12345...


The EU is about to announce new rules for Big Tech and theres not much they can do about it – CNBC

Executive Vice President Margrethe Vestager talking to media in Brussels, Belgium.

Thierry Monasse | Getty Images News | Getty Images

LONDON The European Commission is about to propose a "revolutionary" overhaul of digital regulation that could hurt the business models of Big Tech, industry experts told CNBC.

The Digital Services Act, due to be presented in early December, is expected to overhaul the management of content on platforms like Google and Facebook and is the first of its kind since 2000. Broadly, the EU wants to make tech giants more responsible for the content on their platforms, and to ensure that competitors have a fair chance to succeed against the big firms.

"It's revolutionary," Thomas Vinje, a partner at the law firm Clifford Chance, told CNBC Tuesday.

The upcoming rules are "likely to require dramatic changes in the business practices and even business models" of Big Tech, he said.

Last month, Europe's competition chief Margrethe Vestager outlined some of the changes that could be included in the new regulation.

"The new rules will require digital services, especially the biggest platforms, to be open about the way they shape the digital world that we see. They'll have to report on what they've done to take down illegal material," she said.

"They'll have to tell us how they decide what information and products to recommend to us, and which ones to hide, and give us the ability to influence those decisions, instead of simply having them made for us. And they'll have to tell us who's paying for the ads that we see, and why we've been targeted by a certain ad."

This would be massive for tech firms, which have refused to disclose their algorithms for years.

"The strict prohibitions in discussion in the DSA are a tsunami in terms of how platforms do business in Europe," Nicolas Petit, competition law professor at the European University Institute said.

In recent years, the European Commission has launched high-profile investigations into companies like Amazon, Facebook, Apple and Google over concerns that their market dominance is hindering competition. These probes have been mostly been led by Margrethe Vestager, who took over the competition portfolio in 2014.

But real change as a result of these investigations is often elusive, with European officials frustrated by lengthy legal action.

Perhaps the biggest challenge we face with enforcement is making sure that we have the right legal framework and powers to keep digital markets competitive and fair.

Margrethe Vestager

European Commission Executive Vice President

For instance, in 2017, the European Commission fined Google 2.4 billion euros ($2.81 billion) for promoting its own shopping comparison service rather than allowing similar access to rival companies. Google made some changes in the wake of that case, but a study by Lademann & Associates showed in September that not much has changed. According to the study, less than 1% of traffic through Google Shopping was transferring users to rival shopping websites.

More recently, the Commission's decision to ask Ireland (a member of the EU) to recoup 13 billion euros in unpaid taxes from Apple has been challenged. The EU's general court decided in July that the Commission had failed to prove that the Irish government had given a tax advantage to Apple. The Commission has appealed that ruling, but it could be difficult for it to meet this burden of proof.

"Perhaps the biggest challenge we face with enforcement is making sure that we have the right legal framework and powers to keep digital markets competitive and fair," Vestager said in late October.

Speaking to CNBC on Monday, Georgios Petropoulos, research fellow at the Brussels-based think tank Bruegel, said that tech giants were "anxious" about the upcoming rules.

Google has already voiced its concerns.

Karan Bhatia, Google's VP of global government affairs and public policy, issued a statement to CNBC last week that said in part: "As we've made clear in our public and private communications, we have concerns about certain reported proposals that would prevent global technology companies from serving the growing needs of European users and businesses."

In a blog post, Bathia explained that Google is worried about how the new rules may, for example, prevent its search platform from showing nearby restaurants and the option to book a table. "While we support the ambition of the DSA (Digital Services Act) to create clear rules for the next 20 years that support economic growth, we worry that the new rules may instead slow economic recovery," he wrote.

The regulation also is expected to hit Facebook, Amazon and Apple, and even some smaller players too.

Petit from the European University Institute said that "many European startups, merchants, or developers are not too hot" on the upcoming rules.

"If, by any chance, one of them was ever to make a killing on the market, the DSA rules would apply to it too," he said.

Whatever the European Commission proposes next month will have to be signed off by member states and the European Parliament.

"It should take several months before we have full legislation, which is an issue in a fast-moving tech market, but more importantly, the rules are only step one, with enforcement of these rules the key issue," Dexter Thillien, senior industry analyst at Fitch Solutions, told CNBC via email.

He added that Big Tech firms "will use the legislative process, and some have already started, to highlight the negative impact on innovation and the overall economy, to try and make the final rules less strict than the initial proposals."

Apart from some lobbying, however, there is nothing the tech giants can do to stop the new rules in the short-term, Clifford Chance's Vinje said. "They don't really have any friends here."

Originally posted here:

The EU is about to announce new rules for Big Tech and theres not much they can do about it - CNBC

What is FAANG? The 5 big tech stocks and their importance – Business Insider – Business Insider

If you follow the financial or business news, you may have seen or heard the term FAANG thrown around. No, it's not a misspelling of an animal's tooth. It's an acronym that stands for five big companies some might say the big companies in the high-tech industry.

The FAANG quintet consists of:

These corporations all American, but with a global presence are not only household names, they're financial behemoths. Their combined market capitalization is over $4 trillion. The blue-chip stocks of the tech sector, they collectively make up 15% of the Standard & Poor's 500 (an index of the largest public companies in the US). So they represent not only one of the US' most significant industries, but a sizable chunk of the US stock market itself.

FAANG actually began as FANG. The origin of the acronym has been attributed to Jim Cramer, the financial TV host and co-founder of The Street.com. Known for his slangy abbreviations and catchy phrases, Cramer coined the term in 2013 to represent four tech stocks with outsized market appreciation. Cramer believed that these companies belonged together because they are all high growth stocks that share the common threads of digitization and the web.

Cramer's original term was just FANG it didn't initially include Apple. The company joined the ranks in 2017, reflecting the growth of internet services (iCloud, Apple Music, Apple Pay) to its revenues. So the acronym became FAANG.

And it's remained so, even though Google's official corporate name is now Alphabet.

They need no introduction: The five stocks of FAANG are all familiar brands, whose products and services permeate our lives daily. They are also American corporate success stories each has seen its stock shares experience triple-digit growth since 2015, and year-to-year as well.

Just to put these numbers in context: the S&P 500 has grown 57% in the last five years. So FAANG stocks have been at the forefront of the longest bull market in US history, significantly outperforming the overall market.

For investors, the tech sector has become increasingly important as a wave of high-technology companies have recently gone public through initial public offerings (IPOs) or SPACs. Tech stocks are now the go-tos if you want capital appreciation in your assets and be in on the next big thing.

While the FAANG stocks are fairly mature companies, they still seem to have a great capacity for growth. They dominate the technology-oriented Nasdaq Composite Index. And the fact that they account for roughly 15% of the S&P 500, a bellwether for the entire stock market, means their performance often heralds trends in the US economy as a whole.

There are several ways to sink your investment teeth into FAANG.

The FAANG gang is viewed by many as modern-day blue-chip stocks, not just tech companies. Facebook, Amazon, Apple, Netflix, and Google are firms that retail investors know and interact within their daily lives.

FAANG stocks have done well over the last several years, often beating the standard indexes. They also led the stock market's rebound during the Covid-19 pandemic in 2020. While historical growth isn't a clear predictor of future growth, it does appear these tech stocks will continue to have a broad influence over the market in general, given their substantial presence in the S&P 500.

However, these stocks are expensive, trading for more than $100, sometimes even $1,000, per share. An alternative option for investors is to find the next high-growth, market-moving stocks.

Given the influence of tech across industries and the recent string of IPOs, maybe there will be a new acronym in the near future.

Excerpt from:

What is FAANG? The 5 big tech stocks and their importance - Business Insider - Business Insider

Big Tech stocks are better repositories of wealth than bonds, says Jim Cramer – AppleInsider

CNBC "Mad Money" host Jim Cramer said that Big Tech stocks like Apple, Alphabet, or Amazon are much better repositories of wealth than bonds, owing to their strong balance sheets and financial performance.

The TV personality and former hedge fund manager made that claim in a recent episode of the CNBC show, and used the Big Tech stocks as a example of why investors may need to "re-think [their] notions about stocks versus bonds."

"This year we're witnessing the passing of the torch. Bonds were the safest assets back in '82, back when treasuries yield double digits," Cramer said. "Now they're risky assets, maybe riskier, riskier than anyone thinks."

Cramer said that for many major companies that he follows, the equity side is much safer than bonds. That translates to big tech stocks like Facebook, Apple, Amazon and Microsoft being a "much safer repository for wealth."

Although he cautioned that this isn't the case for all companies, he said that the Big Tech stocks are sitting on more cash than most countries. Microsoft has $138 billion, Alphabet has $133 billion, and Apple has $192 billion.

"They survived The Great Recession, and what happened? They came out stronger. The countries didn't," Cramer said. "In the great pandemic, they're not just thriving but they are actually putting up unbelievable numbers."

Cramer added that Facebook, Apple, Amazon, and Microsoft are the "Fort Knoxes of our era."

Although the "Mad Money" host admitted that this is a brand new thesis, he said that the real lesson of the era is that "stocks are the ones that don't need government help here."

"That means if you're a young, wet-behind-the-ears broker at Goldman Sachs, I would tell you to forget all those bond ideas," Cramer concluded. "Just tell your clients to buy the stocks of terrific companies with nation state-sized balance sheets. You'll do much better with a heck of a lot less long-term risk and more dividends."

Here is the original post:

Big Tech stocks are better repositories of wealth than bonds, says Jim Cramer - AppleInsider

Here’s what Big Tech employees are worried about on Election Day – CNN

The days -- and possibly weeks -- after Election Day will be a huge test for platforms like Facebook, Twitter, and Google's YouTube. Doctored videos that could potentially be spread by anyone; fake accounts that could pop up anywhere; and tweets from President Trump himself could all contribute to undermining the result of the election and perhaps even stoke offline violence.

CNN Business spoke to more than a dozen people who are either employees at the major social media platforms working on the teams countering misinformation and extremism or people who work directly with those teams at the companies.

CNN Business granted them anonymity so they could speak about their work more freely.

"My biggest fear at this point is something totally unexpected happening that no one predicted," one Big Tech employee said. "This year we've all been preparing and working through scenarios for every possibility that we can think of, but this year has taught me not everything can be predicted."

Hyping the idea of the threat of the "other side" is something Big Tech employees are expecting around Election Day.

Multiple people who work for the tech platforms said they see a potential for domestic groups to stoke tensions and violence on the ground and then for foreign groups to possibly exploit that and fan the flames.

But the top concern for two of the Big Tech staffers who spoke with CNN Business wasn't foreign actors, nor some faceless anonymous account. It was Trump. One said, "the biggest threat to [the] democratic process -- and to societal stability as a whole -- is the President and his party."

More:

Here's what Big Tech employees are worried about on Election Day - CNN

Another View: Big Tech gets a roadmap on how to write its own labor laws – Press Herald

California lawmakers had the chance last year to strike a deal with app-based companies to boost the benefits and protections that workers on their platforms would receive. They didnt, and in hindsight, that looks to be a terrible mistake.

On Tuesday, California voters overwhelmingly backed Proposition 22, a measure to treat app-based drivers for Uber, Postmates and the like as independent contractors eligible for more limited benefits and protections than the Legislature provided last year in Assembly Bill 5. The proposition was sponsored by the app companies, which spent more than $200 million to persuade voters to approve it. That was about 10 times as much as opponents largely organized labor spent to try to defeat the measure.

In doing so, the propositions sponsors laid out a road map for how companies can write their own employment laws and regulations through the ballot box. Californians should take that as a warning.

AB 5 codified a 2018 state Supreme Court ruling that required companies to treat more independent contractors as employees. Instead of creating a third category of protections for gig workers, which would have been the farsighted thing to do, labor-friendly Democrats in the Legislature spurned overtures from Uber et al. and, in essence, required those workers be treated as employees eligible for minimum wage, overtime pay, unemployment insurance, workers compensation and other state-mandated protections.

These terms would clearly be better for drivers on those platforms. But the app companies many of which have not been profitable argued that they wouldnt be able to afford the increased costs unless they radically changed their business models. Instead of allowing drivers to work on demand, when they wanted and where they wanted, they would have to schedule driver shifts and territories. Plus, they contended, they would need dramatically fewer drivers, given that the vast majority of gig workers now put in only a few hours a week. The Yes on 22 campaign augmented their pitch with drivers in television ads urging voters to let them continue to do the jobs they need and love the way theyd been doing them.

That left the No on 22 campaign struggling to explain why the state should force changes in the app companies business model that threatened those jobs. After all, the proponents argued, no one is forced to work for Uber or Postmates. People who didnt like the miserly pay and limited benefits provided by Proposition 22 dont have to drive for those companies.

So the app-based transportation and delivery services will no longer have to worry about AB 5. And they will continue to offer their drivers great flexibility, along with some new benefits a wage floor that translates into about 20 percent less than the state minimum, insurance that covers them to some degree in the case of on-the-job injury or death, and the chance to earn subsidies for health insurance. Its not nothing.

And for the tens of thousands of Californians who count on doing a few hours of gig work occasionally to help pay the bills or spend a bit more, the passage of Proposition 22 means that those opportunities will still be there. But for the workers whove chosen gig driving as a full-time job the ones the apps rely on to deliver the bulk of their services, and who would be most likely to keep their gigs if Proposition 22 failed the result is a perpetuation of their second-class treatment.

Those drivers in fact, all gig drivers deserved a better deal, one that ensured them the same level of protection that the states minimum-wage laws and workers compensation system provide employees, and the chance to unionize. But its probably too late now for the Legislature to provide that; under Proposition 22, it would take an impossibly large seven-eighths majority to change the terms approved by the voters.

Just as ominously, the app companies have provided a template for future efforts, in California and elsewhere, to use the ballot box to reclassify employees as contractors and cut their benefits. Before we see the next Proposition 22, lawmakers should do the work they could have done last year and create a new category in state employment law for gig workers that provides the protections that those who make a living at these jobs need without sacrificing the flexibility and choice that make these jobs attractive in the first place.

Invalid username/password.

Please check your email to confirm and complete your registration.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.

Previous

Latest Articles

Letters

Design

Letters

Letters

Bicentennial

Go here to see the original:

Another View: Big Tech gets a roadmap on how to write its own labor laws - Press Herald

Senate Hearing on Section 230: A (Small) Step Towards Treating Big Tech Platforms as Publishers? – CPO Magazine

A recent Senate hearing on the Section 230 publishing protections that big tech platforms enjoy did not produce much in the way of productive results, but did formally open a federal-level dialogue on the subject.

Section 230 regards big tech social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook as something other than a traditional publisher, shielding them from legal responsibility for content that platform users generate (such as posts and comments). A debate about this protected status has fomented during the run-up to the 2020 election as the big tech platforms have been accused of blocking and censoring speech for political reasons.

Passed into law as part of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, Section 230 codifies the idea that internet websites and platforms cannot be treated as the publisher or speaker of content created by their customers. The responsibility of sites and platforms is essentially limited to removing materials involved in the commission of a crime; the good faith provision also gives sites latitude to remove things like harassment, hate speech and obscenity without stepping into the role of publisher.

The basic argument for Section 230 has always been simple; if sites and platforms are held legally liable for everything that users say, then user-generated content becomes virtually impossible to maintain. That means putting an end to things like free publishing platforms, video services and potentially even something as basic as comments sections.

The debate over Section 230 has been brewing for some time, but has become acutely inflamed in recent months with the approach of the 2020 election. The recent flare-up dates back to Donald Trumps surprise victory in the 2016 election, and the belief that foreign intelligence and data brokers played a part due to the resistance of Big Tech platforms to moderating their actions. This has recently shifted to a belief that Big Tech has overcorrected, so to speak; American conservatives in particular argue that platforms like Twitter and Facebook are very quick to censor political speech associated with them, while granting more leeway to controversial speech that associates with progressive politics and Democratic candidates.

That was the mood going into the recent Senate hearings, which saw politicians from both sides of the aisle using it more as an airing of personal and political grievances than as an opportunity to have a substantive discussion about the future of Section 230. The subjects of this animus were Big Techs biggest names: Google CEO Sundar Pichai, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey and Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. The tech CEOs endured four hours in front of the Senate Commerce Committee, with most senators focusing on specific posts that they personally objected to.

The Republican position on Section 230 is complicated, with broad dislike for it but differing ideas on how to address it within the party. President Trump encapsulated this by calling for a repeal of Section 230 as the Senate hearing was going on, when previously he had expressed desire for it to be reformed specifically to encompass the handling of political speech. Interestingly, Biden has been expressing a similarly extreme position on Section 230 since early in 2020 before he became the Democratic nominee. Biden also wants Section 230 revoked, but on the basis of a belief that platforms need to more aggressively remove a wider range of harmful content.

Though the Senate hearing was not particularly illustrative of the immediate future of Section 230, it did provide a little insight into how Big Tech leadership would like things to be handled. Zuckerberg suggested that Facebook was willing to be more transparent about how it moderates user content, while Dorsey felt that the present regulations were adequate but that Twitter and other platforms needed to address a growing problem with user trust.

A second Senate hearing with the three Big Tech CEOs has already been scheduled for next month, this one to focus specifically on each platforms content moderation policies.

The prospects of meaningful Section 230 changes seem very limited so long as lawmakers are focused on immediate and politically convenient personal matters, however. But this hardly means that Big Tech is free and clear of the prospect of related regulation, something that there is increasingly strong public sentiment for. Google is facing an immediate antitrust lawsuit over the bundling of its search app with phones, and the FTC is in the final stage of deciding whether or not to bring a similar suit against Facebook over its acquisitions to consolidate social media market power. There is also an expectation that 2021 will see a serious push for federal data privacy laws that would apply to the entire big tech landscape.

Debate over #Section230 and #BigTech has been brewing for some time, but has become acutely inflamed in recent months with the 2020 election. #respectdataClick to Tweet

The question of Section 230 is still very much up in the air, however, as both political parties seem more interested in airing personal issues with the tech platforms than in coalescing behind a concrete policy proposal. Perhaps the next Senate hearing will be more productive in this regard.

See the article here:

Senate Hearing on Section 230: A (Small) Step Towards Treating Big Tech Platforms as Publishers? - CPO Magazine

Big Tech has overwhelmingly thrown its support behind Joe Biden – New York Post

Joe Biden has seen major support from one constituency in particular in the lead-up to the 2020 election: Big Tech.

Some of the biggest names in Silicon Valley have lent their voices and bank accounts to the Democratic candidate, CNBC reports, with almost none of them throwing their financial support behind Donald Trump.

Facebook co-founder Dustin Moskovitz, who is now CEO of workplace management app Asana, has spent $24 million in support of Biden, while former Google CEO Eric Schmidt has spent $6 million.

Netflix CEO Reed Hastings has donated $5 million, including to the Senate Majority PAC which supports Democratic candidates in close races, while LinkedIn co-founder Reid Hoffman has opened up his wallet to the tune of $14 million.

The rank and file have followed suit industrywide. A whopping 98 percent of all contributions from employees at tech companies went to Democrats, the Center for Responsive Politics reports, including donations to campaigns as well as political groups.

The biggest donation to Republicans in the tech sector came from Peter Thiel, who earlier this year donated $2 million to Kris Kobachs doomed Senate effort in Kansas.

See the rest here:

Big Tech has overwhelmingly thrown its support behind Joe Biden - New York Post

Big Tech Didn’t Kill the News. (And the "News" Isn’t Dead.) – IAB

As a populist political pendulum swings against Silicon Valley, it has become common to blame technology companies for the ills of democracy in the U.S. and abroadin particular, the diminution and even the demise of the fourth estate, the American news media required for the functioning of free societies.

When the Youngstown, Ohio daily newspaper The Vindicator announced the closure of its print edition in the summer of 2019, the CEO of Digital Content Next, a trade body representing 60 internet publishers, tweeted a public letter to the local Congressman, writing, You can send any thank you notes to Google, @RepTim Ryan.It was Facebook that started the demise of journalism, a former San Francisco Chronicle President, wrote on LinkedIn last October. The New York Times was even more full-frontal, publishing an Op-Ed piece last fall entitled, Tech Companies Are Destroying Democracy and the Free Press.

Now the U.S. Senate Commerce Committee has weighed in. The local news industry is being decimated in the digital age, the committees Democratic minority asserts in a report released last week. It blames the destruction of local journalism on the internets disrupting journalisms historic business model, and a marketplace for online advertising now dominated by programmatic ads.

The syllogism is almost entirely false. I know, because I was there for a big chunk of the history, and covered it, as an editor, media reporter, and advertising columnist at The New York Times, and more recently as a nonprofit advocate of the advertising and media industries. And as virtually every long-time news executive will acknowledge, decades of industry data show that newspapers have not been synonymous with the news for at least a half-century, and have been undergoing structural deterioration for more than three decadeslong before Facebook, Google, or Craigslist were even a technological glimmer in any engineers eye.

Indeed, earlier Congressional and regulatory agency research, as well as scholarly studies have been almost unanimous in concluding that the disappearance of print newspapers derived from misguided Government policies that advanced local market news monopolies, reducing incentives for newspaper proprietors to innovate as their readers and advertisers left for other, more innovative, and better-priced media. And because the death of news argument and the nostalgic narratives underpinning it are so flawed, they offer little guidance to politicians, regulators, civic leaders, and marketing and media professionals who would seek to create a better-informed electorate and reinvigorate the public commonsvital objectives on the eve of an election that is testing the strength of American democracy.

By almost any measure, the American newspaper industry has been undergoing secular decline for at least 60 years, and probably far longer. In 1910, more than one-half of all newspaper cities enjoyed daily competition among as many as five or six newspapers. In the 1920s, more than 500 American localitiesincluding 42.6% of U.S. citieshad two or more newspapers competing with each other; about 100 of them had three or more papers. By 2000 (the year Google began selling advertising, and four years before Facebooks founding) only 1.4 percent of U.S. cities had competing newspapers, according to the Federal Communications Commission, mostly because afternoon newspapers had largely disappeared. Newspaper monopolies, according to the late media critic and scholar Ben Bagdikian, had eliminated competition in 98% percent of multi-newspaper cities. By 2002, only some six American communities had at least two newspapers.

The decline of newspapers was so pronounced (and the call for protection among the largest proprietors so loud) that Congress passed (and President Nixon signed) the Newspaper Preservation Act in 197050 years ago!to provide newspaper owners antitrust exemptions, arguing that such protection was required to advance the overriding principle that as many editorial voices should be preserved in a community as possible, according to 59 members of the House of Representatives, in an open letter supporting the legislation.

The effect was the opposite. A wide body of scholarship has traced the mass disappearance of American newspapers to the industrial combinations that took place after these antitrust exemptions were put in place. The newspaper sector consolidated as family-owned papers were bought by growing chains, reported the Congressional Research Service. Between 1960 and 1980, 57 newspaper owners sold their properties to Gannett Co. By 1977, 170 newspaper groups owned two-thirds of the countrys 1,700 daily papers. In 1920, 92 percent of newspapers were independent. In 2000, 23.4 percent were. Rather than preserving the existence of diverse and antagonistic voices, the Newspaper Preservation Act has merely preserved the status quo, concluded a University of Pennsylvania law review analysis. The NPA has constrained, rather than furthered, First Amendment interests.

I lived through these consolidations, having grown up in a two-newspaper New Jersey household (The New York Times in the morning, the Bergen Record in the evening), served as a paperboy (for The Record), and earned my first serious money calling in my high school football teams scoring plays to a collection of seven local papers that paid me $3.00 each per game. Between 1973, when I got that stringer gig, and 1986, when I started working as an editor and reporter at The Times, all but one of those local papers had merged or disappeared altogether.

Newspapers were consolidating because readers were indeed leaving for a new mediumtelevision. Television surpassed newspapers as consumers major information source in the 1960s. At the dawn of the commercial internet, in 2002, 84 percent of Americans said television was their primary news source, nearly twice as many as relied on newspapers. Daily news consumption trends painted an even starker picture: In 2002, only about 15 percent of Americans said theyd read a newspaper the previous day, half the number who had watched television news the day before, according to the FCC. Newspapers paid circulation, unsurprisingly, followed readers wandering attention. Newspaper daily circulation peaked (at around 63 million) in 1984, and then began a steady decline; by 2008, circulation was about 48 milliona quarter of their readers lost in 28 years. Yet during this entire period, another Government policya 1975 ban on newspaper-television station cross-ownershipprevented newspapers from following their readers and the news into this new electronic medium.

During their three decades of intense consolidation, even as they were losing readers to television, newspaper proprietors exploited their increasing local-market dominance to raise advertising rates, effectively pricing themselves out of business as new, better-priced, and better-targeted competitors emerged in cable television and alternative print vehicles. Between 1965 and 1975, according to the FCC, newspaper advertising rates rose 67 percent, which was below the cumulative rate of inflation. But between 1975 and 1990, rates skyrocketed 253 percent, almost twice the rate of the Consumer Price Index. Media critic Jack Shafer, writing in Politico, put actual, local dollar figures on these aggregate statistics: In its last year of competition with its daily crosstown rival the Washington Star, the Washington Postwas charging $2.85 per line for a one-time display ad. By January 1982, shortly after the Stars closure, that display line cost $3.15. Two years later, it was $3.65. In 1996, at the dawn of the dial-up internet, a Post ad line cost $7.93.

Similar pricing abuse occurred in classified advertising. Where they gained monopoly power, which was most U.S. cities, daily newspapers gouged their classified customers pitilessly, Shafer concluded. They lobbied Congress heavily to block the early migration of classifieds to electronic forms. And the big newspaper chains helped destroy their own business by investing in national online classified advertising verticals, which they ultimately sold.

This extraordinary exploitation of monopoly pricing power was the reason U.S. newspaper advertising revenues peaked in 2005, at almost $50 billion, despite the mass readership defections. The full collapse of daily newspaper advertising may have been accelerated subsequently by the internet, but it was certainly not caused by it. Rather, the fall-off was driven by abusive practices, combined with newspapers unwillingness or inability to invest to remain competitive in the face of a changing advertising environment.

The conditions and trends included the loss of local retail advertising, as local stores consolidated into national chains, moved larger chunks of their budgets into national media, and negotiated rates through national advertising agencies. In the grocery industry, for example, the no. 1 chain in the United States in 1992 was Kroger, with $22 billion in annual sales and 7.7% share of the market. By 2009, the largest grocer in America was Walmart, with $154 billion in grocery sales and a 30% market share. Through this period, Walmart was gradually ending its newspaper advertising in favor of television, and had mostly exited newspapers by 2015.

Department stores, another bedrock newspaper advertiser, underwent similar consolidation, with severe effects on the industry. Already by 1990, publishing executives were describing a domino effect, in which retail empires like the Campeau Corporation, which owns Bloomingdales, Jordan Marsh and other department store chains, are saddled with debt, curtail their ad expenditures and frighten their suppliers into zipping their own purses, I reported in a New York Times advertising column that April. Between 2005 and 2008, Federated Department Stores, owner of the largest department store brand, Macys, and fresh from its acquisition of Mays and its iconic store brands Filenes, Foleys, Hechts, Kaufmanns, May, and Marshall Field, cut its newspaper advertising spending in half, while increasing television advertising spend by nearly 60 percent.

Not once does the new Senate Commerce Committee report mention department stores, supermarkets, auto dealerships, or any of the other advertising categories that, for a century, were the financial backbone of the newspaper industry but which, with consolidation, began a long, slow exit from daily print as other pre-internet media became more competitive.

Indeed, even as the consolidating national retail chains moved more of their spend into national and spot television, the newspaper industry was simply unwilling to compete for national advertising. It wasnt until 1994, with the founding of the Newspaper National Network, a consortium among 25 large newspapers and the Newspaper Advertising Association, that newspapers developed the technology and collaborative will to provide the largest advertisers seamless entre to a national audience. While the NNN attracted $3 billion in national advertising during its 22-year existence, it proved too littlemore than $65 billion is spent annually on national advertising in the U.S. and too late in the face of more attractive television and digital options.

The slow introduction of color presses was another factor, driving auto and real estate advertisers out of high-priced newspaper display and classified advertising and into the more innovative free shoppersmany of them owned by newspaper conglomeratesdistributed in supermarkets and street boxes. In 1979, for example, fully 15 years after the introduction of national color television advertising by Pepsi-Cola, only 12% of U.S. newspapers were printing in colorthis despite the fact that color ads drove 43% more sales for advertisers than black-and-white ads.

Perhaps the final nail in the pre-internet newspaper coffin was the rise of free, alternative, print newsweeklies, which lured away from dailies new generations of independent retailers and classified advertisers with their younger demographics and advantaged circulation model. With their free distribution, the alt weeklies also prepared younger users for the free internet news model. As U.S. daily newspaper circulation began declining after its 1984 peak, alternative weeklies became the only segment of the newspaper industry to grow their readership growth that continued until the early 2000s. The Poynter Institute found that nearly a third of the 1,800 newspapers that were thought to have disappeared between 2004 and 2018 became advertising supplements, free distribution shoppers or lifestyle specialty publications.

Since, contrary to the Senate Commerce Committee, the internet is not responsible for the collapse of local journalism, it stands to reason that it is not responsible for the decline in the number of journalists. From 2008 to 2018, the number of newspaper reporters dropped 47 percent, according to the Pew Research Center but total newsroom employment across the five industries Pew researched (newspaper,radio,broadcast television,cable and other information services, Pews best match for digital) grew by about 5,000 positions when newspapers were subtracted from the equation.

Moreover, the Pew data also show that newspaper newsroom employment actually spiked even as newspaper readership declined in the period after Federal Government protections were enacted beginning in 1970, peaking at around 57,000 employees in 1990. One unavoidable conclusion is that newspapers artificially built up their newsrooms during a period of debt-fueled consolidation and monopoly profit-taking, and then brought their newsrooms back in line with their historic employment levels as the industry continued its long-term decline, first in competition with television, thereafter with the internet.

A second unavoidable conclusion is that newspapers are not the news industry and their decline does not equate to the decline of American journalism.

Recent coverage of newspapers falling fortunes has focused on the growth of news deserts a phrase popularized by the University of North Carolinas Hussman School of Journalism and Media to refer to American communities no longer served directly by a newspaper. While UNCs headline numberthe United States has lost almost 1,800 papers since 2004gets most of the attention, the fact is that only 60 of these failed papers were dailies; by UNCs own accounting, 1,250 of the closed newspapers were small weeklies with readerships under 10,000 people, in metro areas still apparently served by other newspapers. While the new U.S. Senate report correctly asserts that Americas local newsrooms are the watchdogs exposing crime, corruption, and keeping elected officials accountable to their constituents, it is fair to assume that most of these closed newspapers were doing little of the sort. Instead, they were tiny, freebie shoppers. (Their aggregate circulation of under 12.5 million compares with 48 million average monthly users reported by the online service Patch for its 1,200 hyperlocal news sites.)

In fact, it is quite likely that the number of newsgatherers has grown during the internets ascendency. Pew remains the benchmark for newsroom employment and other data, but its methodology almost certainly is incomplete. It does not appear to account for technology shifts that have improved productivity at the expense of newsroom headcount in ancillary technical jobs unrelated to newsgathering. For example, digital video cameras take fewer field operators than older videotape and film cameras; spellcheck software has replaced copyeditors in many newsrooms.

It also appears that Pew (and the U.S. Labor Department statistics on which it partly relies) may not be making apples-to-apples comparisons between analog-media newsroom employment (which includes not just police beat reporters and international news editors, but recipe writers and TV listing editors, too) and employment at sole proprietor and small websites engaged in similar, segmented functions such as recipe blogs and TV-criticism podcasts. All told, employment in such digitally native content operations has skyrocketed; consumer services employment growth in the internet, including content-site employment, rose 300% from 2008 to 2016, to 1.6 million jobs, according to The Economic Value of the Advertising-Supported Internet Ecosystem, a study for the IAB by John Deighton, Baker Foundation Professor of Business Administration at the Harvard Business School.

Some unknown portion of that offsets, and probably more than offsets, the 28,000 net newsroom jobs lost at newspapers during the same period. The former New York Daily News and New York Post gossip columnist William Norwich has captured that evolution and growth perfectly. In those days, he writes of fashion and style coverage in the 1980s, there was Suzy, Liz Smith, Womens Wear Daily, Bill Cunningham, and I to deliver the messages that thousands of influencers are delivering now.

The Senate Commerce Committees Democrats argue that local news needs new laws and regulations to make sure it can compete fairly and provide its true value to local communities and American democracy. But the Committees report is so rife with contradictions that it is hard to track from its analysis to serious policy solutions. It argues repeatedly for regulation to support local journalismbut in the next breath notes that two-thirds of local newspapers have been gobbled up by 25 conglomerates and hedge-fund billionaires, who by definition will receive the lions share of any Congressional windfall. It argues repeatedly (and accurately) that competition in news benefits the publicbut then decries the competition from digital upstarts that has made the advertising and the content more affordable for vast numbers of brands and consumers.

There may be reasons to break up big tech and decentralize information markets, but these wont resurrect newspaper jobs, wont shift consumers back to the mediums that dominated in the 1960s and 1970s, wont redirect advertising revenues, and wont create any more news-gathering jobs than are currently being created in the open internet.

Outside of totalitarian states that forcibly control both the content and supply of news, you cannot legislate attention. Previous attempts to deploy U.S. Government regulation to do so have alwaysadvertently or notfavored large gatekeepers. But those Government-supported communications oligopolies failed because innovation in attention markets is hard to suppress in a free state, and innovators will always find better ways to serve consumers diverse wants and needs. And that is what Medium writers, YouTube influencers, Instagram and Snap storytellers, Substack newsletterists, Gimlet podcasters, Yelp reviewers, Roku video publishers, and the millions of other digital creators are: innovators. How dare the U.S. Senate, or anyone else for that matter, denigrate, if only by implication, their contributions to the common weal?

The most forward-thinking newspaper proprietorsThe New York Times, Dow Jones, Gannett, Advance, Hearsthave long since recognized the trends and are deploying podcasts, digital video, social influence, data visualization, augmented reality, and other advanced technologies to reinforce their consumers trust and renew their attention. So are the innovators behind the new news operationsAxios and Politico and Talking Points Memoin Washington, Scotusblog at the Supreme Court, Recode and The Information in Silicon Valley, Business Insider on Wall Street, Vice in Brooklyn, Bleacher Report in the sports stadiums, Patch in thousands of U.S. communities, Buzzfeed and Huffington Post and The Marshall Project around the worldthat have used digital technologies to revolutionize the way news is gathered and communicated.

These innovators do not reflexively equate news with paper, nor mourn business models that were eroding long before Craig had a list. They are embracing alternative forms of delivery. They are building new business relationships among the thousands of digital-native brands that have risen as conventional brick-and-mortar retail undergoes its own post-industrial reinvention. They are finding new revenue streams in direct-to-consumer content sales, live events, and more.

Their journalism is certainly benefiting consumers and advertisers. The audience research service ComScore reports that Americans digital news consumption remains 30% above pre-pandemic levels. IAB research released just last week shows that 84% of all consumers feel that advertising within the news maintains or increases their trust in the advertised brands.

Improving on these trends will require media literacy education, so consumers can distinguish among well-reported news, advocacy, and fakery. It will require far more investment by digital aggregators and distributors in supply chain management to weed out dangerous material, and in content curation to elevate the valid above the suspect. It will require advertisers deliberately to select the media channels in which their ads run, and not rely solely on automated media plans provided by programmatic intermediaries.

Most of all,supporting real news in an era of digital-first consumptionwill take serious policy analysis, not nostalgic narrativesfor a pastthat already waspastby the time the Internet was born.

Randall Rothenberg is the Executive Chair of the IAB. He served asCEO of the association from 2007 untilSeptember 2020, after spending30 years as a magazine writer and editor, newspaper reporter and columnist, author,Chief Marketing Officer, and management consulting firm executive.

Read the rest here:

Big Tech Didn't Kill the News. (And the "News" Isn't Dead.) - IAB

The government is going after Big Tech and Medium Tech is bracing for impact – The Hustle

Its among the rarest things on Earth.

An issue that both major US political parties can agree on: Big Tech should be regulated.

Fearful of what sweeping rule changes might bring, over a dozen medium-sized tech companies are looking to form their own lobbying coalition, The Information reports.

Part of the 1996 Communications Decency Act, Section 230 has shielded internet companies from liability for what users say or post on their platforms.

Just last week, the Senate grilled the CEOs of Alphabet, Facebook, and Twitter (as well as Jack Dorseys beard) on their recent handling of various political posts being shared across their platforms.

Facebooks Mark Zuckerberg was particularly keen to update Section 230, which would force many companies to devote more resources to speech moderation.

until you realize that Facebook spent more on safety and security ($3.7B) in 2019 than Twitters entire 2019 revenue ($3.5B).

Now Medium Tech firms like Patreon, Nextdoor, Glassdoor, Etsy, Cloudflare, Reddit, Pinterest, Dropbox and, errr, Medium want to have a say in the legislation.

Regardless of how his election cycle shakes out or if Medium Tech catches on as a phrase (you heard it here first) its probably a smart move for them.

View post:

The government is going after Big Tech and Medium Tech is bracing for impact - The Hustle

Americas Ten Richest People Are $28 Billion Richer As Election Bolsters Big Tech Prospects – Forbes

Tech stocks led the market higher on Wednesday, adding billions to the fortunes of Americas richest ... [+] people.

Even with the presidential election in flux, the U.S. stock marketled by a rally in tech sharesjumped on Wednesday, helping Americas ten richest people add billions of dollars to their fortunes.

Both Republican President Donald Trump and Democratic challenger Joe Biden claimed they would win the race, despite several battleground states still not called, including Pennsylvania, Michigan, North Carolina, Georgia, Arizona and Nevada.

Despite the uncertainty, markets surged on Wednesday, with shares of major tech companies like Amazon, Facebook and Microsoft leading the rally. The Dow Jones Industrial Average rose nearly 400 points, or 1.3%, as of market close on Wednesday, while the S&P 500 was up 2.2% and the tech-heavy Nasdaq Composite soared 3.9%.

Some experts on Wall Street attributed the strength in tech stocks to the potential for a split Congressas it looks less and less likely that Democrats will be able to win back control of the Senate. Although Democrats retained control of the House, Republicans won key Senate races in Iowa and Montana, according to NBC News.

With tech shares soaring, Americas ten richest peopleincluding Jeff Bezos, Bill Gates and Mark Zuckerbergsubsequently gained a combined $28.2 billion in net worth as markets moved higher.

Leading the way was the worlds richest person, Amazon founder and CEO Jeff Bezos, whose net worth rose by $10.5 billion, to $190.6 billion. Amazon stock was up 6.3% on Wednesday.

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg gained $8 billion as Facebook shares rose 8.3%. The worlds fourth richest person, he now has a net worth of $105.5 billion.

Bill Gates, the worlds third-richest person, saw his fortune rise $663 millionpushing his net worth up to $115.9 billion. Gates, who cofounded Microsoft in 1975, has sold or given away much of his stake in the companybut still owns an estimated 1% of shares, which rose nearly 5% on Wednesday.

Another former Microsoft executive, Steve Ballmer, gained $2.8 billion, with his net worth moving up to $73.5 billion amid the market rally. He owns an estimated 3.5% stake in Microsoft.

Google cofounders Larry Page and Sergey Brin saw their fortunes rise $4 billion and $3.8 billion, respectively, as Googles stock jumped over 6%. Both are major shareholders of Google-parent company Alphabet; Page is worth $77 billion while Brin is worth $74.9 billion.

Among Americas ten richest people, four saw a drop in their fortunes on Wednesday. Tesla CEO Elon Musks net worth fell by about $560 million as shares of his electric vehicle maker were down 0.7%. He owns a 21% stake in the company and is now worth $93.1 billion.

Renowned investor Warren Buffett also saw his fortune drop slightly. His investing conglomerate, Berkshire Hathaway, saw its stock fall by 0.4%, shaving $215 million off of Buffetts net worth, which now stands at $78 billion.

Larry Ellison, cofounder and chief technology officer of software giant Oracle, lost $391 million, lowering his net worth to $75.1 billion. Ellison owns about 35% of Oracles stock, which was down 0.6% on Wednesday.

Walmart heiress Alice Walton, meanwhile, saw her fortune fall $309 million as Walmarts stock lost 0.6%, giving her a net worth of $66.6 billion.

Excerpt from:

Americas Ten Richest People Are $28 Billion Richer As Election Bolsters Big Tech Prospects - Forbes

RPT-UPDATE 1-Wall St seeks safety of Big Tech bets as election hangs in the balance – Reuters UK

(Repeats to add Update 1 tag in headline, no change to text)

Nov 4 (Reuters) - The United States big technology names led gainers on Wall Street on Wednesday, as investors sought the security of this years big stay-at-home corporate success stories in the face of a presidential election set to go down to the wire.

Gains for Joe Biden in vote tallies in the swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan cooled initial selling of renewable energy, marijuana and other companies seen as potential beneficiaries of a sweeping Democrat victory.

Overall, futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 jumped 3.7%, with Dow and S&P 500 futures also trading in positive territory in a volatile session.

Following are major movers as traders and investors in New Yorks main stock indexes digested the results and President Donald Trumps chances of beating Biden to win a second term.

Traditional energy companies, which could enjoy a lighter regulatory and tax environment under a second term for Trump, gained, with the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF up 2.3%.

Stocks of solar energy-based firms such as First Solar , Enphase and JinkoSolar traded between 3% and 4.7% lower.

The Invesco Solar ETF dropped 3%, handing back some of a more than 40% gain from September lows, while the iShares Global Clean Energy ETF, another instrument representing the developing sector which Biden had made a key plank of his agenda, fell 2%.

The fact that Republicans are likely to retain a Senate majority would make it virtually impossible for Biden (if he wins) to enact his major climate reforms, said Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov.

There is virtually no chance of a net zero emissions target passing through a Republican-controlled Senate.

Major cannabis producers had surged after the vice presidential debate, when Bidens partner on the ticket Kamala Harris said marijuana would be decriminalized at the federal level under their administration.

But with exit polls surprising markets, the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF slipped 1.7%.

Shares of Tilray as well as U.S.-based listings of Canadas Canopy Growth, Cronos and Aurora Cannabis fell between 3% and 6.3%.

Big tech companies, which have benefited from Trumps softer stance on regulation and anti-trust policies as well as a tax cut that targeted U.S. big business, rose between 3% and 5.3%.

The Invesco QQQ ETF and Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund were both up around 3%.

Microsoft, Intel and IBM rose between 0.4% and 2.2%, while FAANG stocks Facebook, Apple , Amazon, Netflix and Google gained around 2.3% each.

With a Trump presidency more likely than expected and a more evenly balanced Senate, any big change like higher capital gains tax or a legislation that regulates the tax more aggressively is less likely, and thats why tech is doing better, said TS Lombards head of strategy, Andrea Cicione.

The iShares US Aerospace & Defense was set for its best day in nearly three months, while the SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF looked to post its biggest one-day gain since mid-July.

A second-term for the Trump administration is expected to mean continued higher spending on defense.

Contractors Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon rose between 1.4% and 2.7%.

Private prison operators Geo Group and CoreCivic Inc gave up early gains as Biden, who has committed to ending the federal governments use of private prisons, was reinstalled as the favorite to win the election by online betting markets.

Most of Wall Streets big banks slipped.

Now there will be a split Congress and, therefore, a lot more fiscal restraint and those expectations of higher inflation and high yields favoring banks and financials will have to be reassessed, Cicione said.

JP Morgan lost 1.6% while Bank of America, Citi and Wells Fargo -- listed under JP Morgans basket of stocks that should gain from a Trump victory -- fell more than 1%.

Pfizer, Merck & Co, Biogen, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Bristol Myers and Johnson & Johnson all rose between 1.6% and 3.7%.

Analysts at SVB Leerink said a Trump win with a close Senate race was almost an ideal outcome for biopharma and that an effectively split Senate would likely shield the industry from any sweeping reforms.

Reporting by Susan Mathew, additional reporting by Trisha Roy and Arunima Kumar in Bengaluru; editing by Patrick Graham and Bernard Orr

Read the rest here:

RPT-UPDATE 1-Wall St seeks safety of Big Tech bets as election hangs in the balance - Reuters UK

Prop 22 Shows Why Big Tech Is the Climate Movement’s New Foe – Gizmodo

Rideshare driver Erica Mighetto holds up a a sign supporting a no vote on Proposition 22 in Oakland, California on October 9, 2020.Photo: Josh Edelson (Getty Images)

The results of many electionschiefly the presidential oneare still up in the air. But Tuesday night saw a sure, devastating blow to working people: California passed Proposition 22, meaning drivers with app-based companies like Uber, Lyft, and DoorDash will be considered independent contractors and not employees. Its also a preview of the coming climate fights that could pit people and the planet against Silicon Valley.

Prop 22 spurred widespread opposition from labor organizers and climategroups alike, who rightly said it would spell disaster for both workers rights and the planet. Despite this coalitions valiant efforts, the ballot measure prevailed in part due to massive financial support by the companies who stand to benefit from it. Uber, Lyft, DoorDash, Postmates, and Instacart shelled out a combined $204 million in support of it, making it the most expensive ballot measure in history.

When it comes to backing polluting policies, these app-based firms arent the first culprits that come to mind. The usual suspects are oil and gas giants and utilities, who have indeed been hard at work lobbying for other death cultish measures. Many Silicon Valley-backed companies have gone out of their way to tout their supposed green bonafides, like Lyfts pledge to go carbon neutral. But Prop 22 shows that its not just old school fossil fuel companies who are willing to abandon workers or the planet. These shiny new firms will also do what it takes to protect their money at the Earths expense. These companies are formidable opponents. Theyve got billions of dollars at their disposal, and theyre savvy, too.

Prop 22 is expected to put more cars on the road, which is particularly concerning because a recent study found that Uber and Lyft were responsible for about half of San Franciscos increase in congestion between 2010 and 2016. Transportation is also the largest contributor to U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Allowing these companies to expand without giving workers the ability to organize is a huge obstacle to the fight for a just and carbon-free transit sector.

G/O Media may get a commission

The climate plans rideshare and gig economy companies have put forward are far from sufficient to meet the scale of the crisis, a crisis that they will have a larger hand in making worse due to Prop 22. The plans do nothing about the apps wasteful business models, which depend on workers driving around aimlessly for miles while waiting to pick up customers. A recent report from Union of Concerned Scientists found that due to this, car trips from ride-hailing services create nearly 70% more climate pollution on average than the trips they displace. Switching to electric vehicles would help, but like fossil fuel firms attempts to offload the responsibility for climate action onto consumers, the apps pledges put the onus on their drivers to make the costly switch.

Climate organizers lost this fight against these gig work apps, but then it wont be the last one to wage. These companies are becoming some of the most powerful in the country, and theyre using that power to lobby for more legislation and ballot measures that protect their interests. Measures similar to Prop 22 are already in the works in other states.

The climate movement will face an uphill battle to defeat these measures, but in some ways, its well-poised to take up the challenge. Thanks to the centrality of labor rights in the Green New Deal and some unions shift toward acceptance of climate policy, the overlap between climate and labor groups interests is clearer than ever.

See the article here:

Prop 22 Shows Why Big Tech Is the Climate Movement's New Foe - Gizmodo

Tap Into Big Tech’s Latest Earnings Project with the ARKW ETF – ETF Trends

An emerging concept in the e-commerce and fintech spaces is social commerce. But many exchange traded funds arent adequately levered to this theme. The ARK Web x.0 ETF (NYSEArca: ARKW), however, is fully incorporating the advantages of social commerce.

Social commerce isnt just a new corporate buzz phase or short-term trend. Its backed by some of the biggest names in fintech, online retail, and social media.

During their earnings calls this week, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Facebook commented on an emerging trend: social commerce. In addition, TikTok announced a partnership with Shopify to accelerate its commerce efforts, according to ARK Invest research. Why is social commerce burgeoning now? In our view, three technology/business shifts serve as explanations.

ARKW aims to capture long-term growth with low correlation of relative returns to traditional growth strategies and negative correlation to value strategies. It serves as a tool for diversification due to little overlap with traditional indices. The actively managed strategy combines top-down and bottom-up research in its portfolio management to identify innovative companies and convergence across markets, and this active strategy comes in the low-cost and efficient ETF wrapper.

Data confirm the increasing relevance and advantages of ARKWs social commerce exposure.

By 2020, an estimated 2 billion people are expected to be digital shoppers or a 19% jump from 2018 levels, as more people, notably from emerging economies where barely half the population is online, gain access to the internet. Almost one-third of consumers are already shopping online at least weekly and 75% at least once a month.

Obviously, social commerce could not evolve without the cooperation of traditional e-commerce and social media platforms. While initially Facebook, Pinterest, Snapchat, and Twitter centered their business models on advertising, recently their focus has broadened to include commerce, notes ARK.

ARKW is focused on and expected to benefit from shifting the bases of technology infrastructure to the cloud, enabling mobile, new and local services, such as companies that rely on or benefit from the increased use of shared technology, infrastructure and services, internet-based products and services, new payment methods, big data, the internet of things, and social distribution and media. Add social commerce to that list.

Most global online platforms and retailers seem to have identified this kind of funnel compression as a primary objective, marking the next leg of growth for social commerce, notes ARK.

For more on disruptive technologies, visit our Disruptive Technology Channel.

The opinions and forecasts expressed herein are solely those of Tom Lydon, and may not actually come to pass. Information on this site should not be used or construed as an offer to sell, a solicitation of an offer to buy, or a recommendation for any product.

Read more:

Tap Into Big Tech's Latest Earnings Project with the ARKW ETF - ETF Trends

Wall St seeks safety of Big Tech bets as election hangs in the balance – Economic Times

The United States' big technology names led gainers on Wall Street on Wednesday, as investors sought the security of this year's big stay-at-home corporate success stories in the face of a presidential election set to go down to the wire.

Gains for Joe Biden in vote tallies in the swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan cooled initial selling of renewable energy, marijuana and other companies seen as potential beneficiaries of a sweeping Democrat victory.

Overall, futures for the tech-heavy Nasdaq 100 jumped 3.7%, with Dow and S&P 500 futures also trading in positive territory in a volatile session.

Following are major movers as traders and investors in New York's main stock indexes digested the results and President Donald Trump's chances of beating Biden to win a second term.

ENERGYTraditional energy companies, which could enjoy a lighter regulatory and tax environment under a second term for Trump, gained, with the SPDR S&P Oil & Gas Exploration & Production ETF up 2.3%.

Stocks of solar energy-based firms such as First Solar , Enphase and JinkoSolar traded between 3% and 4.7% lower.

"The fact that Republicans are likely to retain a Senate majority would make it virtually impossible for Biden (if he wins) to enact his major climate reforms," said Raymond James analyst Pavel Molchanov.

"There is virtually no chance of a net zero emissions target passing through a Republican-controlled Senate."

MARIJUANAMajor cannabis producers had surged after the vice presidential debate, when Biden's partner on the ticket Kamala Harris said marijuana would be decriminalized at the federal level under their administration.

But with exit polls surprising markets, the ETFMG Alternative Harvest ETF slipped 1.7%.

Shares of Tilray as well as U.S.-based listings of Canada's Canopy Growth, Cronos and Aurora Cannabis fell between 3% and 6.3%.

TECHNOLOGYBig tech companies, which have benefited from Trump's softer stance on regulation and anti-trust policies as well as a tax cut that targeted U.S. big business, rose between 3% and 5.3%.

The Invesco QQQ ETF and Technology Select Sector SPDR Fund were both up around 3%.

Microsoft, Intel and IBM rose between 0.4% and 2.2%, while FAANG stocks Facebook, Apple , Amazon, Netflix and Google gained around 2.3% each.

"With a Trump presidency more likely than expected and a more evenly balanced Senate, any big change like higher capital gains tax or a legislation that regulates the tax more aggressively is less likely, and that's why tech is doing better," said TS Lombard's head of strategy, Andrea Cicione.

DEFENSEThe iShares US Aerospace & Defense was set for its best day in nearly three months, while the SPDR S&P Aerospace & Defense ETF looked to post its biggest one-day gain since mid-July.

A second-term for the Trump administration is expected to mean continued higher spending on defense.

Contractors Northrop Grumman, Lockheed Martin and Raytheon rose between 1.4% and 2.7%.

PRIVATE PRISON OPERATORSPrivate prison operators Geo Group and CoreCivic Inc gave up early gains as Biden, who has committed to ending the federal government's use of private prisons, was reinstalled as the favorite to win the election by online betting markets.

BANKSMost of Wall Street's big banks slipped.

"Now there will be a split Congress and, therefore, a lot more fiscal restraint and those expectations of higher inflation and high yields favoring banks and financials will have to be reassessed," Cicione said.

JP Morgan lost 1.6% while Bank of America, Citi and Wells Fargo -- listed under JP Morgan's basket of stocks that should gain from a Trump victory -- fell more than 1%.

PHARMACEUTICALSPfizer, Merck & Co, Biogen, Regeneron Pharmaceuticals, Bristol Myers and Johnson & Johnson all rose between 1.6% and 3.7%.

Analysts at SVB Leerink said a Trump win with a close Senate race was almost an ideal outcome for biopharma and that an effectively split Senate would likely shield the industry from any sweeping reforms.

See original here:

Wall St seeks safety of Big Tech bets as election hangs in the balance - Economic Times

Donald Trump claims ‘big tech, big money, the media, pollsters and Democrats’ rigged election against him – Irish Post

DONALD TRUMP has claimed the US election is being rigged against him by big tech, big money, the media, pollsters and Democrats.

The remarks came as part of an extraordinary address from the White House during which at least seven television networksinterrupted the President to stress that his claims were unsubstantiated.

During his 17-minute speech, Trump accused big media, big money and big tech of coming together to commit historic election interference.

He added that if all legal votes had counted, he would win the election.

Trump went on to accuse Democrats of attempting to steal the election corruptly through mail-in ballots.

He also hit out at the medias role in the rigging.

As everyone now recognizes media polling was election interference in the truest sense of that word, he said.

By powerful special interests, these really phony polls, I have to call them phony polls, state polls, were designed to keep our voters at home, create the illusion of momentum for Mr. Biden and diminish Republicans abilities to raise funds.

They were what's called suppression polls, everyone knows that now. And it's never been used to the extent that it's been used on this lastelection."

He also accused Democrats of meddling with the results in states where a winner has yet to be determined.

There are now only a few states yet to be decided in the presidential race. The voting apparatus of those states are run in all cases by Democrats' he said.

Trump also pointed to several lawsuits launched by his campaign against the alleged fraud yet offered no proof.

Two of these lawsuits have already been thrown out with one dismissed due to a lack of evidence.

There's tremendous litigation going on and this is a case where they're trying to steal an election. They're trying to rig an election and we can't let that happen.

Biden sought to rebuke those claims in a tweet saying: No one is going to take our democracy away from us.

Not now, not ever. America has come too far, fought too many battles, and endured too much to let that happen.

The address came as the Presidents lead continued to thin in key swing states like Pennsylvania and Georgia.

ABC, CBS and NBC America's three main broadcast networks all cut away from the conference while Trump was still talking to warn viewers he had made a number of false statements".

Fox News and CNN covered the address in full.

Trumps tirade continued on Twitter, with the President making several baseless claims concerning fraud, questioning the results in several close Senate races and urging Supreme Court intervention.

He also attacked social media regulation.

By contrast, Joe Biden has been calling for calm and patience while votes are counted.

Democracy is sometimes messy. It sometimes requires a little patience as well, he said during an address from Wilmington's Queen theater.

So I ask everyone to stay calm, all people to stay calm. The process is working. The count is being completed and we'll know very soon.

He also tweeted: No one is going to take our democracy away from us. Not now, not ever. America has come too far, fought too many battles, and endured too much to let that happen.

Keep the faith, folks.

After winning the key swing states of Wisconsin and Michigan, Biden is the narrowfavouriteto win the presidency with several key results expected today.

Victory in Pennsylvania would hand him the presidency even if other states went to Trump. Biden could also win if he holds his leadin Arizona and Nevada.

Continued here:

Donald Trump claims 'big tech, big money, the media, pollsters and Democrats' rigged election against him - Irish Post

Big Tech Censorship Is Proof That Media Are Trying To Steal The Election – The Federalist

Twitter is censoring conservatives sharing information and opinions about the election, reinforcing the expected big tech bias against dissenting voices. Since it has been established that Big Techs censorship often targets the truth such as the recovered Hunter Biden laptop, whether research backs mask mandates, the efficacy of certain anti-COVID drugs, the Russiagate coup attempt its clampdown on discussion of electoral integrity indicates it is indeed a concern.

The Federalists John Daniel Davidson wrote an article breaking down some of the suspicious activity associated with key states, headlined Yes, Democrats Are Trying To Steal The Election In Michigan, Wisconsin, And Pennsylvania.

Twitter censored The Federalists tweet of this article, prohibiting any shares, likes, or comments. The label on the post claims that the article contained disputed or misleading information related to the election.

Davidsons article, however, simply breaks down some of the significant voting discrepancies that have been raised as multiple battleground states continue to be uncalled and undecided.

Earlier in the day, Twitter censored The Federalist Co-Founder Sean Davis multiple times, preventing people from sharing or interacting with some of his tweets, for simply restating Pennsylvanias supreme court decision declaring that all ballots received after election day, including those without a postmark, will be counted.

Pennsylvanias top court said that all ballots received after election day even those without a postmark must be assumed to have been cast by election day, Davis said in a retweet of National Review Senior Writer David Harsanyi, who stated that PA is allowing post-election day ballots. Its a fact.

The same thing occurred when Davis pointed out a suspicious vote dump in Michigan that clocked 138,339 votes in the middle of the night all for Democratic presidential nominee Joe Biden.

Other conservative voices were also censored by Twitter such as The Daily Wires Matt Walsh.

Even the president was censored for claiming that the Democrats are attempting to steal the election.

A tweet from Biden claiming that were gonna win this, however, received no attention from the big tech giant.

The media also criticized Trump for announcing that he won even while states were being counted, but the same scrutiny was not applied when Bidens lawyer Bob Bauer prematurely declared a Biden victory.

It is clear from these labels, the limited distribution of these posts, and the hypocrisy demonstrated that big tech and the media dont believe that people can think for themselves. It is also clear that they are heavily invested in preventing the public from discussing or discovering the truth through inquiry and debate, as that often gives people the will to resist political changes imposed through lies.

Instead of admitting that there are still many unknowns in the presidential election, big tech and the media continue to assist Democrats in making a Biden win an inevitability rather than ensuring that all legal ballots are accurately counted so that both sides can trust the election outcome is legitimate.

Jordan Davidson is a staff writer at The Federalist. She graduated from Baylor University where she majored in political science and minored in journalism.

See the article here:

Big Tech Censorship Is Proof That Media Are Trying To Steal The Election - The Federalist

Trump blames conspiracies as he refuses to accept expected results – The Independent

Breaking a 36-hour silence after prematurely declaring victory on Wednesday, Donald Trump continued spewing unfounded conspiracy theories about election fraud and illegal ballot-counting as he addressed Americans from the White House on Thursday.

If you count the legal votes, I easily win, the president claimed on Thursday, falsely alleging local elections officials had accepted ballots after Election Day and were padding the stats for his Democratic opponent, Joe Biden.

Mr Trump also claimed he had beaten the odds against Mr Biden despite historic election interference from big media, big money, and big tech, stretching the limits of the definition of the term election interference.

The presidents inaccuracies and misrepresentations even extended to his praise of the House GOP for winning back several districts in the congressional elections.

This was the year of the Republican woman. More Republican women were elected to Congress than ever before, Mr Trump said, one of his few factual statements from the press conference.

But he followed that up with another false claim that Republicans did not lose a single House seat. That is not true. They lost two seats in North Carolina and a seat in the Georgia suburbs.

The president, whom election forecasters are predicting is likely to lose the Electoral College to Mr Biden, has been trafficking in a steady stream of misinformation through Twitter as he clung to leads in tallies in the key swing states of Pennsylvania and Georgia on Thursday.

Your daily US politics newsletter

Already have an account? Log in here

But the mail-in ballots that have been reported in those states have been trending towards Mr Biden since Wednesday morning, and the Democratic former vice president appears poised to surpass Mr Trump.

No secretary of state in any of the key swing states has backed Mr Trump and his campaign teams claims of voter fraud.

The Trump campaigns baseless claims of a stolen election and rampant voter fraud contrast sharply with the message from Mr Biden, the Democratic nominee who appeared by Thursday on the precipice of victory.

The Democratic former vice president has urged Americans to be calm as state and local election officials across the country continue counting and reporting ballots that were legally cast on or by Election Day on Tuesday.

Democracy is sometimes messy, so sometimes it requires a little patience, Mr Biden told reporters gathered in his hometown of Wilmington, Delaware in brief remarks on Thursday. But that patience has been rewarded now for more than 240 years with a system of governance that has been the envy of the world.

America and the world were waiting on Thursday on the outcome of five states Georgia, Nevada, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Arizona which will determine the next occupant of the Oval Office.

In America, the vote is sacred. It's how people in this nation express their will, Mr Biden said.

And it is the will of the voters, not anything else, that chooses the president of the United States of America.

The Associated Press has already called Arizona for Mr Biden, placing him at 264 electoral votes, six shy of the threshold required to win the White House. But the margin there has tightened since that projection made early Wednesday morning and several other news outlets have not made the same call.

Even if Mr Trump manages to take the lead in Arizona, he would still need to win Pennsylvania, where he has had a dwindling lead as officials continue tabulating mail-in ballots. If Mr Biden overtakes Mr Trump in Pennsylvania and that race is called, that would give him 273 Electoral College votes, and thus the presidency even if he were to lose in Arizona, Nevada and Georgia.

Go here to read the rest:

Trump blames conspiracies as he refuses to accept expected results - The Independent

We Are Really At A Crisis Point For Our Democracy, Economy: Sally Hubbard On Big Tech Corporations & Book Monopolies Suck – CBS Chicago

(CBS Local)Big corporations run our economy and in the past companies like Google, Facebook and Amazon have been defined as helpful and well-intentioned business. However, author and former antitrust enforcer Sally Hubbard has much different thoughts about monopolies in our society.

In her new book Monopolies Suck: 7 Ways Big Corporations Rule Your Life, Hubbard explains why companies like these tech giants make our lives harder every day.

The book for me was kind of cathartic because it is what Ive been working on for my whole career, said Hubbard, in an interview with CBS Locals DJ Sixsmith. I started as an antitrust enforcer back in 2005. There was a lot of stuff that I wanted the average person to understand, the person who is not an economist or antitrust lawyer. It felt great to get it down on paper, so I could really let people know what is going on. One of the big misconceptions is that weve been generally convinced that a lot of these companies are good for us. Big tech companies are under the most fire right now. Tech is not the only area of our company that is monopolized.

While tech companies havent been regulated by lawmakers in the same way as other monopolies of the past, Hubbard believes it is not too late to reign in tech giants like Apple, Google, Amazon and Facebook. The author says thats actually the most dangerous line of thinking when it comes to dealing with monopolies and giant corporations in our society.

MORE FROM CBS:

People think its too late and that theres nothing we can do. That I think is the most dangerous thing we can give into, said Hubbard. I try to explain in the book that these companies are not just impacting our economic well-being, but they are leading to us paying higher prices and higher taxes. Theyre also really dangerous for our democracy. Were seeing that a lot with the election right now and the power of these companies to influence speech. Their business models, which are highly profitable for them, spread disinformation. For me, its not an option to do nothing. We really are at a crisis point for our democracy and our economy.

Hubbards book is available now wherever books are sold and watch all of DJ Sixsmiths interviews from The Sit-Down serieshere.

See original here:

We Are Really At A Crisis Point For Our Democracy, Economy: Sally Hubbard On Big Tech Corporations & Book Monopolies Suck - CBS Chicago

Nasdaq, Big Tech stocks booming but here’s why that may not be good for economy – WRAL Tech Wire

When in doubt, buy Amazon.

Thats the message from Wall Street as tech stocks skyrocket despite the fact no winner has been declared in the US presidential election.

The Nasdaq spiked by a staggering 4% Wednesday, leaving the index thats home to Amazon, Alphabet, Facebook and Microsoft on track for its best day since early April.

The Nasdaq is up almost twice as much as the Dow, which features more economically sensitive companies like Caterpillar and Home Depot. The Russell 2000, which is most exposed to the strength of the US economy, is barely positive at all.

In some ways, its a replay of how tech stocks boomed during the initial phase of the recovery from the pandemic in May, June and July. The rush to buy tech stocks reflects investor sentiment that these companies will thrive even if no major stimulus package comes from a divided Congress and the economic recovery remains fragile.

People are going back to the playbook that works if the economy is more sluggish, said Keith Lerner, chief market strategist at Truist/SunTrust Advisory. When people get defensive about the economy, they buy tech.

Nasdaq futures rose so much overnight as election results trickled in that trading reportedly had to be halted.

Amazon, Google owner Alphabet and Facebook all winners during the pandemic are all up 5% or more in midday trading. By contrast, companies that need a strong economy to do well, such as Ford, Wells Fargo and Boeing are trading flat or losing ground.

Just like animals, investors herd in the face of danger or uncertainty by following the strongest in the pack, Scott Yonker, associate finance professor at Cornell University, wrote in a report Wednesday. For investors, this means pouring money into recent winners.'

The key takeaway is that while the race for the White House remains in play, investors have lost confidence in a blue wave.

The chances of Democratic-control of the US Senate has plunged on prediction platform PredictIt. It now costs about 89 cents to win $1 if Republicans win the Senate, compared with just 46 cents the day before the election.

Thats a crucial shift, because markets had previously expected Democrats would sweep, paving the way for powerful fiscal stimulus that would help non-tech companies.

The only firm conclusion is that the Blue Wave has receded before reaching shore, and that the prospects for a stimulus package remain undiminished, Christopher Smart, chief global strategist at the Barings Investment Institute, wrote in a report Wednesday.

If Democrats controlled both the White House and the Senate, economists expected faster economic growth and a bold fiscal stimulus package worth at least $2 trillion.

That scenario led investors to buy economically sensitive stocks in the weeks ahead of the election.

People rotated into cheap, beaten-up areas in anticipation of stimulus, said Truists Lerner. Now, the market is concerned about the size of the fiscal package.

Fiscal stimulus is still expected if government is divided, but it may not be as large as it would be under a blue wave.

Tech stocks also may benefit from gridlock because it lowers the chances of a sweeping crackdown from Congress. Although antitrust investigations may continue, Republicans and Democrats are unlikely to agree on major new legislation.

The increasing likelihood of a divided Congress, wrote Mike Loewengart, managing director of investment strategy at E*Trade, puts a damper on hopes for increased regulation against this sector.

The surge in tech stocks Wednesday stands in stark contrast to how the sector performed in 2000, when investors grappled with a contested election. But back then, investors already had lost confidence in tech stocks as the dotcom bubble imploded.

The rest is here:

Nasdaq, Big Tech stocks booming but here's why that may not be good for economy - WRAL Tech Wire

Trump Blames ‘Big Media, Big Tech’ as he Rails Against Election ‘Fraud’ Without Evidence – Newsweek

President Donald Trump claimed that social media and media outlets contributed to swaying the U.S. Presidential election towards Democratic presidential candidate Joe Biden during a Thursday press conference from the White House. Trump also claimed that the Democrats were attempting to execute fraud in an attempt to steal the election from him.

In his address, Trump alleged that polls published by news outlets and social media contained false information, referring to them as "fake." However, no solid evidence has been uncovered to indicate the polls were knowingly rigged.

"The pollsters got it knowingly wrong, knowingly wrong, and everybody knew it at the time," Trump said. "There was no blue wave that they predicted. They thought there was going to be a big blue wave." Trump also referred to the Democratic party as the "party of the big donors, the big media, the big tech, it seems, and the Republicans have become the party of the American worker and that's what's happened. We're also, I believe, the party of inclusion."

Trump said that he obtained victories in battleground states like Florida and Ohio "despite historic election interference from big money, big media and big tech."

"If you count the legal votes, I easily win," Trump said, referring to the presidential election in totality. "If you count the illegal votes, they can try to steal the election from us."

Newsweek reached out to the Biden campaign for comment.

Trump also claimed that in some areas where ballots were still being counted, Democrats were attempting to "commit fraud."

"This is a case where they're trying to steal an election," Trump said. "They're trying to rig an election and we can't let that happen."

In a Thursday tweet, Trump said that his administration would challenge the legality of some reported battleground state victories for Biden.

"All of the recent Biden claimed States will be legally challenged by us for Voter Fraud and State Election Fraud," Trump tweeted. "Plenty of proof - just check out the Media. WE WILL WIN! America First!"

Twitter flagged Trump's post as being potentially "misleading about an election or other civic process."

Trump has expressed concerns that he could lose his re-election bid as swing states continue to count mail-in and absentee ballots. In Pennsylvania, where 20 electoral votes are at stake, Trump's lead over Biden appeared to be shrinking on Wednesday. Victory in Pennsylvania would give Biden more than the 270 electoral votes needed to win the presidency.

On Wednesday, Trump's re-election campaign filed suit in Pennsylvania and requested a halt to ballot counting. According to the lawsuit, Trump's campaign officials were not granted "meaningful access" to the tabulation process. A Thursday ruling by a Pennsylvania appellate court allowed representatives of Trump's re-election campaign to "observe all aspects of the canvassing process." However, those individuals must remain within 6 feet of election workers and wear face masks to comply with COVID-19 safety protocols.

This is a breaking story and will be updated as more information becomes available.

Read this article:

Trump Blames 'Big Media, Big Tech' as he Rails Against Election 'Fraud' Without Evidence - Newsweek


12345...