SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Defensive driving skills will come in handy at Uber Technologies. Chief Executive Dara Khosrowshahi steadied the troubled firm and took it public in May. But Uber’s future depends in large part on his reaction to rivals in car-hailing and food delivery.
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - Tim Cook’s charm offensive is coming just at the right time. The Apple boss has Washington and even Beijing on his side, while Facebook’s Mark Zuckerberg can barely speak without annoying someone in power – and his company’s apps are blocked in China. Yet since D.C. pressure ratcheted up a year ago, Facebook’s stock has performed better.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - For a tech billionaire, the one thing worse than attracting the attention of the White House may be seeing that attention go elsewhere. Jeff Bezos’ Amazon lost out to Microsoft on a $10 billion defense contract in which President Donald Trump, a frequent critic, had threatened to intervene. Trump’s wrath has limits, but reverse favoritism is a risk when government money is up for grabs.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Ambitious American lawmakers crafting an antitrust shopping list are putting Amazon near the top. Jeff Bezos’ $880 billion retailing behemoth deepened its hold on consumers again in the third quarter. The dominant internet retailer spent heavily on faster shipping, propelling revenue growth of 24%. Ruthless expansion in areas, such as advertising, where its existing operations give it a leg up, and new markets such as healthcare, bring a showdown with City Hall closer than ever.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Marc Benioff is spreading his activist CEO gospel. A new book by the Salesforce.Com boss argues that doing good is a business imperative. Though his call to action at times reads like an advertisement for the $128 billion company, he demonstrates how helping society can also boost the bottom line.
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters Breakingviews) - There is an elegant solution to Facebook’s chronic problem with political ads: it could stop running them altogether.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - It’s premature to pop any champagne for a U.S.-China trade deal. President Donald Trump says a partial pact with Beijing includes up to $50 billion in agricultural purchases. Important issues such as intellectual property theft are up in the air, though. And many companies have already started the pricey process of upending their supply chains.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Google’s browser privacy could use more cover. Chrome’s owner lags both Mozilla’s Firefox and Apple’s Safari in trying to make the web less creepy. The prospect of losing revenue may explain the Alphabet unit’s resistance to blocking certain ad trackers.
SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Companies are ahead of the White House when it comes to anti-corruption efforts. From withholding Ukrainian aid to making money out of lodging visiting dignitaries, the U.S. administration has muddied the waters on acceptable behavior. While there’s a risk that companies exploit the murk, it’s more likely they’ll end up defenders of the higher ground.
NEW YORK/SAN FRANCISCO (Reuters Breakingviews) - Apple is known for the cleanness of its smartphone designs, yet its TV plans have until now been full of static. On Tuesday, the $970 billion company made things a tad clearer, by announcing that its new Apple TV+ package will be cheaper than rivals. That doesn’t guarantee it will be a smash hit, but it’s enough to get a bunch of people trying it out, which will help Chief Executive Tim Cook with a longer-term goal.