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Algorithm opt-out bill; Chile's new fintech law; COVID vaccine-makers' earnings

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Next in Tech | Episode 49: Carbon reduction in cloud

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Volume of Investment Research Reports on Inflation Increased in Q4 2021

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Price wars in India: Disney+ Hotstar vs. Amazon Prime Video vs. Netflix

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Algorithm opt-out bill; Chile's new fintech law; COVID vaccine-makers' earnings

Welcome to Next, a weekly newsletter highlighting some of our unique news and research on how technology is reshaping the future of industries across global markets. As part of our expanded cross-sector tech coverage, we will curate some of our best insights and features on topics such as artificial intelligence, internet of things, cybersecurity, 5G, smart cities, autonomous vehicles, clean energy, telehealth and financial technology.

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Top News

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Social media apps
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U.S. lawmakers' focus on recommender algorithms in a recent pair of bills may be ineffective as legislators seek to address broader harms caused by social media platforms. The algorithms have become the center of legislative attention, including a bipartisan, bicameral push to mandate an option for users to opt out of personalized content targeting. The move comes after leaked documents from Facebook whistleblower Frances Haugen highlighted how the platforms impact teenage girls' mental health, among other concerns, including promulgating hate speech. Recommender algorithms — automated tools that make content more personalized and social media more addictive — ultimately design what users see online.

In fintech, Chile's new law would contribute "substantially" to growth in the industry, as well as boost startups' access to investor capital, Kevin Cowan, vice president of the country's Financial Market Commission, told S&P Global Market Intelligence. The proposed bill to regulate financial technology services in the country is expected to sharply increase competition in the Chilean financial system. "Impact of the bill on the financial sector as a whole should be substantial," the official said.

On the healthcare side, COVID-19 vaccine makers AstraZeneca and Moderna both missed EPS estimates for the third quarter, while the majority of biopharma companies exceeded expectations. Sixteen of the 19 top biopharmaceutical companies surpassed analysts' EPS forecasts for the quarter, with only Eli Lilly and Co. joining AstraZeneca and Moderna in missing their estimates — though each of the stragglers painted a picture of a brighter future.

Chart of the Week

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Zoom share-price decline steepens as revenue growth shrinks

Zoom's stock plunged in the wake of the company's fiscal 2022 third-quarter results, which came in ahead of expectations but furthered concerns around slowing revenue growth.

Tech, Media and Telecom

Social media critics may have wrong target in federal push for algorithm opt-out

A series of bipartisan, bicameral bills target the use of recommender algorithms, automated tools that make content more targeted and products more addictive

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Searching for clues on who spent what in latest mid-band spectrum auction

After 151 rounds and $21.9 billion in total proceeds, the Federal Communications Commission's auction of 100 MHz of contiguous spectrum in the 3.45 GHz band concluded its clock phase earlier in November.

Ericsson dials into enterprise wireless market with $6B Vonage buy

The transaction is motivated by Ericsson's expansion into the fast-growing communications-platform-as-a-service market, which uses cloud tech to give customers the flexibility to add voice, video and messaging features to their business software.

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Fintech

Chile's fintech bill raises expectations for growth in the sector

If approved, Chile's fintech law should accelerate growth in the industry and boost funding for startups, Kevin Cowan, vice president of Chile's financial market regulator, told S&P Global Market Intelligence.

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Lending fintechs in Argentina target low-income adults

During the pandemic, financial technology companies expanded to the interior of Argentina to deliver loan products. Online lenders in Argentina serve the underbanked, a high-risk segment overlooked by traditional banks that can provide opportunities for strong gains.

KeyBank acquired payments firm XUP as 'connective tissue,' exec says

KeyBank started using XUP Payments' software to package and deliver its payments and banking products to merchants in mid-2020.

Energy

Target Zero: CMS striving to keep lights on amid storms, net-zero pressure

CMS Energy and principal subsidiary Consumers Energy have committed to achieving net-zero carbon emissions by 2040, but their resource plan remains heavily reliant on gas-fired resources that will even grow by over 2 GW with planned acquisitions.

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US utilities ramp up spending plans, brace for winter and legislation

Management teams kept their eyes on rising gas prices, supply chain constraints and the passage and impact of federal energy policy during third-quarter earnings calls and the 2021 Edison Electric Institute Financial Conference.

Healthcare

COVID-19 shots fail to immunize drugmakers from EPS misses in broadly upbeat Q3

Sixteen of the 19 top biopharmaceutical companies surpassed analysts' EPS forecasts for the quarter, with only Eli Lilly, AstraZeneca and Moderna missing their estimates — though each of the stragglers painted a picture of a brighter future.

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License to Pill: Pfizer's $500M migraine deal; Zai Lab buys rights to 2 drugs

Pfizer's offering of $150 million in cash and a purchase of $350 million in equity in Biohaven Pharmaceutical to commercialize its migraine drug rimegepant was the largest up-front payment for the licensing deals announced Nov. 6-19.

Top Research

From Kagan, a media research group within S&P Global Market Intelligence:

Q3'21 global game content revenue floats on early FIFA release

Hardware shortages and lower pandemic-related demand continue to weigh on game sales, but Kagan estimates that a tentpole title's move to the third quarter helped lift revenue 9.2% year over year.

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State of US online video: Virtual multichannel, 2021

Seeking a path to sustained profitability has become one of the more important challenges that U.S. virtual multichannel services face as reaching scale remains elusive and programming costs continue to mount.

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From 451 Research, an offering of S&P Global Market Intelligence:

Simplifying transformation to a cloud operating model

As cloud adoption of cloud becomes mainstream, suppliers are increasing their focus on programs that assist customers with the cloud operating model development, thereby securing their roles as landing zones for customer applications and workloads.

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Click here to listen to the latest episode of "MediaTalk," an S&P Global Market Intelligence podcast. In this episode, Alexandra Reeve Givens, head of the Center for Democracy and Technology, and Sheryl Kingstone, head of customer experience and commerce at 451 Research, provide insights on privacy legislation in the U.S., how online companies are storing our data and growing concerns among consumers about privacy in the wake of the pandemic.

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Click here to listen to the latest episode of "Next in Tech," a weekly podcast featuring 451 Research and other areas of S&P Global Market Intelligence. The increasing use of renewable energy sources is transforming the planet and cutting emissions, but they're complicating the operation of energy grids. The internet of thing's capabilities and appropriate analytics can help adapt the grid to make better use of these options and senior research analyst Johan Vermij joins host Eric Hanselman to talk about where they come into play and how they're being put to work. They're part of ensuring that the benefits of these improvements are being distributed equitably.