Martin Peers, The Information

Martin Peers

The Information

San Francisco, CA, United States

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Past articles by Martin:

BuzzFeed To Raise $200 Million in Bonds As SPAC Deal Nears

BuzzFeed is in discussions to raise about $200 million in convertible bonds to supplement cash it will raise by merging with a special purpose acquisition company, say people familiar with the situation. The financing will help BuzzFeed fund the acquisition of digital lifestyle publisher Complex ... → Read More

Bezos Will Blast Himself Into Space

Now we know why Jeff Bezos picked July 5 as the date to give up the Amazon CEO job—two weeks later he’ll be flying into space on Blue Origin’s first flight with human passengers. Can you imagine the nerves of investors if he decided to strap himself into that rocket ship while still holding the ... → Read More

Why Amazon Is Pursuing MGM—and What It Means for Apple

In the space of two weeks last month, Sony Pictures announced deals to license its movies to both Netflix and Disney. The deals complement each other: Netflix will show Sony movies soon after they’ve been in theaters and Disney will show them after they go off Netflix. One company conspicuously ... → Read More

The Briefing: Microsoft Takes a More Nuanced Approach to Deals

Phew! For a few months we’ve been worried that Microsoft CEO Satya Nadella had lost his bearings, as he reportedly looked at buying TikTok (can you imagine the cultural combination?), Pinterest (a little better) or Discord (a fit with Xbox at least). Instead, Microsoft is plunking down nearly ... → Read More

Zoom Now Printing Money: The Information’s Tech Briefing

Zoom Video Communications provided another reminder of why it’s been such a hot stock during the pandemic. The company, whose brand name is now synonymous with video calls, revealed it has become a cash machine over the past 12 months. Zoom generated $1.4 billion from its videoconferencing ... → Read More

Briefing: Pinterest Pays $22.5 Million to Settle Lawsuit Filed by Former COO —

Pinterest agreed to pay $22.5 million to settle a gender discrimination lawsuit brought by former chief operating officer Francoise Brougher. The payment resolves what could have proved an ugly battle for the online scrapbooking firm, whose fortunes have lately turned up. Brougher stepped down abruptly as COO in April after just two years. In early July, she published a Medium post → Read More

Amazon Catapults Over Alphabet on Capex Spending

Big tech companies’ third-quarter earnings on Thursday demonstrated their outsize performance in advertising, retail and hardware sales. At the same time, most of the companies—most noticeably Amazon—are increasing spending on properties and data centers to pave the way for future growth despite ... → Read More

Briefing: Apple’s Market Capitalization Hits $2 Trillion —

Apple’s market capitalization hit $2 trillion on Wednesday, a major milestone for the company, as the stock rallied to 1% to $467.77. At that price, Apple shares have more than doubled since hitting a low of around $223 in late March, during the worst of the pandemic stock slump. Apple’s stock rally got a lift when it announced a four for one stock split at the end of July, in hopes of luring in → Read More

Briefing: SiriusXM Buys Stitcher for $265 Million in Cash —

SiriusXM confirmed it would acquire podcast firm Stitcher for $265 million in cash, from EW Scripps, the latest sign of a consolidation in the podcasting market. SiriusXM may pay an additional $60 million based on Stitcher’s financial performance through next year. The deal comes just a few weeks after SiriusXM bought Simplecast, a podcasting management platform. SiriusXM, which started as a → Read More

Briefing: Alibaba’s Ant Financial Hoping for $200 Billion IPO —

Alibaba plans to take its financial service affiliate Ant Group public and is looking for a valuation of more than $200 billion, Reuters reported. Ant is considering selling between 5% and 10% of its shares in the offering, the report said. Alibaba owns 33% of Ant, whose services include the Alipay digital payments service. Ant also operates Huabei, which extends credit lines to consumers so → Read More

Briefing: Omnicom Strikes $20 Million Podcasting Ad Deal With Spotify —

Ad giant Omnicom plans to spend $20 million on podcasts distributed by Spotify in the second half of this year, The Wall Street Journal reported. An Omnicom executive said the spending plan was a “very big deal versus what we’ve done in the past.” The ad deal signals how marketers are gradually getting more interested in podcasting, as audiences grow and big media companies consolidate → Read More

Briefing: Comcast Braces for Much Higher Cord Cutting in Second Quarter —

Comcast is bracing to lose 750,000 TV subscribers in the second quarter, nearly 4% of the total, based on comments from Comcast CFO Mike Cavanagh this week. It’s a sign that the economic downturn has drastically accelerated TV cord-cutting as people shift to cheaper TV services like streaming. In the first quarter, Comcast lost 388,000 video subscriber losses, an increase of 3.6 times from a → Read More

The Information’s Tech Earnings Cheat Sheet

The first detailed indication of how the pandemic has affected the tech and media industry so far will come next week, as companies start reporting quarterly results. The picture will be mixed: Apple’s revenue is expected to fall, while analysts expect revenue growth at Facebook and Alphabet to ... → Read More

Why Now Could Be Apple’s Moment in TV —

This could be Apple TV Plus’s moment.If Apple wanted to get a jump on its rivals in video streaming, it would use some of its $200 billion in cash reserves and buy up as much available programming as it could—including any unreleased movies Hollywood studios might be inclined to sell. None of ... → Read More

Why Zoom Video’s Sky-High Stock Will Fall to Earth When Pandemic Ends —

No matter how the pandemic ends, one thing is certain: Zoom Video has become a household name as people flock to it to connect with work colleagues, family and friends. That has helped send Zoom stock into the stratosphere—it is up 46% in the past five weeks even as the overall market has fallen ... → Read More

Market Crash Pressures SoftBank’s High-Risk Investment Strategy —

If there’s one company that is vulnerable to the fallout from a virus-inspired economic slump and the stock market crash, it is SoftBank, along with its $100 billion Vision Fund.The 27% drop in the stock market in the past three weeks, along with the sharp downturn in major industries like ... → Read More

Despite Stepping Down as Disney CEO, Iger Will Still Be In Charge —

Disney on Tuesday named its park chief Bob Chapek to succeed Bob Iger as CEO. But Iger isn’t going anywhere and will retain control of the company at least through the end of next year, Disney’s disclosures show.Chapek will report to Iger and to the board, Disney’s securities filing showed. ... → Read More

Facebook Is Already Paying a Regulatory Tax—in its Stock Price —

Washington’s antitrust investigations into big tech are probably years away from finishing. But already Facebook, at least, appears to be getting hit by a “regulatory tax” of at least $160 billion—on its stock price.The social networking giant is trading at the lowest valuation, relative to its ... → Read More

How Streaming Math Could Hurt AT&T —

Activist investor Elliott Associates, which on Monday said it had bought a stake in AT&T, homed in on the flaws in the telecom giant’s growth strategy of recent years: it spent a total of $163 billion buying DirecTV and Time Warner just as cord-cutting was starting to eat away at the foundations ... → Read More

Netflix’s Hit Addiction Makes Stock Pricey —

Subscription software stocks like Zoom Video and Atlassian have been one of the hottest tech sectors on Wall Street in the past couple of years, thanks in part to their reliably recurring revenue. Investors love the predictability of subscription businesses.But that predictability disappears ... → Read More