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NAS:GOOGL, Dec 14, 11:05 UTC

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Google and Facebook to push hard against proposal for regulatory body

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We will continue to engage with the ACCC between now and the final report next year, said Google in a statement. But behind the scenes there is consternation about the ACCC’s proposal to set up a new regulatory body which would have the specific job of monitoring large digital platforms. Launching the report, ACCC chairman Rod Sims explained it considers the strong market position of digital platforms such as Google and Facebook justifies a greater level of regulatory oversight. “Australian law does not prohibit a business from possessing significant market power or using its efficiencies or skills to ‘out compete’ its rivals. But when their dominant position is at risk of creating competitive or consumer harm, governments should stay ahead of the game and act to protect consumers and businesses through regulation,” he said. It would also look at whether the platforms were favouring their own businesses ahead of others – for example was Google ranking Google Shopping higher than competitor comparison sites? And it could look at the impact of vertical integration by the behemoths: buying up multiple platforms such as Instagram and YouTube, and getting involved in intermediation services, such as advertising and analytics.

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Google Wins Giant Ad-Tech Client

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Google (GOOGL) has signed on Walt Disney (DIS) as an ad-technology customer in a multiyear deal, with Disney set to use Google’s Ad Manager platform to manage and deliver digital ads across its various platforms. Details of the deal, such as exactly how long it is expected to last and what Disney has agreed to pay for using Google’s ad technology, have not been disclosed. However, the deal is a huge win for Google in the race for ad-tech revenue.

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Google launches Thai AI project to screen for diabetic eye disease

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BANGKOK (Reuters) - Google (GOOGL.O) said on Thursday it had launched an artificial intelligence program in Thailand to screen for a diabetic eye disease which causes permanent blindness. The eye screening program in Thailand follows a similar Google program in India and highlights a push by big tech companies to show the social benefits of new AI technologies. "As a society, we have a responsibility to use AI in the best possible way," Kent Walker, the company's Senior Vice President for Global Affairs, said in speech at a Google event in Bangkok on Thursday. This followed a joint-study which found the AI program to have an accuracy rate of 95 percent when it comes to disease detection, compared with 74 percent from opticians or eye doctors.

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What Google's Expanded Presence in Telecom Means for Investors

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Alphabet's (NASDAQ: GOOGL)(NASDAQ: GOOG) mobile virtual network operator (MVNO), Project Fi, just got a promotion. Besides getting renamed Google Fi to better reflect that it's part of the Google family of services, the discount mobile phone plan recently added support for more phones. While that means yet more competition for the heavy hitters in the industry -- like Verizon (NYSE: VZ), AT&T (NYSE: T), and T-Mobile (NASDAQ: TMUS) -- the disruption for investors has thus far has been minimal. MVNOs like Google Fi don't operate their own mobile networks; instead, they make use of cell towers from network operators through lease agreements. For example, Google Fi customers are actually on T-Mobile, Sprint (NYSE: S), and U.S. Cellular's (NYSE: USM) networks. As with other MVNOs, Google Fi can offer big subscriber discounts compared with its bigger peers because it isn't burdened with network maintenance. After testing under the moniker "Project Fi" the last few years, the newly rebranded Google Fi now supports most Android devices, though Google Pixel phones are still listed first and come with big discounts for new sign-ups. For those looking to bring iPhones with them, Google Fi now supports Apple (NASDAQ: AAPL) products.

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German ruling on Google licensing fees should be halted - EU court adviser

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German ruling on Google licensing fees should be halted - EU court adviser. BRUSSELS (Reuters) - A German rule which gives publishers the right to demand a license fee from Google for using news snippets should be halted as it has not been notified to the European Commission, an advisor to Europe's top court said on Thursday. The non-binding recommendation from Advocate General Gerard Hogan followed a request for guidance from a Berlin court after VG Media sued the world's most popular internet search engine for using text excerpts, images and videos produced by its members without paying them. Over the past decade, the media industry has often accused Google of making money at its expense by making its content freely available via Google News, YouTube and other services to drive audiences to view ads on Google sites instead.

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Google Shopping launches in India with a new home page

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The search experience through Google Shopping is designed to showcase offers from various retailers on products across various categories in an easy-to-access manner. Just one-third of this online population shops online, so there’s a lot of potential in India as a market for everyone. Google Shopping is one step towards this direction, allowing users to easily filter through offers, review prices from multiple retailers and find the right product. There is also a new Shopping tab on Google Search, where results can be viewed in Hindi as well as English. And finally, Style Search in Google Lens is also being made available to users in India.

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Wednesday, December 12


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Better Buy: Baidu vs. Google

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The search for the best search engine investment starts at the top with Alphabet's (NASDAQ: GOOG)(NASDAQ: GOOGL) Google, but it doesn't end there. The two dot-com giants are still growing in the high-margin realm of paid search, and they continue to use their market leadership in search and online advertising to make a mark in other markets. Alphabet shares are trading 17% below their summertime peak, and it's a bad trading day or two away from revisiting its lows for the year. Baidu can be had for just 19 times this year's projected earnings, and 18 times next year's target. If you never thought that you would get the chance to buy into China's leading search engine provider at a forward earnings multiple in the teens, you can finally stop pinching yourself. If the multiplex seem cheap, the cherry on top here is that Baidu has beaten Wall Street's profit targets by a double-digit percentage margin in each of the past five quarters.

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Google CEO Testifies Before Republicans at Awaited Hearing

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The lawmakers were of the view that the users of Android, Google apps and products are not aware of how much of their data is collected by Google, which is unethical.Additionally, there were questions regarding the company’s plans for its search engine in China.Pichai’s Stand at the HearingPichai, drawing upon the company’s policies and principles, which are strictly against any political biasness, testified that Google’s search platform is not biased against the Republicans.Moreover, he said that the company never forgot its “American roots” while expanding into the international markets.In reply to the queries related to Chinese search engine, the CEO revealed that the company is not planning to go forward with it right now given the concerns raised by lawmakers and Google employees.Now in terms of data privacy, the company undoubtedly collects huge amount of user data. However, Pichai stressed on the company’s strong efforts toward data privacy. The reason behind the decision is the second significant security breach faced by it this year. You can see the complete list of today’s Zacks #1 Rank (Strong Buy) stocks here.Long-term EPS growth for Akamai Technologies, Etsy and Marchex is currently pegged at 14.67%, 15% and 15%, respectively.Looking for Stocks with Skyrocketing Upside?Zacks has just released a Special Report on the booming investment opportunities of legal marijuana.Ignited by new referendums and legislation, this industry is expected to blast from an already robust $6.7 billion to $20.2 billion in 2021. Early investors stand to make a killing, but you have to be ready to act and know just where to look.See the pot trades we're targeting>>.

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The Google Pixel Slate’s advantages over the iPad Pro aren’t enough to merit buying one

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The Google Pixel Slate’s advantages over the iPad Pro aren’t enough to merit buying one. Sadly, though, that’s not Google’s new tablet, the Pixel Slate. For me, that was Apple’s latest iPad Pro, which refined a design it’s been fiddling with for eight years, to the point I purchased one for myself and now use it as my travel computer. Google’s answer to the iPad Pro, and Microsoft’s Surface tablet line, doesn’t feel quite as well-considered as either device. Beyond the sliding keyboard, closing the tablet is a slightly annoying experience: You either have to use two hands to push the folded back part of the case back, so that it’s flush with the tablet, and then drop it down onto the keyboard, or you drop it down first and then try to push the back part closed. If you do that part second, though, the strong magnets can force the tablet out of its case, causing you to have to reopen the case, reconnect the tablet, then close again.

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These were the top 10 trending ‘what is…?’ questions on Google in 2018

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With the world perhaps more confusing than ever in 2018, Google users were bombarding the search engine with plenty of “what is…?” questions. Note, these were not the most searched questions, but the ones that had significant spikes in traffic at times in the year compared to 2017. It sprung to prominence early in 2018 when it said it was offering a limited number of customers its service free for life. It was seen as an ad-free alternative to Instagram at a time when the Facebook-owned app was increasing ads and altering its algorithms to change what users saw in their feeds.

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