DOJ Sues Google Over Ad Biz; Acura Says EV Sales Going All Web; Microsoft Cloud Bucks Up, Windows Biz Down; Tesla Announces $3.6 Billion EV Semi Plant in Nevada

In a move expected by many, the US Department of Justice has filed a suit against Google aimed at breaking up the company’s advertising business. The government accuses Google of illegally monopolizing the digital advertising market. “Google’s anticompetitive behavior has raised barriers to entry to artificially high levels, forced key competitors to abandon the market for ad tech tools, dissuaded potential competitors from joining the market, and left Google’s few remaining competitors marginalized and unfairly disadvantaged.” Google is estimated to control up to 26.5% of the digital ads market. Google responded by accusing the government of trying to ‘pick winners and losers in the highly competitive advertising technology sector.’ This will be a court battle royal.

Honda has announced a restructuring of its business as it aims for 100% EV sales by the year 2040. Theverge.com reports that as a step in that direction, Honda will sell all its Acura branded EVs exclusively online. That will start with the new ZDX SUV, due out next year. Except for Tesla, which never has had a dealer network, the car business has been slow to move to online sales. As Honda’s senior VP in the US has noted, “Whether that process starts in your living room, and then continues at the dealership, or starts at the dealership where somebody wants to touch and feel a car on the showroom floor, you will still have to input that information.” Many car makers are letting people start the process and order cars online, but then the dealer delivers and follows up with the customers. Honda says it will release 30 hybrid battery-electric fuel-cell vehicles by 2030.

Microsoft’s revenue was up 2% to $52.7 billion in their 2nd fiscal quarter, just missing Wall Street expectations. Cloud revenue was up 22%, but Windows business took a dive by 27%. Geekwire.com says Microsoft blamed that drop on the continued weakness in the PC market. Gaming revenue was also off 12%. It is worth noting that in many mature businesses, they would be happy with a 2% uptick in a quarter. It may be that the tech sector and investors will need to readjust their expectations as tech matures and joins the real world when it comes to revenue and profits. 

Tesla says they will be expanding their battery plant in Northern Nevada, and that they are building a factory for their electric semi-trucks. Electrek.co says the company is pouring $3.6 billion into the building project. It wasn’t clear from the announcement that these will be new plants or an expansion of the existing Gigafactory.  That factory is only 60% complete, going by the renders Tesla had of the plant originally. the present plant is L-shaped, and it looks from new renders like Tesla will just ‘fill in the L’ to make one huge, rectangular plant. 

I’m Clark Reid, and you’re ‘Technified’ for now. 

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