses its access to users’ web histories to aid its advertising business.
That criticism escalated in January, when Google said it would phase out the use of third-party cookies in its Chrome browser within two years to enhance consumer privacy. But cookies — small files a browser uses to track visits to websites — are also a key tool for publishers to demonstrate the effectiveness of advertising campaigns to ad buyers.
Google’s own estimates show that eliminating those cookies will reduce advertising revenue to news outlets that show online ads by as much as 62 percent.
While other browsers such as Apple’s Safari and the Mozilla Foundation’s Firefox already block cookies, the move by Google’s Chrome is likely to have broader reach as it’s used by nearly 60 percent of desktop computers and 37 percent of mobile devices in the U.S., according to analytics firm StatCounter.
A major antitrust report that the House Judiciary Committee released this week found that Chrome’s market share allows Google to “effectively set standards for the industry,” an issue of particular relevance as Chrome phases out cookies.
“Google’s ad-based business model can prompt questions about whether the standards Google chooses to introduce are ultimately designed primarily to serve Google’s interests,” the House report said. “Market participants are concerned that while Google phases out third-party cookies needed by other digital advertising companies, Google can still rely on data collected throughout its ecosystem.”
Google has said it is working with the advertising industry and others to develop alternatives to cookies. For example, the search giant has proposed a new system, nicknamed Turtledove, in which advertising auctions would take place within the browser instead of sending data to outside servers. Google argues this would better protect user privacy because a person’s data never leaves her computer or phone. Advertising industry representatives, though, are wary of giving over that much control without oversight to browsers — and, in effect, Google.
Short of demanding that Google sell the browser, prosecutors could also consider asking a court to limit how Google uses the data derived from Chrome to aid its other products, one of the individuals and a fourth person involved in the ad technology market said.
Google’s control over the technology that underlies advertising across the open web traces back to the search giant’s 2007 purchase of DoubleClick, a company that helped websites and advertisers serve online ads. The Federal Trade Commission reviewed the acquisition at the time and voted, 4-1, to let it move forward, despite concerns that the deal would enable Google to strong-arm website publishers into using its other advertising services.
At least one of the commissioners who voted in favor of the deal, William Kovacic, a Republican, told the New York Times he would have supported challenging the merger if he knew then what he knows now.
Since the DoubleClick buy, Google has also scooped up other ad tech properties including Admob, a mobile advertising company; ad auctioneer Invite Media; and AdMeld, a platform for ad buyers. Those deals helped Google create a suite of technologies that cover every stage of the process for both buying and selling online display ads.
Requiring Google to either unwind some of those acquisitions or sell off its business on either the buyer or seller side of the market are among the possibilities being discussed, the people involved in the conversations said.
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|From: zax||10/20/2020 3:00:02 PM|
|Justice Department Files Antitrust Suit Against Google|
Most Aggressive Move Against Tech Giants in Decades
The Justice Department accused Google of maintaining an illegal monopoly over search, as well as search advertising, in a lawsuit.
Seven states may soon file a separate antitrust lawsuit against the company, the New York attorney general announced on Tuesday. Here’s the latest.
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|From: zax||10/20/2020 3:03:39 PM|
|Justice Department charges Google with multiple violations of federal antitrust law|
The lawsuit filed Tuesday kicks off a legal war between Washington and Silicon Valley that could have vast implications not only for Google but the entire tech industry
The Justice Department on Tuesday sued Google over allegations that its search and advertising empire violated federal antitrust laws, launching what is likely to be a lengthy, bruising legal war between Washington and Silicon Valley that could have vast implications for the entire tech industry.
The federal government’s landmark lawsuit caps off a roughly year-long investigation, which found Google wielded its digital dominance to the detriment of corporate rivals and consumers. The complaint contends that Google relied on a mix of special agreements and other problematic business practices to secure an insurmountable lead in online search, capturing the market for nearly 90 percent of all queries in the United States.
Google gained its “grip on distribution,” the Justice Department found, by paying billions of dollars to become the default search application in Web browsers, on smartphones and across a wide array of other devices and services, including those offered by some of its competitors, such as Apple. This vast, unparalleled reach allowed Google to enrich itself through lucrative ads, maintain its online foothold and render it impossible for other search engines to compete, the federal lawsuit alleges.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||10/21/2020 5:26:28 AM|
|Google Up Against Laws That Thwarted Microsoft (and Others Since 1890)|
New York Times
October 20, 2020
Two weeks ago, House lawmakers concluded a 16-month investigation into Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook and called for sweeping changes to curb their market power. The lawmakers’ verdict: Traditional antitrust laws aren’t up to the challenge, and the laws need their biggest overhaul in more than 40 years.
But the Justice Department, after its own 16-month investigation, filed a major suit against Google on Tuesday relying on those very same antitrust laws. And according to the agency, the laws are more than enough to successfully challenge Google’s monopoly behavior.
That’s because under existing antitrust laws, a company is a violator if it has used restrictive contracts to protect its dominant position, undermining competition and thus harming consumers. The Justice Department, in constructing its case against Google, followed those requirements to the letter.
Its suit, which was joined by 11 states, accuses Alphabet’s Google of cutting a series of exclusive deals with Apple and other partners that thwarted competition in the markets for search and search advertising. That stifling of competition, the suit says, ultimately leads to consumer harm by giving people fewer choices.
“The case looks narrow but fairly strong,” said Herbert Hovenkamp, a professor at the University of Pennsylvania Law School. “The focus on restrictive contracts by a dominant company is as old as the Sherman Act,” which is the bedrock antitrust law of 1890.
Google, in a statement, called the government action “a deeply flawed lawsuit that will do nothing to help consumers.”
Whether antitrust laws need modernizing and whether the Justice Department can win its case against Google with existing laws are not mutually exclusive matters. Both are expected to proceed along parallel tracks. The House lawmakers’ recommended changes to antitrust law are simply a legislative framework and may take years to come to fruition. And the Justice Department’s action against Google is also likely to be protracted, with the company saying on Tuesday that it expected the case to take at least a year to go to trial.
The specifics of the Justice Department action, legal experts said, strongly echo the last major antitrust case against a big technology company, Microsoft. That suit, filed in 1998, claimed Microsoft was using its gatekeeper power as the owner of a dominant personal computer operating system, Windows, to block the potential threat from internet browsing software.
The Justice Department accused Microsoft of using restrictive contracts with PC makers and others to inhibit the distribution of the software of Netscape Communications, the commercial pioneer in the browser market.
And it worked. After a lengthy trial, Microsoft was found to have repeatedly violated the nation’s antitrust laws.
“That was the last big win for the government, so it makes sense to map a similar path,” said Sam Weinstein, a former official in the Justice Department’s antitrust division and a professor at the Cardozo School of Law.
The Microsoft case also helps the government make an argument for consumer harm in the Google case. In antitrust, consumer welfare is often associated with a monopolist demonstrating its power by raising product prices to maximize profit.
Google’s search service is free to consumers, which means the government cannot point to rising prices. But prices didn’t really figure into the Microsoft case, either. The software giant bundled its web browser for free into its dominant Windows operating system.
Consumer harm, the government argued, can result in several ways. Less competition in a market means less innovation and less consumer choice in the long run. That, in theory, could close the market to rivals that collect less data for targeted advertising than Google does. Enhanced privacy, for example, would be a consumer benefit.
“The harm is to competition, and the consumer loses as a result,” said Tim Wu, a professor at the Columbia Law School (and a contributing New York Times opinion writer).
Yet the Microsoft case is also a cautionary example. It took years, with a settlement eventually approved in 2002. Its impact is debated to this day. Without the suit and years of scrutiny, some observers said, Microsoft could have throttled the rise of Google.
Others insisted that the technological shift toward the internet and away from the personal computer meant that Microsoft lost the gatekeeper power it once held. Technology, not antitrust, opened the door to competition, they said.
The Justice Department, in its suit and in a briefing with reporters, was vague about what remedies the government would propose if it won the case. But at this stage, Google is so dominant in search that giving consumers the choice to select another search engine may not make much of a difference.
Google is regarded not only as a search service that provides relevant results, but as a verb — what people think of as internet search. Given a choice, they might well choose Google, and the company would argue that was because it was a superior product that people preferred.
“It’s hard to argue that this case, whatever the outcome, will really change the competitive landscape in search,” said A. Douglas Melamed, a former senior official in the Justice Department’s antitrust division, who is a professor at the Stanford Law School.
The standard critique of antitrust law, with its lengthy court battles, is that it is late and slow, unsuited to addressing anticompetitive concerns in fast-moving high-tech markets. That is a genuine concern, legal experts said.
Still, filing the suit this week could make a difference, they agreed.
“A suit like this one does send signals to the market and to the firm itself about what kind of competitive behavior is acceptable,” said Scott Hemphill, a professor at New York University Law School.
Daisuke Wakabayashi contributed reporting.
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|To: Glenn Petersen who wrote (15392)||10/21/2020 1:17:34 PM|
|From: Kirk ©|
|What is ironic is that came under Clinton/Gore. Google was just getting started and Apple was much smaller than it was now with both needing that deal to get where they are 20 years later.|
Google Up Against Laws That Thwarted Microsoft (and Others Since 1890)Odd too that Al Gore got rich with a seat on the board of Apple and a lot of low cost stock options AND a "special advisor" position at Google that probably also came with many stock options.
Since they couldn't give him the presidency due to a few hanging chads in Florida, they did the next best thing and made him very, very wealthy.
Ironic now that Google and Apple are under the same microscope for doing the same thing that gave them the markets from Microsoft.
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|From: Glenn Petersen||10/29/2020 5:28:17 PM|
|Alphabet stock pops 8% as company crushes expectations|
PUBLISHED THU, OCT 29 20203:31 PM EDT
UPDATED 11 MIN AGO
Jennifer Elias @JENN_ELIAS
Google parent company Alphabet’s stock rose more than 8% in after-hours trading as it crushed expectations for both earnings and revenue in its third-quarter earnings results.
Here are the results.
Earnings per share: $16.40 vs $11.29 expected, according to Refinitiv estimates
Revenue: $46.17 billion vs $42.90 billion expected, according to Refinitiv estimates
Google Cloud: $3.44 billion vs. $3.32 billion estimated according to StreetAccount.
YouTube ads: $5.04 billion vs. $4.39 billion estimated, according to StreetAccount.\
Traffic acquisition costs (TAC): $8.17 billion vs. $7.66 billion according to StreetAccount.
The company beat estimates across the board, following its first-ever revenue decline in Q2. The results showed a strong rebound in its core advertising revenue, which was hit hard by customer spending pullbacks amid the Covid-19 pandemic. It follows similarly strong earnings reports by ad-driven online companies Pinterest and Snap earlier this month.
For the quarter ending September 30, the company brought in total advertising revenue of $37.10 billion, compared to $33.80 billion a year ago. YouTube ad growth was particularly strong, up 32% from a year ago. Fears of a search advertising crunch did not materialize, as the company’s “Search and Other” advertising category showed 6% growth from a year ago.
On the company’s earnings call, CEO Sundar Pichai said, “This year, including this quarter, showed how valuable Google’s founding product, search, has been to people.”
Pichai said starting next quarter, it will report operating income for its cloud business, joining Amazon in giving investors more details.
“Starting with our results for the fourth quarter of 2020, we’ll break out Google Cloud as a separate reporting segment,” Pichai said. “With the segmentation, you will additionally see information about the scale of our investment, which will help gauge the progress we are making on the multi-year path ahead to create sustainable value.”
Google’s “Other Revenue,” which includes hardware like its Pixel phones and cloud products, came in at $5.48 billion, compared to $4.05 billion a year ago. The rise was a result of Google Play engagement during the pandemic, CFO Ruth Porat said. “There are signs that user behavior is beginning to return to normalized levels,” she added on the earnings call.
Alphabet said its revenue from “Other Bets,” which includes its subsidiaries outside of Google like the self-driving car company Waymo and Life Sciences business Verily brought in $178 million compared to $155 million a year ago.
Pichai briefly commented on the recent Department of Justice lawsuit, which alleged Google holds monopolistic power in the search market.
“Regarding the DoJ’s lawsuit, we believe that our products are creating significant benefits and we’ll confidently make our case,” Pichai said. “Our company’s focus remains on continuing our work to build a Search product that people love and value.”
Executives said YouTube has over 30 million music and premium paid subscribers and YouTube TV has more than 3 million subscribers.
This is breaking news. Please check back for updates.
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