tv Bloomberg Technology Bloomberg June 16, 2017 11:00pm-12:01am EDT
♪ >> you are watching "bloomberg technology." let's start with a check of the first word news. we saw that president is rolling back some of the cuban policies instituted by former president obama. mr. trump banned commercial dealings with cuba upon smith military. he put new travel restrictions on u.s. citizens visiting the island. he challenged cuba to come up with a better deal than obama's. the house majority whip steve scalise is remaining in the hospital for weeks while the continues his recovery. that is according to one of his surgeons who said that he arrived at the hospital with an imminent risk of death.
defense secretary jim mattis has not decided to increase troops in afghanistan, that is according to the pentagon. previous reports said that the u.s. was sending 4000 more american troops there. mattis says that he doesn't have enough forces to help afghanistan's army fight the taliban. rod rosenstein now has plans to recuse himself from the russian investigation into meddling. it comes a day after president trump tweet targeting him. global news 24 hours a day, powered by more than 2600 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries. i'm alisa parenti. this is bloomberg. ♪
emily: i'm emily chang and this is "bloomberg technology." coming up, amazon gobbles up whole foods. we go over every angle of this stunning development, including the implications for brick-and-mortar stores. why the world's e-commerce giant's diving back into the space it has disrupted. plus, the shockwaves rippling across the pond. why the competition should be concerned that amazon may have a plan in the pipeline to expand its european footprint. amazon upsets the grocery cart. company agreed to buy whole foods by $13.7 billion. the news sent shares of both whole foods and amazon are trading higher on friday and
then shockwaves of online and off-line worlds. it is a highly ambitious world to give amazon the ability to dominate every part of a customer shopping experience. -- amazon has become a major distributor of tv and movies. they opened physical bookstores and changed the future of homes. now it is taking on groceries, a massive and non-cyclical business. we all have to eat. it is it big purchase, the biggest they have ever made. we are joined by brad stone, our senior executive editor who wrote a book on amazon. by an analystined that covered amazon. what is the significance of this new chapter of history? >> i went back to last year's shareholder letter by jeff bezos , and he talked about three areas of strength. he said we are on the search for
fourth big business. he has put an anchor in the ground. food is that fourth business that people don't like the model of ordering online or having a it delivered to your home. this is a big bet on food, groceries and meal delivery. emily: whole foods is a smaller player. very small in europe. what kind of foothold does amazon really have? >> it is also about expediting their online process. there are about 20 cities they are in today. they are looking to expand that. how do we go from 20 to a greater number? you get 500 stores with the whole foods acquisition. you get a bigger footprint right away. emily: talk to us about the leadership behind us. and there is john
how do you see them working this whole thing out? >> john mackey will stay the ceo of whole food. he needed this kind of relief. he had shareholders advocating for his dismissal. i don't know that the leadership situation will change. i see amazon bring different models to whole foods. order online, collect at the store. maybe moving amazon devices into foods where whole customers can experiment with an echo or an amazon fire and taken home. perhaps product categories that whole foods hasn't introduced. from the leadership perspective, if you look at other acquisitions, they have left the leadership teams notably intact. emily: what are the questions you would want to ask amazon executives? >> are they looking to change
the traditional grocery buying experience? you just like your mobile phone and check out yourself, is that what it is about or leverage in the whole foods infrastructure? this is what amazon struggled with on the fresh side. this helps with that as well. emily: talk to us about the m&a history at amazon. your team had a piece out about amazon being interested in buying slack and a messaging service. what is next? one venture capitalist speculated maybe we will see amazon buying autonomous vehicles next? >> that is interesting. the history of m&a in amazon is that it has been conservative. usually, not new networks but
accelerating existing initiatives. this deal does break the mold in a number of different ways. one that occurs to me is that whole foods is a wounded franchise. seven quarters of diminishing or similar sales. it used to speak to the exclusivity of organic foods. but now everyone from walmart to kroger's is into organics. i don't know that the history of m&a and amazon is the guide. this is more to jeff bezos' personal acquisition. a lot is needed in terms of investment and rehabilitating. emily: does that mean that he will be hands-off? >> probably not as much. i don't know that jeff bezos is that hands-off with the washington post. he gave the company a lot of leeway, the money to bring a technology orientation to the newspaper. i think it will be the same way he will be introducing tech and pay to whole foods. emily: you also cover alibaba.
they have been investing billions of dollars in grocery stores across the other pond. what do you make of this new battleline being drawn? largely, amazon has been u.s., india. i think the difference between a markets is that the u.s. is a much more developed a traditional market. china is less developed traditional retail and gone online faster driven by mobile technology. we like both companies fundamentally. we prefer alibaba right now on an evaluation basis. both can do well in their respective areas. emily: the amazon ecco is another interesting piece of the puzzle. talk to us about what that looks like. they have been introducing hardware to accelerate the going -- the buying process to make it easier for people to buy impulse purchases from their home. you can scan a barcode or say something into it, it is those
buttons where you can press a button to reorder your tied -- tide automatically. it will take some time to tie in the systems together. you can imagine amazon dash buttons for whole foods categories. you can imagine an echo where somebody is asking for a certain food item or even a meal. one of those prepackaged sushi mills that whole foods has, or a burrito. amazon has gone and made a big bet. >> amazon is trying to make more touch points for the consumer. burrito. they analyzed this data. the more you engage with one of their products, they look at the data and how much you increase your sales. whole foods is an amazon property. are you going to be buying more online? they're looking at all of these touch points. if you use three products verses
four, what is the difference on how you consume on amazon. emily: there was another big deal announcement. walmart is buying a high-end men's retailer. they initially offered through jet.com they but most jock, shoe by -- moosejaw, shoebuy, what do you make of it? >> not a coincidence. we know amazon well. these things are strategic. it would be surprising if they timed this announcement to shortcut walmart. walmart is catching up. there are a lot of brands and apparel categories where it is weak, particularly in its online category. mark of jet.com has been on a mission to fill some of these holes. emily: can walmart catch up? >> it will be tough to catch up
to amazon. is there room for a number two or number three player in the u.s.? sure. that will be to offset what we likely see as a decline in traditional retail space. >> different parts of the market. amazon on the high end walmart on the low end. >> we will see how that is adopted. emily: so much to talk about. our senior executive editor from bloomberg tech, thank you so much. coming up, how will this megadeal give amazon access to hundreds of physical stores? we will discuss the expansion of the amazon's footprint, next. a struggling retailer, asking about what the amazon-whole foods deal means. this is bloomberg. >> the compety
billion themepark in shanghai is close to breaking even. speaking to tom mackenzie in shanghai, bob iger says that it is a feat that none of the disney resorts have been able to achieve in the last 30 years. >> we did say that we hope to break even. i can confirm that we will. today is the end of the first full year of business. this will break even.
that is also an extraordinary achievement. i am not sure that we have ever done that. emily: let's return to our top story. amazon's blockbuster deal to buy whole foods. this acquisition will likely disrupt not just grocers but overall retail industries. here to talk about the impact of brick-and-mortar, we are here to talk with matt townsend to cover the retail space. what does this mean for other grocers with physical stores? >> it is not good. if you look at these other stocks, walmart, target, kroger, walmart's stock went on the most in 2015. it is not good. i would say the market is predicting that they will take a share, potentially. another thing to think about is looking at the whole foods
shopper. it is an upper middle last to a wealthy shopper, these are the most coveted choppers out there, they can latch onto these potentially. they can take them into the amazon ecosystem. they can get them to spend money and that would be a hit to retailers as well. emily: bloomberg intelligence wrote that this opened up an opportunity for more clicks. amazon buying whole foods gets its physical presence into groceries. could apparel be next? amazon has been making its own apparel. still a very small part of the business. what do you think of that? matt: that has been speculated for a long time. i have been covering retail for a number of years. it has always been speculation if and when amazon will get into brick-and-mortar retail. there is a speculation about apparel. there is plenty of opportunities to pick up a distressed retailer
or a retailer that has picked up a rough patch. you can look at j.crew, gap, all of these mall-based apparel chains that are doing well. -- are not doing well right now. there is still something out there, it seems like they potentially have their hands full. we will see. it could happen. emily: >> maybe they are busy. we just book about walmart buying jet. what is to stop amazon from buying a company like target? matt: knowing jeff bezos and the track record, maybe nothing. could they take on more debt? i guess they could. there was speculation they might get downgraded. i wouldn't put anything past amazon and its ambitions. if they can make whole foods work, they could commence -- convince investors it could be a good idea to go after the brick-and-mortar chain. emily: amazon has been rolling
out its own brick-and-mortar locations. what happens to the brand when it comes to amazon go and whole foods? matt: that is a big question. i was talking to some people today. the 365 brand, they thought that that could be the private brand going forward. it is pretty well known. some analysts thought that it was an add-on. they would still keep a lot of these amazon go, amazon fresh, amazon pantry. it could be an addition to the amazon ecosystem attacking the grocery market, which is an ambitious project for bezos. emily: a lot of question marks, matt townsend who covers retail. coming up, we check out the
global impact of amazon on big bet on groceries. how european details can damage that high. this is bloomberg. ♪ >> wall street, experts, analysts, they think that jeff bezos doesn't know what he is doing. he doesn't worry about earnings, he is paying attention to quarterly earnings. in the end, he has had the last laugh. he is now one of the two or three richest man in the world. underestimating him has not been a smart thing to do. if jeff bezos thinks it is a good idea, it probably is a good idea. emily: mobike has raised more
it was led by an internet giant. they will use the funds to fuel its global expansion. the company says it plans to be in 200 cities by the end of the year. amazon's takeover sent shocks across the u.s. and across the pond. investors wait the implications -- wade the implications. amazon has been exploring its fresh new grocery delivery business like london and berlin, despite whole foods's small footprint in europe. joining us now to discuss this is caroline hyde. what does this mean for the european grocers? caroline: it's fascinating. whole foods is only present in the u.k. you can check on my bloomberg and we both a chart for you. it shows how much it was hit by this.
it is basically the united kingdom. it is a big juggernaut of a player. it got into it early. look at the yellow, that actually grows. they have to deal with amazon -- they have a deal with amazon already. we heard from benedict evans. potentially, we might see more. there is another u.k. online only retailer. he is suggesting that it could be next. there is a lot of movement going on.
the biggest one of the day, that is our whole delay. they have a big presence in the u.s.. the u.s. things they will be hit first. europe will be hit as well. emily: online groceries are still just a fraction of overall grocery shopping. what are the actual trend among european shoppers? caroline: about a fraction. but actually a bigger oppression than in the u.s. these numbers blow my mind sometimes. if you dig into these numbers, they go into who is winning the race in e-commerce. south korea leads the charge. they have something like 17% of all commerce being done electronically. the u.k. isn't far behind. they have 7% of all of their retailing, all of their spending is done online. we're seeing that the u.k. is a
pretty prominent buyer when it comes to online buying. they like their online purchases. spain falls way off with, about 1.7%. then comes the u.s. you guys only spend 1.4% of your buying is done online. the trend is bigger in europe. there is still far more to come. it's means -- needs companies like amazon to make it that much more addictive and that much quicker. they have set the standard and all the other grocers have to play catch-up. many of them are looking for how they can compete or maybe there will be a target. emily: speaking of targets, there is speculation that amazon could have a grander plan in europe. what could targets be? benedict evans was analyzing. there could be the only online
retailer here in the u.k. it is interesting in amazon, when i was in berlin, berlin was saying one of the biggest hirers out there. it was really dominating the city, and he germany could be taking over. here it is wn more thing -- wm morrison. they already have a deal with amazon. they are ready help provide online retailing. this could be a friend rather than a foe. for the moment, it is on the downside. a lot of analysts are scratching their heads looking at who could be the next one on the chopping block. caroline hyde us the perspective across the pond. thank you. coming up, we examine your
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it all adds up to our most reliable network ever. one that keeps you connected to what matters most. alisa: i am alisa parenti in washington, and you are watching "bloomberg technology." let's start with a check of your first word news. president trump is outlining the financial health of the business assets he placed in a trust when he took office. the information comes in a new financial disclosure he made today to the office of government ethics. the documents cover january 2016 through the spring. the document shows he resigned from more than 500 positions, many of them a day before his inauguration. calling it a terrible deal, president trump canceled parts of former president obama's historic agreement with cuba. speaking in miami, he banned
dealings with cuba's military and put new travel restrictions on american citizens visiting the island. president trump: we challenge cuba to come to the table with a new agreement in the best interest of their people and our people and also of cuban-americans. alisa: while some applauded the move, democratic opponents are taking exception. >> i think this is a colossal mistake of the president trump organization. none of the people making it have ever been to cuba. they do not understand cuba. what they are doing is trying to fulfill a campaign tweet. this is american foreign policy. it makes no sense. alisa: british prime minister theresa may has pledged over $6 million to help london tower fire victims. that is as protesters stormed a
townhall, demanding new housing and financial compensation for people burned out of their homes. the death toll in wednesday's fire has been raised now to 30. meantime, theresa may's government has bowed to e.u. demands on the first stage of brexit talks. official negotiations will focus on the terms of the u.k.'s departure. a future trade deal will not be discussed at the same time. brexit talks start monday. a moscow court has reduced jail time for the opposition leader by five days. he was sentenced to 30 days on monday for instigating an unsanctioned rally. tens of thousands took to the streets in more than 100 cities and towns across russia in some of the most widespread protests in years after he called for demonstrators to demonstrate against government corruption. russia claims it may have killed the leader of islamic state. the russian defense ministry said it is verifying intelligence that in isis leader
was killed late last month in a russian airstrike near the de facto capital in syria. the man who led germany through reunification has died. helmut kohl was the chancellor of germany for 16 years. global news 24 hours a day, powered by more than 2600 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries. i am alisa parenti and this is bloomberg. ♪ emily: this is "bloomberg technology." i am emily chang. back to our top story, amazon buying whole foods. it is a blockbuster deal. the move has sparked charter on -- sparked chatter on how food tech and delivery startups will be impacted by this megadeal. the acquisition comes to weeks after blue apron filed for a $100 million ipo. joining us is bob o'donnell and our reporter. bob, i want to start with you.
you have so many businesses vying for a piece of this market. how does this deal change the game? bob: it dramatically reshapes everything. you have a behemoth that makes all the little players look a lot smaller still. you have the ability and reach amazon has. there are a lot of interesting synergies between amazon and whole foods and what you can do. all of a sudden, it becomes very interesting. when you throw in the amazon wand dash device where you can tie that into your shopping as well, they have a very interesting angle that changes the nature of how we think about groceries. i think that makes it really tough for the little guys. emily: instacart is a big competitor to amazon fresh. they have a partnership with whole foods. what does this mean? >> is complicated for instacart. they are an investor in instacart. they've had this relationship
for years. to have whole foods be a supporter of amazon is complicated for instacart. they have four years left on a five-year contract they signed with whole foods. emily: will the contract hold? ellen: we are hearing it is still valid and allows us to cart to be the exclusive delivery provider for most of whole foods products. emily: there has always been a question about whether a grocery delivery startup would succeed. it goes back to the spectacular failure. is grocery delivery something a big company will own? bob: i think so and i think the fact that amazon made the purchase of a grocery store first says something. i think that says groceries are a difficult thing to do online. people do a lot of random purchases when they are shopping for groceries, much more so than other categories. i think that is the reality of how people like to shop for food. i think that is difficult to overcome.
amazon gets the benefits of real estate and warehousing and other kinds of things. i think it says something about the nature of online shopping. you can only go so far. emily: i think i did online grocery shopping for about a year. i started going back to the physical store. i had a more pleasant experience. what does this mean for all of physical store. those other companies? ellen: one of the most interesting things for instacart is their pitch to retail partners is often we can provide delivery for you so you do not get stomped out by amazon. they can say amazon is serious about this. if you want to succeed on your own, you need to partner with third-party delivery. it is not just instacart. there are other third-party providers who can go to grocery stores and say you need to work with us because you have a huge competitor who is even more powerful now.
partnering with us may be the way to save yourself. emily: do you see greater consolidation across the grocery industry? bob: i think there has to be. look at what the market did today. in one day, massive change. that clearly reflects where people think it needs to go. i think we will see dramatic changes. the bigger question is how that ripples into the general markets, into target, walmart, and those places as well. clearly i think in groceries, we will see some movement happen. emily: what will it mean for other tech giants? google has its own shopping service competing with instacart and amazon fresh. what does it mean for the bigger companies? do they recede or jump in full throttle? ellen: google has been pulling back from google express in the last year or two. they had a partnership with whole foods that has lessened. it is hard to think google will double down.
on the other hand, maybe they see it as validation this market that has not been online could have a future. it is a huge market. the idea it could only be amazon is not true. you will see opportunities for other big companies to make inroads. emily: as disruptive as this deal might be, do you think amazon can pull it off? bob: that is a fair question. it is a very different business. when you bring together very different industries, sometimes that does not work as well. the question will be how the philosophy of the company and management impacts it. i think amazon sees this as being critically important, because they can use it to try these ideas they have had about retail. i think this also becomes an interesting experiment for them to figure out how to find the way forward. emily: do you see amazon pushing further into clothing?
bob: if you think about things people like to see and touch, it is food and clothing. those are the sort of things people generally want to be able to physically interact with. that is hard to replicate online. emily: what is the day two story? ellen: i think it is looking at how we might see the growth of online. people continue to talk about how little -- we talk about e-commerce all the time. so little of our spending continues to be done online. i think there is a way amazon could make this very in person, very physical process more technologically streamlined, that is a huge change in how we would be buying a lot of our things. emily: ellen huet and bob o'donnell, great to have you both. thank you both for stopping by. coming up, one amazon competitor says it will take the company five to 10 years to catch up with the traditional grocery landscape. we will hear from the c.e.o. of the online grocery startup next.
the two former presidents helped the company take advantage of the demand for high-quality series spurred by streaming services like netflix. the move is seen as further proof apple plans to create exclusive videos. the company has been testing documentaries and reality shows through its subscription service. back to the story we have been covering all day. amazon to buy whole foods. it is a move that has investors excited and competitors worried. chieh huang, the founder and c.e.o. of boxed, joined "bloomberg markets" earlier today to talk about what the deal means for his company. chieh: i remember starting our company four years ago and going up and down the gates of stanford and saying groceries are going to change. i remember a lot of the companies said 1998 called, they want their business model back.
groceries tried to be disrupted in 1998 and 1999. it is not going to happen. four years later, it is a bit of vindication it is happening. we put in the hard work. we are more of a competitor to costco or sam's club. at the end of the day, we put in four years of hard work to make that playbook. all those grocers down today, when you think about what they should have invested in technology the last four years, they are forced to now. after having all that money they should have invested into technology get taken away by the market in one day of trading. >> you start to say this is how we are going to invest. fast forward two years. what does the grocery landscape look like in two years? chieh: game changer. if you go on the earnings calls for the traditional brick-and-mortar retailers, the one storyline was amazon cannot replicate the fact we spend billions of dollars building a grocer on every street corner.
over the next 90 days, i wonder what the narrative will be going forward. >> for amazon, what does it do for them? what gaps does this fill that amazon? it already had a fresh grocery business. it was small considering amazon's size. chieh: i would say two main things. there is a gap and functional component when it comes to the financial metrics. it gives them a fresh fulfillment center in towns across the u.s. that is just one. from a financial perspective, if you look at the different grocers already under pressure, this might be the final death nail that puts them into a tailspin. i don't know if it was engineered like that. but from the outside in, it looks that way. >> they could completely dominate. >> i'm curious about accessibility. if you are living in a small town in america, you have the local grocery. does this affect your access to
fresh food? chieh: i think that is the core of why i think it does not affect our business as much. our business is for folks who do not have the physical means, time or patience to visit a warehouse club. they are only available in about 400 towns across america. it does not affect us as much. for the countryside consumer, maybe not today, but that playbook that has been usurped by amazon can be replicated across many towns across the country. >> what is it they see in food beyond the fact there is a revenue stream? is this about the data they get? if you look at the subset of customers amazon go to in the subset in whole foods, they are not changing the c.e.o., they see value surely beyond food. chieh: absolutely. you mentioned the crystal ball we saw four years ago.
it was not like we were this is interesting. it was the biggest crystal ball we could find. it is a $1 trillion market. at the end of the day, i hearken back to what we felt was a race going on. will technology folks figure out retail faster than retailers and grocers figure out technology? at the end of the day, both were running slow. now amazon took a shortcut. >> there are challenges in fresh food. you don't sell fresh food. chieh: we are doing a small test in certain locations. but for the most part, we are not. >> it is a tricky thing. what is amazon going to have to address? what are the challenges if it is going to be selling more fresh food? chieh: are they just going to use these as fulfillment centers so there is availability in a 15-20 mile radius? will they truly use a distribution network and use the
logistics to power amazon fresh so they can have a bigger network? right now, building the systems and learning that playbook is really slow and expensive. so they can have a bigger now they have access to it. >> this is an exception, the only model they have made so potent works for food. people want to see and touch food. do you think they add to the stores beyond this? do you think this fulfills that mandate? chieh: i think they will start adding to the stores. the last thought i had was when it comes down to it, we built this business over four years of hard work moving at the speed of a nimble company. if you are a traditional grocer today, you're probably thinking, what do i do? you are figuring out who will make the slide deck to present to the c.e.o. thinking they have to replicate a playbook we have written over the last four years, moving at their speed, it might be five to 10 years before they catch up.
announced today. airbnb is purchasing the background check startup to protect guests and hosts from bad actors. by analyzing data, it could help airbnb track various customer violations such as side deals between guests and hosts. the startup has struggled with fraudulent listings and guests who sidestepped fees by contacting hosts directly. airbnb has more than 3 million home and apartment rental listings and is expanding into new categories including travel experiences.
back to amazon and whole foods, our biggest story of the day. earlier, david rubenstein talked about how the deal would disrupt the grocery industry. david: when jeff bezos or amazon makes a move, it makes the world pay attention, because they are the largest online retailer and the world is moving toward online sales. if the food world were to go this way, it will clearly change the way people shop. emily: let's dig into why jeff bezos is now taking the plunge into the grocery industry with shira ovide. you have a new piece out today talking about the behavior of grocery shopping, that it mostly still resides off-line. i wonder if that is what it is going to be long-term? is it something people want to do in person? shira: i think it is too early to tell whether shopping for groceries is going to be online or in physical stores.
to me, amazon spending almost $14 billion on whole foods is a sign they believe at least for the near term the 98% of grocery shopping that happens in stores is going to continue happening in stores and amazon needs to have a significant play in physical locations to capture a significant share of the market. emily: one of the big questions is the actual strategy. how will the customer experience change in the store? when i walk into whole foods, what will be different now that amazon is an owner? what do you think? our colleague spencer had a story published in the last 20 minutes or so. one of the things it mentioned is the possibility of amazon incorporating technology it has been testing at a convenience store that basically allows people to grab food off the shelves and walk out without paying.
it automatically charges your amazon account. there is the possibility they could use whole foods locations as a place to test that further. you can imagine whole foods has a large private label business, something amazon is very interested in, in many categories. that could be an interesting area for amazon to cut losses at -- cut costs at a low margin grocery chain. emily: whole foods is known for having premium products and prices. will we see prices come down in the stores? you saw whatira: happened to the rest of the supermarket industry today. everybody's stock fell. that is a bet amazon is going to be willing to cut prices and take losses if it needs to, if it believes the end goal is to win market share in grocery, which is one of the last categories in e-commerce. emily: is that a sustainable model? shira: i don't know.
it is a fair question. the interesting thing about amazon's e-commerce operation is often now amazon is not the low-cost player. it does not have to be the low-cost player anymore, because they have you hooked with prime. you automatically shop on amazon. it is easy. that is how they have hooked people. they lure you in with low prices for a while and keep you there because they have their hooks in you and it is a habit. if they can do the same thing in grocery, that is another multibillion-dollar windfall for amazon. emily: you look at the big tectonic shift between the big tech giants, whether facebook, google, or apple. how does this position amazon in the race against the biggest and most innovative companies in the world? shira: as far as i can see, amazon is the only one of the big tech giants really making a play in food and beverage.
google has this program, google express, that does retail store deliveries and things like that. it has not done very well. this is a category unlike almost anything else amazon is in and where it has relatively little competition, at least from the giant tech companies. emily: a $795 billion business. check out her piece. thanks for joining us. that does it for this edition of "bloomberg technology." we have you covered on every angle of the amazon/whole foods deal. do not miss a special edition this weekend for my full conversation with tim cook airing at 10:30 a.m. eastern on saturday right here on bloomberg television. ♪
oliver: welcome to bloomberg businessweek. in this week's issue, apple ceo tim cook talks about doing business with president trump while western union finds itself in the crosshairs of the white house. then, phil falcone making a new bed on vietnam. -- new bet on vietnam. all that ahead on "bloomberg businessweek." ♪ oliver: we are here with