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tv   Bloomberg Technology  Bloomberg  July 16, 2019 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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♪ emily: i am emily chang in san francisco. and this is "bloomberg technology." coming up in the next half hour, tech companies being grilled on capitol hill. grilled currency and antitrust. what can congress do to alter the course? plus, president trump has an eye on google. he wants the attorney general to look into peter thiel's allegation that google's work with china is "seemingly treasonous." should google be worried?
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amazon is in the crosshairs facing antitrust. margaret vester prepares for a summer finale to her five-year crackdown on u.s. tech giants. but first, to our top story, big tech in the eye of the storm on capitol hill. facebook, amazon, apple, google, all appearing in washington to answer lawmakers' questions. the first to be baked over the raked over the coals, facebook's david marcus was the -- david marcus. the co-creator of the cryptocurrency project. senator brown: facebook is dangerous. now, facebook might not intend to be dangerous, but surely they do not respect the technologies they are playing with, like a toddler who has gotten a hold of a book of matches. their motto is to move fast and break things. we would be crazy to give them a chance to experiment with
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people's bank accounts. david: we will take the time to get this right. wouldn't it be easier and safer if people could inexpensively secure money transfers through their smartphones just like they do for so many things today? that is what libra is about. >> i do not trust you guys, so instead of cleaning up your house, now you are launching into another business model with calibra. david: we have designed this network so that facebook does not and will not control currency. >> will you commit that facebook will not develop preferential incentives that unfairly help calibra, in terms of whatsapp and messenger, that they will support third-party? david: senator, i want to clarify, which is -- >> every time you start with "i want to clarify" gives me great pause. emily: the senator expressing skepticism about the facebook money. senator john warner joins us
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from capitol hill. so, senator, after hours of questioning, what are the biggest red flags that you see, the biggest concerns that you still have, about this project? senator warner: well, let's start with the fact that i think watching technology distributed -- even the possibly of cryptocurrencies, it has some positive upside, but i think we have to be careful. we are talking about the possibility that facebook might dominate this otherwise very disruptive technology. facebook already has 2 billion users. it has all of these advantages. we have seen facebook over the last decade plus do what i call "catch and kill," where any new entrant into the marketplace, facebook would either copy or go out and directly acquire, and here you have this blockchain technology that might be able to come in and disrupt, and, again, it appears facebook is using the same strategic effort to say, "let's bring some other players in, create this libra network, and then use their market power to create the wallet, where a lot of the transactions will take place."
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they call it "calibra," and my fear is it would give their wallet solution a great deal of undue advantages and, frankly, mr. marcus today, i know he wanted to clarify, but it seems like some of these questions should have been yes and no, and i came away with still a lot of questions that need to be answered. emily: right. so you were not satisfied with david marcus's answers. what would your answer be to mark zuckerberg, the ceo of facebook? senator warner: my answer would be that blockchain offers an awful lot of opportunities, but you have a burden of proof, facebook, to make sure, one, that we get it right in creating this new network, two, that it is safe.
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mr. marcus's comment that for every crypto dollar, there would be another dollar or another currency on a 1:1 backing it up, that's basically absurd when there is no such requirement in the banking system. it seemed to me, as well, where you have had facebook not be a good steward of so much personal data already, the idea that they would create this new network and not build in implicit and explicit things for their product is a strange -- when he said a third party wallet came around, and people do not want to use the so-called "calibra" facebook product but a third party, they would be willing to transfer the keys, transfer the data, do the technical transfers to that third party, that was a positive. my hope would be that facebook would bring that same kind of supporting approach to the legislation that i put forward for their existing tools. emily: so, look.
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there were a lot of issues that came up, issues that facebook has been dealing with, misinformation, election hacking, fake news. would you like to see mark zuckerberg testify before congress on libra, specifically, and again on some of these issues? senator warner: this is the circumstance with facebook, and my office works with facebook on a regular basis, and we are trying to get that, and we have made some progress. they have made progress, for example, on some of the disclosure products about facebook political ads, the same rules we have disclosure around tv and radio ads, but there are technical issues, and my background is in telecommunications. i hopefully bring a little bit of expertise here, where we can bring more transparency to this marketplace, whether it is about data valuation, whether it is
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about data portability and interoperability. they have not yet been willing to lean in and acknowledge what they would be willing to support. mr. zuckerberg has said he realizes there need to be some rules of the road for facebook in its current applications. what we have not seen yet is that level of specificity as to which rules of the road it actually accepts, so before we open up this whole new area that could have transformative efforts on the way we transact business in terms of blockchain and cryptocurrency, facebook has got to be proving that they are willing to accept certain rules of the road or regulation around their existing products before we go into this whole new realm. emily: meantime, you had facebook appearing at a committee hearing along with google, apple, amazon. do you think facebook should be broken up?
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senator warner: listen, i am not at that point in time in terms of breaking up some of these companies, but i have not taken that off of the table, because i think there may be ways to add more competition if we have more of this transparency and data portability and interoperability. i think we could step back from some of the breakup because if we put in place appropriate privacy protections, the way europe has done already, i think we could have some more forward leaning if facebook was willing to acknowledge, or twitter, for that matter, when you're being communicated with by a bot versus a human being. i think it would take the pressure off, at least vis a vis facebook and others. if we do not see them roll up their sleeves and give us some framework and so that americans or, for that matter, folks around the world have a little more transparency, a little more protection of their data, know what data is, in effect, being sucked out of them already, and
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what that data is worth, then i think we have to look at more radical solutions. emily: meanwhile, investor peter thiel has called out google for what he calls "seemingly treasonous" work with china. we do not have specific evidence for his allegations, but the president is now saying that the administration is going to look into google's work with china. does that concern you? senator warner: well, it concerned me when a group of folks at google did not want to work with our defense department but were willing to partner with some of the chinese tech companies who were, quite frankly, creating an almost orwellian social credit system, where they monitor the behavior of the chinese population, 1.3 billion people, in ways that are, frankly, the antithesis of everything that we in the west would support. i think that is one of the reasons why you have seen 2
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million people a few weeks ago in hong kong go to the streets rather than have the chinese communist party system and that kind of orwellian network take over hong kong, as well, so i do think there is some explaining that google needs to make. the google ceo, he said they are backing out of some of those partnerships, and they are willing to continue to work with the u.s. government, so i think mr. thiel's and mr. trump's statements are a little over-the-top, but i think it is incumbent on these companies to go the extra mile to earn people's trust. the truth is these companies got so large, so quickly, i am not sure they fully understood the full ramifications of what they were dealing with, and, quite honestly, the regulators and us in government have been slow to catch up, and instead, we have seen a foreign nation like russia come in and willy-nilly use youtube, facebook, twitter to massively intervene in our elections, and they continue to massively intervene in trying to pit one american against another, and generally, these companies have been slow to acknowledge that and be a more active participant in bringing
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about these kinds of appropriate regulations and appropriate rules of the road. listen. i do not want to regulate out innovation. i think innovation is one of the great things. i have been a venture capitalist longer than i have been a politician, but i do think with great power comes great responsibility, and so far with some of these companies, we are not seeing that appropriate stepping up and taking responsibility. emily: all right, senator warner, virginia senator, i appreciate you stopping by. coming up, facebook answering tough questions about its cryptocurrency on capitol hill, another round tomorrow. will libra ever get off the ground? more on the highlights next, and if you like bloomberg news, you can check us out on the radio and on our app and on sirius xm. this is bloomberg. ♪
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david: the reason we designed libra in such a way that facebook would only be one of hundreds of those in the libra association and would have no special privilege means you would not have to trust facebook. trust is primordial, and we have made mistakes in the past, and we have been working and continue to work very hard to get better, and we have invested in a number of programs, notably on election integrity and a number of other issues. your question is whether i would trust all of my assets in libra, and the answer is yes, i would. >> my question was do you trust this enough to make your compensation paid for in your currency? david: senator, i would, because
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it is, in fact, 1:1. emily: david marcus, the cryptocurrency co-creator, before democratic and republican senators, who grilled him about their ability to guide data and finances, and sherrod brown's exchange about a lack of trust in facebook a huge part of that conversation. lawmakers compared the social media giant to a toddler playing with matches and blasted it for violating consumer privacy. senator brown called the cryptocurrency plan "delusional." marcus tried to reassure lawmakers that they would take things slow. joining us from washington, mark wagner, our bloomberg reporter who was in the hearing today, and in new york, we have got joyce lai, an attorney for consensus of blockchain companies focused on the cryptocurrency ethereum. we just spoke to senator warner, one of the senators who was not satisfied with his answers. paint the picture for us. what was happening in the
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courtroom today? mark: yes, there were a number of senators, similar to senator warner, who really just do not trust facebook right now. i mean, the trust deficit is incredible, to really see -- there were some senators who just plainly said, "we do not trust you. why should we ever trust you with a new currency? why don't you fix your other problems before you start creating new ones?" it sets the standard that no matter what facebook does, they have lost so much trust at the moment that it is hard to imagine this is going to take off in the way they want it to. emily: now, joyce, there is a problem that there is confusion not just about what facebook is planning on doing but about cryptocurrency, in general. as someone who understands and works in the cryptocurrency industry, what are questions you have after hearing what david
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marcus had to say? joyce: i think for the cryptocurrency, the industry here, some of the outstanding questions that i have, i think a lot of them are, you know, waiting for david marcus's response to the senators' questions. i would like to have the senators understand that, yes, there is skepticism against facebook, but there are also a lot of different projects out there, a lot of different blockchains, for example, ethereum, which people should explore, and we have to work to solve some of the social problems, going forward, i hope to see that everyone uses facebook as a catalyst to really look into all of the different projects that are out there in the world. emily: there is a question though, kurt. given the sort of the vehement deficit, do you think it will get off of the ground? kurt: there is a deficit, and i did not really appreciate that until today, being of the room and seeing senator after senator nailing it home that they do not trust facebook to do this the
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right way. facebook is really saying all of the things you would expect and want them to say. they are saying, "we want to work with regulators. we want to put in protections for consumers and making sure there are other companies making decisions. this is not a facebook-only product." these are the things you want them to be saying, but nobody seems to care at that point. today was kind of a little bit of a turning point for me as someone who has covered this for about a month to really feel like, wow, the pushback is more intense in person than maybe what you have read online. emily: and, joyce, not only in the united states, other countries like india saying they do not what libra in our country. does facebook need the buy-in of other countries if they want to have a currency that can be used everywhere? joyce: yes, they definitely need to get the buy-in from wherever they are operating, making sure
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everyone is on the same page before you proceed in operating in which every jurisdiction you plan to, so, yes, while they do need india's consent and buy-in before they can operate in india. it is possible they have talked to different places and talked to different regulators there, and it is possible they have gotten something from them. emily: bitcoin today -- in the -- bitcoin plunged today in the middle of this hearing. are you at all worried about what facebook is planning to do here, that it is affecting the rest of the industry, and could it hurt the work you are trying to do? joyce: i am not worried about that. i think we are all in for the long-term. we are here because we are enthusiastic about what the technology can do for society in
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like a 20-year, 30-year term. emily: david marcus in for another round tomorrow before the house. what are we expecting? kurt: i am told to expect even kind of kookier questions. i think there are twice as many members of that committee than there were today, so having sat through one of those hearings before, i do think it is going to be even maybe a little bit more aggressive than what we saw today. there is going to be a lot of pushback, quite frankly, and i am sure that they will be prepared for it. emily: all right, bloomberg's kurt wagner, and joyce lai. we will look into google, president trump taking peter thiel's side.
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we are live streaming on twitter. be sure to follow our global breaking news network, @tictoc on twitter. this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: on monday, conservative billionaire peter thiel claimed google was doing "seemingly treasonous" work with china. he found a fan of his comments in president trump. president trump: i would like to recommend, including to like our attorney general, to take a look. google is with china in not a very positive way for our country. emily: to discuss, in new york, a guest, and in our studio, a reporter who covers tech for us. he not only said that google is doing "seemingly treasonous" work but that google could have been infiltrated by foreign spies from china.
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is there evidence to back up peter thiel's allegations? >> not that i have seen. google's response for months, we have seen similar statements, less aggressive, from the pentagon some months ago, google saying microsoft and amazon, our biggest competitors in cloud, actually have a presence in china. they have research centers. google has been out of the market for years. they have certainly tried, and that is what they referred to. we suspect, or mark warner mentioned this earlier, that they rejected a pentagon contract and at the same time revealed they were working on a search product in china. emily: so in a statement, google said, "we do not work with the chinese military.
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we are working with the u.s. government, including the department of defense, in many areas, including recruiting, health care." peter thiel in the past has expressed interest in investing in chinese companies and is on the board of facebook, a huge competitor to google. he has got a fan in the president himself saying, "now we need to investigate." mark: i think thiel's view on this is similar to a lot of mainstream, american views, what to do about the chinese influence. that is a little rich of thiel to be saying this with his facebook connection and all of the things facebook has been trying to do so, so hard over the years, to have the connections in china that google has. emily: right. talk to us about that, because mark zuckerberg has famously visited china, famously has been learning mandarin for a very long time. how is it different than what they had tried to do in the past? >> google has been more successful. zuckerberg embarrassed himself by running in tiananmen square, the site of the infamous
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massacre, during the day when the pollution was quite bad. basically, he has taken all of these small but craven steps to try to show people in beijing that he is a friend of china, and google was in china for a very long time. the a.i. presence they have there is larger than google's. emily: should they be worried about the president's fresh ire? >> i do think, thinking about their future as an a.i. company, that is a concern for them. emily: all right, mark and joyce, thank you both. coming up, breaking up big tech. facebook not the only one in the hot seat. google was also on the hill today along with apple and amazon.
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this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: this is "bloomberg technology." i'm emily chang in san francisco. back to our top story -- big tech testifying on capitol hill. facebook created a rare bipartisan moment in congress with senators on both sides of the aisle skewering a plan to create a digital currency. >> facebook is dangerous. now, facebook might not intend to be dangerous, but surely they don't respect the power of the technologies they are playing with like a toddler who has gotten his hands on a book of matches. facebook has demonstrated scandal after scandal that it does not deserve our trust. it should be treated like the profit-seeking corporation it is.
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>> we will take the time to get this right. wouldn't it be easier and safer if people could securely and inexpensively receive money transfers through their smartphones just like they do for so many other things today? that is what libra is about. >> basically, the theme of your response to many of my colleagues, particularly on data privacy, is trust us. trust is something you are and facebook certainly hasn't earned it. >> if we don't lead, others will. >> what will it do if u.s. regulators wanted to enforce sanctions on certain individuals, but other global regulators did not? what set of rules to comply with? >> that is a really good question and one that we are in
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active discussions with a number of regulators, including treasury. we need to continually -- we need to continue to serve the customers, the users we are serving. we'll do what it takes to earn their trust. that is definitely the case as well for libra and the libra wallet. emily: to discuss the facebook libra and house judiciary antitrust hearing, david chavern, the ceo of news media alliance, joins us now from washington. in the studio, ashkan soltani, the former cto of the u.s. federal trade commission. if you were still at the ftc, you would be guiding a potential antitrust investigation into facebook and helping the agency make decisions about what to
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look at and what not to look at. what is your take on a, facebook being in the hot seat today on multiple issues -- cryptocurrency, antitrust, all of the two years of controversy that facebook has been dealing with being lumped into these two hearings -- what kind of actions should the federal government be taken? ashkan: that is a great question. most of the hearings are around both public sentiment and congressional sentiment around big tech. issues arising from a non-surveillance economy that big tech has been known to use in terms of the primary business model. the calls to break up, the calls for data privacy laws and concerns around libra are around this idea of the abuse of the platforms, lack of accountability and what the federal government can do. emily: meantime, even in this hearing on libra, all of these other issues that facebook has been dealing with popped up. a particularly poignant exchange with senator kennedy. take a listen to what he had to say.
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sen. kennedy: isn't it true -- i really want your opinion -- that facebook has chosen to advance a set of values in which truthful reporting has been displaced by flagrant displays of bull -- >> i don't know how to answer that question. [laughter] emily: david, of course, you work with news agency companies and obviously these concerns about bias, conservative bias, anti-conservative bias have been a huge part of the discussion of these big tech companies. do you think big tech should be broken up? david: no, we have not come out with the idea that breaking up is necessarily the answer.
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i think what you have seen in these hearings is there are a lot of interlocking issues. some relate to the media. some relate to currency. some relate to antitrust. at a broad level, it is all about -- you saw in that libra hearing -- what kind of trust relationship should we have with these platforms as a society and secondly, what are the specific things they are proposing and what effect will it have on entire markets? i think actually the libra hearing, i found fascinating because it was about a focused issue and pretty high quality hearing. a lot of good back-and-forth. i think the house hearing that is ongoing as we speak on antitrust is really kind of an opening chapter, just starting the conversation about antitrust. again, you always see these dual things about a values discussion and then a tactics discussion. emily: now, when you were at the ftc, you worked on the 2011
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consent decree with facebook which is part of the reason ftc was able to fine facebook $5 billion for violating that consent decree. now, the ftc has been charged with a potential antitrust investigation into facebook. what action do you think the ftc itself should take at this point? ashkan: one of the things to think about is the antitrust issues are not independent of the data privacy issues. part of the dominus of the platform is the ability to collect data, both on individuals and macro data on what other competitors are doing. we know they acquired instagram, whatsapp based on their understanding of how well they were doing relative to facebook. they have the data to know it was not a crazy purchase. i think the interventions, other than the structural interventions of breaking up the company, there needs to be thought on how to prevent the
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company from regrowing or rejoining or re-exerting anti-competitive practices. that has to do with the data privacy legislation as well. i don't think a pure structure remedy is sufficient. emily: it is because of the models and the vast amount of data they do collect that i have been so dominant in media industry. you actually have a sort of proposal that would protect the news media industry versus breaking up big tech. talk to us about that. david: obviously, one big area of antitrust that has to be reviewed is the whole digital ad market and that has not been talked about today. we have come at this from the perspective of the platforms are wonderful distribution mechanisms for content. they reach an incredible number of billions of people. but, as part of that, they run over lots of industries, including the news media that is critical to our democracy. all we have asked for is to be
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allowed to negotiate with them collectively, because the current antitrust laws actually protect google and facebook from us, believe it or not. we have not asked for them to be regulated or broken up or taxed. we currently just ask to be left alone to be able to fight for our future with the platforms. emily: now, ashkan, not to confuse our viewers, there was actually a third hearing on capitol hill where google was the focus. we repeated these concerns about anti-conservative bias. we were speaking earlier about peter thiel's claims that google has been doing treasonous work in china. meantime, facebook has also had aspirations at times to break into china. you heard david marcus make the argument that if we don't do it, something else will, which is a similar argument we heard sheryl sandberg make. if you break up facebook, the chinese government is not going
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to break up china tech companies and then they are going to have the advantage. will that argument work with regulators? ashkan: the china bogeyman argument is being made in antitrust, the use of a.i. stem cell research. i think there is some understanding that we are competing on a global scale here. but, i don't think that currently mitigates the issues that regulators are focused on on the bad behavior of the companies and the lack of accountability. the senate judiciary hearing on platforms is focused on the fact that if a company like google or facebook were to bias search results in terms of favoring a candidate or favoring a particular political party, there is no accountability requirements or reporting requirements currently present for those companies.
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they could do so and we wouldn't know. whereas if a company made a $500,000 contribution to a political party, they would have a recording requirement. i think the lack of accountability is what is at stake and why people are really concerned. that is domestic. taking on the global scale, there are concerns but i don't think it is currently factoring into the overall debate. emily: a lot up in the air here, but one thing is clear that democrats and republicans what more scrutiny of big tech. what is your best guess as to how this plays out? does the ftc investigate facebook and amazon? does the doj investigate google and apple? what could happen? ashkan: i don't have any private knowledge, but my sense is they have been investigating over a number of different issues over the years. the question is what are the remedies? if there is anticompetitive practices found, what with the remedies be in terms of a breakup remedy or injunctions or fines?
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how does that interplay with the data privacy landscape? my production is we won't necessarily see anything this year, particularly in an election year where competition and antitrust is now a political topic. the candidates are pro-breaking up companies that the r's are not necessarily. it will become a political football. in two years time, we will likely see some activity both from congress as well as potentially ftc action. just to correct you -- the ftc $5 billion fine has been recorded, but i don't think it has been settled on. there could be injunctions as part of that settlement as well in terms of data privacy related. emily: we understand the amount is $5 billion but we don't know if facebook will have to make any structural changes as a result of the settlement which is what we are waiting for as well as official news of the fine. ashkan soltani, thank you so much. david chavern, thank you both. in washington, the u.s. justice
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department urged a federal appeals court to put a hold on a order that forced qualcomm to change how it licenses patents. the case threatens competition, innovation and national security, according to the doj. it puts the justice department on the opposite side of the ftc which find an antitrust lawsuit against the chipmaker. moving outside of washington, tesla shares declined after an analyst note revealed the company cut the starting price of the model 3 sedan in the u.s. weeks after a shrink in house. it cost just shy of $35,000. the tax credit reduction because the company to reduce prices to support demand. an injection of food science gave blue apron shares a boost, rallying the most since going public two years ago. it will offer beyond meat products. blue apron has struggled to maintain subscribers in recent months. over the last five years,
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margrethe vestager has gone after google, facebook and apple for their competitive practices. now she is taking on amazon. we will talk about the latest on europe's battle with silicon valley, next. ♪
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ms. vestager: they are hosting a number of businesses but also competing against those businesses in the very trade they do. now we are looking into the use of data to see if this is done in a fair way or will there be a case for us? emily: that is european union commissioner margrethe vestager. after five years battling big tech, the antitrust chief will step down from her post later this year but not without dealing one more blow to silicon valley. she plans to open a formal investigation into amazon within
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coming days. she has hinted for months that she wanted to escalate a preliminary inquiry to have amazon using sales data to undercut third-party markets. joining us to discuss is brad stone. how big of a blow could this be to amazon? brad: in the short-term term, probably not a huge blow. google is currently facing, i think over $9 million in eu fines. it has been appealing them so that continues. this is the beginning of an investigation, at least the expansion of an investigation for amazon in the eu. i think vestager is going to demand a kind of level of information that amazon has been unwilling in the past to provide. to the extent which the company takes data from its marketplace how certain products are selling. seasonally, overall. and then moves those products into its first party marketplace. selling it for itself. amazon says it does not look at
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individual seller's data. if vestager could demand information from the company about that, we might find out if that is true or not. emily: also this week, you've got democrats calling for an investigation into amazon warehouses. amazon one of the four companies on capitol hill today being asked questions on antitrust. talk to us about this potential warehouse investigation that democrats are calling for. brad: it is a great political environment for any big tech companies. amazon about to hit the $1 trillion market cap again. bezos, the richest guy in the world. i went in and out of the hearings today so i did not hear the specifics of the purported investigation into the fulfillment centers. i think, look, i think amazon, it has a massive supply chain. hundreds of thousands of workers
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around the world in its fulfillment centers, driving its vans and trucks and flying its airplanes. i don't know how you would conduct oversight. i'm sure there could be pockets of workers being poorly performed but overall i think they do a fairly good job. it would be hard to conduct that kind of oversight in any practical way. emily: we are in the middle of the second day of prime day. amazon tweeted it was the biggest 24-hour sales day in amazon history, at least day one. we are still waiting on final numbers. there were some shoppers complaining that they were seeing technical glitches. there was a spike in searches for canceling amazon prime. so, presumably some of those people bought some things and wanted to cancel. what is the verdict so far, 36 or so hours? brad: sitting back and watching prime day, you have to marvel at what a marketing event they have
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concocted out of thin air. they created a holiday season in the middle of the summer. a holiday season brings with it a lot of problems. you've got porch pirates. you've got disappointed customers. all sorts of things, the frenzy. overall, you have to sit back and admire the company for bringing itself to a peak season in the middle of the slowest time of year, right? they have created a frenzy where otherwise it would not exist. they not only have done it themselves, but brought the rest of the online retail industry with them. you see everyone else offering sales as well. canceling prime is funny because there will always be a number of customers that will take advantage of the system. while that was the headline today, how many people signed up for prime because of prime day and i am sure that is a large number too. emily: we will give you the verdict tomorrow. brad stone, thank you. we will be back with more
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"bloomberg tech" after this quick break. ♪
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emily: while facebook libra's cryptocurrency may have been headlining hearings on capitol hill, big tech remains under congress' light. joining us to recap the wild day of hearings, our senior analyst for antitrust, jennifer rie. the house antitrust hearing also a big deal as well. what can congress actually do here? jennifer: what congress can actually do is legislate. i think that is what the a miss -- aim is here. i don't think something like that would happen anytime soon. this was the second hearing and what is intended to be a series of hearings to delve into what the issues are here and whether there is really a problem and how that problem should be solved. i think there is some bipartisan
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support for some kind of legislation, whether it is antitrust legislation or something that is different that just regulate internet platforms. i think there is an appetite for doing something like that but the devil will be in the details. that would be something very difficult, complex and intricate to put together and actually get passed. emily: what was your biggest takeaway from the hearings today and did anything surprise you? jennifer: my biggest takeaway was it was probably a mistake to have all four of those companies and one hearing. because the problem is this is about antitrust and antitrust is fact specific and about conduct. there are similarities among these companies, but the fact of the matter is the conduct that has been criticized of each is entirely different and entirely different markets. there was not an ability in the short time period by questioning by committee members to dive in and get into the specifics of the conduct and whether or not it harms rivals, and whether or not that trickles down to consumers which is really what the focus needs to be. to understand if these companies' conduct are running afoul of antitrust laws.
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emily: three hearings today. house hearing on antitrust. senate hearing on google specifically. senate hearing on libra specifically. tomorrow, another hearing in the house on libra specifically. how do you -- how do we keep track of all of these, many of these similar, but some conflicting issues, as you say, four completely different companies? jennifer: it is so difficult, yet later this month there is actually another senate hearing on antitrust. part of the issue is you have the house and senate kind of paralleling each other and doing the same thing. a lot of this will be repetitive. the libra hearing tomorrow is in the house. today, it was in the senate. you will see a lot of repetition of what happened in the senate today in the house hearing tomorrow. the house committee members airing their grievances and suspicions of facebook just as we heard in the senate hearing today, and asking the same kinds of questions.
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i think for the next year at least, it is going to be like this. there will be a lot of focus on these companies, a lot of hearings. it is going to be hard to keep track of it. on top of it, we understand the ftc and department of justice maybe planning investigations or already invested getting these four companies as well. there is a lot going on. emily: is there one company in particular by your analysis that may be in the most trouble or faces the biggest antitrust risk? jennifer: i think right now the two that seemed to me to be getting the most heat are google and amazon. there was not a lot of talk about apple today in the hearings. amazon and google took the most heat. on facebook's side, the bigger issues are privacy related which are different from antitrust. in amazon, a lot of questions on whether it has a conflict of interest in running a platform and competing with some of the sellers on that platform. as well as how users sell its data and if it uses the data to disadvantage the sellers and advantage its own bottom line.
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i think amazon really is kind of at the forefront. and then google as well, with its dominance in search and the way it is using search, and the way it may be competing against, with its own services against other companies that have those same services and where those services come up in searches. emily: bloomberg's jennifer rie. much more to come. we will be all over the facebook libra hearing coming up in the house. that does it for this edition of "bloomberg technology." we are livestreaming on twitter as always. check us out @technology. follow our breaking news network, tictoc, on twitter. this is bloomberg. ♪
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