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Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios

Alphabet revenue dropped 2% from last year, the company announced in second-quarter earnings Thursday, beating Wall Street expectations a day after Google CEO Sundar Pichai appeared before the House Judiciary antitrust subcommittee to face allegations of anticompetitive behavior.

Yes, but: Despite beating expectations on revenue, the company still reported its first-ever decline, thanks to a reduction in the advertising growth rate thanks to the coronavirus pandemic. Stock rose slightly in after-hours trading.

Why it matters: The company may have fared better than investors were expecting, but the company remains almost entirely dependent on ad revenue and experienced a difficult quarter.

What they're saying: Ruth Porat, chief financial officer of Alphabet and Google, said the company saw gradual improvement in its ad businesses and strong growth in Google Cloud and other revenues.

  • “We continue to navigate through a difficult global economic environment," she said.
  • “We’re working to help people, businesses and communities in these uncertain times,” said Sundar Pichai, CEO of Google and Alphabet. “As people increasingly turn to online services, our platforms — from Cloud to Google Play to YouTube — are helping our partners provide important services and support their businesses.”

By the numbers, via CNBC:

  • Earnings: $10.3 versus $8.21 per share, based on Refinitiv consensus estimates
  • Revenue: $38.3 billion, versus $37.37 billion expected by Refinitiv
  • YouTube advertising revenue: $3.81 billion versus $3.78 billion expected, according to StreetAccount estimates
  • Google Cloud revenue: $3.01 versus $3.06 billion expected, as per StreetAccount
  • Traffic acquisition costs (TAC): $6.69 billion versus $6.67 billion expected, as per StreetAccount

Go deeper

Uber CEO talks exporting Prop 22 after mixed earnings report

Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios

Uber is looking to export to other states California's newly voter-approved policy that will let the company continue to treat its drivers as contractors and not employees, CEO Dara Khosrowshahi said on an analyst call after the company posted mixed third-quarter results Thursday.

The big picture: Uber and Lyft helped lead a $200 million campaign to convince Californians to vote for Proposition 22, which they did overwhelmingly Tuesday. Uber now wants to "have dialog with governments and other states" on enacting similar arrangements, Khosrowshahi said.

Updated 2 hours ago - Technology

3D printing's next act: big metal objects

Chief Scientist Andy Bayramian makes modifications to the laser system on Seurat's 3D metal printer. Photo courtesy of Seurat Technologies.

A new metal 3D printing technology could revolutionize the way large industrial products like planes and cars are made, reducing the cost and carbon footprint of mass manufacturing.

Why it matters: 3D printing — also called additive manufacturing — has been used since the 1980s to make small plastic parts and prototypes. Metal printing is newer, and the challenge has been figuring out how to make things like large car parts faster and cheaper than traditional methods.

Updated 3 hours ago - Technology

Mayors see cryptocurrency as a way to address income inequality

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

At the U.S. Conference of Mayors' meeting in D.C. this week, there's buzz around the idea of giving cryptocurrency accounts to low-income people.

Why it matters: Cities have been experimenting with newfangled ways to address income inequality — like guaranteed income programs — and the latest wave of trials could involve paying benefits or dividends in bitcoin, stablecoin or other digital currencies.