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FAANG Report: Google expanding presence in New York; Facebook launching dating service in Canada

Attempt by US Post Office to raise rates it charges retailer Amazon could well end up backfiring against the government
Google store.
Google adding to office space in New York City.

Alphabet Inc's Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) is significantly expanding its presence in New York City, a report by The Wall Street Journal said.

The plan, which has not been previously disclosed, would give Google room for nearly 20,000 staff in the city, including those it has now, the report said. This would rival the approximately 25,000 jobs Amazon.com Inc is projected to add if it completes plans for a second headquarters in New York.

Google is closing in on a deal to buy or lease a planned 1.3 million-square-foot office building at St John's Terminal in Manhattan's West Village neighborhood. The search giant is also planning to expand its existing property at Chelsea Market by about 300,000 square feet, the Journal reported.

Google bought the Chelsea Market property earlier this year for about $2.4 billion. That, along with its announced plans for 250,000 square feet of office space at Pier 57, could provide enough office space for more than 3,500 additional workers. 

Google shares shed 1.01% to trade at $1,082.40 by midsession on Wednesday.

READ: Google buys more land for European data-center expansion, says Bloomberg

Apple Inc (NASDAQ:AAPL) will be opening its first store in Thailand on Saturday along the shores of the Chao Phraya river in the capital of Bangkok, an Apple Newsroom release said.

The store will feature Apple’s full line of products including iPhone XS, iPhone XR and Apple Watch Series 4, and will invite visitors to pursue their creative passions with free Today at Apple sessions.

“Bangkok is a cultural and economic destination for the entire region and home to millions of passionate Apple customers,” said Angela Ahrendts, Apple’s senior vice president of Retail.

Elevated above the “River of Kings” in the heart of Bangkok, Apple Iconsiam sits alongside storied sites and cultural landmarks.

Apple shares lost 0.79% to $207.56.

Amazon.com Inc (NASDAQ:AMZN) may take matters into its own hands after the US Post Office proposed a rate increase of up to 12% on the services the retail giant uses, a report by The Motley Fool said.

Amazon is hiring seasonal delivery workers for the fourth quarter and if the experiment goes well, some drivers may be asked to stay on full-time in 2019, the report said.

Amazon will surely spend heavily to get the ball rolling on its own last-mile delivery service, and its drivers will benefit from the new $15 hourly minimum wage at Amazon, but it means the company is less susceptible to rate increases from its partners.

Amazon is flexing its muscle with USPS. If the latter insists on raising rates, it could have serious consequences that ultimately leads to not only losing Amazon's valuable business, but to creating an entirely new competitor for the part of its business that produces real profit.

Amazon shares added 0.6% to $1,766.13.

READ: Facebook looking to acquire cybersecurity firm, according to The Information

Facebook Inc (NASDAQ:FB) will be launching a dating service in Canada on Thursday as the social media giant gets into the game of being a matchmaker, a report by the CBC said.

Some experts said the dating offering will raise privacy concerns of its own and is unlikely to assuage worries about the platform - even if CEO Mark Zuckerberg previously claimed, "we have designed this with privacy and safety in mind from the beginning."

Facebook Dating's rollout in Canada comes as the social media company was embroiled in a string of privacy scandals and data breaches. The most high-profile came when the company admitted the data of up to 50 million Facebook users was misused by analytics firm Cambridge Analytica.

User privacy was at risk again this September when the company reported a major security breach in which 30 million accounts may have been accessed by unknown attackers.

Facebook stock declined 2.36% to $147.96.

India and not China will take center stage in Netflix Inc's (NASDAQ:NFLX) expansion plans in Asia, a report by CNBC said.

The media streaming company is aiming to add 100 million subscribers in the South Asian country, with subscriptions in Asia already eclipsing the 58 million in the US. In total, the company has 137 million subscribers globally.

"If you think about the opportunity, there's about 450 million internet users in India and about half of them are watching video on YouTube and services like that, which makes for a very interesting, addressable market," said Netflix's chief content officer Ted Sarandos.

Netflix plans to produce 100 original projects within the region over the coming years. Netflix will be competing against Amazon and Hotstar in the market.

Netflix shares dropped 0.92% to $324.50.

Reporting by Rene Pastor, contactable on [email protected]

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