Google Is Going Green, Plus Samsung Stops It’s Losing Streak
QUOTE OF THE DAY
“Nervous” — Chipotle co-CEO Steve Ells, describing his feelings on whether Chipotle (-7.55%) will hit earnings goals for the year. After two rounds of nasty E. coli outbreaks last year, same-store sales at everyone’s go-to burrito chain have been heading south. Fingers crossed.
- If we’re sounding like a broken record, we’re sorry: U.S. markets rallied yet again and the Dow Jones closed at a record high yet again, as economic data showed increased productivity along with rising factory orders
- Netflix jumped 4.5% after a report stated that it might be leaning towards producing more original content, which boosted investor sentiment
Google Goes Green
…And plans to run fully on renewable energy in 2017. With its huge data centers, it’s no secret that Google (-0.26%) eats up a ton of electricity. How much? Roughly the same amount as the city of San Francisco (don’t believe us? Google it). Size aside, Google believes that it will make good on its four-year-old pledge to secure enough renewable energy to power its operations by sometime next year. There’s a catch though: 100% renewable energy doesn’t mean that the internet giant will rely solely on wind and solar power. Rather, the amount of energy it purchases from renewable sources will match the electricity it uses in operations. Either way, chalk it up as a big win for the environment.
The EU Gets in the Holiday Spirit
…Giving Microsoft the green light for an acquisition. There’s no greater gift: on Tuesday, Microsoft (-0.45%) finally got approval from the European Union for its massive $26 billion acquisition of LinkedIn (+0.35%). Microsoft had been holding its breath while the EU debated the deal’s implications (cue antitrust alarms). Now with EU approval, the deal should close within the next few days, as it’s already received the go-ahead from other major players, including the U.S. and Canada. Happy holidays, Microsoft.
But the Holiday Cheer Doesn’t Stop There
…The U.S. is also feeling generous. Yesterday, Airline Alaska Air (+2.02%) got the green light from the U.S. Department of Justice for its long-awaited purchase of Virgin America (+0.62%). With the deal, Alaska Air will become the fifth-largest carrier in the U.S., which the DOJ hopes will help it better compete with big guns like Delta and American Airlines, among others. Seems like this acquisition could be the gift that keeps on giving, and let’s hope those ticket prices go down a bit too.
Amid A Massive Losing Streak
…Samsung (+1.32%) finally pulls out a W. In a previous court decision, Samsung was ordered to pay $399 million for straight-up copying a few aspects of Apple’s iconic phone design. If you think 399 is a strange number, that’s how much Samsung was judged to have profited from the patent infringement. But is it fair to order Samsung to pay out all profits for infringing on just the iPhone’s rounded corners and black rectangular face? According to the Supreme Court yesterday, no. But what will Samsung really pay? Samsung and Apple have to go back to court to find out. Fun.
Go Daddy, It’s Your Birthday
…Time for a Eurotrip. Yesterday, U.S.-based web domain name provider GoDaddy (+4.69%) acquired Host Europe (HEG) in an effort to expand internationally. But that’s not the only angle here: GoDaddy has been focusing on non-traditional ways of generating revenue, particularly “presence and business applications.” Translation? Additional services to offer small businesses beyond domain names, like SEO optimization, online marketing and web-creation tools. You guessed it, offering these additional services to Host Europe’s customer base could boost GoDaddy’s revenue and get the ball rolling for more growth to come. The key will be if Europe can remain stable enough to make it work.
- Instagram to let you turn off comments and boot followers from private accounts
- Ikea expands parental leave to all U.S. workers
- Google Play now sells movies in 4K
- Equinix to buy 29 Verizon data centers for $3.6 billion
- Monday: ISM Non-Manufacturing Index (+)
- Tuesday: Bank of Montreal (+), Dave & Buster’s (+) Earnings; International Trade (+)
- Wednesday: Costco, Lululemon, H&R Block Earnings; Job Openings and Labor Turnover Survey
- Thursday: Broadcom Earnings; Weekly Jobless Claims
- Friday: Consumer Sentiment
Betting on Belarus
From a former Soviet State to Eastern Europe’s own Silicon Valley, Belarus is on the rise. Sandwiched between Russia and Poland, the nation known as Europe’s last dictatorship has relatively low labor costs and a well-educated population of 9.5 million. Just last year, Belarus’s IT hub totaled $705.6 million in exports. Here’s how:
- Belarus’s Hi-Tech Park is a massive 123.5-acre hub for IT companies in the capital city of Minsk. More than 25,000 employees work there, and most of the software developers speak fluent English. This helps in global markets, as foreign investors have established 35% of the 164 companies housed there.
- Valery Tsepkalo is the brains behind the operation. After visiting Silicon Valley during his tenure as Belarus’s ambassador to the U.S., he created the Hi-Tech Park to retain talent. Mission accomplished.
- Wargaming Group is just one success story. Developed by the Minsk-based company Game Stream, its signature videogame “World of Tanks” was launched in 2010. With 12 million monthly active users, the game has helped Wargaming Group expand to 16 cities worldwide. Well played, Belarus.
Interview Question of the Day
If you have an 11 minute and 13 minute hourglass, how can you accurately measure 15 minutes? (Answer)
Business Person of the Day
Jorgen Vig Knudstorp became the CEO of Danish toymaker Lego in 2004—at the fresh-faced age of 35. During his reign, Lego experienced a decade of impressive growth. The company passed My Little Pony producer Hasbro to become the world’s second-largest toy maker, and is now neck and neck with Barbie doll maker Mattel at the top of the toy maker totem pole. Unfortunately, this is the end of the road for Jorgen. He’s stepping down this month and will be replaced by the company’s first foreign CEO. Thanks for the childhood memories, Jorgen.
Food for Thought
The college football playoff is set, and all four teams have one thing in common: each one is Nike-sponsored. Clemson has an eight-year Nike contract worth $23 million, Washington has a 10-year, $23 million deal, Alabama has an eight-year, $30 million deal, and Ohio State has a colossal 15-year, $252 million deal that was the biggest ever at the time it was signed.