Tags Business

Google slapped with record-breaking $2.7 billion fine for abusing search dominance

Google EU Antitrust Record Fine

Alphabet execs will not be waking up to good news today. They already knew that Google was facing a fine in Europe that would likely beat the record set a few years ago by Intel’s €1.06 billion punishment. But they probably did not expect a €2.42 fine, or around $2.7 billion, which is more than double Intel’s sanction.

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Chris Smith

June 27th

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AT&T promises massive broadband investment if Trump gives it tax breaks

AT&T broadband investment Trump meeting

There's a tired old trick for internet service providers that want a tax break to continue gouging customers. The ISP will make some vague promise of future broadband investment, in return for immediate tax breaks or approval of an industry deal. On the surface, it sounds good: delivering broadband to rural areas is often uneconomic, so government often wants to cut a deal with private industry to deliver it.

But the problem is that internet providers seem to have a really tricky time keeping to their promises, and unexpected roadblocks just happen to always spring up right around the time the investment is meant to happen.

That's why AT&T's promise to President Trump that it ill invest $22 billion in new infrastructure -- in return for immediate tax cuts -- is so terribly worrying.

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Chris Mills

June 25th

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Uber’s next CEO has six huge problems to fix

Uber new CEO's biggest problems

Even though a significant part of Uber's workforce doesn't want to admit it, Travis Kalanick is out at Uber. The CEO job is going to be the hottest one in town, and not just because of the current media frenzy. Uber is Silicon Valley's biggest startup that's still in startup mode, and that's going to be a challenge for the new CEO.

Despite a $60 billion valuation, Uber has yet to turn a cent of profit, it's lacking any senior leadership, cash is being burned through at an alarming rate, and there's a massive lawsuit against Google just getting underway. So, here's a non-exhaustive list of the short and not-so-short-term problems that Uber's next CEO is going to have to tackle.

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Chris Mills

June 23rd

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I give up: let’s just have one giant cable company

Charter Cox merger 2017

The cable industry is already a hot mess in the US. Nearly 80 percent of the country has only one option for high-speed broadband, because a handful of big cable companies has split the nation into a series of regional monopolies.

That's bad (and the reason why cable companies can treat their customers like actual dog crap!) but at least there's some competition between companies on a national level. But over the last year, cable companies have been merging at breakneck speeds, and a new report suggests that two giant players might become one.

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Chris Mills

June 22nd

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$12 billion lawsuit claims CenturyLink routinely ‘defrauded’ cable customers

CenturyLink lawsuit seeks massive damages

It's tough being a cable company. You have this perfect monopoly over a valuable resource, but customers keep on complaining about "service" and "price" and "satisfaction."

So your only option to generate more record profits is simple: just tell your sales reps to stick extra services and charges on the bill without permission. I mean hey, it worked for Wells Fargo, right?

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Chris Mills

June 21st

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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick finally resigns

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Resigns

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick only a few days after taking a leave of absence from the company. The move is not surprising, as Uber had to deal with a garden variety of scandals for the better part of the year.

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Chris Smith

June 21st

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Uber CEO Travis Kalanick finally resigns

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick Resigns

Uber CEO Travis Kalanick only a few days after taking a leave of absence from the company. The move is not surprising, as Uber had to deal with a garden variety of scandals for the better part of the year.

Continue reading...

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Chris Smith

June 21st

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Consumer Reports confirms that yep, cable companies still suck

Worst cable company of 2017

The results of Consumer Reports' annual Telecoms Survey are here, and the results are not remotely shocking. Once again, big cable companies achieve low scores in nearly every category. People hate the companies, hate the customer service, don't think it's particularly worthwhile, and find it's unreliable.

Mysteriously, small, non-traditional cable companies like municipal broadband providers or Google Fiber score much better when providing the same kinds of service. A more cynical man would probably draw the conclusion that cable companies are abusing regional monopolies to shameless rip consumers off, but that could never happen in competition-paradise America, right?

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Chris Mills

June 20th

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Here are all 47 things Uber is going to change to try to be less horrible

uber recommendations

Huge changes are afoot for troubled ride hailing startup Uber. After years of missteps, detailed complaints from current and former employees, and a CEO that can't seem to get out of his own way, the company's board declared this week that it would adopt all 47 recommendations from an independent analysis of Uber's internal culture, policies, and structure. The list is long and addresses everything from the role of CEO Travis Kalanick to the topic of intimate relationships between employees, and even at what time the company holds its catered dinners. Here's the rundown.

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Mike Wehner

June 15th

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Senior Uber exec Emil Michael is out

Uber: Emil Michael out

After a tumultuous few weeks for Uber, we're finally seeing real changes at the company. Emil Michael, Uber's Senior Vice President for business and CEO Travis Kalanick's right-hand man, has left the company.

In an email sent by Michael announcing his departure, he doesn't give a specific reason for why he's going. He just says that he's handing over his role to David Richter, Uber's current SVP of Strategic Initiatives. He also stresses Uber's diversity and inclusivity.

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Chris Mills

June 12th

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