European Union doesn`t like big companies like Apple. Google, Facebook, and Amazon to name a few. They believe that companies should be small and compete with each other. The more competition, the better.
Now, Apple faces a possible hefty fine and may have to open its mobile payment system to competitors after EU`s antitrust regulators charged the iPhone maker with restricting rivals’ access to its technology used for mobile wallets.
EU`s Executive Vice-President Margrethe Vestager, in charge of competition policy, said on Monday: «Mobile payments play a rapidly growing role in our digital economy. It is important for the integration of European Payments markets that consumers benefit from a competitive and innovative payments landscape.»
«We have indications that Apple restricted third-party access to key technology necessary to develop rival mobile wallet solutions on Apple`s devices. In our Statement of Objections, we preliminarily found that Apple may have restricted competition, to benefit from its own solution Apple Pay. If confirmed, such conduct would be illegal under our competition rules.»
The investigation will now follow into suspected violations of EU antitrust rules. The European Commission and Margrethe Vestager think Apple is violating the block`s antitrust rules with its limits on rival providers of mobile wallets.
They believe that Apple «abused its dominant position» in giving a boost to its own contactless payments system.
I can only speak for myself, and I have an iPhone, but I use my Fitbit to pay with my Visa card. It`s easy, fast, and contactless. So, Apple didn`t have an advantage in my world. But the main reason is that Apple only accepts a Mastercard.
This is not the first time the EU is attacking U.S tech giants. A year ago, they attacked Apple`s handling of rival music apps. They also want major changes to the App Store and iMessage, as well as services from Google and Amazon.
Last year, Amazon was hit by the biggest ever European Union privacy fine after its lead privacy watchdog hit it with a $888 million penalty for violating the bloc`s tough data protection rules. Amazon said the decision is «without merit.»
In November last year, Google lost its appeal against a €2,4 billion EU fine over its shopping service. The Commission argued that Google had unfairly used its dominant search engine to redirect traffic to Google shopping.
Brussels claims Google began to systematically favor its shopping service in the results of its popular search engine, whose market dominance exceeds 90% in most EU countries. Google Shopping now routinely appears at the very top of search results.
Six years ago, I wrote an article about The European Commission, that said Irland had enabled Apple to pay «substantially less tax than other businesses over many years.» But the EU`s general court decided that the commission failed to prove that the Irish government had given the U.S tech giant a tax advantage.
In 2020, Apple won a landmark court case against the European Commission over the dispute concerning $14,9 billion in Irish taxes. And these are some of the few attacks on U.S tech giants.
Over twenty years ago, I can remember that Microsoft was attacked by rumors. Don`t use Windows, because it`s a virus in it. That will kill your computer, they said. Bill Gates was also attacked multiple times. Again and again. Today, we see the Marxist Media Mob use words like Oligarchs about the rich.
Sometimes, the EU should attack the rules. Not the companies.
Vladimir Putin is doing exactly what Boris Johnson and Joe Biden are doing; «Building back better.» Putin is working very hard to fix all the problems that the communist Bolsheviks made during their revolution: October Revolution.
The Russian Revolution was a period of political and social revolution that took place in the former Russian Empire which began during World War I. The Bolsheviks killed the Royal family Romanov that has ruled Russia for 302 years.
This period saw Russia abolish its monarchy and adopt a socialist form of government following two successive revolutions and bloody civil war. This socialist revolution ended the Russian monarchy and Tsar Nicholas II abdicated and stepped down, ushering in a new government led by the Russian Duma (parliament) which became the Russian Provisional Government. This government was dominated by the interests of prominent capitalists, as well as the Russian nobility and aristocracy.
During this chaotic period, there were frequent mutinies, protests, and strikes. Many socialist and other leftist political organizations were engaged in daily struggle and vied for influence within the Provisional Government and the Soviets.
One such faction was the Bolsheviks («Ones of the Majority») led by Vladimir Lenin. The Bolsheviks gained support by campaigning on a slogan of peace, land, and bread which promised to cease war with Germany, give land to the peasantry, and end the famine caused by Russia`s involvement in WWI. These slogans had a direct effect on the growing Bolshevik popularity.
Under pressure from German military offensives, the Bolsheviks soon relocated the national capital to Moscow. The Bolsheviks had secured a strong base of support within the Soviets and, as the supreme governing party, established their own government, the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic (RSFSR).
The RSFSR began the process of reorganizing the former empire into the world`s first socialist state, to practice soviet democracy on a national and international scale.
The Great October Socialist Revolution under the Soviet Union, also known as the Bolshevik Revolution (1917 – 1923), almost destroyed Russia as we know it today. This is why Putin is working hard to restore what the Bolsheviks destroyed.
This is where the problems in Ukraine and Crimea start. it`s also called the Soviet-Ukrainian War, or Ukrainian Civil War, which is the term commonly used in post-Soviet Ukraine for the events taking place between 1917 – 1921, nowadays regarded essentially as a war between the Ukrainian People`s Republic and the Bolsheviks. The war ensued soon after the October Revolution when Lenin dispatched Antonov`s expeditionary group to Ukraine and Southern Russia.
Soviet historical tradition viewed it as an occupation of Ukraine by military forces of Western and Central Europe, including the Polish Republic`s military, the Bolshevik victory constituting Ukraine`s liberation from these forces.
Conversely, modern Ukrainian historians consider it a failed war of independence by the Ukrainian People`s Republic against the Bolsheviks.
In Soviet historiography and terminology, the armed conflict is depicted as part of the greater Russian Civil War in Ukraine, this war was fought between the national government and the Bolshevik government (led by Lenin).
The war may be divided into three phases:
December 1917 – April 1918: Revolutionary days, Bolshevik uprisings, invasion of the Red Guards formations, signing of protectorate treaty, and liberation from bolsheviks.
December 1918 – December 1919: Civil war in Ukraine, invasion of the Red Army, unification of Ukraine, anti-Soviet peasant uprisings, Denikin’s Volunteer Army and the Allied intervention, loss of West Ukraine to Poland.
Spring 1920 – Autumn 1921: Polish-Soviet War (Treaty of Warsaw), Russian Civil War (between Bolsheviks armies and the armed Forces of South Russia), Ukrainian guerrilla operations (First and Second Winter Campaigns), government in exile.
In October 1917 the government of Ukraine denounced the Bolshevis’ armed revolt and declared it would decisively fight against any attempted coup in Ukraine. The Kyiv Military District command tried to prevent a Bolshevik coup, leading to street fights and eventually surrendering of pro-Bolshevik troops in the city.
On November 20, 1917, the Rada declared Ukraine the Ukrainian People`s Republic as an autonomous part of the Russian Republic and scheduled on January 9, 1918, elections to a Ukrainian Constituent Assembly.
The Russo-Ukrainian War is an ongoing war primarily involving Russia, Belarus, and pro-Russian forces on one side, and Ukraine on the other. The war we see today isn`t a new one. It has been going on since February 2014 in the wake of the Revolution of Dignity and focused on the status of Crimea and parts of the Donbas, which are internationally recognized as part of Ukraine.
Nikita Khruschev gave Crimea to Ukraine for free in 1954. That transfer was illegal under Soviet law and violated both the Constitution of the Soviet Union and the Constitution of the Russian Soviet Federative Socialist Republic. This is how Putin and Russia now are building back better.
They want to have Crimea and Ukraine back again because it has been a part of Russia. How legitimate is it that Crimea is given to Ukraine by a drunken Nikita Khruschev? It is also given to Ukraine that is also stolen during the Bolshevik revolution in 1917. The communists have done so damage to Russia, and Putin is trying to fix it. By diplomatic solutions or by war and bombs.
In a speech live on TV, on 24 February, Putin said; «The goal is to protect people who have been subjected to bullying and genocide by the Kyiv regime for eight years. And for this, we will strive for the demilitarisation and denazification of Ukraine, as well as bringing to justice those who committed numerous, bloody crimes against civilians, including citizens of the Russian Federation.»
Volodymyr Zelenskyy is the first Jewish President of Ukraine. He is a former actor and comedian. Another puppet on the scene with a lot of neo-Nazis hiding behind the scenes. A trick to make people blindsided.
Zelenskyy is a populist. He has also positioned himself as an anti-establishment, and anti-corruption figure. He became a President in 2019, promised to end Ukraine`s protracted conflict with Russia as part of his presidential campaign, and attempted to engage in dialogue with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
The US government has alluded to intelligence indicating that the Kremlin is preparing lists of Ukrainians to be killed or put in camps. The alleged lists include journalists.
So, what Putin is talking about is what NATO and the West don`t want to talk about; Azov Battalion, which is a group of a neo-Nazi unit of the National Guard of Ukraine. Azov initially formed as a volunteer militia on 5 May 2014 during the Odessa clashes. On 12 November 2014, Azov was incorporated into the National Guard of Ukraine, and since then all members are contract soldiers serving in the National Guard of Ukraine.
According to The Daily Telegraph, the Azov Battalion`s extremist politics and professional English social media pages have attracted foreign fighters, including people from Brazil, Italy, the United Kingdom, France, the United States, Greece, Scandinavia, Spain, Slovakia, Czech Republic, and Russia.
About 50 Russian nationals are members of the Azov regiment. The group has used Facebook to recruit far-right individuals from other countries within Europe. In 2019, under Facebook`s Dangerous Individuals and Organizations policy, support for the group was not allowed, although this was temporarily relaxed during the 2022 Russian invasion of Ukraine.
Reports published by the Office of the United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR) have connected the Azov Battalion to war crimes such as mass looting, unlawful detention, and torture.
An OHCHR report from March 2016 stated that the organization had «collected detailed information about the conduct of hostilities by Ukrainian armed forces and the Azov regiment in and around Shyrockyne from the summer of 2014 to date.
Mass looting of civilians’ homes was documented, as well as targeting of civilian areas between September 2014 and February 2015.
MSM doesn`t talk about this. What they talk about is people supporting Ukraine and that some people are moving to Ukraine to join the Nazi forces. We also see that many countries like Germany are supporting Ukraine with weapons.
This war is also a war against the European globalists.
The U.K is out of the EU with a Brexit slam dunk, and PM Boris Johnson is building back better. Biden is also building back better, but what happens if the U.S is pulling out as a leader from the West? If so, and Europe is building its own weapon arsenal, then this world will become even more dangerous, and Europe will be changed forever.
The social media universe is about to change. Facebook is still the King, but they face competition. One of them is Trump and his new Media company that will launch next month. But the internet itself will also change. That`s why Facebook change its name.
At the annual Connect conference on Thursday, CEO Mark Zuckerberg announced that Facebook will change its name to «Meta.» But note that it is not the app, but the company that is changing the name.
The name is meant to evoke the new focus on building the metaverse, what Meta envisions as the natural evolution of the internet where users interact using all sorts of devices from AR to VR and even the best Android phones.
One of the main reasons why Zuckerberg is doing this is to separate the company from the social media app, and better envoke the various platforms and projects Meta is involved with beyond Facebook.
Facebook is more than just a social media app, and therefore the change to Meta. This is similar to what Google did when they changed their company name from Google to Alphabet. Facebook`s vision is to connect people whether through WhatsApp, Instagram, or its VR platform and their popular Oculus Quest 2. So, it`s not just a social media company anymore.
Alphabet changed its name and made its businesses cleaner and more accountable. So is Meta. Reality Labs, which is responsible for the company`s VR/AR efforts, will be reported separately from the company’s other products. This will allow investors to better track the progress being made as Meta continues to advance these experiences.
It has been a lot of noise around Facebook recently, and they are accused of having a harmful effect on teens. Changing the company name from Facebook to Meta won’t change anything. Facebook as a social app will remain the same.
That being said; Facebook is NOT DANGEROUS or HARMFUL. People are!
You can clearly see how all the banks
have different stories to tell, and the next bank to deliver earnings
report on Thursday is Morgan Stanley. This is different from
J.P.Morgan`s story. Morgan Stanley`s consensus EPS estimate is $1,16,
which is -10,8% YoY.
The consensus Revenue Estimate is $10,02 Billion which is -5,6% YoY. 50% of Morgan Stanley`s total revenue comes from Institutional Securities. 43% of their total revenue comes from Wealth Management. 7% of total revenue is made from Investment Management.
There must be a lot of wealthy
customers in Morgan Stanley`s portfolio, but wealthy induviduals is
followed by financial services (brokerage, investment advisory,
financial planning, insurance, securities-based loans etc) to
medium-sized businesses and institutioons.
Morgan Stanley is headquartered at
Broadway, Midtown Manhattan, New York and CEO James Gorman is not a
big fan of Bitcoin, Libra or other crypto currencies. On Wednesday,
we saw a Facebook hearings live from Capitol Hill and Mr Gorman is
obviously not alone to be negative to crypto currencies.
In an interview with CNBC, he said “Psonally, I am not that exited about new exchanges for currencies or new forms of cryptocurrency. I`ve said this many times, an may be proven dead wrong about this. I don`t get it or see the need for another form of stored value. We have currencies and precious metals and reserve notes. Apparently, there`s a need there, right? But the fact that we are not in that doesn`t bother me at all,” Gorman said.
Fair value of the Morgan Stanley stock is about 20% higher than the current price. Citi upgraded Morgan Stanley to buy. Earning report will be released on Thursday before market open.
I have been watching Bitcoin and the cryptocurrency market for years now, and so far it has been a bumpy ride. Its not mainstream yet and it seems like Bitcoin is just for traders, and not a currency people around the world use to buy things with. But Facebooks Libra can be a gamechanger.
Mark Zuckerberg and his team is expected to provide details about its brand new cryptocurrency called Libra in a white paper set for release on Tuesday. Only a few trade with Bitcoin, but what do you think will happen if nearly 3 billion users on Facebook start to trade with Libra?
Facebook has partnered with companies like Visa, Paypal and Uber to name a few. They have all invested in the cryptocurrency and will help to oversee its use. Libra will be tied to several traditional fiat currencies in a bid to protect Libra from price volatility.
Bitcoin and the comming cryptocurrency Libra is not alone in the market. There are hundreds of other cryptocurrensies out there and there is more to come. What do you think will happen when Google and Amazon is joining the club?
Barclays analyst Ross Sandler predicted earlier this year that the digital currency could produce as much as $19 billion in new revenue in just two year for Facebook alone. It will be one of the most important milestones for Facebook in the history of the company.
Facebook can really help countries in need. Facebook`s Libra can provide a more stable market in areas with volatile currencies and unstable governments. It can be helpful for countries like Venezuela and other countries with ridiculous inflation.
Mark Zuckerberg`s brand new cryptocurrency platform could provide the embattled social media giant with a new revenue stream of historic proportions as it contends with a possible fedral antitrust probe and continued scrutiny over its data privacy practices.
Facebook`s long-awaited cryptocurrency payments plan will be exposed on Tuesday and analysts are bullish. This is a big and historic moment for Facebook and the world.
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