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The Zacks Analyst Blog Highlights: Apple, Alphabet, Amazon and Microsoft

For Immediate Release

Chicago, IL – March 22, 2016 – Zacks.com announces the list of stocks featured in the Analyst Blog. Every day the Zacks Equity Research analysts discuss the latest news and events impacting stocks and the financial markets. Stocks recently featured in the blog include the Apple (AAPL), Alphabet (GOOGL), Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft ( MSFT).

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Here are highlights from Monday’s Analyst Blog:

Technology Stock Roundup

In the top stories last week, Apple (AAPL) opted for Alphabet ( GOOGL) cloud services, Alphabet decided to sell off Boston Dynamics and also lost its anti-trust case in Russia.

Apples Goes for Google Cloud Services

There’s a huge rumor making the rounds that Apple opted for Google Cloud services sometime late last year and is spending $400-600 million (no one knows if this is per month, quarter or year, which means basically anything). None of the concerned companies have commented on the news yet.

Of course, Apple continues to use both Amazon (AMZN) and Microsoft ( MSFT) as well, so Google looks like a third-source. But any amount wins increased recognition for Google, which has also scored wins at Spotify, Snapchat, PricewaterhouseCoopers, General Mills, Coca-Cola, HTC and Best Buy. So it’s got to be a good thing.

Google to Sell Boston Dynamics

Google has said that it is going to sell Boston Dynamics, the robotics company it picked up in 2013 and made part of its Replicant robotics unit, for an undisclosed amount. The company has big robotics plans and is also progressing leaps and bounds in deep learning. So the culture misfit or long payback period reasons that Google furnished don’t make sense, on the face of it.

But consider that robots are programmed to work based on instructions received (the Boston Dynamics way) and aren’t able to learn themselves (the Google way). Google isnt likely to give up its way since it seems more progressive, but to work with engineers who need to be reprogrammed could take up a lot of time.

Instead, keeping some of the IP and using its own engineers might be a good plan.

Google Loses In Russian Anti-trust Case

As expected, the Moscow Arbitration Court has upheld the earlier decision of the Federal Antimonopoly Service (FAS), which held that Google had abused its strong market position (with respect to the Android OS) to prevent the proliferation of services competing with those provided by Google, such as search, streaming, etc. Google offers its OS free and users are only expected to pay through the ads they watch (or if they subscribe to any service) when they use the respective apps.

Google doesn’t prevent the user from downloading any app desired. This doesn’t seem anticompetitive. But significantly, Yandex has claimed that Google prevents handset manufacturers from pre-loading competing non-Google services, which isn’t the same thing. It doesn’t seem anti-competitive to ask manufacturers to pre-load Google apps unless Google is also preventing them from pre-loading competing apps.

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