The Battle of Big Tech

  • Walmart Joins the TikTok Bidding War in Surprise Team-up
  • Apple Clashes With Facebook Over 30% App Store Fee
  • The Easiest Way to Profit During a Period of Inflation
  • Podcast: One Last Magic Crystal Ball

 BUSINESS 

Walmart Joins the TikTok Bidding War in Surprise Team-up

Walmart says it’s teaming up with Microsoft to make a bid for TikTok, in the most unexpected team-up event since Spider-Man and Dr. Walmart.

The big-box, clothing-optional retailer declined to elaborate on how the social media company would be split with Microsoft if they secured the winning bid.

Neither have they revealed which one of them will deal with the creepy POV videos of young boys pretending to be your dad. (If one good thing comes out of this deal, it’ll be a Microsoft designed rocket ship to launch these boys into the sun.)

A spokesperson for the company said the plan was to leverage TikTok’s e-commerce and advertising features to hock Fortnite Monopoly at teens.

“We believe a potential relationship with TikTok US in partnership with Microsoft could add this key functionality and provide Walmart with an important way for us to reach and serve omnichannel customers as well as grow our third-party marketplace and advertising businesses,” said Walmart, who’s a really good guy when you get to know him.

“We are confident that a Walmart and Microsoft partnership would meet both the expectations of US TikTok users while satisfying the concerns of US government regulators.”

If the hilarious comedy duo of Walmart and Microsft are successful in the world’s most frustrating app, they will gain access to hundreds of millions of potential consumers.

Daniel Ives, managing director and technology analyst at Wedbush Securities, told CNBC this deal would be “a huge shot in the arm” for Walmart’s e-commerce business.

“When you think right now about going up against the 800-pound gorilla, Amazon, obviously they’ve been behind the eight ball,” he said. “But Walmart could use this as a golden opportunity to partner with Microsoft and monetize the TikTok base, which could start to rival Instagram in the next few years just given its global presence

According to information leaked to the Financial Times, TikTok owner ByteDance is just days away from an agreement to sell the company. It’s not known to whom they’re going to offload this Gen-Z headache upon. But the Times’ sources say the deal will likely be in the range of $20 billion to $30 billion.

Walmart (WMT) shares surged after the news broke yesterday, closing up 5%, and continued to rise when the markets opened this morning.

 TECH 

Apple Clashes With Facebook Over 30% App Store Fee

Apple rejected a Facebook update that informs users Apple is taking a 30% cut of all revenue from a special in-app event designed to help struggling small businesses.

Apple, who has been thriving during this pandemic like an alligator in a flood, takes a fat cut of all in-app purchases from apps bought on its app store.

Facebook asked Apple to waive this fee for a temporary feature set up to help small businesses make up some of the lost revenue from society imploding.

The iPhone maker’s 30% cut has been a source of controversy and consternation among app developers for years. And the company is wary that giving any ground in this battle could weaken their arguments in upcoming litigation with Fortnite developer Epic Games. (Or they’re just assholes. Who knows?)

Whatever the reason, Apple denied Facebook’s request and has been chomping up 30% of all purchases made from the small businesses through Facebook.

Facebook followed up with an attempt to update its app with a disclaimer, informing consumers that Apple was taking a 30% cut of every purchase they made from struggling small businesses like Janet’s Raw Kombucha Stand & Turquoise Emporium and Hank’s Wet Hats. The only problem was that the one with final approval on the update was Apple, who, of course, said: “lol, no thanks, guys.”

In an interview with Reuters, Facebook said if users make the same purchase elsewhere, small businesses will get to keep 100% of the revenue.

“Now more than ever, we should have the option to help people understand where money they intend for small businesses actually goes. Unfortunately, Apple rejected our transparency notice around their 30% tax but we are still working to make that information available inside the app experience,” Facebook told Reuters.

 MARKETS 

The Easiest Way to Profit During a Period of Inflation

By Money & Crisis Editor Graham Summers

Over the last week, I’ve been outlining how central banks will finally unleash inflation.

By way of review:

  1. Their recent monetary policies have been MUCH more aggressive than they were in response to the 2008 crisis ($15 trillion in six months vs. $12 trillion in eight years).
  1. This time around, a large portion of this money is actually making its way into the real economy via stimulus payments and direct lending from central banks.

As a result, inflation is beginning to appear throughout the financial system. And now the Fed is stating explicitly that it intends to let inflation run hot!

During periods of higher inflation, precious metals tend to do very well.

However, precious metals miners do even better!

Below is a chart showing the performance of gold miners compared to the performance of gold. When gold miners outperform gold, this ratio rises. When gold miners underperform gold this ratio falls.

Ratio of Gold Miners to Gold

As you can see, the GDX: Gold ratio has been in a strong uptrend since the March bottom. This tells us that we are entering an inflationary period as gold miners are outperforming gold bullion.

If you’re unfamiliar with gold miners, rather than trying to pick out a single play, consider investing in a basket of them via the Gold Miners ETF (GDX).

GDX is a fund with broad exposure to a basket of gold miners. Its top 10 holdings, which comprise nearly 63% of the fund are:

Table

As such, GDX gives us broad exposure to the gold mining sector via a diversified fund. This means it is less volatile than any individual mining company.

But that diversification doesn’t mean we can’t see major gains here. During gold’s last major bull run from 2008-2011, GDX rose 200%!

Gold Miners ETF Rose

If you’re looking for a means of profiting from the bull market in precious metals miners, this is a great place to start!


In Other News

Smash Mouth Sturgis show connected to 100+ Covid-19 cases

(Source)


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MARKET MOVEMENTS

Closing Data for Today

DJIA28,653.52↑ 0.57%
S&P Index 5003,506.94↑ 0.64%
NASDAQ11,695.94↑ 0.60%
Gold1,971.55↑ 2.02%
Silver27.58↑ 2.13%
Bitcoin11,517.00↑ 2.29%

  • Democrats announce contempt proceedings against Secretary of State Mike Pompeo.
  • U.S. tech stocks now worth more than the entire European stock market.
  • Kids infected with asymptomatic coronavirus can hold the virus in their body and spread it for weeks, according to research by a South Korean team of scientists.

Cheers,

Shane Ormond
Editor, One Last Thing

Shane Ormond

Written By Shane Ormond

Shane Ormond is the managing editor for One Last Thing. In a previous life, he wrote and edited copy for International Living in Waterford, Ireland.