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Bi-Weekly Breakdown

Bi-Weekly Breakdown

March 29, 2024

3/15/24 - 3/29/24

Welcome to the first bi-weekly breakdown. This is where we will be breaking down some of the bigger stories that hit the headlines over the prior two weeks and shed some light on them. By no means is this all-encompassing as to what the latest is, but it is a fun write up to be up to date a little more. These will cover finance/business topics as well as topics outside of those fields as well. Thanks for reading!

 DOJ sues Apple 

 The Department of Justice (DOJ) sued Apple with the accusation that Apple has a monopoly over the smartphone market. When this was announced, Apple stock did have a sell off of roughly 4% as investors are still trying to piece together what this may mean for Apple. 

To sum up the argument for the DOJ, they believe that Apple effectively makes other products and services worse on their devices to drive consumers to use more Apple created apps and devices. For instance, they are accused of blocking some super apps, while making it more difficult for some streaming service apps to operate on the iPhone and that third party messaging apps and wallets are more difficult to use. Additionally, third party smart devices, being watches or headphones, don’t function as well on an iPhone due to Apple’s practices. Once again pushing consumers to buy Apple products. Ultimately, the DOJ believes that Apple uses the iPhone as the center of their ecosystem to drive customers to their other products creating the monopoly mentioned.  

Clearly Apple denies all of these claims with the intention of stressing that the lawsuit threatens how they can operate and design their own technology depending on how the result falls. 

This isn’t the first time Apple has been sued like this, with two prior instances resulting in settlements. 

Ultimately, it will most likely be a while before we see a result from this lawsuit. 

March Madness Tips Off

One of the greatest annual traditions in sports tipped off in March Madness. We all know how popular this tournament is for Men’s and Women’s basketball and since my bracket was busted after one day I figured we could take a quick look at the financials of these tournaments. 

To give an idea of the scope of how much money this generates, the NCAA brings in about $1 billion in revenue each year from the tournament. A huge sum of money for a tournament that only spans a few weeks.

Unrelated to the NCAA revenue, in 2023 there was an estimated $15.5 billion gambled on the tournament throughout its duration as well.

The amount of money that surrounds this tournament is unbelievable and I don’t see that changing any time soon. 

MrBeast’s Deal with Amazon

In seemingly one of the more unique decisions made by one of the big streaming companies, Amazon was able to strike a deal worth $100,000,000 with the YouTuber MrBeast (Jimmy Donaldson), the most popular YouTuber in the world. The deal itself is for MrBeast to create and produce “Beast Games”. Which is being referred to as the “biggest reality competition in television history” that is seemingly going to be a cornerstone of Prime Video content when it comes out. 

The show itself will have 1,000 contestants competing for $5,000,000, which is also the biggest payout in history for a reality television show winner. 

It is clear that Amazon is taking a massive bet on this type of content working and if MrBeast’s already sustained YouTube success is any indicator then I think it is fair to say this show has all the makings to be a huge success. 

This also potentially lines up a massive change in how these streaming companies decide to create content in the future, by paying incredibly popular YouTube personalities to create and produce shows to bring in the same crowd that they have already built on the YouTube platform. 

US Government vs TikTok Kicks Off Again

Once again, the US Government has set its sights on TikTok, the social media platform. 

After a meteoric popularity rise that started in 2020 and still continues to today, the US has cited it as a national security threat. This is fully due to the parent company, ByteDance, being a Chinese based internet technology company. 

Ultimately, the US is now in a spot that they feel that the Chinese government can force ByteDance to share the data of the roughly 102 million US based app users with the Chinese government. It is important to note that the total US TikTok users number changes depending on the source, but it is a large number of users regardless. 

It looks like if the plan passes through our government, the US could try to force TikTok to separate from ByteDance over a five month period. If it does not, the app will be banned for use inside the US. And for app stores that don’t remove TikTok from their stores, which include Apple and Google, big fines can be coming. It is shown that the bill cites a fine of $5,000 per user of the app to these app store providers. So if you take that $5,000 over a hundred million users and it is a massive fine levied by the US Government. 

The US has tried similar tactics before to ensure national safety from an app like TikTok so we will see how this attempt plays out, but it seemingly carries more weight than what we have seen in the past.