tv Bloomberg Technology Bloomberg January 24, 2023 5:00pm-6:00pm EST
caroline: i'm caroline hyde. ed: i'm ed ludlow. this is "bloomberg technology." texas instruments, microsoft, the market treading water until those numbers hit. caroline: this is why we look at what is already some hope as the fuster's market ready signaling it. microsoft rising. cloud revenues beat estimates. ed: the justice department in eight states are suing to break up google's ad business. caroline: senators blast ticketmaster's ceo about soaring ticket prices and accustomed -- and a terrible customer experience. it was an awful experience for at least four stocks today. the s&p 500, what a tumult we had at the open. we had a technical glitch. we saw the s&p managed to trade flat after a tumultuous start. nasdaq under pressure, up 0.03%.
already perhaps we see reason for that to flip. the futures market is higher. we saw bonds, yields are down. i want to look at what is happening in terms of where it has been on a power stretch, the ark etf. ready to have its best month we are likely to see in i think since 2020 when kathy ward -- when kathy would first roared into the scene. ark etf having its best month in about two years. ed: you cannot get away from the earnings story. texas instruments sot impos chio manya muted reaction. in the fourth quarter we saw a decline in sales for the first time since 2020. you go to the first quarter forecast, tepid to what the
street was looking for, but they said while there was weakness in markets, auto has been spared. microsoft, eps at $2.32 a share. eps did not drop as much from the same period a year ago as the street had been looking for. the broader story when we talk about that bottom line was the performance and strength in azure cloud. how often has that unit been in the headlines of late? a jefferies analyst has a buy rating on microsoft, welcome to the show. simple question to start with, this is azure saving the day, isn't it? >> yes. azure is one component. office was also very good. i think the balance of growth and profitability is keeping microsoft alive. everyone was super fearful that
the della had -- that the u.s. was going to get worse. they brought expectations down, but delivered what was an okay quarter. no one was going to do back flips over these numbers. technology is slowing. it may get worse in the back half of the year. they have another quarter of tough comps. let's not break out the champagne glasses at this point. in relative to the fear, way better than expected. ed: that is an interesting point. when we look at azure, 100 basis points better than guided. you think about this idea, eps dropped 6.5%. the street was looking for a 7.5% drop year on year. what is the story for micro soft with this broader economy? will it have to rely on its cloud business? brent: yeah, it is all about the cloud. there is no other story here. it is the cloud.
as we go deeper into the year, this concept of i.t. budgets are shrinking, can microsoft do more with less? what we are hearing in a lot of the interviews is cio's are continuing to consolidate their spend on micro soft. microsoft has been vicious about contract renewals. they do not budge when cio's try to renew. relative to an overall tech environment that is slowing, microsoft is going to do relatively better in that environment. it is about consolidation and taking spend from other vendors. i think other vendors are in a way worse position. the portfolio, the durability of the revenue, the quality of its management team should be able to cut through this. i think investors are trying to ask, what do i pay for the stock that trades at a mid-20 multiple? it is not exactly cheap, not
expensive, just right in the middle. caroline: so your price target is 280. what takes us there? what do you want to hear on the call? brent: i think we continue to want to hear about guidance, and nadella said that things may get worse inside the u.s., what is happening in the u.s. market and the rest of the world? ultimately can they commit to double digit growth with margin improvement? can they hold that? overall everyone is all eyes on what is going to happen with overall growth for the rest of the year. caroline: brent, pleased to say you we -- to say you will be sticking with us. the justice department, eight states all suing google over the search giant's ad dominance.
emily ndc has the details -- in d.c. has the details. what is the argument coming from the united states against google? emily: today the justice department and eight u.s. states announced their long-awaited case against google. they are alleging that google has abused its dominance in online marketing, that for every one dollar that advertisers spend on its litany of online advertising tools, google takes $.30. essentially they have hardened competition online. they have made life harder and more expensive for advertisers. this is the second case the justice department has brought against google. some experts say this is essentially a more winning case. everyone in the tech industry is watching closely. caroline: we certainly are, including google, which itself has responded. let's get the take of the
jefferies analyst who has a buy rating on alphabet. regulatory headwinds are abound for many a tech name, but google is saying there is not legal founding for this, do you agree? brent: every legal case that has come, they found a way around it. i do not think this will slow them down. it is hard to handicap a case, to be honest. we have been living with regulatory headwinds on the internet for so long. it is hard to handicap. i do not believe this will impact the end of the day. google is helping us get places, buying items. i do not right now have any belief that this will have any material impact on the business. there has been tons of legal scare tactics. right now it is hard to handicap. i think this is why google is trading at such a low multiple. there has been no precedents
that has slowed them down. caroline: google has said in a blog post that the lawsuit attempts to pick winners and losers in a highly competitive advertising sector. they say it largely duplicates and unfounded lawsuit by the texas attorney general, much of which was recently dismissed by a federal court. is this, even if they manage to win -- it is a cost headache, but perhaps cost them in terms of innovation. what do you worry about the opportunity cost? brent: it is a distraction. they are focused on innovation. every other turn we hear of some legal case. it has not cost them any innovation. and ultimately they broke up pieces of the business. so far we just have not seen it. in our opinion, not much to say at this point other than it is a distraction. they have kept focused.
ed: looking at the share reaction during tuesday's session, down 1.7% all told once the market had closed. the doj looked at this under the trump administration and continues to look at it under the biden administration. as an analyst covering this stock, how much is the risk of serious action with serious results modeled into your price target? brent: it's modeled in because you have a multiple that is now trading at a very big discount. i do not think anyone investing in internet names is investing right now with the understanding that this is an issue. this is an issue for micro soft, for amazon, for facebook and meta. it goes across the board. i do not see an issue that will create, at this point, a big concern. you have seen google's stock over the last decade continue to power higher.
we will keep an eye on it. so far i do not think there is enough for us to hang our hat on anything. ed: the other story dominating the headlines is layoffs. we cannot get away from alphabet and google being another company that is pulling back. what surprised caroline and i were some of the specific areas, even artificial intelligence, where competition with microsoft is heating up. what does that mean for alphabet ? brent: they hired in the mid-20% growth rate. we think this is pretty common. microsoft, amazon, everyone is taking action. the environment is slowing for tech. they have to slow their headcount and re-examine who they hired. not everyone is going to work in every business. at least 5% of this is removing hires that don't work. the other 5% plus is trimming.
we are not discounting there will be potentially more changes to head count. we think that is still open. we expect more cuts to happen across tech. i think this is the first wave. i think this is very common. i think google should have acted faster. they were one of the last two jumps in -- the last to jump in the cost cut pool. caroline: we will see if more is to come. brent, so great to have you across these two key stories, a jefferies analyst. we will let him get to the call for analysts with microsoft coming up in 20 minutes. let's get to another key story that just broke, rupert murdoch is scrapping plans to a proposed merger between fox and news corp.. murdoch sent plans to put back together a media empire that he split in 2013. but he indicated he and his son determined a combination is not optimal for their shareholders of fox and news corp. the murdoch family has a 39%
voting stake in news corp. and 42% of fox. ed: more media movements. coming up, a union alleges youtube is trying to derail contract workers from organizing in texas. more details on that bloomberg story, next. ♪ (upbeat music) there's more to business than the business you're in. (robot whirring) want smarter factories? that's the internet of things business. accelerating r and d? data science business. hey. have a look. managing global supply chains?
stock compensation being announced. for those earning up to $500,000 they are now eligible to receive once again a pool of restricted stock. this is rewarding basically a majority of the entire employee base, which was up to 96% earning $500,000 or below. still sticking to that reward compensation to keep their talent, even they saw downdraft in revenues in 2022. let's talk about staff and relationships with alphabet. apparently it is really -- it is illegally using return to office policies to derail youtube contract workers from organizing in texas. that is according to a complaint filed by the alphabet workers union on tuesday. bloomberg's mark gurman joins us. fascinating that we are seeing this move. who of youtube are trying to organize? what parts of the business? mark: these are contractors for
youtube music. they are based in texas. they are alleging in this complaint that as soon as they started ramping up their unionization effort and they got calls to come back to the office and if they did not come back they might find themselves terminated. google is one of those companies that has its three day a week policy that they are enforcing. it is unclear how strictly they are enforcing it. in this case it seems to be pretty strict. ed: here in the bay area, lots of alphabet employees, lots of google employees. lots of them are contractors. that has been surprising, especially in the recent headlines around layoffs. that has become a flashpoint for the company. why is this an issue? mark: it has come up from a lot of their full-time employees that have complained, that they have this two-tiered system where contract workers do not have the same benefits as a regular google engineer might have.
you were just talking about regulation with the big tech companies, this is baked into -- we are seeing this apple with retail employees, microsoft with videogame employees, and now various parts of the google empire have been raising this issue around contract workers. in this complaint they explicitly said, no, alphabet, you are the joint employer. that is something that google has pushed back on in court filings and said, no, we are not the employer, this is the contractor. caroline: dig into that more. representatives of alphabet and cognizant did not immediately respond to requests for comment. but this is about the contractors being employed through cognizant and alphabet saying they are a step removed. mark: they have adapted this practice in recent decades. it will be interesting to see in layoffs, it is more like google,
youtube, they still want to grow. youtube music still wants to compete with spotify. they want workers that do what these workers in texas do, they come to the library. caroline: is there a specific job function that their argument allows them to leverage this rule, the return to office argument? mark: my understanding is these workers are not the content moderators that will screen for violent footage, they are looking at, this video is a music video, this is not. this video comes up from this label. these are behind the scenes laborers that youtube relies on. they may have to rely on them more now that they cut employees. ed: i want to stick with alphabet and its research lab. it is taking a hit outside the u.s. it will close is edmonton,
alberta office. impacted engineers and researchers will be offered the option to relocate to other offices. for those in other roles, unfortunately they will be laid off. caroline: coming up, let's look at innovation coming from amazon, a five dollar a month subscription for generic drugs. this is bloomberg. ♪
amazon prime in the u.s.. would you pay for a drug surface? you have to be a prime member and you can order from a menu of generic medications which amazon says can treat more than 80 health conditions. rxpass is available in most u.s. states, but in california, pennsylvania and texas you will have to wait. the pitch, low-priced simple medications on a monthly basis, but you can't use government insurance. it is not clear what is new in amazon's subscription offering. the tech giant already offered amazon pharmacy since 2020, where prime users can pay for subscriptions using their insurance -- for prescriptions using their insurance. or you can get a discount on your medicine if you want to pay cash. ed: this story caught our eye tuesday morning, mostly because i thought i heard it before. amazon announced in 2020 amazon pharmacy, where you can use insurance and if you choose not to you can pay a bit of cash but
get a big discount on drugs. this is similar, but it seems to be that subscription part. there was a reaction today to this news. caroline: particularly from competitor stocks, which fell. goodrx, when we questioned the ceo, he said amazon is not our threat. now analysts are saying, innovate. if you think about what amazon is offering, five dollars a month, it is not going to compete versus goodrx ordering just one drug. if you are ordering three, five dollars a month is really cheap. ed: but you cannot use government insurance. another part of that was interesting, not available in california or texas. the country's most popular states. amazon did not give an explanation as to why. caroline: you have to gut check it and think it has to be with regulation. overall this is a company that
has time and time again focused on how we can become more addicted to prime. seemingly by offering health care is the way to do it. coming up, more on google's lawsuit. what it means for the future of the advertising industry. we will get an insider perspective. david cohen will be with us. ed: musk testifying for a third day in the tesla fraud trial on the 2018 tweet. we will have all the details. he has been speaking for three days straight in san francisco. that is next. this is bloomberg. ♪
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weaken if not destroy competition in the ad tech industry. as detailed in our complaint, we allege google's anti-competitive conduct extends to three significant elements of the digital ad buying process. caroline: the u.s. attorney general merrick garland speaking at a press conference tuesday. let's get back to that key story of the day, the u.s. lawsuit to break up google's ad unit. david cohen, ceo of the interactive advertising bureau, an organization that develops industry standards, provides legal support for the online advertising industry, more than 700 members, including google, but never looks, spotify -- but netflix, spotify. just off the back of your annual meeting. from your perspective, how does the advertising tech world currently function? is it a competitive space? david: it is great to be here.
we just hosted about 1200 folks across the digital ecosystem. we had 2.5 days of conversation around privacy, public policy, address ability, the future of streaming, a healthy and supported ecosystem. from where we sit, and we go out to our membership every year with a survey, there is widespread belief that there is healthy competition. we have a very long tail and the internet ad ecosystem. we have millions of small businesses that rely on advertising. yes, we do have larger players. this news which broke today, i certainly did see it. we have not dove into it in any way. just finished our conference two hours ago, but we will be closely watching. caroline: what was interesting is many have used the anecdote that this is like citibank or goldman owning the new york
stock exchange. how is it different? can you get is under the skin of how the infrastructure that alphabet owns and operates is different? david: there are lots of companies that own multiple parts of the ad tech ecosystem, of the supply chain, and the end beneficiary is consumers. consumers like convenience, they like lower price, they like free internet, they like free information, entertainment, communications. it's there are lots of examples of this beyond just google. i am not sure why it is just a google situation. the end recipient is the consumer winning. ed: the doj states, alleges, that alphabet or google in particular dominates the market for search, but also dominates
the market for advertising technology. you lead an industry association for advertising. does google dominate the market for advertising technology? david: there was a report that recently came out in the wall street journal about a month ago that reported that between google and meta, they represent less than 50% of the ad supported ecosystem in the u.s. that is a decrease over time. are there players that have significant influence and share? yes. in lots of cases in the industry, whether you talk about detergent, chocolate, autos, there are lots of examples of leading players that have significant market share. i do not think the ad supported ecosystem is any different than other categories. ed: you are the interactive advertising bureau ceo. one thing top of your mind right now is streaming. this weekend gone, our
correspondent in l.a. interviewed the new ceo of netflix. they said they got to an ad supported tier when they realized they better get moving because of the competitive landscape. where do we stand with the streamers, those newer players and longer legacy players and how they are contributing to the marketplace? david: it represented a lot of days.onversation over the we had jeremy from netflix as a speaker talking about them getting into the ad supported streaming space. it is still early days. they have a minimum viable product and are excited about growing that, driving innovation and scale. there is no doubt we are seeing a very quick shift from linear television to the streaming space. ad supported streaming is clearly where the action is. there is lots of competition in that area. we host something every year,
basically a celebration of what is the opportunity in the streaming space, which is coming up in may for the upfront season when advertisers buy for the upcoming year. caroline: what does the environment seem like? everyone has been worrying, earnings are about to be upon us. david: slowing. we do research on this topic. we go after the market, we interview buyers. we believe this year will be a growth year for the digital environment. they will be slower than it has been historically. overall we see the advertising space will grow about 6% in 2023. there are areas that will decline, linear television as an example. there are places that will grow significantly. ctv we have growing 4% year on
year. that is coming off explosive growth in 2022. a year of slowing growth. ed: i think that is something we have heard time and time again from this industry. david cohen, ceo of the interactive advertising bureau. thanks for joining us hot on the tails of your annual meeting. on to elon musk. he told a jury that he was confident he could have pulled off his proposal for .5 years ago to take tesla private -- 4.5 years ago to take tesla private, saying he never had trouble raising money for his companies. our bloomberg correspondent has been covering musk's testimony for the last three days. this all about those tweets in 2018 to take tesla private. what was the take away from day three? >> in day two it was like a tale of two musks. yesterday we saw musk who was mumbling, looking for words. today we had a very competent
musk took the stand. he was making very good eye contact with the jury. yesterday he admitted he did not get enough sleep, but he probably slept last night and was back in court today in full form. some of the takeaways were musk touted to the jury has record when it came to investing, raising funds when it comes to investors. he said every financing round that he has ever had, his watch has been oversubscribed. he talked about how he had the best record in the world perhaps of raising money when it came to investors. he said he was always truthful to investors, and that is why investors would just give him the money. we had questioning from his own attorney. we had the attorney from the plaintiff side, who tried to land some of these gotcha
moments but they did not quite happen. although he did get musk to say that he hadn't previously talked about the spacex shares, which he said yesterday he would tap into to finance the deal. caroline: ultimately, taking a step back, is he doing enough of what is required of him to fight off the allegations of the shareholders? malathi: he came with these good catchphrases, talking about how he really cares about investors and wanting to do right by investors. he repeated how there was unequivocal support from saudi arabia and he believed saudi arabia was committed to this deal. he definitely brought his a-game today. he definitely ensured there were not any punches that landed from the plaintiff's attorney except for a few here and there.
ed: this is probably the three days of this trial that everyone was most excited about, but we have a little way to go. what is left in this process? malathi: we have a few more witnesses lined up. this is a two-week trial. things are fluid. may be the judge was concerned they were running behind schedule. i am guessing the trial could and the first week of february. we will have to see how long a jury takes to come up with a verdict on whether musk, what his thinking was behind these tweets. caroline: we, thank you so much taking time at that courtroom to speak with us. we have to get into the world of crypto. celsius might create a token of its own to get itself out of bankruptcy. what else is happening in the crypto space at the moment? we will talk about it with blockchain association's kristin smith. this is bloomberg. ♪
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will likely file suit. the winklevoss brothers have said there is this pending. first tree house one. we will see if the court forces disclosure of all this, and what that means for legal ramifications. ed: that was the vaneck head of digital assets talking about the commingling of assets in firms like ftx. celsius is considering a new token to repay creditors and exit and cropsey. -- and exit bankruptcy. binance conceding it mistakenly placed user funds with its own reserves. let's bring in kristin smith, executive director of the blockchain association. you serve as a liaison between policymakers, industry participants. negative headline. binance concedes using funds mistakenly stored with its
reserves, issuing a token to make up to creditors. it is an impossible question. what is your reaction to those negative headlines? kristin: it has been a challenging year for the crypto industry. we are continuing to see a lot of interesting headlines. if there is any silver lining to this, this has been a real educational opportunity, particularly for our lessee makers as -- our policymakers as they are trying to get up to speed on a complex industry. when we see headlines around binance, there are probably deeper details in the back story. binance.com is not u.s. operated, but it poses questions. how do users that are giving their assets to a third-party know that they are actually there? some of the u.s. companies have some innovative proof of reserve systems in order to do that. all of this gets back to a
conversation about, how do you hold digital assets? how cool, you can hold digital assets yourself. if you are relying on a third-party, how do you know they are reliable? we are thinking this as one ongoing teachable moment at the blockchain association. caroline: it continues to confound the resolute optimism within a space where we see the new ceo of ftx going through a bankruptcy proceeding, associating -- resuscitating the token. 120% rise in ftt tokens in 2023 because of that uplift. does that signal seeds of change? kristin: i am very skeptical of these tokens that are tied to a specific exchange or platform. i think real crypto assets
operate decentralized crypto networks and they are not tied to the success of any single entity or firm. i think the activity happening around the ftt token was pure speculation. that token is not widely traded in the u.s.. i do not think that is necessarily the right answer. i think investors are looking to invest in crypto assets, they need to do their own research and understand what is the underlying network? the crypto industry is not here to build up at oh tokens for the price moves up and down. -- build crypto tokens for the price moves up and down. there are strong use cases around it. what we are trained to do with crypto networks is find -- we are trying to do with crypto networks is to find a way to operate the structure of a network. that is something that in order to have that economic incentive you have to have a token.
if you are token rising something related to a specific company, that looks a lot more like a security and misses the point as to why we are here building out crypto networks. caroline: are regulators missing the point, or having to focus more on things they worry that are looking like securities? kristin: it depends on the regulator. a couple days ago there was a phenomenal speech, someone at the fcc, she understands the power of decentralization and the need to find an appropriate way for this technology to be built out. if you look at other parts of government, maybe not so much. maybe that is good job security for me at the blockchain association because we have a never ending security to do of our nation's policymakers. it is a complicated space. i do this all day long and can barely keep up with the development.
it is hard to judge policymakers. what we saw last time we were talking about ftx, what that has done has brought the crypto industry to the top of the fold on every major news outlet. i think policymakers had dismissed this are taking a hard look. we will see debate through this last half of the biden administration. ed: we have the house financial services subcommittee -- forgive me for looking down on my screen for that one. when does the industry look at itself and say when do we get better at self policing? kristin: that is an excellent question. these are conversations that are happening within the crypto industry right now. there is so much transparency as to what is going on in the crypto industry because most of this information is on the blockchain.
when you deal with these decentralized parties, there is a ton of information there. you need to translate that into something that is useful. there are companies that help do that translation. what we need to do is figure out -- there are a lot of good practices that different companies are doing, we need to make sure we are picking the best ones and sharing best practices across the industry. i think we can do a better job at self policing. caroline: i will hold onto that word "useful." when you go to a policymaker and say this is the most use case i'm seeing at the moment, what is decentralizing assets in a useful manner now? kristin: one of my favorite projects, i sit on the board of their condition, filecoin is trying to do a decentralized version of amazon web services. you can hook up service to the network. you can provide that service if
you have storage. you can store it in a way that is cheaper and decentralized. maybe that is not as sexy as the nft's out there today, but i think it is cool and will build new infrastructure for the internet going forward. ed: the blockchain association executive director kristin smith here in san francisco. thank you. coming up, the swifties get revenge as the ticketmaster ceo apologizes for extreme price gouging. shake it off. this is bloomberg. ♪
>> i thought -- who thought taylor swift lyrics will be quoted on capitol hill? too much demand. [indiscernible] or is it too much control by one company? live nation controls a whole host of live venues across the u.s. but also owns ticketmaster, which is the only way to get the ticket when you are at that particular venue. people say there is not enough competition. seakgee -- seatgeek ceo says the only way to break up competition -- this argument was made in the 1990's. it has been revisited on capitol hill and it is the third straight time they will digest
whether competition will help you get your hands on the tickets that you want. who would have thought politicians according swift, not just you? people arguing there is too much consolidation in a space. we were just discussing the doj looking at google. everyone still looking at ticketmaster. ed: i bought some tickets recently. they are often expensive. you look at how you buy them. bloomberg reporting shows ticketmaster is often the only option other than the secondary market. it is what people have been talking about on instagram, twitter and tiktok to vent their experiences. he reminds you, why do we have oversight? caroline: and why do you have those select committees saying the only answer is to split the?
market the competition -- split the market. the company should is thin -- the competition is thin. ed: it goes back to my point. which show have i dreamed of? you only have one option. caroline: at the moment, where else do i go is the winner on that poll. it seems to be a day in san francisco where we talked so much about earnings and regulation and oversight. a real story of washington meets silicon valley at the moment. ed: it never goes away. caroline: that does it for this edition of "bloomberg technology ." wednesday we have ark's tasha k eeney on the show. ed: this is bloomberg. ♪
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