tv Best of Bloomberg Technology Bloomberg April 7, 2019 12:00pm-1:00pm EDT
♪ emily: i'm emily chang, and this is the "best of bloomberg technology," where we bring you all of our top interviews from this week in tech. coming up, lyft in reverse. shares under pressure post i.p.o. as wall street analysts raise concerns about how fast the ridesharing company can start making money. plus, lifting the curtain at youtube. the video platform faces more controversies. staffers say managers are not listening, and that proposals to change recommendations and curb conspiracies are being sacrificed for engagement.
and twitter co-founder and c.e.o. jack dorsey said rules like europe's gdpr have a positive impact on the tech industry. he speaks in an exclusive interview with bloomberg in toronto. first to our top story. after much fanfare and a first day pop in the stock, lyft is losing some steam after going public, falling below its i.p.o. price. among investors' concerns, justifying its valuation and, a timeline for turning a profit, and analysts are striking a cautious tone about the stock, with the majority giving it a neutral rating. we discussed the road ahead with jake fuller, managing director for equity research at guggenheim securities and bloomberg intelligence's mandeep singh. >> i am not sure you want to read too much into the short-term trading activity. it is a high multi-story stock. you'd expect to see a little bit of volatility around that. that being said, we did launch with a neutral rating. bottom line for me, you have to look too far out. and make big assumptions on
things like growth rate, whether or when they can get to a self-driving car future. emily: even when i interviewed the c.e.o., logan green, he said he couldn't give us a date when self-driving cars would be available. yet many investors were betting on them not having to pay drivers and relying on self-driving technology. mandeep, you seem to think that expectations for lyft are too high and lyft will not be able to meet some of those expectations. >> a lot of people were expecting them to trade at the same multiples as software and service companies. we don't think that is going to happen. this is still a very rudimentary market. although, it is going to be a disruptive service, but no one knows the long-term profitability potential. it just goes to show that we are still in the early stages of this market. emily: jake, what do you make of carl icahn backing out here?
the lyft founders own 5% of shares, but have almost 50% in voting power. it is not unusual in technology. you see the same thing at facebook and google, or for a -- but for a company that maybe doesn't have a lot of leverage, what do you make of a big name brand investor backing out? jake: i am not sure we can make a lot out of it. he has been in four years. made a lot of money on it. not so surprising. i guess the bigger question is what about the other large holders, folks like google, fidelity, gm. my guess is that they are more long-term holders. it would be more scary for me if we saw those types leave. emily: lyft investors are backing them up. i sat down with ben horowitz. he is on the board. of course he is biased, but he had this to say about what lyft has managed to pull off. take a listen. >> all of these founders in silicon valley go, oh, nobody
believed in us. when logan said, they are telling the truth. literally, everybody had written them off. for them to come back and go from, when i stepped onto the board, we were at about 16% share in the u.s., we are at about 39% today. that's an amazing, really thrilling thing. emily: going from 16% to 39% market share in the united states in a matter of years, do you not think that is impressive enough? >> i think it is impressive but it is built on a lot of subsidies. like i said, this market is still rudimentary. when you look at ride hailing and the ancillary services they are offering on the bikes and scooters side, if you offer subsidies and you know you are burning a lot of cash, you can gain a lot of market share. but at the end of the day, you have to retain subscribers and show steady upsell. that is much harder.
i would wait for at least a few quarters to see that steady growth and active riders and active rider pricing and stuff like that. >> from my vantage point, the key question here is not what you have done, it is what you're going to do. from the big questions about the stock profit potential, the only -- you only have four ways you are going to get there. you can cut driver pay, you can cut incentives that you have been running, you can bring insurance costs down. or you can get self-driving cars. none of those things are immediately obvious. emily: do you have the same concerns about uber even though it is a much bigger business? >> we don't know as much about uber yet. we don't have the public filings. but it is a bit of a different animal. number one it is a market leader. number two, they have a big international business. number three, they have a large food delivery business so a bit of a different story there. emily: number three, they have a large food delivery business that they are pouring a lot of money into and they have other bets.
lyft pitched itself as focused. uber has a number of bets spread around. does that make lyft a better case than uber? >> i think one of the things you have to figure out is, what does -- what does the financial profile of some of those other businesses look like? we just don't have the details for uber yet. hard to say. the food delivery business for uber particularly stands out. you have some public companies like grub hub where the profit margins are quite high. emily: uber has released some financial data for the last several quarters which show that uber's revenue is much bigger than lyft but also losses much bigger than lyft. have you done any preliminary work on how they actually compare? mandeep: obviously, there are -- they are about five times bigger in revenue and booking and you know, it just goes to show that they are obviously
diversified, but at the end of the day, their topline is driven more by kind of international growth as well as u.s. growth. so it is a very balanced topline whereas lyft is more u.s.-focused. and i would say, lyft has higher take rates, take rates of about 28% and they have grown in the last two years. if i compare them to the online travel guides looking at expedia, they are much better. for lyft and uber, the story is about containing costs now. there take rates are very good. i think that applies to both of them. emily: guggenheim's jake fuller with bloomberg's mandeep singh. just last month, apple held a glitzy star-studded event to announce a slew of new subscription services, but the event prompted more questions than answers. while the iphone maker brought in a parade of celebrities to
introduce its new tv plus streaming service, the company was light on some key details, including pricing and subscription models, and it has left investors and analysts questioning just how it plans to compete. dan ives and dallas lawrence joined us monday to weigh in. >> i think the biggest thing we saw out of the survey was that a majority of u.s. adults are now streamers and they have a heavy appetite for more than one content provider. on average they use three different content providers for streaming. we used what is known as the 15-100 rule. it is interesting how it is similar across cable and television. u.s. adults are able to watch, or want to watch about 15 channels and they are willing to spend about $100 on cable and also want to watch about 15 streaming channels and spend $100 with a maximum of $24 per subscription. if you think about the revenue growth there, that is about twice what netflix charges. so the average consumer is saying, we are willing to spend about $100 a month for streaming. we want to own more than one
device, and we really want to on -- own how that device comes with us wherever we go. emily: apple hasn't said how much it is going to cost. i would assume a higher price point wouldn't be good for your models. right? >> if they did that. even though i think that is a great point that dallas makes. initially, we see $1 or $2 less than netflix. right now for them it is a market and mind share arms race that they need to get to. right now, if you look at the event, the big issue is obviously a lack of details. it comes down to them building a distribution platform than original content. spending $1 billion a year relative to the $20 billion that netflix, disney, and amazon are spending. that's why right now this will be a everest like climb for
apple on content and streaming. we do believe that a large content acquisition is something that will finally happen at apple in 2019. emily: but apple rarely makes big acquisitions. what content acquisition, what kind of acquisition are you looking at? dallas: the clock struck 12 in our opinion for them. it obviously beats the last one in terms of m&a, $3 billion. we look at sony pictures lion's gate, m.g.m. we talked about cbs viacom as a potential acquisition candidate and obviously, the longshot is netflix. right now, when you look at that services business, the $50 billion per year, in our opinion, the $450 billion in services, they cannot trip over their shoelaces on services. specifically on the content piece. they need to put more fuel in the engine from content. we have seen them do that in m&a. that's something we see later this year. emily: you believe content is not necessarily king.
the fact that they don't have all the original content in the world is not necessarily a game changer? dan: that's right, i completely -- >> i completely agree with dan. the biggest news apple made is they are moving away from the device and hardware strategy and letting viewers access apple plus on their smart televisions this year. that's a game changer for apple to really become the portal through which they are accessing their streaming content or building their individual skin -- skinny bundles. emily: apple has to have shows that people want to watch. >> they have a billion subscribers and a billion devices. the majority of o.t.t. subscribers are watching more streaming content on their smart phone than they are on the device. as far as content, netflix does not have a single top 10 show. when we pulled u.s. consumers, not a single netflix, amazon or google show is in the top 10. the number one show on netflix is "friends" based on consumers, for which they paid $100 million this year. i think there is a way to get the content but the key is that distribution model. i agree with dan.
emily: "friends" reruns are never going to die. dan, what do think about that? that maybe content doesn't matter so much, maybe that apple is so far behind? dan: i couldn't agree more with dallas in terms of distribution. it comes down to 1.4 billion active devices, which is why we believe the key here how we get to 100 million potential subscribers over the next three to five years is distribution. that continues to be their position of strength. although content definitely playing from behind the 8 ball , but right now it is going to be distribution first and then content. that is going to be the focus for cook and company. both their backs are against the wall. this is in our opinion going to be the most defining period for cook and apple in the history of the company. and right now their future will be defined by their success on services and monetizing that install base over the next decade. emily: interesting. dallas, quickly, you also found that users have a bit of content fatigue. i know this is first world
problems, but there are overwhelmed. >> they are overwhelmed with too many choices. disorganized choices. emily: i feel like i spend 30 minutes a night just trying to figure out what to watch, when i have time to watch it. >> i think that is what apple does really well. they organize content in a way that is user friendly. that's what they said at their announcement last week. that was the real key of this effort, to make sure whatever content you want, whatever skin -- skinny bundle you want, if you want hbo now in that one segment, you have it wrapped up. emily: dan ives and dallas lawrence. coming up, bloomberg technology investigates how youtube let objectionable videos flourish on the site. we'll bring you to key -- the key takeaways, next. and, if you like bloomberg news, check us out on the radio. you can listen on bloomberg app, bloomberg.com, or in the u.s. on sirius xm. this is bloomberg. ♪
emily: a new bloomberg investigation reveals managers at google's youtube are not doing everything they can to curb toxic and misleading videos on the platform. staffers tell us instead, it is him and him and all about increasing engagement, the primary measures of views, time spent and interactions with online videos. multiple current and former employees say executives and ceo susan wojcicki were given suggestions how to deal with malicious content. however, they said they were told not to "rock the boat." bloomberg tech's mark bergen wrote the piece and joined us on tuesday. >> there is a series of events dating back to maybe 2012 or so. that was when youtube put in an internal goal to get to a billion hours of watch time. they rejiggered their technical infrastructure based on optimizing how long people watch videos. over the years, particularly since the 2016 election, a lot of people were internally bringing up the downsides of that, where they were sort of optimized for outrage. you see people on the political fringes going viral on the site. what you saw with kids' content,
channels like toy freaks, these really aggressive, violent pranks that flourished in part because the algorithms favored the engagements over and over again. emily: so youtube gave us a statement saying our primary focus has been tackling some of the platform's toughest content challenges. we have taken a number of significant steps to prevent the spread of harmful misinformation, improving the news experience on youtube bringing the number of people , focused on content issues across google to 10,000 to be able to more quickly and find and remove the violative content. youtube has made some changes. are employees saying it is not enough? mark: yeah. it is pretty clear, in the past three years, they have made a series of changes, fairly radical ones. if you look at them historically. recently, they eliminated comments on a lot of videos aimed at kids. people at youtube say this is a huge shift.
there has been this debate about comments for a long time. they kept comments intact in part because they wanted you to -- youtube to be a social media platform. the key issue here is that the company is shifting for what they call responsible growth. that is a metric where they are using things like user surveys to see how people feel after they watch videos. that is a really tricky thing to deal with. they have not exactly told investors, the public, and a lot of their employees what that looks like. emily: youtube on twitter has really some follow-up statement saying susan wojcicki specifically has made this a priority. but in your story, employees are saying that she personally is not making this a priority. what exactly are employees telling you? mark: consistently, the thing i have heard for people who worked under susan is not that she doesn't care about these issues.
especially around the kids content, which was an eye-opening moment for her and her leadership team. the consistency was more paralysis for a number of reasons. whether it is concerned about being seen as anti-conservative or the changes they would make to youtube's advertising platform. or concern of what that would mean for creators. that paralysis has led to them stalling and inertia. if you look at the anti-vaccination, we have new data. the number of videos promoting anti-vaccination, youtube has been aware of it for a long time. this is a series of events that have become a publicity nightmare and they are forced to take action. they recently started categorizing these anti-vaccination videos as what they call borderline content so it will no longer be recommended. they have not shared externally if those changes on the recommendation engine, and a lot of the changes that wojcicki has brought have made an impact on their business, their engagement, and these are
emily: in the u.s., april 2 is also known as equal pay day. it is a day to recognize the push, or lack thereof for pay parity among men and women in corporate america. they had the second gender and -- equal pay scorecard is a ranking of the world's largest companies on pay based on race and gender. this year, the scorecard gave an a rating to only one company, citigroup. they also passed out failing grades to over half the companies surveyed. where did the tech land? we talked to arjuna capital's natasha lamb in boston. >> if you recall in january, citigroup was literally the first company in the world to
reveal its median gender pay gap and its u.s. median racial pay gap. what that means is it did not use an adjusted number, which is what the disclosures we have gone from companies -- gotten from companies so far. which is equal pay for equal work number. most of those numbers we have seen from companies have been adjusted, they are around 99 cents to parity. if you and i were in the same position, we would make the same if i was a man and you were a woman. what citigroup did further was to publish their median number. if you take all the men and women, you say, take the middle person and say what are they making, man versus woman, and there is a much bigger gaps. that is how equal pay is measured in the united states when we talk about equal payday. women are paid $.80 on the dollar. that is the median earning. citigroup, in response to an arjuna capital proposal, came out with this data and stepped up as a leader in really setting the standard. emily: not only are they
releasing more data and being more transparent, the data looks good? is that what you're saying? natasha: the data does not look great. those median numbers don't look great for most companies. it was a 29% median pay gap as compared to their $.99 equal pay gap. right? for minorities in the u.s., it was $.93 on the dollar. it does not look great, they squeaked out an a. they got an 86 out of 100, but they are the on the company to -- only company to receive an a on the scorecard. emily: apple and intel, you gave them a b. you gave several tech companies failing grades, oracle and hp. why? natasha: some of those companies were a or a minuses last year. emily: so they got worse? natasha: no, they didn't get worse, but we did add one a new criteria this year. we are ranking across 10 different quantitative factors, it is very transparent. and we added the median racial
pay gap in the u.s. that was a statistic that citigroup put out this year and other companies hadn't, it set a new standard. so we added that to the mix. some of those companies that were getting a minuses are now getting b's. they have made some improvements. their global coverage of how many employees are reporting on. and the companies that failed, it was half of the list. emily: oracle, hp, marriott, mcdonald's, walmart. why did they fail? natasha: because they are not disclosing. and if they are it is only because of the regulatory mandate in the u.k. some of those companies, like mcdonald's, have to report in the u.k. and those numbers look ok, but those are only two out of 10 data points that we are looking for. emily: we are seeing some steam and momentum behind equal pay regulation in the united states. do you think we need laws here? natasha: i think it has been
very slow. it has been more of a ground game. states including massachusetts, new york, and california have started to improve their state laws. you recently saw a judge in the u.s. overturn a block, a freeze that had been put out by the trump administration that was going to require companies with over 100 employees to report their gender and racial pay data to the government. that is promising. that is similar to what is happening in europe. a recent study shows that even when companies are reporting just to the government, not fully t what we are looking for, they improve, they narrow the gender pay gap, they hire more women and move more women into positions of leadership, and that is where you see the performance benefits. emily: new surveymonkeypoll shows that 50% of men believe that the pay gap, the gender pay gap is made up. how do we deal with that, when men, to be frank, are still
running these companies? natasha: i think that is sad. i think there is a lot of misinformation. you can look at it on an equal pay for equal work basis. even in my industry, finance, i'm a financial advisor, the gap for financial advisors for equal pay for equal work is $.62 on the dollar. that is pretty remarkable. but even for -- even if men and women from the same jobs are being paid the same, there is still a median gap because there isn't an equal opportunity for women and minorities at these companies, and there should become and that is where it makes a difference to performance. emily: managing partner at arjuna capital, natasha lamb. coming up, bring on the regulations, says mark zuckerberg. we break down the facebook c.e.o.'s plan for the government to set new internet laws. that's next. bloomberg tech is live streaming on twitter.
emily: welcome back to the best of "bloomberg technology." i am emily chang. back in april of last year, facebook's ceo mark zuckerberg told congress the writing was on the wall when it comes to policing social media. mark: i think it's inevitable that there will need to be some regulation. my position is not that there should be no regulation, that i think you have to be careful about what regulation you put in place. emily: over the weekend we got some insight into what zuckerberg thinks those rules should be. zuckerberg made the call from global regulation from a facebook post. writing, i believe we need a more active role for governments and regulators.
by updating the rules on the internet, we can those are what is good about it. protecting society from water -- broader harms. on monday, we talked with bloomberg selina wang and a guest from the open markets institute who had also served on the antitrust bureau of new york. >> the sentiment here is that mark zuckerberg is trying to get in front of any rules or regulations that come, and it is really in facebook's self interest to have a strong voice in this discourse. whatever comes, it will have a big impact on facebook. he is calling for new global internet regime. he touches on four key areas, harmful content, terrorist content, abusive content, he talks about election integrity, that covers political advertising, he talks about gdpr tast -- to be spread around the world, and data portability, allowing users to
freely take information from one network to another. emily: sally, is this something that you or the open markets institute support? sally: i think it is very silly for zuckerberg to be out there, promoting regulations to fix problems that his business model is causing. he has the power to fix these problems by changing his business model. the targeted advertising business model is the reason why fake news and harmful content is being amplified by facebook's algorithms. it is the reason why facebook is collecting so much data on us that foreign agents are able to target us on social media platforms. he can fix these problems. he doesn't need the regulators to fix them for him. emily: selina, there has actually been a lot of criticism of mark zuckerberg's plan. there was one lawmaker who said, mark zuckerberg shouldn't be allowed to make the rules anymore. they are under civil investigation.
he cannot regulate itself. he's not saying facebook should regulate itself. he is saying that it can't. isn't he? selina: that doesn't amount to anything than just a glorified public relations document that is trying to punt off any of the blame to the government. and shield itself from future criticism. for instance, when he talks about regulations around harmful content, it is actually beneficial to facebook because inevitably mistakes a happen. -- mistakes are going to happen. now, they can say we were just following the line. arounder issue is things global context regime. something like gdpr, which actually helps some of these larger players more than the smaller players. because it is very cumbersome for a small company to have to comply with these rules. by making this a global standard, it could increase facebook's wherewithal. this integration they are doing
of what it increases its power over user data and answers questions like data privacy and makes it harder for regulations in facebook to moderate what is going on in these platforms if they are encrypted and don't have access to what is actually being said. emily: is it possible that these things can be helpful, that facebook could do more to regulate itself, and also that governments around the world could do more cooperate to and -- could do more to cooperate to regulate facebook? sally: i think governments around the world should be doing more to regulate facebook i don't think they should be taking their cues from mark zuckerberg. there are other things that could open up competition much more effectively than what he proposes. i also think that these half measures, that he knows will not be effective, like the gdpr, so far has not been very effective at accomplishing its goals.
he is proposing things that he knows will not fix the problem, will not really require facebook to change the way it does its business, and will not affect its profitability. but also it just won't work. regulators need to get involved, but they don't need to take advice from mark zuckerberg. emily: what will fix the problem in your view? sally: i think data portability -- interoperability would be a way to allow entry into competition, things like, for example, your verizon wireless phone can't communicate with an at&t wireless phone. allowing publication between -- communication between networks can actually allow competition to open up. data portability will not do that because if i take my data, where am i going to take it to? i need to take it where all my friends are. also, opening up competitors in a secure way is another proposal that's been made. i believe that integration of whatsapp, instagram, and messenger should be prohibited
by the f.t.c., and those deals should be unwound. emily: they mentioned civil and criminal investigations. there are questions about what -- whether the ftc would have oversight of this marriage of the back and a facebook marriage -- facebook message, instagram. how are we expecting these investigations to play out? because, it will likely be years, right? selina: it can be difficult to keep up with a number of global investigations going on. and that's what stage of the process they are at. they are looking into unwinding parts of facebook. that will be complex and drawn out. many experts say that integrating the back end actually makes it harder for regulators to be able to separate the data. there is also concern that section 230 may be under pressure. this is the law that exempts these social platforms for being liable for the content on their platforms.
if that was rolled back, it could have a really big impact on facebook. but we are already seeing other governments move ahead with regulation even as the u.s. stalls. we just reported for instance that singapore is coming out with new laws that would hold companies like facebook liable for false information and force them to take them down and show the corrections are making. emily: are there governments outside the united states that you feel are getting it right? or have a good model that other countries could follow when it comes to creating some sort of framework to better govern big tech, given that big tech clearly isn't doing a very good job of regulating itself, even though you and many people think they should? sally: i think the gdpr had promise. unfortunately, i don't think it is being adhered to or being enforced properly. i think there are things you can learn from it. i also think the california privacy measure also has promise, and i think that big tech is out there promoting laws
in other states like washington state, with the goal of getting a weaker privacy law at the federal level to preempt the stronger california law. from the antitrust perspective, the german authority had a very innovative case where they said that facebook abused its dominance by violating gdpr and collecting too much data from consumers. so i think they have a good clue of where things are going. the european commission has enforced its antitrust laws against tech platforms, although it hasn't done a great job of following up on that remedies. emily: bloomberg's selina wang and sally hubbard of the open markets institute. coming up, the twitter ceo weighing in on one of the biggest issues for big tech in 2019. saying he thinks regulation is a good thing. more from our exclusive interview. and later, who hacked jeff bezos? the amazon ceos top security point man has a new theory.
emily: twitter cofounder jack dorsey is echoing mark zuckerberg's comments, calling for a heavy regulatory hand when it comes to the tech giants. many companies are looking for healthier conversations after drawing criticism for issues like fake news and harmful speech. in an exclusivity bloomberg interview, dorsey said he would welcome more regulation. take a listen. jack: we have seen abuse, we have seen harassment, we have seen people leave our platform because of it. we have seen voices being silenced because of what is happening on the service. that is number one. we can't build a platform of speech, a platform of conversation in a service that will remain relevant to people, if people don't feel safe to speak up. for all of those who believe in free expression and free speech,
it's critical that we are not utilizing technology like twitter to shut down voices and to silence others. a lot of our policy is in enforcement and now more and more so, in technology, is aimed at addressing this problem. it is never going to be fully solved because it is one of those things where you just have to constantly iterate, perfection is not a goal, but we need to give people much better controls over their experience. and we need to do more of the work for them. we need to take away the burden of reporting harassment or abuse. we need to utilize technology better to automatically identify where it is happening or where there is a high probability of it happening, so people don't necessarily need to see it when they didn't ask to get into the fray. >> how much of it is twitter
focusing on that? how much of it is inviting more conversation from outside parties? i ask about because for the last few days, there have been a lot of headlines about mark zuckerberg's piece in the "washington post," about more regulation of internet. did you have a chance to see those comments, are they in line with your general of, because you have talked about this before. jack: generally, i think regulation is a good thing. it's a positive. our role as a company should be that of an educator, helping regulators and legislators understand what is happening with technology. the secular trends we are aware of, how our system works. the job of the regulator is to ensure protection of individual. and a level playing field. so as long as we are working together on that, that has good outcomes. i haven't looked at all of the specific feedback to mark's
post, but i generally think that there are things like gdpr that have been positive for our platform, but also for the industry in general. specifically, there's a lot more clarity around privacy and about how data is being used. typically, a service like ours, our terms of service are a little bit hard to read and a little bit hard to follow and not necessarily the most customer-focused thing. gdpr put a stake in the ground to at least bring out some elements that have more control over, but there is room for that. but also, there is not going to be anyone party that is responsible for fixing this. i think putting too much of that weight on any one entity whether it be a corporation, individual or government, is not going to work. we have to think about it a
little differently. we have to think about it as a desire. our purpose is to serve the public conversation and to incentivize and increase healthy conversation. we can look at that deeper. we can look at what we are incentivizing, we can look at the foundational nature of the service and make sure we are not incentivizing behaviors that would take away from health. there are areas where i think we are. those are questions we are asking. it will lead to some fundamental shifts in how the service works and how people experience it. emily: that was twitter ceo jack dorsey. now for reaction, we spoke to bloomberg tech selina wang, who covers the company. take a listen. selina: i think it's very far from the grand manifesto zuckerberg had. when we wrote about that on facebook, twitter declined to comment.
even in this interview, you don't hear dorsey specifically addressing the four points i dorsey laid out. -- that dorsey laid out. he does say that regulation as a whole is a positive thing and that gdpr has been beneficial. he also admits that twitter's terms of service is notoriously difficult to read and that it has brought some clarity about how twitter gathers data and how it is used. i think it is also worth mentioning that twitter has less of an incentive to play a strong role in the discourse around regulation. it's in their benefit to let facebook take the heat and any regulation that eventually comes is going to impact a giant like facebook and google much more than a much smaller platform like twitter. emily: i wonder if some of these tech ceos are simply tired of being blamed for all of these problems and would like to shift the responsibility to somebody else. selina: there is an interesting situation here where you have the ceos going out and trying to improve the messaging around the company, the other end of the
-- but at the end of the day, we have to see the results of the company. jack dorsey likes to have idealistic visions about what the future will be like on twitter, but we haven't exactly seen how that is going to change on the product. they have started iterating a beta app. they are looking at ways to maybe deemphasize the followers count, the numbers of likes and responsive people have. they want to encourage healthy conversation. that is still in the testing phases. it has been more than a year since he talked about bus initiative, and we still haven't seen the results. emily: i want to ask you about softbank trying to raise another $15 billion. $100 billion is not enough. talk to us about what is driving this. selina: $100 billion is not enough, until you start looking at the pace of deal making. in just about two years, they have invested $70 billion in startups like dog walking companies and cancer detection. they don't want to slow down the dealmaking. if that is the case, they need to recapitalize.
we have reported they are seeking to add another $100 billion. they are looking at a variety of options including asking some of their existing backers to weigh debt repayments, increased capital, and we don't know the timeline. it is possible that a deal could not be struck. emily: where are they going to put this money? selina: they want to continue on this grand vision of a.i., and the startup groups of number one. they want to back the leading company in every industry that is critically impacting and disrupting that sector, whether that is dog-walking or cancer detection. he said he wants to raise another $100 billion fund. now we are about getting to that point. emily: softbank is interestingly a small investor in lyft and a big investor in uber. do we know if they are going to make money on the uber ipo? do we expect them to?
selina: we don't know yet. when you talk to softbank, they are always talking about the long-term vision. they say their repayments are very attractive and the investors are interested in doubling down and recapitalizing. there is not a lot of transparency at this point on the numbers, but there are certainly hoping that they are positive ones. emily: bloomberg's selina wang. still ahead, all the riches in the world could not keep jeff bezos from getting hacked. was it the "national enquirer?" or a foreign power? we will break down what his security thinks, next. this is bloomberg. ♪
journalist jamal khashoggi in a saudi arabian consulate seemed to hit "a particular nerve." things have taken up to another level thanks to bezos' security consultant who made the accusation "we concluded the saudis had access to his phone and gained private information. as of today, it is unclear to what degree if any ami was aware of the details." we discussed this with my next guests. disputing the compelling consensus about this episode. i call it the occam's razor. which is that michael sanchez, lauren sanchez's brother -- emily: the woman he had an affair with. >> right, the consensus prevailing is that her brother provided all the text messages starting in the fall of last
year to the "national enquirer." i think bezos and the becker are frustrated with that explanation. they believe in this is been clear since the media post that saudi arabia and its leader were involved. they see some discrepancies with occam's razor solution. and michael sanchez claims that when he was contacted first by the "national enquirer" and as chief content officer, that they already had some text messages. he is pointing to these other forces that may or may not be at work. he said that he turned over information about this the u.s. law enforcement. emily: he doesn't provide any evidence. does that -- the security consultant makes these proclamations but doesn't provide any evidence. does that undermined the point he is trying to make? spencer: absolutely. at this point we don't know if he is buying the narrative of his choosing through an
intermediary or if they actually have some evidence to back up the claims. all the evidence you put into his 2000 word, basically a conspiracy theory at this point, it is all circumstantial. it's all interesting and intriguing. but show us the goods. emily: it certainly is intriguing. why? brad: one thing that has changed is one or two weeks ago, the "new york times" had this story about these companies, many former law enforcement secret security people from israel and united arab emirates will now -- who now had companies, that are sleuthing on behalf of governments and basically stealing information. the security consultant pointed out that story. we know that this is possible. he points to the jamal khashoggi story as having contributed to the murder of that journalist. why are they doing this? i think they are frustrated with
the simplistic narrative that has taken hold. ami ispam i is saying -- saying despite the unsubstantiated claims, american media reviews the unsubstantiated claims that we had help from anyone other than the single source. spencer, which is lauren sanchez's brother. when that story broke, to be fair, most of the texts that were published in that story seemed to be from her side. how do we explain that? spencer: i am sorry, how do we explain that all the texts we have seen so far are from bezos to his -- emily: right. spencer: that is an interesting thing, if the saudi government had access to jeff raises' -- jeff bezos' phone, if this is all they could come up with, it is an interesting question because by the nature of what has been revealed so far, it
looks like the person who has access to the messages is someone who was close to lauren sanchez. brad: it's a great point. michael sanchez does not deny he provided some of the texts. the question is where did they originate? michael sanchez says the "national enquirer" already knew about it. this is certainly what the gavin the becker, the theory he is proposing. it's almost coming off as juvenile, who started it, where did it start, and what is the point? who knows. amazon spends $1.6 million a year on jeff bezos's personal security. so either way, it is kind of amazing that a lot of people paid very well to do their jobs and protect this executive clearly did not do their jobs properly in this case. emily: another story we are, -- we are following, amazon
saying that they will lower their price of goods at whole foods across the board. what do we know about this? spencer: we know hundreds of products, we know that it is a small fraction of their inventory. whole foods is a lot more expensive than most other places to buy groceries. like walmart, kroger, cosco, etc. emily: jeff bezos still has a job. what do you make of this in the context of the larger amazon narrative? brad: the whole foods price-lowering? groceries remain a 10-year plus work in progress. they've been trying their own services, they acquired whole foods. they don't have much to show for it. whole foods sales have been flat, actually, down last year. they have been trying new things, innovate new store formats. now they are lowering prices to juice that business. emily: that does it for this edition of "the best of bloomberg technology." we will bring you the latest in
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david: he grew up in los alamo's, his mother a pediatric nurse, his father a theoretical physicist who took him to watch the ucla basketball team when it -- whenever it was in town. kevin johnson drew on his love of systems and teamwork as he rose to the ranks of the tech world at ibm, microsoft, and the ceo of juniper networks. but then a health scare changed everything, and brought him to starbucks, where he succeeded founder howard schultz in 2017. now johnson is redirecting a global consumer icon, seeking to