Tuesday, April 28, 2015

How Verizon May Have Pulled One Over On Content Giants

I've been watching with interest the seeming outrage from Disney (NYSE:DIS) and 21st Century Fox (NASDAQ:FOX) (FOX) especially, concerning the alleged breaking of an existing content agreement between them and Verizon (NYSE:VZ).

The basic kerfuffle is over whether or not existing agreements allow Verizon to offer sports channels in bundles separate from other channels by the respective content owners. Disney, Fox, and others claim it violates existing agreements, while Verizon says it doesn't.

Verizon won't back down from its FiOS Custom TV,, as Chief Financial Officer Fran Shammo said: "We have launched the product, we are not retracting it, and we believe we are in our legal rights to launch it."


Netflix: Why We Need To Take A Closer Look

It's somewhat alarming to see the majority of financial writers not only parrot the talking points of Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) leadership, but to uncritically point to the one single element the majority of investors in the company are basing decisions on, without balancing it with a healthy dose of skepticism in light of a number of weak data pointing to things that should concern those interested in investing money in the company.

The basic premise is Netflix will continue to grow its international subscription base, and the reason it did so poorly with earnings is because of currency issues. While there is truth to that assertion, the way it is being packaged, it appears as thought if it weren't for that, the company would have exceeded expectations.


Why Google Is Becoming A Victim Of Its Own Search Success

The ongoing antitrust investigation by the European Union of Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) (NASDAQ:GOOGL) points to the problem a superior competitor can easily undergo when it supplies a product consumers and businesses want, and provide it far better than its competition.

It eventually reaches the place where it dominates a market, and the inevitable cries of antitrust violations emerge from those that can't keep up with the competition; such as in the case of Google against all of its competitors.

In the case of the EU, it hasn't yet been revealed as to what it is specifically concerned with over Google, although the regulating arm of the region, the European Commission, is asking for permission to publish the complaints it has received over the years.

According to a recent report in The Wall Street Journal, the EU is close to filing antitrust charges against the tech giant, with some suggesting a fine could reach as high as $6 billion. A bigger concern to me would be what type of fixes would be required from Google, and how that would have an impact on the future revenue and earnings of the company.

Presumably this is similar to antitrust concerns the US Federal Trade Commission had in 2012 when it was considering filing antitrust charges against Google for allegedly giving its own sites preferred treatment in the results. Horrors!