Top Stories

Federal 5G Spectrum Auction Raises Nearly $70 Billion So Far

An auction of wireless licenses, which began December 8 and is conducted by the Federal Communications Commission, has thus far reaped $69.8+ billion. The auction shut down during the holidays but recommenced January 4, meaning the total bids will likely increase. The previous record, in 2015, was the $44.9 billion raised by a sale of mid-range cellular licenses to boost 4G coverage. The winning bidders will not be revealed until the auction ends, but AT&T and Verizon are pegged by analysts to be dominant. Read more

Chinese Regulators Rein in Jack Ma’s Alibaba and Ant Group

Alibaba founder Jack Ma has long been celebrated in China for his successful entrepreneurship that has made him that country’s richest individual. More recently, however, his troubles with the Chinese government led that country’s media to dub him an “evil capitalist” and “bloodsucking ghost.” Last week, China opened an antitrust probe into Alibaba and is investigating Ant Group, a fintech company Ma spun out of Alibaba. After nixing that company’s IPO, China is now telling Ma to fix its many perceived flaws. Read more

E-Commerce Takes Center Stage as Top Retail Trend in 2020

In 2020, the year of the COVID-19 pandemic, e-commerce went mainstream, with Amazon and Walmart earning top spots as retail’s biggest successes. According to GroupM, e-commerce will grow by “low-double-digit percentages through the next six years,” even after social distancing rules abate. In addition, new services are being offered. Amazon opened its first Fresh grocery store with smart shopping carts and introduced prescription delivery and a hand-scanning payment option. Walmart introduced Walmart+, its membership program and partnered with Shopify and TikTok. Read more

ASCAP and BMI Launch New Music Copyright Data Platform

ASCAP and BMI, the top two U.S. performing rights organizations (PROs), partnered to create Songview, a data platform with 20+ million musical works. The effort zeroed in on solving a continuing problem in the music rights industry: the need for a more transparent view of copyright ownership and administration shares for songs and other music compositions licensed in the United States. Vetted by both PROs, each work features a green checkmark to indicate the data is consistent in both ASCAP and BMI copyright systems. Read more

Cloud Computing Leads to Growth in Data Center Real Estate

Brick-and-mortar real estate has cratered during the COVID-19 pandemic. The single exception is real estate linked to the significant growth in cloud computing: the buildings that house the servers that enable it. Goldman Sachs is investing up to $500 million in data center infrastructure. Private equity companies Blackstone and KKR also plan to invest in data centers, while, according to JLL, real estate investment trusts (REITs) focused on data centers had returns of 19 percent in the first half of 2020. Read more

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