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Daily briefing: Alphabet profits hit, Sadiq Khan 14 months on, India’s ‘beef lynchings’

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Alphabet’s profits had their worst year-on-year fall since the 2008 financial crisis. The parent company of Google reported its income fell more than a quarter after it was hit by the European Commission with a $2.7bn fine for abusing market dominance. However, the company’s earnings still narrowly beat Wall Street’s forecasts and added to its cash pile despite the antitrust fine. Shares slipped in after-hours trading after its cost-per-click number fell 23 per cent, more than the 15 per cent drop analysts expected.

But Alphabet executives were forced to defend the way other businesses in its portfolio, such as YouTube, Maps and Android, are bundled together, as analysts quizzed them on the impact of the record-breaking fine. The FT’s Lex column said Alphabet’s sangfroid tone would be justified if the penalty were an isolated event. “Yet it is not an isolated event,” Lex said. “Rather than a one-off, Alphabet’s future earnings are almost certain to be hit by periodic penalties from competition authorities.” (FT, Reuters, CNBC)

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