|Bid||0.00 x 1000|
|Ask||0.00 x 2200|
|Day's Range||185.76 - 187.68|
|52 Week Range||123.02 - 208.66|
|Beta (3Y Monthly)||1.28|
|PE Ratio (TTM)||31.49|
|Earnings Date||Oct 28, 2019 - Nov 1, 2019|
|Forward Dividend & Yield||N/A (N/A)|
|1y Target Est||235.55|
One in five users say they had their privacy violated on social media, according to an exclusive new Verizon Media survey.
(Bloomberg) -- Facebook Inc. is once again defending Libra -- this time against fears that the envisioned cryptocurrency could replace sovereign currencies from the U.S. dollar to the Euro and threaten central banks’ control over money creation.David Marcus, the executive leading the project, posted a series of tweets the same day members of the Libra Association met with regulators convened by a G-7 working group in Switzerland. He argued that creating Libra isn’t the digital equivalent of printing U.S. dollars or minting new euros. The simple existence of Libra, he says, doesn’t create new value.Facebook’s crypto plans, unveiled in June, have faced intense push-back from regulators all over the world. One of the biggest concerns is that the new digital currency will be used by smugglers, drug dealers and terrorists. Another is that the social media giant, which has run afoul of regulators over user data in the past, should not be trusted to handle sensitive financial information. Facebook has said repeatedly it would be just one of many companies managing the new currency.“Recently there’s been a lot of talk about how Libra could threaten the sovereignty of nations when it comes to money,” Marcus tweeted. “Libra will be backed 1:1 by a basket of strong currencies. This means that for any unit of Libra to exist, there must be the equivalent value in its reserve,” he tweeted. “As such there’s no new money creation, which will strictly remain the province of sovereign nations.”Currency competition is yet another sticking point for wary regulators.In a follow-up call after Marcus’s tweets, Christian Catalini, the lead economist inside Facebook working on Libra, declined to say whether or not the issue came up during Monday’s meeting. But he did say that this element of Libra is one of many that are “misunderstood or not correctly interpreted.”“All of the design of Libra is really around being a complement of fiat [currencies], not a substitute,” he said.Why Everybody (Almost) Hates Facebook’s Digital Coin: QuickTakeLibra does not yet exist, and Facebook has pledged that it will not launch until regulators are appeased. It hopes to start the currency sometime in 2020.The concern from regulators is that giving over the control of currency creation to Facebook -- or any private company -- would strip governments of one of their greatest assets: monetary policy. The response from central banks has varied from active engagement as in the case of Singapore, to China considering its own equivalent.In a blog post from July on Harvard Law School’s forum for “corporate governance and financial regulation,” three professors who wrote a paper about regulating Libra argued that it posed a threat to sovereign governments.“Once Libra becomes well established in some countries, national governments will lose control of their money supply and lose monetary policy as a tool of economic expansion or contraction,” the post reads. “They will also lose the capacity, in times of severe uncertainty, to impose capital controls to prevent capital flight. All of these changes may well prove highly destabilising to the entire global financial system.”Catalini disagrees. He says that even for countries whose currency is not part of Libra’s reserve, there is little fear of Libra replacing local tender because of how the digital coin will be used. Its main purpose, Catalini says, is to help with payments that include lots of fees or burdens, like cross-border money transfers. It will be less useful for day-to-day commerce, he added.“It’s unlikely that Libra will be used locally because the local currencies have better properties” for local commerce, he said.To contact the reporter on this story: Kurt Wagner in San Francisco at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Edwin Chan, Joanna OssingerFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- Terry Gou, the billionaire founder of Foxconn Technology Group, pulled out of next year’s presidential election in Taiwan, a move that may help unite the opposition Kuomintang party.Gou apologized to his supporters in a statement on Facebook Tuesday outlining his decision to withdraw from the race as an independent. After he quit the KMT last week, he had come under pressure from opposition leaders, including former President Ma Ying-jeou, to drop out of the race and support their nominee to help return the China-friendly party to power.“With this poor election climate and prevailing populism, I’m not willing to participate in this political farce, not only for my own personal and factional interests, but also because class struggle is tearing Taiwan apart,” Gou said in a video released Tuesday.Gou could still run as a candidate for one of Taiwan’s established political parties.Shares in companies controlled by Gou slumped Tuesday. FIH Mobile Ltd. was the worst performer on Hong Kong’s Hang Seng Composite Index, tumbling as much as 23.2%. His flagship Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. fell 2% in Taipei.Gou had been widely expected to run for the presidency after publicly flirting with the idea since losing the KMT primary to Kaohsiung Mayor Han Kuo-yu in July. Gou’s candidacy threatened to sap support for Han who will challenge President Tsai Ing-wen in the Jan. 11 election.Gou trailed the two candidates from the main parties by at least seven percentage points, according to a survey released by TVBS last week. In a two-way race, Tsai leads with 49% of support, compared with 42% for Han.What had been shaping up as Taiwan’s most competitive presidential election in decades could end up being essentially a straight fight between Tsai and Han. Another prospective independent candidate, Taipei City Mayor Ko Wen-je, said he had no intention of running for president, according to a report by TV news channel TVBS on Tuesday. Still, Tsai could face increased competition for voters who favor a stronger push for the island’s formal independence. Former Vice President Annette Lu announced her intention to run as an independent. Lu served as vice president under Chen Shui-bian between 2000 and 2008.(An earlier version of this story was corrected to fix spelling of Hon Hai Precision Industry Co. in fifth paragraph)\--With assistance from Tony Jordan.To contact the reporter on this story: Debby Wu in Taipei at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Daniel Ten Kate at email@example.com, Samson Ellis, Karen LeighFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- The message to Adam Neumann was clear: You’re not Zuckerberg.Over the past month, as Neumann’s grandiose plans for We Co. started to fray, bankers began warning that he would have to loosen his iron grip on the company.The old era of Mark Zuckerburg was over, WeWork executives would soon learn. Back in 2012, Zuckerberg could take Facebook Inc. public and still retain extraordinary voting power. But that was then.And so it was that Neumann, the polarizing co-founder of WeWork, begrudgingly agreed this week to cede some of his powers. The question now: Will that be enough? Already, WeWork’s hoped-for valuation has plunged by more than half, or some $30 billion.By Friday morning, Neumann’s company had hastily filed an amended prospectus for an initial public offering -- one that will test not only WeWork and its guru-CEO but, in many ways, an entire generation of money-burning, grow-at-all-cost startups.In a matter of weeks, WeWork’s IPO has gone from one of the most hotly anticipated deals of the decade to perhaps one of the most dreaded. Despite growing skepticism over WeWork’s business prospects, Neumann has resisted corporate-governance changes that would be considered standard elsewhere.The chaos was apparent Thursday and Friday, as WeWork picked a stock exchange, emailed bankers and filed its new prospectus -- all in about 12 hours.Nasdaq ListingDefying skeptics -- among them, some of its own financial backers -- WeWork is plowing ahead with plans to go public on the Nasdaq stock market. Not even Nasdaq officials knew for certain that the company would chose the exchange until the last minute on Thursday, according to people familiar with the matter.Emails were flying into the night. The new prospectus hit just after 6 a.m. on Friday.Now, yet another deadline looms: September 27, the Friday before Rosh Hashanah, the Jewish New Year. Neumann is expected to observe the holiday and be out of communication for several days, people familiar with WeWork said. WeWork representatives did not respond to a request for comment.Neumann didn’t get where he is, atop one of the most talked-about startups of the decade, by sharing. But in a new prospectus WeWork disclosed that Neumann would wield less power via an unusual class of high-voting stock.Now, executives must persuade investors that their company -- which has raised $12 billion since its founding and never turned a nickel of profit -- is worth billions on the stock market. As of late Friday, it was unclear whether they would be able to start marketing the stock via a roadshow starting on Monday, as many had expected.$65 Billion Value?Unclear, too, is just what WeWork might fetch on the open market. Only months ago, some bankers whispered it might be worth as much as $65 billion. Now that figure has fallen to as little as $15 billion.Beyond a page or so of steps WeWork would take to tighten up its corporate governance practices, Friday’s amended prospectus was little changed from the initial one in August.The dedication, even the second time, is pure Neumann:TO THE ENERGY OF WE –GREATER THAN ANY ONE OF USBUT INSIDE EACH OF USAmong other things, the company will trim the voting advantage that gives Neumann sway over the board, and no member of his family will be allowed to sit on the board. WeWork will also announce a lead independent director by year’s end.The move leaves in place a rare three-class stock structure and Neumann still maintains a voting majority, so it’s unclear how much the changes will appease both investors and the banks in charge of managing WeWork’s IPO.Valuation QuestionsQuestions remain about how investors will value the fast-growing, money-losing office leasing business that’s backed by SoftBank Group Corp. Both of the company’s lead financial advisers --JPMorgan Chase & Co. and Goldman Sachs Group Inc. -- have previously voiced concerns about proceeding with an IPO at a valuation around $15 billion, people briefed on the discussions have said.Looking to save the IPO and limit its downside, SoftBank is in discussions to buy about $750 million worth of additional stock in the offering, the people said.The board will have the ability to remove the CEO, and the updated prospectus has taken out a clause that previously said Neumann’s wife Rebekah -- who’s listed as a founder and chief brand and impact officer of WeWork -- will have a role choosing any new chief. Some criticized the changes as not going far enough.“This is an example of posturing,” Jeffrey Cunningham, who teaches management at Arizona State University and has served on several corporate boards, said of WeWork’s changes. The company appears to be facing pressure “to go public at a time that is inappropriate and with a governance record that is questionable.”Still, the moves drove WeWork bonds to be the biggest price gainers in high-yield bond trading for part of Friday. A Fitch Ratings analyst said the changes addressed many of the issues that the ratings company raised in downgrading WeWork’s credit grade last month.“A key component of WeWork’s model is the ability to restrain growth in the event of a downturn and these governance changes increase the likelihood that an independent board will have the power to enforce such a decision,” Kevin McNeil, a director at Fitch, said in an emailed statement.(Corrects the size of the drop in WeWork’s hoped-for valuation in fourth paragraph)\--With assistance from Michelle F. Davis, Anders Melin, Tom Giles and Crystal Tse.To contact the reporter on this story: Gillian Tan in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Liana Baker at email@example.com, ;Michael J. Moore at firstname.lastname@example.org, David GillenFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Associate Stock Strategist Ben Rains dives into Apple's (AAPL) new iPhone 11s, as well as its streaming TV service and video game push. The episode also breaks down what's next for Apple stock and why the tech firm looks strong heading into the holiday shopping season. - Full-Court Finance
(Bloomberg Opinion) -- The bankruptcy of Purdue Pharma LP lays bare a distinction that the internet is making it more and more difficult to maintain: that between a company and the people who own or founded it.The Sackler family owns Purdue Pharma, the maker of OxyContin, an opioid that has contributed to the deaths of hundreds of thousands of Americans. There are numerous charges and more than 2,000 lawsuits against the company and its owners, and some recent joint settlements. The company has now declared bankruptcy, and wants to give control of Purdue to a trust run by the states, cities and counties that have filed suit against it.But what about the personal fortune of the Sacklers, estimated at $13 billion or more? Under traditional corporate theory, there is a clear distinction between the assets of the corporation and those of the owners. The limited liability company can go under, but the assets of the company owners are safe — just as, say, holding shares of Volkswagen in your mutual fund did not expose you to any personal liability for the automaker’s actions in falsifying emissions data.It turns out that this distinction is harder to uphold, if only in the eyes of the public, when a single family owns and runs a company. Last week New York State alleged that the Sackler family drained at least $1 billion from Purdue for the purpose of avoiding penalties against the corporation and thus shielding its wealth. If it looks like the Sackler family was trying to avoid legal penalties and fines, there will be strong political pressure, possibly backed by public opinion, to go after those additional funds.More generally, if a company is endangered by lawsuits, and the suits are not settled, its owners have a rationale to extract money from the company and stash it far away. But doing so will elicit a legal and public response, and the distinction between the personal and the corporate will not always be respected.Consider the Federal Trade Commission’s recent settlement with Facebook, under which some of founder Mark Zuckerberg’s personal assets are potentially on the line if Facebook does not respect its privacy agreements with the federal government. Some FTC commissioners suggested harsher treatment yet for Zuckerberg’s personal assets.Or, to give another example, Senator Elizabeth Warren has been promoting the notion of personal criminal liability for corporate CEOs if the firms engage in wrongdoing. Her bill would extend corporate liability beyond the company itself, and of course most CEOs of major companies are also shareholders to some extent. Maybe the goal is to punish these individuals in their roles as executives rather than as shareholders. But such penalties would blur these distinctions in the mind of the public — and eventually, perhaps, under the law.So how does the internet matter in all this? First, social media is very effective at drumming up outrage, and negative news seems to have a longer lifespan than positive news. The media’s pre-existing negative bias has been amplified, creating further animosity against any actual or supposed corporate villain.More important, social media personalizes agency — in effect, making it easier to accuse particular individuals of wrongdoing. Mark Zuckerberg, Jeff Bezos, and the Koch brothers all have images or iconic photos that can be put into a social media post, amplifying any attack on their respective companies. It is harder to vilify Exxon, in part because hardly anyone can name its CEO (Darren Woods, since 2017), who in any case did not create the current version of the company. Putting the Exxon logo on your vituperative social media post just doesn’t have the same impact. With Bill Gates having stepped down as Microsoft CEO in 2000, it is harder to vilify that company as well.This personalization of corporate evil has become a bigger issue in part because many prominent tech companies are currently led by their founders, and also because the number of publicly traded companies has been falling, which means there are fewer truly anonymous corporations. It’s not hard to imagine a future in which the most important decision a new company makes is how personalized it wants to be. A well-known founder can spark interest in the company and its products, and help to attract talent. At the same time, a personalized company is potentially a much greater target.The more human identities and feelings are part of the equation, however, the harder it will be to keep the classic distinction between a corporation and its owners. As the era of personalization evolves, it will inevitably engulf that most impersonal of entities — the corporation.To contact the author of this story: Tyler Cowen at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Michael Newman at firstname.lastname@example.orgThis column does not necessarily reflect the opinion of the editorial board or Bloomberg LP and its owners.Tyler Cowen is a Bloomberg Opinion columnist. He is a professor of economics at George Mason University and writes for the blog Marginal Revolution. His books include "Big Business: A Love Letter to an American Anti-Hero."For more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com/opinion©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Facebook (FB) plans to launch its WhatsApp payment service in India before the year wraps up, according to WhatsApp India head Abhijit Bose.
Facebook’s planned digital currency, Libra, has elicited strong reactions. Some think it poses a serious risk to the global financial system.
(Bloomberg) -- The We Co. roadshow is set to begin this week, perhaps as soon as today. Such corporate processionals through the ranks of blue-blooded Wall Street institutions are usually a triumph for buoyant, young companies. WeWork’s roadshow, on the other hand, will likely more closely resemble Cersei Lannister’s humiliating march to the Red Keep in Game of Thrones.Shame! WeWork’s valuation, $47 billion in a private funding round last January, could be set as low as $12 billion.Shame! Shame! Investors will no doubt be distrustful of any evidence of apparent self-dealing by the chief executive officer, Adam Neumann, such as buying properties and leasing them to the company. (WeWork took additional steps on Friday to change some of the unorthodox aspects of its governance structure and seek an independent board member.)As the nine-year-old office-sharing startup continues its stumble to the public markets, some prognosticators see this moment as something more significant: that a WeWork belly-flop portends the end of the unicorn era in Silicon Valley.The argument goes like this: SoftBank, the Japanese conglomerate and its $100 billion Vision Fund, has become an engine pushing the technology market to its limit. If it’s forced to retreat on its $10 billion commitment to WeWork, SoftBank will reconsider the nearly blind sanguinity that has perverted incentives for founders and distorted valuations in the industry over the last few years.In this seductive vision of a calamitous—and cleansing—WeWork initial public offering, modesty will once again return to Silicon Valley; humbled venture capitalists will stop bidding the valuations of unprofitable startups into the stratosphere; and the unicorns—those magical startups worth a $1 billion or more—will be put out to pasture, their legendary horns clipped like the tusks of poached African elephants.But that’s probably wishful thinking.The current cycle in tech started more than a decade ago, fueled by excitement over the iPhone, Facebook Inc. and the infusions of cash from a new generation of VCs like Andreessen Horowitz and Y Combinator. Business cycles tend to last seven to 10 years in Silicon Valley, and the resulting boom should have ended by now. But that was before the longest bull market in American history and a seemingly never-ending supply of venture capital from an array of new sources, including wealthy Chinese investors and Saudi Arabian oil money.It doesn’t appear to be stopping anytime soon. The stocks of Dropbox Inc., Lyft Inc., Slack Technologies Inc. and Uber Technologies Inc. are all under their IPO prices. And yet, many investors still believe.Uber lost $5.2 billion last quarter, dismissed more than 800 employees in the last two months and lost a policy battle with California lawmakers last week that could rock its business model. Somehow, Uber is still worth a cool $57 billion. Meanwhile, SoftBank says it’s going to raise another Vision Fund, with contributions from Apple Inc., Microsoft Corp. and Foxconn—this one even larger than the last.The belief underlying the persistent tech boom is that savvy entrepreneurs in vast markets with access to enough capital can engineer their way through even the most challenging issues. Witness CloudFlare Inc., the unprofitable internet infrastructure company that raised $525 million last week at a higher-than expected market value of $4.4 billion. Investors were able to overlook recent controversies over unsavory former CloudFlare clients, like the forum where a mass shooter hung out, and the stock popped on the first day of trading.What will it take to really put an end to the unicorn era? Perhaps an economic recession and an accompanying withdrawal of overseas capital from the Valley. Perhaps it will take a total collapse of a once-promising unicorn to change the risk tolerance of conservative investors like endowments, pensions and sovereign wealth funds.If the WeWork IPO flops, technologists will try to dismiss it as an outlier, the bad fortune of a real estate startup that was never truly a tech company. It will be viewed not as an indictment of current excess in Silicon Valley but as an exception to it. That’s not realistic, but then again, neither are unicorns.This article also ran in Bloomberg Technology’s Fully Charged newsletter. Sign up here.And here’s what you need to know in global technology newsSpeaking of SoftBank, some of its other companies would be hit hard by California’s new labor bill that would force gig economy companies to hire their workers.Lawmakers are seeking information from customers of the Big Tech companies. A House panel investigating potential antitrust violations has contacted customers of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg. They also asked the companies to hand over documents.Disney CEO Bob Iger left the board of Apple. The long-allied companies are now streaming rivals.Stanford University took money from Jeffrey Epstein, too. The school, located in the heart of Silicon Valley, received a $50,000 donation from a foundation backed by the late sex offender in 2004. Other donations to Harvard and MIT are prompting scrutiny of the schools and their faculties.A former Golden State Warrior is the U.S. face of Jumia, the Amazon.com of Africa.To contact the author of this story: Brad Stone in San Francisco at email@example.comTo contact the editor responsible for this story: Mark Milian at firstname.lastname@example.orgFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- A House panel investigating big tech companies for potential antitrust violations is seeking information from customers of Amazon, Apple, Google and Facebook about the state of competition in digital markets and the adequacy of existing enforcement, according to documents reviewed by Bloomberg.It’s the latest development in the bipartisan congressional investigation being conducted by House antitrust subcommittee chair David Cicilline, a Democrat from Rhode Island.The eight-page survey doesn’t mention any companies by name, but it seeks information about the industries they dominate such as mobile apps and app stores, search engines, digital advertising, social media, messaging, online commerce and logistics as well as cloud computing.The survey asks respondents to identify the top five providers for the various digital services and how much it paid each of those providers since Jan. 1 2016. It also asks for any allegations of antitrust violations or business practices that hurt competition. The committee offered respondents the possibility of confidentiality if they desired.The panel has asked for responses to its survey by mid-October.Assessing AntitrustThe survey appears geared toward businesses that pay the big technology companies for services such as cloud computing, digital advertising and help selling mobile apps and products online. It doesn’t appear to focus on general retail consumers that buy products from Amazon or iPhones from Apple.It also shows how regulators are relying on customers and competitors of Big Tech to help them better understand digital markets and and how dominant players can stifle competition. The Federal Trade Commission has been quietly interviewing online merchants that sell goods on Amazon to better understand the business.The questionnaire shows the House panel trying to assess the grip big technology companies have in various markets, a first step in probing for antitrust violations. If the panel finds competition is so scant that the customers of big technology companies have no viable alternatives, it justifies further scrutiny of business practices as well as mergers and acquisitions.The questions also suggest the panel is open to examining how antitrust laws are applied in digital markets and if enforcement and laws need to be updated.A Google spokesman declined to comment. Apple didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment. Amazon and Facebook both declined to comment, but pointed to previous comments by executives in which both companies said they welcomed government scrutiny and maintain they exist in markets with healthy competition. Emails to representatives for the House committee weren’t immediately answered.The survey sent to customers follows the public disclosure of letters the House antitrust subcommittee sent to Google parent Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. Those letters, posted online, seek detailed information about acquisitions, business practices, executive communications, previous probes and lawsuits. The letters followed a July hearing in which lawmakers grilled tech executives.The House panel has been the most visible of various probes of technology companies. Representative Cicilline has been a vocal critic.Speaking at an antitrust conference in Washington, D.C. last week, he said, “you would be amazed” at the number of companies that have come forward with concerns about the potentially unfair way that big tech companies compete. Some have even expressed fear that the tech giants will respond with economic retaliation if the smaller companies’ concerns are made public, Cicilline said, without providing more detail.The House panel’s probe is part of a broader examination of the control companies such as Amazon, Google and Facebook have over the U.S. economy. The FTC is investigating Amazon and Facebook while the Justice Department is probing Google. Separately, 50 state attorneys general have announced an antitrust probe of Google.(Adds requested date for survey responses in fifth paragraph. An earlier version corrected the spelling of David Cicilline.)\--With assistance from Naomi Nix and Ben Brody.To contact the reporter on this story: Spencer Soper in Seattle at email@example.comTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at firstname.lastname@example.org, Ian FisherFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
Google has agreed to make a one-time settlement of over $945 million euros to the French ministry. The ministry accused Google of evading taxes.
SAN FRANCISCO/NEW YORK (Reuters) - Facebook Inc revealed lofty plans to establish a cryptocurrency called Libra in June, but the project quickly ran into trouble with sceptical regulators around the world. Opposition deepened on Friday, when both France and Germany pledged to block Libra from operating in Europe and backed the development of a public cryptocurrency instead. Facebook's goal is for Libra to be run by an association of other corporate investors and non-profit members, with an expected launch in the first half of 2020.
Lawmakers asked Google, Facebook, Amazon and Apple for a broad range of documents, another step in Congress's anti-trust investigation of the big tech companies.
This week has been rough for big tech companies. On Monday, 50 states and territories announced that they're launching an antitrust investigation into Google.
“It's never going to be perfect but at scale it is a remarkable achievement,” says John DeVine, Vice President of Global Operations.
(Bloomberg) -- A House panel conducting a broad antitrust investigation of the technology sector is demanding that companies turn over a trove of internal records about their business practices as it ramps up scrutiny of the industry.Rhode Island Democrat David Cicilline, who is leading the House antitrust subcommittee’s inquiry into large internet companies, said it is sending letters Friday to Google parent Alphabet Inc., Amazon.com Inc., Facebook Inc. and Apple Inc. asking for detailed information about acquisitions, business practices, executive communications, previous probes and lawsuits.The letters, which were addressed to the top executives of each company, mark the most aggressive demands by the House panel since June, when it began a bipartisan investigation into whether large tech platforms are harming competition.“We made it clear when we launched this bipartisan investigation that we plan to get all the facts we need to diagnose the problems in the digital marketplace,” Cicilline said in a statement. “Today’s document requests are an important milestone in this investigation as we work to obtain the information that our members need to make this determination.”The letters were also signed by the top Republican on the subcommittee, Jim Sensenbrenner of Wisconsin, as well as the top Democrat and the top Republican on the House Judiciary Committee, of which the antitrust panel is a part.The requests come as the technology giants find themselves swamped by antitrust inquiries by the federal government as well as state attorneys general, which announced probes of Google and Facebook this week.The lawmakers also requested executive communications about prior government probes and lawsuits and said they would not recognize attorney-client privilege as a reason for the companies to refuse to provide requested records.The panel asked Facebook about its purchases of the WhatsApp chat platform and the Instagram photo app, which were both approved by federal antitrust regulators. They asked to see communications from Chief Executive Officer Mark Zuckerberg, Chief Operating Officer Sheryl Sandberg, former general counsel Colin Stretch and policy chief Kevin Martin.The committee wants to know whether Google is shutting out rivals on its platforms or imposing restrictions that could harm competition. It asked for discussions by executives about whether non-Google companies with competing ad technology can participate in Google ad auctions or place ads on YouTube. The lawmakers also asked for discussions about any agreements between Android and smartphone manufacturers that give Google exclusive rights to collect data from devices.The lawmakers asked about 24 Google products and services, including its mobile operating system Android, Gmail, the Google Play store, YouTube and its mapping service Waze. The letter seeks information on executives’ discussions of major acquisitions including ad technology company DoubleClick, YouTube and Android.Asked about the request, Google pointed to a Sept. 6 blog post by top lawyer Kent Walker, who said the company’s “services help people, create more choice, and support thousands of jobs and small businesses across the United States.”The other companies didn’t immediately respond to requests for comment.The panel asked for details about 12 of Apple’s products and services, including its App Store, Apple Watch, iPhone, Mac and Siri. It wants to see communications to and from Apple Chief Executive Officer Tim Cook and 13 other executives about policies and decisions involving the company’s App Store, such as the algorithm that determines the search ranking of apps and whether to allow other app stores on the iPhone. They also requested records about Apple’s offer to replace ailing iPhone batteries.The lawmakers’ request to Amazon focuses on the company’s online marketplace, including how it handles proprietary data of third-party sellers on its platform and how its product search algorithm works. They demand answers about Amazon’s 2018 deal to sell new Apple devices on its website, which has also attracted questions from the Federal Trade Commission.The lawmakers seek information about acquisitions by Amazon, including audio book company Audible, upscale grocery store chain Whole Foods, and pharmacy delivery company PillPack.The antitrust panel has already held a hearing on the effect of digital platforms such as Google and Facebook on the news industry, as well as a session on innovation and entrepreneurship in July that featured appearances by executives from Google, Facebook, Apple and Amazon.(Updates with Google response in 11th paragraph)\--With assistance from David McLaughlin.To contact the reporters on this story: Naomi Nix in Washington at email@example.com;Ben Brody in Washington, D.C. at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Sara Forden at email@example.com, Mark Niquette, Kathleen HunterFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.