Big Tech's dominance continues
Blockbuster numbers from Silicon Valley but some headwinds lie ahead
In this issue:
3 Big Stories
Amazon crushes Q1 earnings
Europe dings Apple for being anti-competitive
Tesla achieves record profit
Interview - 3 Questions with the Prime Minister of India
3 Things To Look For Next Week
3 Big Stories
Amazon announces $15.79 Q1 EPS (vs. $9.54 expected)
On its Q1 earnings call, Amazon announced that sales spiked 44% to $109 billion, as the pandemic accelerated the shift to online spending. Although impressive, this growth still lags behind the 67% increase in the number of lives destroyed by cruel working conditions at Amazon’s fulfillment centers.
Amazon also announced that it is investing to expand its logistics operations. By adding to its fleet of airplanes, trucks and vans, Amazon aims to speed up the delivery process and reduce reliance on FedEx, UPS and USPS. Florida Congressman Matt Gaetz is excited about more logistics from Amazon because it gives him more choice for his sex trafficking endeavors.
The tech giant also noted that Amazon Studios notched 12 Oscar nominations and 2 wins. Jeff Bezos added that “Winning an Oscar feels right especially since the gold statuette matches the color of the contents of the cups that our employees pee into. I couldn’t be prouder”
European Commission charges Apple with anti-competitive practices
Apple has been charged with breaking competition law in Europe based on how it’s App Store is managed. The European Commission’s (EC) antitrust regulator tweeted that Apple’s conduct means that “consumers are losing out”.
The EC concluded that Apple has a monopoly on the distribution of music streaming apps to Apple device owners. This case is based on Spotify’s 2019 complaint that Apple was stifling innovation in the streaming music industry.
In a statement the California tech giant said “We are stunned that our offer of a well paid job in corporate communications did not convince European regulators to back off. We are disappointed that Europe has taken such an anti-anti-competitive approach. This failed approach is why Europe’s is less successful (as measured by the number of billionaires) than the United States. This anti-anti-competitive approach also explains why the only apples Europe ever came up with are fruit”
Tesla reaches record profit
Tesla - the California-based arbitrager of cryptocurrency and regulatory credits - announced record profit of $438 million in Q1. Almost a quarter of this profit - $101 million - came from selling some of the $1.5 billion in bitcoin it purchased in February. Selling regulatory credits to other auto makers at 100% margin accounted for the remainder of Tesla’s quarterly profit.
The company’s side hustle - selling cars - remains a loss-making endeavor despite accounting for the bulk of the company’s operations, which is reducing confidence in CEO Elon Musk. Musk responded by promising to boost sales once he becomes President of the United States: “the last time an expert brander billionaire who was failing at business hosted SNL, he became President. So just wait until 2024 when I’ll become President and force every American to buy 3 Teslas each”
Interview: 3 Questions with the Prime Minister of India, Narendra Modi
Q: Prime Minister, India is being ravaged by a deadly outbreak of coronavirus, and there is a shortage of hospital beds, medicine and oxygen. Meanwhile, you’ve been AWOL. What’s going on?
NM: This outbreak has brought immense sadness to me. Usually when large numbers of Indians die, it is because I have instigated religious violence. To think that so many Indians could die without my input is alarming. This outbreak is threatening so many Indians, especially me: COVID is threatening my sole possession of the title “Butcher of Gujarat”.
I don’t see an acute shortage of medical oxygen as a big deal. Indians are pre-disposed to sub-optimal levels of oxygen based on the air quality of Delhi, so all these complaints about an oxygen shortage are politically motivated.
As for being AWOL; I am not. I would love to talk to the news media. My offer to journalists is simple: send me your first born child who I will release when you broadcast a favorable interview. But nobody has accepted this offer. So I have revoked all broadcast licenses. Which makes it pretty hard to talk to the media.
Q: But it’s not just legacy media, you’re also trying to squash criticism of your approach to this crisis on Twitter and Facebook. Why?
NM: I am not trying to squash criticism. I am in a support group called “Powerholics Anonymous” with my fellow world leaders Putin, Trump, Boris, Bolsonaro and Zuck. On our weekly Zoom call we were discussing whether Priyanka Chopra and Nick Jonas’ marriage will last when I lamented the criticism I received on Facebook. And then the criticism - just like the autonomy of Kashmir - suddenly disappeared! I think it was Zuck helping me but I never asked him to take this action.
Q: There are 1.3 billions Indians who either have the coronavirus or are at risk of contracting it. They’re angry at you for such gross incompetence and mismanagement. What’s your message to them?
NM: I am disappointed that Indians can still recognize me despite my best efforts to hide behind my beard. In this time of crisis, our crematoriums are overwhelmed by the sheer volume of COVID deaths. But I have turned this into an opportunity to fulfill my ‘Make In India’ campaign promise by building many new crematoriums. When I said ‘Make In India’ I didn’t specify whether it would be factories or crematoriums…
And we only have approximately 200,000 dead out of a population of 1.3 billion. This is not even a rounding error, so I don’t see what the fuss is about. I am comfortable with 200,000 deaths from COVID, as long as all of these deaths are Muslims. If Muslims didn’t die from COVID they would have died from communal violence that I instigated. With COVID they’re getting a more natural death.
And if Indians need a diversion from news about COVID deaths, I can provide one. I have amazing dance moves as evidenced by this duet that I performed with my buddy President Donald Trump:
Disclosure: the above video is an original song wrote for GZERO Media (IP owner)
3 Things To Look For Next Week
Keen to one up Elon Musk’s appearance on the show, SNL announces that Jeffrey Epstein will host the season finale (despite his death).
San Francisco attributes record low Oscar ratings to “the Oscar statuette being exclusively male”. The city pledges to offer non-binary statuettes in a rival award show honoring the best tweets.
In a bid to boost its value, Bitcoin announces a new streaming service: Bitcoin+. This new streamer includes original content such as the “The Vest”, the origin story of the Patagonia vest popular on Wall Street.
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See you next Friday - because Fridays are for Funny Business.