tv Best of Bloomberg Technology Bloomberg March 16, 2019 4:00am-5:01am EDT
emily: will emily chang and this is "the best: technology." a criminal probe into facebook now includes a grand jury into its investigation into data sharing. we cover the growing list of controversies surrounding the social network. and both sides of the aisle are taking up the issue of breaking up big tech, the breaking up is hard to do.
we talk about washington's new agenda. our wide-ranging conversation with tony blair on the global tech landscape. first to our top story. the u.s. justice department has broadened its investigation to include a grand jury, signaling an escalation in the ongoing federal probe. plus, sudden departures of top facebook executives. mark zuckerberg has announced that the chief product officer is leaving the company. zuckerberg made the statement, which he shared with employees. " for a few years, chris has been discussing a desire to do something else. he is one of the most out to people i know and can do anything he wants. after 2016, we realized had too much important work to do to improve our product and society and he stayed to help us work through these issues. at this point, we have made real progress." he also announced the head of
whatsapp is leaving as well, though this is not the only issue they are facing. from noon wednesday into thursday, users were unable to access their services globally, including instagram and messenger and what turned out to be a massive outage as federal investors launch a probe. thursday, we discussed all things facebook with techonomy founder and a bloomberg reporter . >> you may not have heard his name as much as zuckerberg or sheryl sandberg, but he is like the soul of facebook. he does orientation for new employees he is in charge of all of the products. emily: he is in the inner circle. >> absolutely, but more than that, he created the newsfeed. he is the guy who is the face of this product internally. it is a big, jarring change for basic employees. emily: in its own statement, chris coxe said that i have been
sharing the message mark and i believe, social media history is not yet written and its tracks are not neutral, it is tied to the richness and complexity of social life, and as its builders, we must take up the work of defending it. he is clearly alluding to the big, existential issues facebook is facing. but why is he really leaving? is it because he fixed a lot things or because he couldn't? >> also in that post is another line that says they are entering this new era of product development that will be focused more on encryption, apps that are connected and the messages are so private that not even facebook can see it. he says facebook's deserve executives take facebook into that era who are excited about the change. so he is saying he is not excited. emily: let's talk about chris daniels, head of whatsapp leaving. zuckerberg said he is not
filling chris coxe's -- cox's position, but other services, tell us about chris daniels. >> chris daniels was formerly head of internet.org, zuckerberg's personal project try to get more people on the internet. sort of connected to whatsapp in that it was very international, but running a messaging product is a different deal. we don't know exactly why he left, but it is a very difficult time for whatsapp. they're facing all of the scrutiny around the world. there have been whatsapp lynchings in india of all of this information -- misinformation that has spread that is encrypted and so facebook cannot do much about it. that would be a very difficult job to do. emily: david kirkpatrick is joining us now from new york. you wrote the book on facebook, i'm sure you interviewed chris cox several times.
what do you make that he is no leaving? >> i agree with everything sarah has said about his centrality. he has, in my mind, been the person closest to zuckerberg from a product standpoint. zuckerberg gave him oversight over facebook, instagram, and whatsapp. he has been running all of the products. it is interesting that he should be leaving and daniels who runs whatsapp, leaving just a few -- after zuckerberg declared whatsapp is the center of the new facebook. to me, it the speaks some conflict and disagreement. how much is hard to say. -- cox like chris coxe would not be leaving now with facebook so under fire just because he is tired. that is not what would happen.
emily: when zuckerberg release that memo about privacy, he talked about on board at the challenges of new leaders on board or half this was an allusion to them knowing that coxe and perhaps daniels would be leaving. so many people have questioned the sincerity of that memo from last week, or the week before last, whatever it was, my time is missing. this actually suggests that zuckerberg is making a dramatic change and fairly fast. that is another possibility. air -- maybe it really could be that it is not in his wheelhouse and he wants to leave. it is very shocking to me. see those guys leaving at the same time, daniels is on the
inner circle. this: on the same day as massive facebook global outage, believed to be the biggest outage they have ever had, which affected all of its services. of thehaps is evidence power of facebook all being concentrated in one place, but also the difficulties of managing that. when you have these different services get more and more integrated. you have whatsapp, oculus, messenger, instagram, facebook itself. yesterday, they were all down, not to mention the added managers. -- ad managers. they were telling me they could not see their campaigns and how they were running. it gave them the sense of is there really an alternative? showing there just map of the outage there as of new today and facebook has said it has resolved the issues. there are a few hundred reports of people without service. but if you look at that map
yesterday, it was red all over. this as mark zuckerberg is planning to merge the infrastructure behind whatsapp, instagram, and messenger. is this just an isolated incident or is it a symptom of a larger issue at play? facebook has said so little about what actually happened but we are left to guessing. one of the strangest things was that it was not just facebook, but instagram, parts of whatsapp, even oculus. that is extremely surprising to me, that they should have an architecture that would come at the moment, allow them all to somehow be so connected that they could be simultaneously impaired. it does underscore the risks of making it all one big integrated system, which clearly is happening. our exclusiveup,
emily: this week, i caught up with tony blair about the role of tech in government as he wraps up a tour of silicon valley. i started by asking him about an op-ed he wrote he said quote populists of both left and right have risen for -- to prominence. tech is now firmly in their firing line. tony: politicians exploit anxiety about the accelerated pace of change, these companies, people who run them, and they target the companies and targeted technology is something that is going to disrupt and change our lives in ways we
cannot control. my view is that this revolution is a fact, but in any event, it is essentially a good thing. we have to deal with these consequences, that if it is handled in the right way that it could change our lives in good ways and can offer enormous opportunities. it is up to politics to address how we access those opportunities and mitigate the risks, because it will also displace jobs. emily: you said the first politician who masters the revolution will decide the future. how so? if i am white and saying this revolution is the 21st century equivalent of the 19 central industrial pollution. if i am right in saying that, then look back on what the revolution did. a change the way people lived and worked, the relationship between the countryside and the city. change the laws coming change politics, it changed everything. this will be the same. the first politicians to come
along and understand it and make sense of it and show how this can form a narrative of the future that is essentially optimistic, those of the ones that will succeed politically. democratic senator elizabeth warren has just proposed breaking up the biggest tech companies. i assume you don't agree with her proposals? but what do you think? tony: i don't agree, but i think it is very interesting. her, it is a speech with an intellectual coherence to it and what it shows is where i think the democratic platform may well go. exactly the same issues are going on in the u k and europe. i think a better way of dealing with it is to regulate them. having a regulator for these large tech companies. if you try to break them up, i'm not sure that really works. trying to slice them up, you
will find a norm is difficult to intimate that. -- to do that. one of the reasons they are so large is because they are offering a service people want. yes, there are huge questions that arise out of their dominance, but it is a better way to regulate this in a way that has the public interest put into the mix when we look at these companies, in a sort of ntructured way, a van -- tha think that if you cut them in three you will create greater competition. emily: what does that regulation look like to you? tony: it is less about being tough, one of the other things we suggested is that it would be sensible, particularly given the huge competitive power in china, it would be sensible if europe and america worked together. emily: how so? tony: if you create a more
loving playing field -- level playing field, you give people the opportunity to develop technology of the future. it would allow these big companies to grow. be veryit would sensible to have a transatlantic alliance on regulation of tech. but the purpose should not be to hit them or be tough on them, the purpose should be to represent the public interest obviously, there are public interest issues that come with us. the sensible thing rather than -- rather than trying to break them up, because of not even sure that would destroy the monopoly, you might find you have created three monopolies. emily: are they a monopoly? tony: well, they are powerful. theyook, google, amazon, are incredibly powerful and will likely become more powerful. but it better way to do it is to look at how to be have the public interest.
where i think elizabeth warren is right is that they are like utilities. they are utility platforms. the same way that when electricity and the water industry and others were created in the 19th century, first in the private sector, in time, people said these are utilities everyone depends on so they will have to be publicly regulated. in some cases, people want them publicly owned. the point is, if they have got that amount of power, there will be a demand from the public that the public interest is taken into account. i think a better way of doing that is to have regulators that work with those companies, rather than break them up. emily: so, facebook, for example. multiple scandals, covered by the data of millions of people. mark zuckerberg has now said we will focus on privacy, private medications. -- communications.
is that enough? tony: i understand why and privacy is an issue, but essential question is power. if you look at their dominant position in advertising with the role facebook inevitably plays in politics today. what is absurd is to say to them you have got to be responsible for everything that is happening. the truth is, it is a joint responsibility. interest inblic making sure they exercise their position responsibly, but we also have to work with them to share the responsibility from the public policy point of view. many of these questions, whether it is hate speech or excitement, for example radicalization or child pornography, whatever it is. these are things where there is a public interest in thwarting out, but that requires not just companies to behave responsibly, but government to be alongside the process of that.
making sure it is done in the most effective way. emily: how can we trust the companies to understand and live up to their responsibilities? we trust, how can government not be mired in this political process as we see in both of the u.k. and the u.s. and do some. tony: this is a challenge, but in the end, the challenge is best addressed the concept of public interest regulation. whether you do that for each individual company, you might, because there are different issues that arise. this is the world we are living in. there is a bigger question them, for example if you take driverless cars. the next generation of cars are likely to be electric, and in time, driverless. this will change employment, it will change transport, it is probably going to change insurance. it has got a massive series of applications. -- implications.
neil -- need for greater processing power. we heard reactions. nvidia, data from centers will be not just a group of computers, they will be all one big computer. so that the interconnects between those components become more important. emily: and he spoke to the cl last night? knocks -- and mellow mellanox does all the connections. emily: there seems to be a big wave of semi conductors that has stalled. >> it used to be the hottest name in m and a. companies tried to do some listings last year, i'm sure your lender qualcomm and expedia. evil are pushing big deals and they have been pushed back by
regulator he concerns -- regulatory concerns. as you said, it is a big number, but does not rank in those top five deals. emily: what is the subject to regulatory scrutiny? >> if you look at the share price, there is a sign that people are concerned, particularly in china, it will face that regulatory scrutiny. in terms of what else could be in the pipeline, which is say we should be looking at smaller deals? this is a competitive process and there were other bidders until the end. we can assume they are looking for similar things. ian is the expert, but we know there is a lot of this one-$5 billion companies out there that are potential targets. what kind of ian, chatter are you hearing? >> the logic has not changed.
there are enough companies that are frankly just not big enough. not big enough to stay competitive long-term. gregnalyst said that craigputer is in a similar position. emily: nvidia beat out intel, what is that signified? >> it signifies they wanted more than intel did. it was not just intel, but a number of other companies interested which may have prompted the deal to be announced when it was, regardless of whether it will be an easy process in approval or not. emily: what else could be in the pipeline? >> in terms of tech, the big thing we have got our eye on is ipo's and those could go down the m and a root. -- m&a route.
maybe we look for intel to do something as an alternative. india is coming online at annex financial rate, growing users into 500 million just a few years and investors are jumping at the opportunity to be part. this partner has raised to new funds, and with six partners across its offices, it has become one of the largest in india. indianer at light speed joined us tuesday to talk about growth. indiastarted investing in at light speed about 12 years ago. opportunity opened up, we decided we would start dedicated fund this for the reason -- funds for the season. emily: the growth in india has been astounding. it might be 700 million and 2020. -- in 2020.
have you even begin to affect opportunities? is it just exploding or is it pretty obvious? >> it feels like it, and what is changing that is as you have the cycle reporting -- exploding, you have repeat entrepreneurs. and you have more and more risk capital available. you have the intersection of multiple different things, strong macro tailwind, and what we are beginning to see and are excited by is that technology is making its way into every industry. it could be commerce and retail, logistics,, ridesharing, transportation, media. things we see in other parts of the world and other digital economies is beginning to happen in india. data u.s. e-commerce
companies like amazon and walmart have taken an interest. amazon has invested billions, walmart bought flip part in a big coup and a combined mystics and e-commerce. how has their arrival impacted your job? >> it is a net positive thing. for us as early investors, we want to build companies that ultimately will get public or some form of exit. the idea that there is downstream capital or strategic investors or buyers is a good thing. one of the things i often say is that india is an open market, the world's next big digital economy. it is open, and that means capital and interest is coming in from all over the world. there are u.s. strategic's, chinese strategic's, folks like masters -- naspers. i think it is good and provided it is ultimately used in the right way. emily: light speed india partners.
♪ welcome back to "the best of bloomberg technology." senator elizabeth warren is going after big tech. after laying out a proposal to tech, she took her argument to the sxsw festival in austin, texas. she said breaking up companies like amazon and google would keep the marketplace competitive. >> the opportunity to do what you do best, to come up with a great idea and work your heart out to make it happen, to be able to compete on a level
playing field is taken away by these platform giants. my view is break those things apart and we will have a more competitive market. emily: todd giles and susan warren joined us on monday to discuss. she put a lot of thought and time into this. there are a couple of different prongs, breakup big tech and some of these mergers. facebook bought whatsapp. she has a list of deals that she would take a closer look at. theis invoking at&t in 1980's, some of the big trust busting cases in the u.s. history. there is a more nuanced argument that when these companies start andrgument, like a platform a utility, and they are competing as part of that, that
is where she also is looking for some kind of way to separate out those businesses. casexample, amazon is the she keeps coming back to. has created a huge marketplace for millions of sellers to peddle their wares, but amazon is also a competitor. emily: amazon at selling its own batteries and baby wipes. todd: she cited our colleague once amazon sees your product is starting to gain traction on its platform, gaining popularity, amazon has a way of creating its own white label version of that, and creates a competitive atmosphere. emily: you talked about amazon, facebook, google, and she added apple. she said apple has to break apart from the app store.
either they run the platform or they plan the store and do not get to do both. it is the same notion. todd: there has got to be an interim step where maybe these proposals start gaining traction and maybe instead of a full breakup, you see a company like apple potentially getting out of some of the businesses where it is allegedly competing with app store participants. that could be an interim step. another interim step would be paying closer attention to the example, facebook, for operates and spreads information , and maybe forcing them to be a bit more transparent about who is funding a particular avertisement, who is behind particular piece of information being circulated. people have talked about treating facebook and google more like media companies. emily: senator amy klobuchar who
is running for president said she wanted to see an investigation if breaking up tech companies is the best option. how are the other candidates received at sxsw by this tech savvy crowd? susan: i think all the candidates that i heard speak were very interested in seeing more regulation over the tech companies. none of them went as far as elizabeth warren and proposing a breakup, but they were open to studying the question, looking at what needed to be done, closer scrutiny at the mergers and maybe even retrospective regulation of mergers. just overall, solving this problem that nobody anticipated having 30 years ago. emily: have we heard a reaction from any tech companies? todd: they are not saying a lot. emily: they are lobbying in washington.
todd: they have good reason to lay low on this one. the fact that these proposals have come out this early in the campaign shows that this issue is not going away. emily: bloomberg's todd giles and susan warren. campaign gotn's taken down from facebook and were quickly restored. she tweeted -- curious why i think facebook has too much power? post, for restoring my but i won a social media marketplace that is not dominated by a simple sensor -- censor. ted cruz saying dutch first time i ever retreated elizabeth warren. they should not be censoring her or anyone else, a serious threat to our democracy. tech breakupbig look like?
i really like what elizabeth warren is doing. she reached out to tristan harris and me in the summer of 2017 with her early thoughts relative to what was going on in technology. i was incredibly impressed by the insights she had in comparing what was wrong in tech compared to what she had seen go wrong in the banking business where essentially you have markets in which one side had vastly superior information and was able to control the information available to the other side, and where the people who made markets were participating. when this came out, i have studied it very closely. i believe antitrust is essential in two different ways. the big tech companies -- google, facebook, amazon -- are blocking competition from startups in their immediate area
. they are basically causing innovation to come to a stall in and around the core internet. they have been amazingly successful, and that is a terrible idea. warren is very much on that issue and antitrust, it is a super progrowth way of doing that. starting in 1950 six with the at&t consent degree through ibm, the second case, break off with my curse -- breakup of microsoft, you have seen antitrust stopping the independent -- incumbent from dominating. preventing companies that operate markets who are participating, google and facebook do this in advertising and amazon does this in their marketplace, and that should stop. the crust and cross sharing of data are also really bad --
cross sharing of data are also really bad. people point out that the history of tech was misinterpreted in some of the statements that came out. i could not care less because i think the issues in tech, the power situation, the dominance of the public square, the manipulative technology that people are using, the surveillance that is now pervasive in our lives, that is bad for society and we should not allow that. tech companies are a little like -- new tech companies are a thele like companies in early 20th century, standard oil and jpmorgan. emily: there is no real wake-up threat under today's laws -- breakup thread under today's laws. do you see a better argument to breakup facebook or google or amazon or apple? which of those companies
presents the best case? roger: let's be clear, this is a position, there is no guarantee we finish there, but you want to start with a position that says, we are going to do something really dramatic. we may be open to finishing somewhere else. i agree with senator warren and senator klobuchar, and both understand this issue. whether you break them up or not important -- less important than making sure they do not stall the economy. the threat of breaking them up is the way to get them to the table to have the conversation we need to have. i am excited about the strides in the trump administration, anti---arly in the justice department. these are people that understand there is something really wrong with what is going on in tech now, and antitrust is the most
progrowth way of dealing with that. they are the antitrust tools in the regulatory toolbox, and they are doing things right now that are a big change from what we have seen in antitrust under the obama and bush administrations. i do not think this will be partisan. i think this is a right versus wrong issue, not right versus left. emily: these are for different all tech, yet they are companies with some overlapping businesses. is anyone of these more a culprit than another? roger: google is by far the most effective at this. they had this insight in 2002 that when they were trying to prove search, they discovered -- improve search, they discovered they only needed 1% or 2% of the data, and they used the other 98% to predict behavior.
then they do gmail to find out who these people are and machine raid all -- machine read all the emails. then they wanted to know where people are so they created google maps and started doing things like street view. then they do the satellite version of that and google glass and now you have google home, so you are putting audio into everybody's houses. they are basically taking away all of our privacy, where privacy is designed -- defined as making choices without fear. our pricing power because they manage our access to information just as they manage the access of anybody who has something to sell, they manage the access to consumers. they are centralizing the whole economy in the hands of google, then facebook, amazon,
microsoft, and verizon. they are at the core of that strategy, and it is a brilliant strategy. we just need to have a conversation with the country, why is it legal for corporations to own and trade our most private data? why are they allowed to buy and sell and trade our credit card transaction data, which they get from experience and equifax -- experian and equifax and trans union. why are they allowed to sell data that if it were a hospital, they would not be allowed to sell? why are internet companies allowed to sell our search history online? emily: does apple stand out from the rest? roger: a lot of what they do in china, i object to, but what they are doing in this area, they are fantastic.
i have mixed feelings and i hope there is a way for them to avoid the antitrust program because i think apple is trying to be a good guy, and they really succeeded. page'scoming up, larry quest for power. how he has fought to make sure he does not lose control of google. nasa wants to can -- return astronauts to the moon, but it will need the private sector to get there. we will discuss private startups next. this is bloomberg. ♪
board member described as a "real concern" to page. according to confidential emails and other unsealed documents, we know how badly he wanted to keep his grip. why should i sacrifice and work so hard if i might not be in control? that is what he told a former director. in these court documents, we do not have larry speaking at all. ceoy had just returned as so he was ceo in the beginning and then the board brought in eric schmidt. steve jobs asked him, what does it take to be a good ceo? he said read all the books about being a good ceo. people involved in
said there was always tension, but it was a healthy tension. documents show at times maybe it wasn't and he was concerned that survey or eric would sell their shares. emily: what the founders wanted was the creation of a new class of shares, of nonvoting shares. they are ready have the class b shares. and that's for regular shareholders, shares for regular shareholders had wrote -- one vote. mark: i think it was december, they said, we will get it done in a few weeks. the board pushed back and there was a much bigger push back then what people knew. board ultimately created a committee to look into whether shares should be granted. the do you make of how
google board handled this situation? mark: i am impressed -- larry: i am impressed. pushing back against stockholders is not easy. i was impressed that they pushed and explain -- larry explain what he was up to. they could avoid issuing stock, use cash for acquisitions, or push back. he admitted that his main concerns seemed to be a surrogate brennan were to sell hit -- surrogate brennan were to sell his stock, he would lose his majority control and he was concerned about that. for theuld trade his c control, soretain the board uncovered that, did a good job. emily: the board still decided to start this new class of no
voting shares. mark: john noris is a good example. he originally was against the proposal. one deposition said he changed his mind and was convinced this is the best way to recruit talent. this has been a huge concern at google about recruiting the best talent. emily: so keeping them engaged what help talent? this is the year they make the big $12.5 billion acquisition of motorola. in the stuff that was not google in 2011, and now these much grander moon shots and areas and moving into different fields that arguably could not have happened if the founders did not have such tight control. emily: there is always the risk of them making not great
decisions. we have been covering another story out of google where page approved a $150 million payout for andy rubin who was it used of sexual harassment, and permitted him to leave quietly and invested into his new company. executiveid another $45 million accused of sexual misconduct. where was the board then? lawrence: both of these examples show the downside to dual class. ae founders envisioned warrant under control. you sacrifice some accountability to shareholders. if it is true -- and i think it is disputed by the company and the executive who was leaving -- that the ceo or founding shareholder is unilaterally able to make that kind of decision,
that is a downside to dual class. i cannot say the board has a lot of power, but it points out some of the negatives and problems with managerial accountability with dual class stock. gei wasextent that ser thinking about selling any way and larry faded in the background running the company, it is not obvious what their vision and their sense of the long-term interest of google and stockholder is to warrant having disproportionate control. still ahead, nasa is aiming to put astronauts back on the moon by 2024. how the 2020 budget requests support the lunar mission. this is bloomberg. ♪
emily: nasa is speeding up its moon exploration. president trump delivered his 2020 budget proposal, requesting $21 million to fund the program. the agency looks to transport humans back to the moon and eventually mars. the private sector will be an important part of this. network ofs is a investors focused on early stage commercial space ventures. chad: the budget is out and emphasizes the moon over everything else. the administrators said clearly this is a stepping stone and the moon is seen as a staging area to test out the technology that we need to go to mars. that is still the horizon goal, but the moon is much closer. it allows big wins early on and
will allow tech knowledge he to go to mars -- technology to go to mars. will: is there anything we learn from the moon itself that we do not know, as opposed to deep space exploration? chad: it allows us to test the technology to go to mars. as investors in this space economy, it is important that nasa partner with the private sector in a much bigger way. that was the highlight of the announcement today. there is a number of companies that are working to put a lunar gateway in the orbit of the moon that will allow us to do a number of different things. it will help develop the launch sector that will go out beyond the lowest orbit. it will allow us to develop the landing technology to go from orbit to the surface. additional companies are working bytechnology being funded
clips, $2.5 billion over the next 10 years, funding small and medium-sized landers to go directly to the lunar surface. this allows us to check out the landing technology and to check out the present around another planetary body. the moon ax as a great launch point to go to other deeper space missions. the gravity is less so it is much easier to launch. emily: we have not focused on spacex which is working to get a human into space for the first time since mass upon the state program -- nasa paused the other space programs. what else do we need to know about? million was set aside for the larger human landers.
spacex and blue origin are developing these. to get started, this point -- $2.5 billion from the clips program is going to smaller companies. c is privately funded and has been working with nasa over a number of years. they are a key player in the clips program that will allow them to allow nasa to deliver a payload to the mood -- moon for the first time. that will be to test the capability and lay the infrastructure that will allow for a habitat on the surface of the moon, which looks similar to the space station, with a rotating crew of people that are there on a sustained basis and we have a continuous human presence. emily: space angels ceo chad anderson.
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