Displaying items by tag: Alphabet Inc

Tech giant to invest further $1 billion for NYC campus

Written on Thursday, 20 December 2018 09:01

Alphabet Inc. has announced it will invest more than $1 billion to build a new campus in New York.

The parent company of Google plans to make the Hudson Square site its primary global business hub; with new office space in Lower Manhattan, and new property at 550 Washington Street.

The 1.7 million square-foot campus is set to double its staff numbers within a decade.

Earlier this year, the tech giant spent $2.4 billion buying New York City’s historic Chelsea Market, with plans to add a community space, winter garden and a public water taxi landing. It closely resides to their 111 Eighth Avenue headquarters, which they purchased in 2010.

“New York City continues to be a great source of diverse, world-class talent—that’s what brought Google to the city in 2000 and that’s what keeps us here,” Says Ruth Porat, SVP and CFO of Google and Alphabet, on a blog post.

"It's now home to more than 7,000 employees, speaking 50 languages, working on a broad range of teams including Search, Ads, Maps, YouTube, Cloud, Technical Infrastructure, Sales, Partnerships and Research."

Fellow tech titan Amazon Inc. is also set to invest $5 billion in real estate across two new headquarters for their HQ2 project. It hopes its Long Island City site will create a further 25,000 new jobs in New York and North Virginia.

Published in Apps

Google files appeal against $2.8bn EU antitrust fine

Written on Tuesday, 19 September 2017 10:45

Alphabet-owned Google is fighting back against the $2.8 billion antitrust fine it was given by the European Commission in June this year. The Californian tech giant has filed an appeal against the fine, which was the largest penalty ever given by the European Union’s regulator.

The European Commission had ruled that Google’s positioning of its own shopping comparison service at the top of Google search results was an abuse of power. If the practice continued, the Commission said, more fines would come Google’s way.

At the time when the fine was imposed, the EC’s Competition Commissioner, Margrethe Vestager, said Google was conducting activity that was “illegal under EU antitrust rules.” Google “respectfully disagreed” with the ruling, but was given 90 days to end its “anti competitive” practices or else face another fine amounting to 5 percent of the average daily global earning of Alphabet.

The company “has systematically given prominent placement to its own comparison shopping service,” the Commission claims. Furthermore, “Google has demoted rival comparison shopping services in its search results.”

For instance, rival comparison shopping services appear in Google's search results on the basis of Google's generic search algorithms. Google has included a number of criteria in these algorithms, as a result of which rival comparison shopping services are demoted. 

Evidence, according to the Commission, shows that even the most highly ranked rival service appears on average only on page four of Google's search results, and others appear even further down.

Google's own comparison shopping service is not subject to Google's generic search algorithms, including such demotions. As a result, Google's comparison shopping service is much more visible to consumers in Google's search results, whilst rival comparison shopping services are much less visible.

Google's “illegal practices” have had a “significant impact” on competition between Google's own comparison shopping service and rival services, the Commission claims. They allowed Google's comparison shopping service to make significant gains in traffic at the expense of its rivals and to the detriment of European consumers.

Given Google's dominance in general internet search, its search engine is an important source of traffic, the Commission claims. As a result of Google's practices, traffic to Google's comparison shopping service increased significantly, whilst rivals have “suffered very substantial losses of traffic on a lasting basis.”

The Commission is now looking at other areas where it suspects Google may have abused its monopoly power, notably its Android mobile operating system, speculates BBC Technology Correspondent Rory Cellan-Jones. The Commission’s ruling against Google “was seen as just the first shot in a wider campaign,” he said.

Published in Government

Japan’s SoftBank Group Corp announced a subsidiary of SoftBank has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire robotics pioneer Boston Dynamics from Alphabet Inc (parent company of Google). The transaction aligns with SoftBank's investments in paradigm-shifting technologies and its vision of catalyzing the next wave of smart robotics. The terms of the transaction were not disclosed.

“Today, there are many issues we still cannot solve by ourselves with human capabilities. Smart robotics are going to be a key driver of the next stage of the Information Revolution, and Marc and his team at Boston Dynamics are the clear technology leaders in advanced dynamic robots,” said Masayoshi Son, Chairman & CEO of SoftBank Group Corp. “I am thrilled to welcome them to the SoftBank family and look forward to supporting them as they continue to advance the field of robotics and explore applications that can help make life easier, safer and more fulfilling.”

Marc Raibert, CEO and founder of Boston Dynamics, said, “We at Boston Dynamics are excited to be part of SoftBank's bold vision and its position creating the next technology revolution, and we share SoftBank's belief that advances in technology should be for the benefit of humanity. We look forward to working with SoftBank in our mission to push the boundaries of what advanced robots can do and to create useful applications in a smarter and more connected world.”

As part of the transaction with Alphabet, SoftBank has also agreed to acquire Japanese bipedal robotics company Schaft. Founded in 2012 in the JSK Robotics Laboratory at the University of Tokyo, the company has continued its pioneering work under the leadership of co-founders Yuto Nakanishi, Junichi Urata, Narito Suzuki and Koichi Nishiwaki.

The transaction is subject to customary closing conditions and regulatory approvals.

Published in Finance

"Google Fiber is already up and running in seven other major cities, outside California, but a source familiar with the project says the company is putting additional fiber locations on the back burner to reassess the technology and explore a cheaper alternative—wireless service that does not require expensive, capital-intensive and time-consuming installation of fiber cables under the ground," the Mercury News reported. "The source said Google is now focusing more on aerial installation."

Google has told at least two Silicon Valley cities that it is putting plans to provide lightning-fast fiber internet service on hold while the company explores a cheaper alternative.

The news comes nearly three months after San Jose officials approved a major construction plan to bring Google Fiber to the city. Mountain View and Palo Alto also were working with Google to get fiber internet service but said Monday that the company told them the project has been delayed.

"It was a surprise," said Mountain View public works director Mike Fuller, who added that Google told city officials the company was still committed to providing fiber service in Mountain View. "We didn't expect it because we were working on what was their plan at the time."

Google Fiber was scheduled to announce its official launch in San Jose within months, but plans seemed to stall after the company obtained final permits in May to begin a three-year construction project. At the time, the company estimated that 60 percent of its cable network would be underground and 40 percent would be aerial.

The company was set to begin digging in San Jose last month, but nearly 100 employees hired to install Google Fiber were pulled into an office and told the project was being delayed, according to workers. They were offered a transfer to San Diego to work on an unrelated project.

“We continue to see Fiber as a huge market opportunity,” said CFO Ruth Porat, citing the company’s efforts to push “the frontier with tech applications.”

She continued: “We’re exploring both Fiber and wireless, and you may have seen our recent acquisition of Webpass.” Fiber snapped up the small internet provider Webpass, which relies on wireless tech to serve city markets.

Porat, being a Google executive, did not get into any details on Fiber’s plans here. She did reiterate that it is the biggest source of spending outside of the core Google business.

Google's parent company, Alphabet Inc., recently acquired Webpass Inc., and is expected to adopt its wireless technology, which provides superfast internet service at lower costs without digging up city streets. Webpass' wireless approach involves

Google Fiber is already up and running in seven other major cities, outside California, but a source familiar with the project says the company is putting additional fiber locations on the back burner to reassess the technology and explore a cheaper alternative -- wireless service that does not require expensive, capital-intensive and time-consuming installation of fiber cables under the ground. The source said Google is now focusing more on aerial installation.

Google competitors including AT&T and Comcast have been blocking the company from accessing privately owned utility poles, which could provide a cheaper option than burying cable for fiber.

Google Fiber spokeswoman Veronica Navarrete said company officials will continue talks with San Jose, Palo Alto, Santa Clara, Sunnyvale and its hometown of Mountain View about providing internet service, but added that it "takes time" to deploy "the latest technologies in alignment with our product road map, while understanding local considerations and challenges."

San Jose leaders said Monday that they're hopeful Google's future plans -- even if services take a different shape or form -- will involve the city, especially after nearly two years of discussions over how to give residents faster connections.

"The fiber ball is entirely in Google's court," said city spokesman David Vossbrink. "We're very optimistic that their plans for extending their high speed broadband system will include San Jose, even if their original schedule gets modified so they can take advantage of technology advances that might be potentially less disruptive."

In Palo Alto, a city staff report said deployment of Google Fiber has been delayed "up to six months or more."

"Google indicated that they are exploring more innovative ways of deployment that overcome some of the challenges they are facing in their current builds," the report said.

American multinational conglomerate Alphabet Inc., created in 2015 as the parent company of Google, recently released its Q1 financial results which have been hotly anticipated. It appears the company was able to generate high amounts of revenue despite losing a large amount of money due to riskier ventures under the Alphabet umbrella.

According to the results, Alphabet earned $20.3 billion in revenue which is a 17 percent increase Year-on-Year (YoY). In addition, the company earned a net income of $4.2 billion which is a 20 percent increase from earnings in Q1 2015. These are positive results for one of the biggest and most profitable companies in the world.

It was risky ventures that held Alphabet back from higher profits at the end of the day. ‘Other bets’ such as Verily, Google Fiber, Google X, Ventures, Nest, Calico and others led to an overall loss of $802 million during Q1 2016 for Alphabet Inc. Most of the company’s profits came from Google’s advertising business, earning $18 billion in revenue which is a 16 percent increase from Q1 results from 2015.

$2.1 billion of Alphabet Inc.’s Q1 revenue is attributed to Google Play and hardware sales, which was a 24 percent increase from Q1 2015. Some reports suggest that the successful launch of the Nexus 5X and the Nexus 6P helped to increase these figures, since these latest smartphone models from Google were received by the public much better than the Nexus 6 model released in 2015.

Because there wasn’t anything particularly interesting or groundbreaking about Alphabet’s Q1 financial results (which is arguably a good thing for the company), Alphabet CEO, Sundar Pichai, announced the launch of 360-degree live video on YouTube to give consumers and journalists something to get excited about.

YouTube’s 360-degree live video streaming is a feature which has the potential to boost YouTube’s popularity amongst users. No additional hardware is required to watch videos in 360-degree, and after the popularity of 360-degree videos on Facebook, YouTube’s adoption of the next-generation video format is expected to peak interest. Spatial hearing allows the user to listen to audio with difference in quality and experience of the audio output varying with depth and distance.

In addition to 360-degree live video streaming, Alphabet’s CEO has also highlighted the success that game developers are having with Google Play, with more games reaching the 1 million installations mark in 2015 than ever before. The future looks bright for Alphabet Inc., with steady revenue recordings for Q1 2016, and exciting developments on the way.

Published in Finance

From 2004 until 2008, Google, with its phenomenal worldwide search engine, stood as the world's most valuable company. Google's top position would soon be rivaled by Apple Inc., another tech-giant that overtook Google thanks to its lucrative iPhone products. This year, Alphabet, the newly formed parent company of Google, has finally snatched back the title of world's most valuable company, smashing predicted earnings for Q4 2015.

Published in Reports