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The lawsuit, filed by the San Francisco-based ride-hail company on Friday, argues that the cruising rule is arbitrary and threatens to shift business away from ride-hailing companies like Lyft in favour of taxis. "This rule is not a serious attempt to address congestion, and would hurt riders and drivers in New York," Lyft spokesman Campbell Matthews said in a statement to Reuters. The "cruising cap" rule, implemented by the city's Taxi and Limousine Commission (TLC), sets a 31% limit on how much time drivers of app-based vehicles may drive without passengers in Manhattan south of 96th Street, meaning they would have to have fares at least 69% of driving time.
In Berlin, companies like Uber don't have a dominant hold on transportation. Instead, many companies compete for a slice of the market.
(Bloomberg) -- The young woman in Monica Mazzei’s San Francisco law office was adamant: She wanted a prenuptial agreement.Never mind that the client had barely anything to her name. What she had was a bunch of startup ideas. She and her fiancé, who already had his own small tech company, signed a prenup with clear terms, Mazzei said: “The spouse who has an idea [and] starts a business ‘owns’ that business. It’s their baby.”A few years later, Mazzei, a partner at Sideman Bancroft, was traveling through the San Francisco airport when she saw her former client on a magazine cover. Her startup had struck gold. Her husband’s business had fizzled.In Silicon Valley, where penniless programmers fervently believe their ideas are worth billions, getting rich can take priority over getting married. California law assumes that any wealth created during a marriage is community property, which should be split equally in a divorce. That’s alarming not just for young entrepreneurs but also their investors.Divorce HavocFortunately, a well-written prenup is a safeguard against post-divorce havoc, which is why more and more young couples are insisting on the agreements, according to more than half-a-dozen lawyers in the Bay Area and elsewhere. Long popular with older wealthy couples who re-marry, prenups are also being demanded by entrepreneurs who want to keep future windfalls to themselves.“I am seeing more and more young people want to enter into prenuptial agreements who do not currently have a lot of money now but plan to have a lot of money someday,” said Manhattan-based divorce attorney Jacqueline Newman.In a 2016 survey by the American Academy of Matrimonial Lawyers, 3 in 5 divorce attorneys said more clients were seeking prenups in the past three years. About half said they’d seen a spike in the number of millennials requesting the agreements.“People’s concepts and notions of fairness when it comes to privately held businesses are changing,” said Mazzei, adding she’s seen “a tremendous increase” in prenups in the past eight years. “They feel that even if they’re married, this is their passion. The agreement should be reflective of that.”‘It’s Complicated’Today’s startup founders have plenty of prenup-writing forebears to emulate. Google co-founder Sergey Brin and Anne Wojcicki, who helped found personal genomics company 23andMe, had a prenup when they married in 2007. After they divorced with little fanfare in 2015, his stake in Google remained unchanged.“It’s complicated -- that’s all I can say,” Wojcicki told Bloomberg TV about the split.Oracle Corp.’s Larry Ellison has been married and divorced multiple times, but none affected his stake in the software company. Ellison is the seventh-richest person in the world with a net worth of $59.8 billion, according to the Bloomberg Billionaires Index.Still, a prenup hardly guarantees a smooth divorce. Judges can and do throw out the agreements, especially if they’re drafted poorly. “If you don’t put in the right language, a lot of prenups don’t do the job,” said Lowell Sucherman, a divorce attorney at Sucherman Insalaco in San Francisco.In 2017, One Kings Lane co-founder Alison Gelb Pincus, wife of Zynga Inc. founder Mark Pincus, challenged their premarital agreement in court while the couple was getting a divorce, according to a court filing. It’s unclear whether she prevailed as final terms of the divorce aren’t public.While venture capital firms don’t explicitly require prenups, they do demand legal language protecting their investments in the event a divorce court hands a chunk of a founder’s shares to an ex-spouse. So do other co-founders.Founders’ Control“Founders have wanted to ensure that someone else can’t suddenly come in and obtain some sort of founders’ control,” said Par-Jorgen Parson, a partner at venture capital firm Northzone, who has served on the board of Spotify Technology SA. “It’s just as often driven by the founders as by external investors. You don’t want to rock the balance of power.”Venture capital firms often demand that founders’ husbands and wives sign “spousal consent” forms. Such agreements determine who gets to vote for board members, and how and when shares can be sold. In the event of a divorce settlement (or death or disability), a founders’ spouse might end up with company shares. But, the agreements ensure that an ex can’t exercise much, if any, control over the company post-divorce.“We’re trying to make sure that people don’t become involuntary business partners with someone they don’t know, don’t like or who aren’t qualified,” said James Ficenec, a partner at Newmeyer & Dillion in Walnut Creek, California.Divorcing founders will often do anything to avoid handing over half of their shares in their startup.‘Keeping More’“Founders will try to negotiate keeping more of their shares,” said Michael Gorback, a partner at Hanson Bridgett. “You might balance it out some other way,” by paying exes in cash, a home or other investments.MacKenzie Bezos and Amazon.com Inc. founder Jeff Bezos divorced earlier this year, leaving her with a 4% stake and a net worth of $34.6 billion, according to the Bloomberg index. He kept 75% of the couple’s Amazon shares, and retains voting control of those she does hold.Amazon’s stock, of course, is publicly traded, which can make divorce negotiations easier.“One issue we come across very often is, ‘How do you value a startup?’” Mazzei said. Years before an initial public offering, a startup might have no profits or even revenue to speak of. A promising company could later go under -- or eventually be worth billions.Trust, CredibilityIn a divorce, “it can be quite difficult when you have a large asset that is illiquid,” said Lyssa Grimaldo, a wealth manager at San Francisco-based Wetherby Asset Management and a certified divorce financial analyst. Adding to the problem, she said: “One partner knows more about that asset than the other.”With enough billable hours, lawyers can usually sort out the legal ramifications of divorce. They’re less helpful in containing the chaos that a founder’s marital problems might create in the workplace or business relationships.“We have companies where the founder is the brand, and trust and credibility are core to the business,” said Ed Zimmerman, partner and chair of the tech group at Lowenstein Sandler in New York. “If you are investing in a company because you think the founder is amazing,” it can be alarming to learn that he or she is facing the distraction of an acrimonious divorce or custody battle, he said.If a divorce isn’t disclosed to key investors, they can lose trust in a founder who they thought they knew well. Then there’s sometimes other nasty fallout, of the sort that companies are increasingly sensitive to in the metoo era.“It would be great if we lived in a world where people who had marital problems didn’t manifest those problems by hitting on or dating people who worked at their company,” Zimmerman said. “Those kinds of things tend to be more problematic than who gets the shares.”(Updates with adviser’s comment in 23rd paragraph.)To contact the reporters on this story: Ben Steverman in New York at email@example.com;Anders Melin in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Pierre Paulden at email@example.com, Steven Crabill, Peter EichenbaumFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
(Bloomberg) -- IAC/InterActive Corp. is moving forward with a spinoff of Match Group Inc. after turning the owner of the Tinder online dating app into one of the best-performing internet stocks.IAC said Friday it formally recommended the move to a special committee of its board. The tax-free transaction would distribute shares of Match to IAC stockholders, formally separating the two companies. It would also collapse the dual-class common stock structure that has allowed IAC to maintain control.Match has been one of the star performers in IAC’s portfolio of companies. The shares have gained more than sixfold since its initial public offering in 2015. In the second quarter, Match accounted for 41% of IAC’s total $1.19 billion in revenue.IAC Chief Executive Officer Joey Levin said in August that he was considering a spinoff of Match as well as ANGI Homeservices Inc., the company’s other top money-maker. For now, ANGI will stay within IAC.“We don’t currently expect to turn our attention to the question of a spin-off until a Match Group transaction has been completed,” Levin said in a statement.To contact the reporter on this story: Erik Schatzker in New York at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Jillian Ward at email@example.com, Molly SchuetzFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
The British pound continues to soar, on optimism that a withdrawal deal could be close at hand. The Mexican peso continues to rally late in the week. The Canadian dollar is steady, but we could see stronger movement in the North American session, when Canada releases key employment numbers.
Zoom Video is trading significantly higher than 2019's other IPO debutants. Zoom stock had an offer price of $36 and is trading at $73.52—104% higher.
There’s been no shortage of Big Tech scrutiny this year and debate over whether some of Silicon Valley’s largest players should be broken up.
Snap’s (SNAP) recent decline may be coming to an end. The stock has fallen about 20% since mid-September despite no big company-specific news.
Medidata (MDSO) doesn't possess the right combination of the two key ingredients for a likely earnings beat in its upcoming report. Get prepared with the key expectations.
While economic data will bring the EUR, GBP, and USD into focus, a resumption of U.S – China trade talks is the main event of the day.
Pinterest went public on April 18, smack in the midst of the unicorn IPO parade of the past six months that included Lyft, Slack, Uber, CrowdStrike, Smile Direct Club, and Peloton). Every one of those stocks is trading down from its IPO price. Except for Pinterest.
(Bloomberg) -- “Where’s the best place to hide a body? The second page of a Google search.”The gallows humor shows that people rarely look beyond the first few results of a search, but Lee Griffin isn’t laughing.In the 13 years since he co-founded British price comparison website GoCompare, the 41-year-old has tried to keep his company at the top of search results, doing everything from using a “For Dummies” guide in the early days to later hiring a team of engineers, marketers and mathematicians. That’s put him on the front lines of a battle challenging the dominance of Alphabet Inc.’s Google in the search market -- with regulators in the U.S. and across Europe taking a closer look.Most of the sales at GoCompare, which helps customers find deals on everything from car and travel insurance to energy plans, come from Google searches, making its appearance at the top critical. With Google -- whose search market share is more than 80% -- frequently changing its algorithms, buying ads has become the only way to ensure a top spot on a page. Companies like GoCompare have to outbid competitors for paid spots even when customers search for their brand name.“Google’s brought on as this thing that wanted to serve information to the world,” Griffin said in an interview from the company’s offices in Newport, Wales. “But actually what it’s doing is to show you information that people have paid it to show you.”Market DominanceGoCompare is far from the only one to suffer from Google’s search dominance. John Lewis, a high-end British retailer, last month alluded to the rising cost of climbing up in Google search results. In the U.S., IAC/InterActive Corp., which owns internet services like Tinder, and ride-hailing company Lyft Inc. have signaled Google’s stranglehold on the market.The clamor from companies has prompted the U.K. competition watchdog to study online platforms and digital advertising in July, aiming to examine the market power of companies like Google over online marketing. The European Union has been trying to rein in Google, fining the company 1.5 billion euros ($1.6 billion) this year for thwarting advertising rivals. In the U.S. there’s a rising chorus of voices on the political left and right demanding Google be cut down to size, somehow.Searching GameThe case of GoCompare shows just how difficult it is to win the search game.GoCompare is known locally for its off-beat ads where an opera singer belts out its name in restaurants, taxis and, more controversially, crawls out of a flipped car in a recreation of an accident. When customers look for the company’s name after seeing an ad or type in a query for auto insurance, what appears is a combination of paid advertisements, Google’s own blurbs and then so-called natural search results, a list of what the tech giant deems are the most reliable sources of the information. But even ranking highly on natural search results can be costly.“The way the algorithm works is constantly changing and you don’t get insight into it,” said Lexi Mills, chief executive officer of Shift6, a marketing consulting firm that helps clients improve their search results. “The people who get to optimize tend to be the people with the most money.”Nowhere is Google’s power more evident -- and potentially damaging to businesses -- than in the market for “branded keywords.” This is where businesses buy ads based on their brand names. So GoCompare bids on the word “GoCompare” and when people search for that, Google runs an ad at the top of results usually linking to the company’s website.‘Odd Place’Some businesses say they have to buy these ads -- whatever the cost -- because rivals can bid on the keywords too.If GoCompare decides not to bid for its own brand, Google can legally sell the ad placements with its name to a competitor, with the top bidders getting the best spots on the page and taking away customers.“That seems like an odd place to be that I have to bid on my own brand,” said Griffin. When the company confronted Google about it, the tech giant said “tell your competitors to stop bidding on you,” according to Griffin.The price GoCompare has to pay for search terms that use its brand has more than doubled since 2016, with a real surge in the last 12 to 18 months, parent company GoCo Group Plc Chief Executive Officer Matthew Crummack said.Jason Fried, the CEO of web development company Basecamp, described Google’s practice as “ransom” in a tweet, and said he was quickly deluged with messages from other small businesses who also felt victimized. Tariq Farid -- the CEO of Edible Arrangements who has sued Google over its sale of ads targeting his company’s brand -- believes the change in atmosphere in Washington could eventually shift the debate. “It gives some confidence to people to step up and do something about it,” he says.Long FightGoogle has real-time pricing for terms like “auto insurance” that GoCompare relies on for sales. Every time someone searches for that term, the prices refresh, driving a tough -- and pricey -- battle for the top spot between GoCompare and rivals like Comparethemarket.com and Moneysupermarket.com.“Google must be rubbing their hands together thinking, ‘This is great,”’ when competitors battle it out for top spots, Crummack said. “Every time that happens, the price goes up and they don’t have to do anything.”Google defends its system, saying “in order to offer more choice when searching for products or services, we allow competitors to bid on trademark terms. However, we want to balance the interest of both consumers and advertisers, so we allow businesses to file a trademark claim and then we’ll block competitors from using their business name in the actual ad text.” The company also said it’s not just the top bidder, but the top bidder with the most relevant information that gets the coveted spots.Still, GoCo is looking for ways reduce its reliance on Google, studying a subscription model under which customers sign up for a service that automatically searches for the best rate when policies are due for renewal. That would potentially give the company a captive market. It is also banking on regulators to eventually fix the skewed market, although Crummack doesn’t see that happening anytime soon.“It’s not something that helps trading next reporting period,” he said.(Updates with executive comments from Basecamp, Edible Arrangements on branded search in 17th paragraph.)\--With assistance from Joshua Brustein.To contact the reporter on this story: Amy Thomson in London at firstname.lastname@example.orgTo contact the editors responsible for this story: Giles Turner at email@example.com, Vidya RootFor more articles like this, please visit us at bloomberg.com©2019 Bloomberg L.P.
A light economic calendar leaves geopolitics and U.S – China trade talks in focus in particular. Expect negative news to weigh heavily on risk sentiment.
Stephen Curry, who formally announced his investment arm SC30 at TechCrunch Disrupt last week, is not aligning himself with CBD whatsoever.
The pound continues to lose ground on Tuesday and has fallen close to the 1.22 line. The Canadian and British currencies are showing little movement.
Motorola (MSI) intends to reinforce its position in the public safety domain by entering into alliances with other players in the ecosystem.
With economic data on the lighter side once more, we expect geopolitics to continue to drive the majors. Does China have the upper ahead of talks?