(Bloomberg) — Google is confronting a growing backlash against its market power in international markets, compounding the company’s regulatory challenges as it girds for an historic antitrust suit from the U.S. Justice Dept.
In just a matter of weeks, the search giant’s business practices have drawn scrutiny in Australia, South Korea and India. The European Union’s antitrust chief has already threatened to break up Google if it won’t change its ways, while the company pulled out of China a decade ago because of government censorship.
India is a prime example of how Google’s troubles could undercut future growth. More than 200 startup founders have banded together and opened discussions with the government to stop the Alphabet Inc. unit from imposing a 30% fee on smartphone app purchases, its standard levy around the world. While Google delayed implementation for six months after an outcry last week, the country’s tech industry is determined to constrain the colossus.
“As a country, can we afford to give away so much power to one or two monopolistic foreign companies?” said Anupam Mittal, a prominent angel investor and startup founder. “If India wants to create the next Microsoft or Alibaba, the government has to act now.”
India’s authorities have proven willing to go after the largest corporations and take forceful action — when they see a clear, national interest. Companies such as Apple Inc. were prohibited for years from opening their own retail stores to protect local operators, while TikTok and more than a hundred other Chinese apps were quickly banned this year over security concerns.
“We’ve lots of confidence in the government; they’ve acted decisively in the last few months,” said Mittal, who is part of a group talking with officials. “Google will have to back off.”
By Anirban Sen, Joshua Franklin and Krystal Hu
(Reuters) – Roblox Corporation is working with investment banks to prepare for a U.S. stock market listing that could come early next year and which the online gaming platform expects could double its recent $4 billion valuation, people familiar with the matter said.
U.S. demand for video games has surged as consumers seek home entertainment while living under lockdown measures to curb the spread of the novel coronavirus.
U.S. consumer spending on video gaming hit a record $11.6 billion in the second quarter, up 30% on the year-ago period, according to research firm NPD Group.
Roblox is weighing whether to go public through a traditional initial public offering or a direct listing, the sources said, cautioning that the plans are subject to market conditions.
The sources requested anonymity as the plans are private. Roblox declined to comment.
In a direct listing, no new shares are sold and underwriting banks do not weigh in on the pricing, unlike in an IPO.
By not selling new shares, companies do not dilute the ownership stakes of existing shareholders and the public listing allows current investors to sell shares easily.
Direct listings are relatively rare. Workplace software maker Asana Inc and data analytics company Palantir Technologies on Wednesday became only the third and fourth companies to go public on the New York Stock Exchange through a direct listing.
For San Mateo, California-based Roblox, which was founded in 2004, the listing would come after it raised $150 million in February at a $4 billion valuation in a Series G funding round led by venture capital firm Andreessen Horowitz.
At the time of the fundraising announcement, Roblox said it had reached more than 115 million monthly active users and more than 1.5 billion hours of monthly engagement.
fuboTV (FUBO) intends to raise $150 million from the sale of its common stock in an IPO, according to an amended registration statement.
New York, NY-based fuboTV was founded to offer a combination subscription and advertising revenue platform to stream mostly sports events to user devices such as SmartTVs, mobile phones and other computing devices.
In 2019, pre-acquisition, fuboTV generated a monthly ARPU of $54, which represented an increase of 42% over the previous year.
Management is headed by Chief Executive Officer Mr. David Gandler, who has been with the firm since April 2020 and was previously president and CEO of fuboTV and Vice President Ad Sales at DramaFever, a video streaming service.
Below is a brief overview video of a consumer review of fuboTV:
Source: Home Theater Hobbyist
The company’s primary offerings include:
- Live television for sports events
- Over 700 channel access to local TV
- Other streaming providers such as Apple and Google
fuboTV has received at least $850 million from investors.
The firm obtains subscribers through online marketing, providing a trial and seeking conversion to paid status.
fuboTV closed 2019 with 316,000 paying subscribers. Its advertising business grew 201% year-over-year and management says it is a ‘key driver of our monetization strategy.’
Sales & Marketing expenses as a percentage of total revenue have dropped as revenues have increased.
The Sales & Marketing efficiency rate, defined as how many dollars of additional new revenue are generated by each dollar of Sales & Marketing spend, has increased to 3.9x in the most recent reporting period.
The firm has achieved increasing two-month retention rates over the past several years, as the chart shows below:
According to a 2020 market research report by Absolute Markets Insights, the global market for sports streaming was an estimated $11.3 billion in 2018 and is forecast