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FAANG Report: Amazon releases holiday toy catalog; Apple quashes settlement talk with Qualcomm

Netflix releasing more European language films after hits in Spain and Germany; Google to offer enhanced security emails and Facebook faces demands from five countries for testimony by Mark Zuckerberg
Amazon 2018 toy catalog.
Amazon releases toy catalog. Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) has begun mailing out a hard copy holiday toy catalog, which will take the place of Toys R Us in the US and the UK, a report by The Verge said.

Like the old catalogs Toys R Us used to mail out, Amazon’s holiday catalogs retain the simplistic aesthetic, but they also have QR codes attached so customers can easily scan and bring up links to products.

Amazon will also distribute the catalogs at its 4-star locations and bookstores. The retail giant recently announced it would offer free shipping to customers in the US.

Amazon stock climbed 5.18% to $1,727.83 by midsession on Wednesday.

READ: Amazon gives all US customers free shipping with no minimum purchases during holiday season

Alphabet Inc's Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is offering a version of Gmail with extra security in that you will need a physical USB key to log in, a report by Marketplace said.

Mark Risher, head of Google's Account Security team and a creator of its Advanced Protection Program, said they realized that "while we do our utmost to protect everyone, there are some people that need really to turn it up to the max."

He added: "Whether they are activists or journalists or political figures, the risk or the likelihood of an attack is particularly high. And so we built Advanced Protection, yes, as the Fort Knox, to give them Google's strongest security offerings all in one place."

A security expert said the service may be useful in countries where governments spy on people for political purposes.

Google shares increased 2.4% to $1,081.23.

READ: Google walkout - Employees stage global protest over sexual harassment, workplace culture

Netflix Inc (NASDAQ:NFLX) said it will produce more series in Europe in languages other than English following the success of Spanish crime caper "Money Heist" and German mystery "Dark," a report by Agence France Presse carried by Phys Org said.

"We have seen that shows we have done were able to find gigantic global audiences, where the vast majority of viewing comes from outside the country of origin," Netflix chief product officer Greg Peters told AFP.

Around 90% of viewers of "Dark", a show about missing children, live outside of Germany, Austria and Switzerland, he added in Lisbon at the Web Summit, Europe's largest tech gathering.

"Can you think of any German show that has had that much viewing outside" of German-speaking nations, he asked.

Netflix stock jumped 5% to $326.37.

READ: Netflix plans to spend US$1bln to bolster content production in Europe, FT says

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) is not in talks to settle its $7 billion legal dispute with mobile chip maker Qualcomm, a person familiar with the matter told CNBC in a report.

In the past, Apple used Qualcomm's modem chips in its flagship iPhone models to help them connect to wireless data networks.

But early last year, Apple sued Qualcomm in federal court in San Diego, alleging that the chip company's practice of taking a cut of the selling price of phones as a patent license fee was illegal.

Qualcomm denied the claims and has alleged that Apple owes it $7 billion in unpaid royalties. The case is to go to trial early next year and has spawned related legal actions in other courts around the world, the report said.

Apple shares added 1.7% to $207.28.

READ: Facebook referred by UK information watchdog to Europe’s lead data regulator to look at its user monitoring and targeting

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) is facing demands from five countries for founder and CEO Mark Zuckerberg to testify on its misuse of data and privacy breaches, a report by CBS News said.

The countries looking into disinformation and online election influence campaigns include Argentina, Australia, Ireland, Canada and the UK.

Zuckerberg was invited last week by British and Canadian officials to attend their first joint hearing on November 27 but declined. In its November 2 letter declining the invitation, Facebook noted that Zuckerberg appeared before the US Congress and the European Union Parliament last year.

"It is not possible for Mr. Zuckerberg to be available to all Parliaments," wrote Facebook officials in a letter to the British and Canadian Members of Parliament. But the newly reinforced committee, now hailing from five countries, is stepping up pressure.

"We were very disappointed with this dismissive response....Five parliaments are now calling on you to do the right thing by the 170 million users in the countries they represent," they wrote.

Facebook stock rose 0.8% to $151.16.

Reporting by Rene Pastor, contactable on [email protected]

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February 14 2019

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