“Zuck better bring a spare set of batteries.” – Jeff
Hey there carnivores,
Markets were mixed on Friday, as tech enthusiasm faded to close the day.
Today we’re discussing Facebook facing the music.
Jeff & Jason
*100 degrees with 100% humidity*
If you have any tips for beating the DC summer heat, Facebook’s C-Suite might be interested. Why? Well, the FTC is considering hauling Mark Zuckerberg and COO Sheryl Sandberg to the stand to give sworn testimony.
The potential depositions would look into whether FB violated US antitrust laws… and presumably, be the plotline to ‘The Social Network 2.’
You see, the social media company allegedly bought companies, such as Onavo and Whatsapp, to nip competition in the bud. That’s capitalism, baby. Zuck and Sandberg were not deposed last year when FB was ordered by the FTC to pay $5B for consumer-privacy violations.
Is that all?
In the meantime, Zuck has his July 27 trip to DC (or more likely, his laptop) to prepare for. He’ll join Bezos and other top tech execs (extechutives, if you will) before the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee to speak about the technology giants’ dominance in their industry.
According to a Facebook spokesman, Facebook is apparently “looking forward to sharing its views about the competitive landscape” … which is a lot like saying you’re looking forward to a full cavity search.
The bottom line…
Somewhere out there, Tom from MySpace is laughing.
All Zuck wanted to do this weekend was kick back, get his Kelly Slater on, and smoke some meats.
But in addition to worrying about the fun police at the FTC, he’s got another issue on his plate: advertising revenue. Disney, which is Facebook’s largest advertiser, has made a significant cut to its advertising spend on the platform.
Mickey Mouse has joined other companies, such as Ford, Verizon, and Starbs which are cutting or pausing advertising spend to boycott FB’s lack of enforcement of its policies on hate speech and fake news.
☑️ It’s not write
Google will no longer allow publishers to run ads next to content that promotes or describes Covid-19 conspiracies.
This isn’t the first time Google has controlled the content its ads can run next to. It already prohibits ads from running near content that makes harmful claims against disease prevention and unsubstantiated cures. That explains why I only see anti-vaccine rants on my uncle’s Facebook…
Google generated $135B in revenue in 2019. Something tells me Google won’t miss any of the publishers who don’t comply.
☑️ BlackRock Booms
Larry Fink from the top rope…
Money-manager BlackRock continued the trend of financial institutions that crushed earnings in Q2 amidst the pandemic. The asset manager increased net profit by 21% as investors flocked to its bond funds in hopes of more stable returns in a market wrought with volatility.
BlackRock’s Q2 revenues came in at $3.6B, 4% higher than the same period last year. Profits for the quarter came in at $1.2B compared to $1B last year.
And BlackRock has its ETF funds to thank. It took in a record $57B to add to its $7.3T asset base. For a company that makes money on asset fees, those are strong numbers. Its stock price rose 3.7% on the news.
☑️ Private Investigation
Investigations into the Twitter hack last week are getting the CSI treatment. The FBI launched its own review of Wednesday’s Twitter hack as it looks to see if there is a broader risk to international security following the breach.
The FBI has been trying to use clues from the payments the alleged hackers received which amounted to some $120k worth of bitcoin. There are no leads yet and the investigation is ongoing at this time.
Oh and fun fact, it turns out that the personal information of some of the 130 users whose accounts were hacked may have been compromised.
☑️ Losing altitude
British Airways is retiring its entire fleet of Boeing 747s as the pandemic has made the demand for long-distance air travel fall off a cliff.
British Airways is the largest operator of 747s with as many as 57 of the Cadillac of the skies in its fleet.
The International Air Transport Association predicts an estimated $84B loss this year across the industry. BA is looking to cut some of its costs and operate more efficient planes like the Airbus 350 and Boeing 787s.