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tv   Bloomberg Technology  Bloomberg  August 24, 2017 11:00pm-12:00am EDT

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♪ >> you are watching "bloomberg technology." let's start with a check of your bloomberg "first word news." the mayor of charleston, south carolina says that the hostage situation is over. the gunman was shot by police and is in critical condition. the restaurant employee shot by the gunman has died. police say all the hostages have been rescued. the white house press secretary sarah sanders fired back today at tennessee senator bob corker, question president trump's competency last week. >> i think it is a ridiculous and outrageous claim and does not dignify a response from this podium. nabila: the national hurricane center says that harvey has
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strengthened the hurricane force and is packing winds of over 80 miles per hour. it is forecast to get even stronger as it approaches the coast. the navy is calling off the search for sailors who went missing after that collision near singapore between the uss john mccain and an oil tanker. officials say they have identified the remains of one victim. a 53-year-old massachusetts hospital worker is the winner of last night's powerball. she said she was leaving work when she realized she had won. it's the largest grand prize won by a single lottery ticket in u.s. history. global news 24 hours a day powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries. this is bloomberg. i'm nabila ahmed. "bloomberg technology" is next. ♪ ♪ emily: i'm emily chang.
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this is "bloomberg technology." coming up, judgment day for the heir apparent of the samsung empire. we take a look at the major risks ahead for the company as a south korea court decides the fate of jay y. lee. scoop, appleberg takes another shot at america's living room with a next-generation tv set-top box take on amazon and google. a new era officially begins monday at whole foods when the grocer formally ties the knot with amazon. ,t may lower your worship bill items like chicken, eggs, and avocado. first, a panel of judges in seoul will deliver their final verdict friday on allegations that jay y. lee bribed a confidant of that then-president to secure his hold on the samsung group. there will determine whether he can return to his role as vice-chairman. he has been held in detention since february.
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joining us now in washington, troy stangarone. and with us in new york, david kirkpatrick, techonomy ceo. what are you expecting when it comes down to the judge's ruling tomorrow? david: this is a really tough case. on the one hand, there isn't any direct evidence tying him to any of the accused bribery. it's hard to believe this would have taken place without him having some knowledge of of it and some acquiescence. it's going to be close. whether he is found convicted or acquitted, we are likely to see an appeal one way or the other. emily: for our viewers in asia, this is actually happening today. it's friday in south korea. david, what's at stake for samsung here? david: it seems like, maybe surprisingly little. that's possibly one of the big surprise of this whole episode. it's really stunning that sort of the big defense that lee has marshaled on his own behalf is
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that he really didn't know about much of anything and that this for every based on the horses think, he just didn't understand it well enough to even imagine it could possibly be seen as bribery. in the course of that defense, they even portrayed him as not being even that connected or tied in, thinking about what's happening at the company or having any real power in determining its direction, which makes him out to be kind of a hapless, sorry citizen. yet, maybe it explains why the company is powering forward. emily: troy, what you make of that? jay y. lee's defense that he didn't know anything, he didn't understand. it makes him appear weak. does that impact his mandate to lead? troy: well, in terms of if he is acquitted and goes back, i don't think this will have any impact on his mandate to lead. basically, from a korean cultural perspective, he will be
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seen as the family heir and the the head of the company. there could be truth in his defense, in that often times subordinates try to take and achieve objectives for the leadership without necessarily asking the leadership. the fact that he mean not attend the details are was involved in this may have some validity to it. emily: interesting. david, do you think this will impact consumer loyalty at all, whether it's here in the u.s. or in south korea or globally? david: samsung is doing fantastically at the moment. i don't think there's been any evidence whatsoever that it has. the key question for samsung is, how good are their products. they have some super important products coming up. i think people don't buy general,based on, in uber might be the exception to this, based on the behavior of the ceo. american consumers are not at all aware of this. in korea, they seem to be more forgiving. samsung is so dominant, they can't do much about it anyway. i don't think it will have much effect on sales, ever. either way.
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emily: troy, you talked about what would happen if he is not convicted. if he is convicted, what happens? troy: some of this will depend on some of the other trials. there are four other samsung executives right now who are on trial. one of the key ones, he, in essence, was jay y. lee's mentor and a regent type figure. it will depend on if he's convicted as well. also, it would depend on how the professional manager, specifically at samsung electronics, how empowered they are to take and move forward in terms of making their own decisions. emily: so, if he is convicted, jay y. lee in particular, do you expect he would actually serve time? troy: part of it will depend on how long the sentence is. if it's less than three years, the sentence could be suspended, in which case he may not spend another day in jail. if it's longer than three years, it can't be suspended. that being said, in the past,
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you had presidents who would the head of conglomerates who went to jail. moon jae-in has been different. this case is proximate to him becoming president. he has also put forward a different vision for growing the economy, more government led than conglomerate led. emily: it's interesting that this is climaxing the same week that samsung is unveiling they the note 8 phone, weeks before apple unveils its newest iphone. what do you make of the timing of all of this? david: that's probably more or less entirely coincidental, but i will say that i think samsung's future rides far more on how the note 8 is received than on what happens at the trial, on balance. the evidence for the time being seems to be this company has rectified its product issues in its mobile products and is
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likely to deliver an extremely impressive product that will continue giving apple a genuine competitor. i don't know if it's equivalent quality product or will be seen as superior. some people do think samsung's products are superior, but this company is operating at an apple-like level in the standpoint of its product quality in the consumer realm. that is impressive, and what they have to sustain. that's what matters for their future. emily: troy, what's your assessment on how much samsung actually needs jay y. lee and what he actually brings to the table? if he indeed returns and is reinstated as though nothing happened, what does he actually bring to the company at this point, aside from being the heir apparent? troy: he has taken and helped them build better relationships with google and apple. he's been solid on the relationship side. that being said, he also wanted to move the company in a different direction, try and get into biopharmaceuticals.
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in terms of vision, he brings an important role. in terms of day-to-day operations, that was clearly being handled by other individuals. even if he were to be convicted, there is still the possibility that he or family members could provide that vision and guidance and let professional managers take over. in some ways, i would agree. however this trial goes, samsung is probably well-placed no matter what. emily: it is certainly fascinating to watch. troy stangarone, senior director at the korea economic institute of america, thanks so much. our guest host for the hour, david kirkpatrick, you are sticking with us. there is new leadership at india's beleaguered software company infosys. they announced the departure of the board of directors and named a cofounder chairman. he is backed by a group of infosys founders who want to take back control. last week, the ceo announced his departure after founders criticized his acquisition
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strategy and compensation. you will recall that this group of company founders has clashed with the infosys board for most of the year. coming up, it is a bloomberg scoop. apple plans to announce a new and improved apple tv set-top box in september. we will bring you the details, next. bloomberg tech is live streaming on twitter. check us out weekdays at 5:00 p.m. in new york. this is bloomberg. ♪
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♪ emily: disney has added gm chairman and chief executive officer mary barra to its board. barra's election is effective
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immediately and brings the total board membership to 12. barra helped gm adapt to the auto industry's changing technological environment. she also sits on the board of stanford university. now to a bloomberg scoop. apple is seeking to revive its video ambitions. the tech giant is planning to unveil an upgraded apple tv set-top box that can stream 4k video thanks to a faster processor and highlight live tv. apple tv trails devices from roku, amazon, and google in the u.s. set-top box market share. joining us, mark gurman, and still with us, our guest host for the hour, david kirkpatrick. mark, what do you know? mark: we know apple is going to be announcing a new version of its apple tv set-top box in september, alongside the new iphones and lte apple watch. it will stream 4k video. emily: this is largely expected, right? mark: because we broke the news on it in february.
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we said that apple is testing the set-top box. j106. named codenamed j105. now we are breaking the news that it's been announced. emily: we know apple is planning to spend $1 billion on original content. we have talked a long time about whether they had something more ambitious going on in the tv realm. is this their tv strategy? mark: i think it is. they are building upon it. the 4k content. there's going to be some new live tv functionality they are adding, but there is no over-the-top bundle or anything like that happening. emily: no tv set? mark: no tv set, no screen. emily: what do you make of apple tv and the plan will now that we see it more fully taking shape?
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david: i always like to defer to mark, as he's my guru on everything apple. emily: as he is ours. david: i don't see apple solving fundamental problems that consumers are out there crying about. the are trying to horn in on other markets where others are dominant or doing well. is there really going to be a differentiated value over products that google and amazon and others already have in the marketplace, or is this just apple, more or less, trying to keep its revenues growing and profits by horning into markets that already exist, that others are doing pretty well? which is not the kind of thing for which we have always revered apple. mark: it's great to see you again and talk to you about this. to your point, that's exactly right. this has been done before. it's been tried before. google has since four google has its 4k chromecast.
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this is apple finally doing what all the other players in that same market have been doing, and i think that's partly why, what emily described about the apple tv not really gaining as much traction as the other ones. that is why. they are behind. they have not updated this thing within two years. google updates chromecast on almost an annual basis. you may have seen our iphone 8 graphics story. we talked about apples philosophy of taking products that already exist and improving them. you might see that with the 4k. let's see if they do something a little bit better than the competition. emily: what about the idea that this tv set-top box could be a way for them to air these new shows they are spending money on exclusively? david: well, i guess that, if the shows were good and had a lot of demand, that would work. they're coming from so far behind in tv production that there's a limit to how quickly money alone can allow you to achieve miracles, but let's face it. nobody has more money or capital availability than apple.
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if they decide to go whole hog into content and they were to marshall it only on their own devices, that would, over time, be a winning strategy, but it might be super expensive to execute. mark: you said that so well. this is not a problem you can just throw money at. there are some things in life and in the business world, if you have all the money in the world, unlimited funds, it doesn't solve everything, and i think content is right there. this is typical apple, hiring lots of people, throwing money at a problem, but we don't know how it's going to end up. we saw that with apple maps. they through so many resources on that, and it flopped. maybe they will get it right. we will know in a couple of years. emily: a lot of the players in big original shows, the successes were not their first tries.
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i want to ask you about htc exploring strategic options, including splitting off the vr division or even selling the whole company. what do you know? mark: google is doing their own hardware. htc is being priced out. emily: but vr is exploding right now. isn't this supposed to be the future? mark: they can build a wall around vr. maybe they feel now is the time to spin it off and sell it to start all over, to go for patents. let's see what they end up doing. emily: david, your take? david: the vive has been considered the best vr viewer for a long time. their quality of products is great, but their brand is weak compared to the others, and i think they are going up against the world's toughest competitors. it didn't work. emily: we will keep watching and see if there's any progress
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there. mark gurman, thank you for the third or fourth day in a row, i believe, for joining us. david kirkpatrick, you are sticking with me. coming up, confused by how to invest in bitcoin? well, there might be some hope on the horizon. we would take a look how investing in cryptocurrency might get a little less cryptic. this is bloomberg. ♪
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♪ emily: cyber crime is getting closer to its real-world counterpart, especially when it comes to block chain technology. phishing scams have helped steal from over 30,000 people so far this year, according to a new study by chain analysis new , a york-based firm that analyzes online transactions.
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fbi, the losses last year totaled $390 million. but it's not all doom and gloom for people wanting to legally cash in on the cryptocurrency craze. there is hope that bitcoin could be available to new investors in the form of an etf. earlier this year, the sec rejected an application by the winklevoss twins earlier this year to start the first bitcoin etf, so what has changed now? eric balchunas joins us. first of all, why is this a possibility now and not earlier this year? eric: two big reasons. first of all, this is from last march, when they were denied. two things happened. one, you now have the cboe announcing they are going to list bitcoin futures and create a futures market, and the ctfc has approved it. also be bitcoin
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options, helping to bring more liquidity into the market. the second thing is the sec it self, remember the trump administration slowly becoming the sec. the new front runner for the person to lead it is a lawyer from a firm which represents the winklevoss twins in their bid to get the etf bitcoin done. i am not saying they will make a decision based on that, but it can't hurt. i think the sec has shown a few things that look like they are a little more liberal than they were a year ago. i think those two things are why you see renewed hope that there could be an etf. emily: what's the advantage of a bitcoin etf? does this mean bitcoin is going more mainstream, that more of us will have an opportunity to take advantage of it? eric: absolutely. etf's are like the mp3, a flexible, easy to access format. this is what the sec is dealing with. when you approve an etf for something, you are essentially making it ready for prime time. anybody with an etrade account
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can now buy it. the good news for investors is it's a lot easier than going and signing up for a bitcoin account on one of the exchanges. it's also good for bitcoin because it will open up a world of new investors. this is similar to what gld did with gold. gld is now a $40 billion etf. the bitcoin etf is modeled after it. it will store bitcoin just like gld and make it easier for investors to access it. emily: david, obviously there's a lot of excitement happening around bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, yet still a lot of volatility, lack of regulation. how optimistic are you about this, david, as a more mainstream investment option? david: as a technology, i'm very excited and enthusiastic and convinced of the importance of bitcoin and all the block chain related things that surround it. as an investment, i still am extremely cautious. my general feeling is, if you
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get too close to the to the flames, you might get burned. anything that has gone up 350% in the last year already is not something that is behaving in a normal, rational fashion. mania.s more like to i like the idea of making it easier for people with regular money, not having to do all kinds of weird online transactions in order to get into these markets. but what you really will use bitcoins for that would justify their valuation is still extremely unclear to me, and as the markets become more mainstream, people may start to focus in on what really is this thing, what is it good for. they may not figure that out. that could be bad. there are real security issues that continue to potentially surround this area. the more attention and money goes toward it, the more security efforts there are going to be to undermine it. i worry about a lot of aspects of the whole thing. emily: eric, how do you respond to this kind of skepticism when you hear it about the potential dangers?
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eric: it's logical. what he just said is exactly why the sec did not approve it. here's what i would say to that, though. the sec has approved etf's that are double the volatility of bitcoin. there is a triple leveraged junior gold miners' etf that could put bitcoin to shame. the idea that bitcoin is at least a wolf in wolves clothing. there are etf's that are a wolf in sheep's clothing. the united states oil fund sounds innocent, but it will rip you to shreds with the costs. there are some reasons to do it. the other thing is, at least an etf, you stand a good shot of getting a good deal. there is a product which is a closed-end fund trading at 100% premium. emily: ok. >> a lot of retail investors are going to that. emily: a wolf in wolf's clothing. i'm going to repeat that one. thanks for joining us, eric balchunas. david kirkpatrick, sticking with me. brexit negotiation set to begin in a few weeks and the u.k.
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government is sounding the alarm on a new issue that could have a huge impact on the tech industry. we will have a report from london, next. this is bloomberg. ♪
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>> it is 11:29 a.m. in hong kong. these are the latest first word centraldlines to bankers gather at jackson hole. currency traders may experience euro-dollar. inflation is the other hot topic. janet yellen's speech is said to focus on financial stability rather than monetary policy. rnd says the ecb council will consider terminating the bond buying program next month and ending the strategy on october 26.
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the decision will be formulated with the actual process to be trying out. the ecb is said to have been examining how to avoid tightening financial conditions. youtube moreicing typhi, targeting videos it determines our offensive content. it is not removing them, but adding warnings and disabling advertising around them. google outline the move and comes as a debate about extremism and free speech is front and center. global news 24 hours a day powered by more than 2700 journalists and analysts in more than 120 countries. this is bloomberg. mark: a check of the markets. stocks higher, currencies under pressure. thai stocks steady despite the
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courtroom drama there. , the 10 yeart yield creeps closer to zero. on a light trading day, some movers of note, especially earnings from chinese corporate's. that has sent the h-sure gauge higher, led by great all motors and petrochina. -- great wall motors and petrochina. checking on samsung, that stock
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trading as we wait for the result of the trial of jay y. lee. 2017, butis up 32% in now down .6%. ♪ this is "bloomberg technology." i'm emily chang. britain risks damaging crucial parts of its tech industry unless it can secure an unprecedented deal with the european union on data exchange after brexit. this, according to a government paper published thursday. these new developments, as the third round of brexit negotiations are due to begin next week. here with more on the risks of exit from the eu on the tech sector is caroline hyde in london. take it away. caroline: thank you so much. i'm now joined by gerald grech, a ceo.
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they have programs and advise on policy. an interesting policy statement that we've got from the government ahead of their negotiations. status quo is what they want. do you think they will get it? gerald: it's important that we get this right. it is good to see the british government setting out these priorities at this point. data underpins a lot of our trade, business relationships, and when you look at the data economy, the digital economy in the u.k., as a share of overall gdp, it's the highest in the world. 10% of its gdp comes from digital economy. over 40% of large digital businesses are founded in europe are actually founded in the u.k. it's important for both the u.k. and the eu that they have a mate mutually beneficial relationship going forward. caroline: the eu, the u.k., and
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the companies that you advise. what are they talking to you about at the moment? is it consistency they need, regulatory clarity? what are they asking? gerald: there are a number of things. there are a number of constituents the makeup and ecosystem to grow digital businesses. one is investment, access to finance. two's talent, three is infrastructure, and four is political leadership. this is one we have seen announced today about data exchange between the eu and the u.k. when you look at investment, one of the things we are hearing is the role of the european investment fund, part of the european investment bank. startups need capital. as they grow, they need growth capital. a number of companies rely on this. so significant amount of a investments that we see going
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into u.k. digital businesses are back through the eif. roughly 30% comes from quite significant. what future relationship with we see between the eu and u.k.? the good news is that almost 40% of tech unicorns, $1 billion valued companies in europe, are based in the u.k. the eif is looking at positive returns from the talent it invests in, so that's one of the things we have been hearing. what role will the british government play in that? obviously, we have the british business bank. there have been calls and proposals put forward by the british government about setting up a national investment fund. so, it's very positive. that's because the british government has been doing a great job of actively listening to what startups and scaleups want and consider important as we go through this negotiation with the eu, which is unprecedented in so many ways.
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caroline: what you also mentioned is that they are talking about talent and access to talent. how much is the immigration question an open one as yet? do you think the governments are listening to you as to how to keep the borders open? gerald: talent is a big thing. without the talent, you won't get an investment, so access to talent is critical. i would put talent in two camps, one is attracting international founders, building products that people want. and number two is making sure that they are able to access the talent they need in order to grow their businesses. on the first point, we want to make sure that the narrative from the british government is as positive as possible, making sure we are open for business, and this is one of the best places to start and grow a digital business. we want to continue attracting as many international founders as possible. so far, that's looking good. from what we are seeing, they're doing their homework.
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they are considering other places like amsterdam, berlin, paris, but the regulatory environment is very positive, very conducive to starting a and growing a digital business. obviously, they want to make sure they are able to access the talent they need, junior developers, data scientists, user experience designers. so, we as an organization are one of the competent bodies of the home office, the equivalent of homeland security in the u.s. we've seen a record amount of applications coming through. now it is sad to say that the record month was november, which coincides, coincidentally, with the u.s. election. we do get many queries from the u.s., south korea, china, russia. so, we've seen a 400% increase in the number of applications for the tech nation visa scheme. we are one of very few countries that has a dedicated visa scheme for tech talent. clearly, there are challenges,
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but we are making sure that we are smoothing that path to success. i've seen the spirit of the u.k. and london's tech ecosystem rising to the challenge. caroline: i have to ask you, that is interesting, you think because the u.s. election more foreign entrepreneurs and more talent are coming to the united kingdom? gerald: data is showing that there is interest, increasing interest, to coming to the u.k. but we clearly know that our european friends are catching up in many ways, and that's a good thing. that's good for europe, and it's good for the european tech ecosystem. we just need to continue innovating, continue looking at what else doing need to put in place to make sure that the u.k. is one of the great places to start and grow a digital business. tax advantages as you scale of business, as you start a business. what else does -- intellectual property, ip
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reform. is that required? as i said national investment , a fund. new types of visas, possibly, but i don't know. at least, expanding the tech nation visa scheme. these are things we in the community are looking at in conjunction with the british government. it's a positive time to review what works and what doesn't work, given the situation we are in. long may the continued negotiations go on. gerald grech, great to have him here. emily, back to you in san francisco. emily: all right, caroline hyde in london, thanks so much. the conflict between travis calendar and benchmark is only growing more heated as the two -- travis kalanick and benchmark is only growing more heated as the two parties prepare to face off in court. benchmark has asked a judge to block kalanick from filling two board seats. meantime, a judge will hear arguments on whether benchmark can proceed to trial with its
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claims that kalanick duped the board into giving him control of seats on august 30. coming up, amazon releases new details on what the integration with whole foods will look like. we will discuss the e-commerce giants impact on the grocery space. this is bloomberg. ♪
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emily: alibaba is closing in on amazon in a race to be the world's most valuable e-commerce company. at $450 billion, the chinese company's total worth is just $7 billion shy of its u.s. rival. as you can see on my terminal, the gap has been narrowing quickly after amazon's latest quarterly results disappointed investors and alibaba's beat estimates.
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staying with the everything will beginon says it slashing prices. the move by amazon in flames and already raging price war in u.s. groceries. competitors dropped on the news. still with us from new york, david kirkpatrick, techonomy ceo, and our guest host in san san francisco, brad stone, .loomberg senior editor what do we know will change for whole foods customers? brad: i was surprised by the speed of which they completed the acquisition and the speed at which they are moving. they set a couple of things in the press release monday. they announced a new mission
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statement for whole foods, to make natural and organic foods affordable for everyone. not the whole foods mission statement as we know it, sort of known for its high prices. they talked about integrating ofzon prime into point a sale. they also announced a price cut. opened the door, come on in, on things like vegetables, salmon, organic chicken. a pretty radical turn. they left a bookmark for future things they will do together, probably sell amazon devices in whole foods stores, adding all the whole foods merchandise, particularly the 365 degree white label brands onto amazon and amazon fresh and amazon prime pantry. there are moving pretty quickly. emily: i'm excited about the price cut on avocados. i don't know about you, but how does this impact whole foods' reputation as being a premium, wholesome product? david: on monday, i hope they have a lot of vegetables, salmon, and organic chicken, because those stores are going to be mobbed. even if the price cuts aren't that great, and i'd be curious how big brad thinks they might
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be since he is the expert, but this is a big deal. i want to run to the store and buy cheaper, healthier food. on the other hand, there are massive implications about this move by amazon into the real, physical world, that i think we could talk about for days. emily: how big are the price going to be? brad: we don't know. they did not specify. i assume early on they will be fairly dramatic, because a lot of people will be paying attention. we will see over time. whole foods has been in a little bit of a tailspin, losing customers. same-store sales traffic down quarter over quarter. amazon has the appetite to lose money. we'll see. i think this is a big bet for them. but they're also going to create amazon-branded grocery stores. obviously, investing a lot in the distribution channel to the home. it's not the only bet they have on the supermarket category. emily: obviously regulators
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approve the deal, but do you think regulators might become concerned with the growing dominance of amazon? brad: i was thinking this is the last free pass that amazon gets. there's already a lot of drama, particularly from the trump administration, worries about amazon, some of it politically motivated. at a certain point, all these big tech companies are going to be treated with a lot more skepticism. tomorrow, we are getting a resolution in the jay y. lee case in south korea, which is very political, and all about the discomfort that people have with these very large tech companies that are starting to really control everything. emily: david, i know you've been thinking a lot about this, the growing power of not just amazon, but facebook, google. at what point will the government increasingly or should increasingly step in? david: i think there are increasing rumblings in washington that that point is approaching rapidly. exactly how and why they should jump in is not clear. these companies are absurdly
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and present in the capitalist economy, but how we resolve it is not clear. benefitspanies bring at the same time. i think amazon has to be careful. if they start really undercutting and really hurting some of the existing chains, maybe in the worst-case scenario, if the kroger's of the world start going bankrupt, which is not about to happen -- that is going to hasten the day when washington says, wait a minute, these guys are wreaking havoc online. my question is, what would be the dominant force at that point? will it be consumers who love the low prices and say to government, no, don't touch these people, or will it be the rational idea that no enterprise ought to have this kind of power? i don't know the answer. emily: last question. we had a professor from nyu's school of business on yesterday, talking about the walmart-google
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tie up. he suggested they could actually catch up to amazon. brad: there are two aspects of that partnership. google took a google express, got rid of the $95 a year membership he and added walmart products to the mix. better selection, but prime is a juggernaut. then adding the walmart products to the google home voice-activated device, also a kind of lagging product. you're taking a couple elements that both companies have struggled with, trying to tie them together. it's probably a partnership that needed to happen, but what's -- let's wait to see what kind of partners they make with it. emily: brad stone, thank you. david kirkpatrick, my guest host for the hour, thank you. coming up, new home sales take a dip in june. next, we hear from a ceo who is trying to make the mortgage process easier for first-time homebuyers. this is bloomberg. ♪
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♪ emily: softbank is at it again, its vision fund agreed to invest in a global expansion plan for a co-working start up. softbank is sitting on a massive cash pile thanks to the 100 billion dollar tech fund it started. the valuation is said to have increased to about $20 billion after this latest investment from softbank, which would put wework among the fifth most valuable tech startups. the u.s. housing market is cooling down to start the second half of 2017. new home sales tumbled in june more than 9% when compared to the previous month. annualts the estimated pace of home sales at 571,000 units. before the dip, the estimate was expected to be 630,000 units sold for the year. the existing home sales market
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also saw a drop last month, falling to its lowest level since august of last year. joining me now to discuss, nima ghamsari, ceo of blend. you can talk about some of the broader trends we are seeing. what caused the downturn in home sales? nima: millennials are buying later than they have in previous generations. part of that is that the process is so compensated and difficult. emily: talk to us. when it comes to prices, we are seeing sales falling 9.4%. median sales prices up, but home sales falling 9.4% month over month. what are the broader trends? nima: broadly, as people are uncertain about rates going forward, they rush to refinance over the last few years, now they are settled in and waiting to see how the market shakes out before they make a big investment. prices have also gone up with home sales going down. emily: you mentioned millennials. they get a lot of flak for
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everything these days. what's interesting is this new information that millennials are bypassing starter homes and going straight into luxury homes. how is that happening? nima: they're starting later in life. they're able to save more money. the people who are buying are willing to spending get a better place they can live in for a longer period of time. emily: when it comes to blend, how do you streamline the process? how does it work? nima: what was a paper-heavy document-heavy process, the stimulating a lot of documents from your bank, employer, we take that online for existing financial institutions. we make that an online, consumer-friendly process where they can aggregate data instead of documents, then do everything online, everything all the way to signing. emily: how does that speed up the process? how much can that speed up the process? it's a very cumbersome process. nima: if you search google for buying a home and you start the
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search for that, the first three results are "is scary," "is a nightmare," "is terrible." what we are seeing is that it is 40-50 days historically. with our process, we cut off days. with more effort and energy, we think we can make that better. emily: the competition to your business seems to be banks in general taking this whole process in-house. what's the incentive to work with you? nima: this is all we do as a company. we build the software that can make the lending better. blend stands for better lending. we want to bring simplicity and transparency into consumer finance. we want to do it in partnership with the existing infrastructure out there. we are built to partner with banks, so they're willing to partner with us. emily: could streamline the streamlining the process lead to an increase in sales? nima: right now there are a lot of people who don't even know they have access to credit. the accessibility to credit is something that is a huge problem
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in the country right now and could be a lot better as consumers get a better understanding of what they can afford and what they should do for their finances. emily: what's your outlook on home sales for the second half of the year? nima: i think we will see it stay flat. over time, as we continue to take friction out of the system, we should expect more and more people to get involved in the housing market. emily: nima ghamsari, ceo of blend, thanks so much for joining us. that does it for this edition of "bloomberg technology." a reminder, we are live streaming on twitter. check us out at @bloombergtechtv weekdays at 5:00 p.m. in new york. that's all for now. this is bloomberg. ♪ ♪
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