There's a ton to get to today, so let's get to it.
There's a ton to get to today, so let's get to it.
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios
Amazon's Prime Day got off to a terrible start for the retailer, with customers seeing cute dog pictures instead of deals. The problems persisted into Monday evening for some customers.
Amazon's response: The company, which is playing up the fact the site was never totally down, said it will re-run the deals offered during the times when customers were having problems. It also noted in a statement that the number of orders during the first hour were higher than last year despite the issues.
The bottom line: Analysts are still trying to calculate how much revenue Amazon lost from its Prime Day site problems. But, in reality, there are a couple of different costs to consider.
Yes, but: Amazon's site did go down under a crush of demand from customers, which remains a good problem in the scheme of things. It's likely to still break sales records due to expansion into more countries and categories, as well as an increase in Prime members.
"We predict Amazon Prime Day 2018 will be the biggest one yet despite the uncharacteristic speed bump from its site being down."— Guru Hariharan, CEO of Boomerang Commerce
Not bad for a retailer on a weekday in July.
The real victims: I feel most bad for the kids who will wake up two days after Prime Day to find nothing under their Prime Day trees.
Meanwhile: Monday was also the day that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos became the world's richest man. Whether he keeps that title Tuesday may depend on how the website performs.
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Win McNamee/Getty Images
FCC Chairman Ajit Pai has enough votes to get an administrative law judge to consider his "serious concerns" about Sinclair Broadcast Group's purchase of Tribune Media stations, Axios' David McCabe reports .
Why it matters: This is now the second market-transforming media deal that has recently gone from a regulatory sure thing to a gamble. Like the DOJ's challenge of the AT&T-Time Warner merger, Pai's issues with the Sinclair deal run against the business- and merger-friendly posture that most GOP administrations take.
What we're hearing: The document circulated to Pai's fellow commissioners highlights concerns about several station sales Sinclair set up to get the deal approved, including stations in Chicago, Dallas and Houston, two FCC officials said.
What we're reading: Conservative broadcaster Newsmax's petition to deny the deal lays out the opposition to the deal from Pai's side of the aisle and lines up with the chairman's concerns.
Read more of David's story here.
Illustration: Lazaro Gamio/Axios
In missing expectations for revenue and subscriber growth, Netflix sent its own stock plummeting along with that of its streaming business rivals. Netflix's stock was down nearly 14% in after-hours trading Monday, with Roku, Spotify and others trading lower as well, notes Axios' Sara Fischer.
Why it matters: Netflix's miss is reigniting debate around whether the new tech economy, where companies are highly valued despite being barely or far from profitable, is sustainable long-term.
"The bulls expected continuing upside to their subscriber guidance ... and when those expectations were cracked, the stock cracked."— Michael Pachter, managing director of equity research, Wedbush Securities
The miss wasn't entirely shocking. Most analysts agree that Netflix's momentum wasn't sustainable, especially in the U.S., where analysts say the tech giant was beginning to reach a point of saturation.
Netflix bulls argue that the company will bounce back, and that Netflix is still an attractive investment for the foreseeable future.
"As an investor, we're looking over next five-ten years and Netflix is the number one service that every single person uses in general and probably across the world in the next couple of years. We're not concerned about the business. We love the way the numbers are trending. The only issue anyone has with the stock is the valuation."— Ross Gerber, CEO of Gerber Kawasaki Wealth and Investment Management on CNBC
Go deeper: Sara has more here.
Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios
Today’s tech startups have largely stayed out of the debate over whether antitrust law should be used to humble — and possibly break up — giants like Facebook, Google and Amazon, David writes.
Why it matters: Entrepreneurs face a dilemma: If they go running to regulators, they have to admit they’re in danger and tick off a powerful player in their world. If they do nothing, they risk bleeding out.
The big picture: Tech giants have immense leverage over startups. “The tech hypercaps have never been more powerful relative to startups, including Microsoft in the '90s,” said Sam Altman, the president of startup accelerator Y Combinator. “It’s very, very hard for a startup to compete head on with any of them — the resources are so mismatched it’s an unfair fight.”
How it works: Startups (or larger competitors) can confidentially press their case before staff members at the Department of Justice or the Federal Trade Commission, in the hopes those agencies will investigate the allegations and take action. Or the startups can go public with their concerns.
We've been here before: It’s often been startups that are in a position to lead the antitrust charge against major competitors. Two of the biggest tech wins for antitrust cops over the last 50 years followed aggressive public advocacy by a startup that became the face of the giant’s anticompetitive conduct.
But, but, but: With the exception of Yelp, there are no major startups in the U.S. that have turned to regulators to take on today's biggest companies, like Facebook, Amazon, or Google.
Go deeper: David has more here.
Johannes Gutenberg, German printer in his printing works. Photo: Photo12/UIG via Getty Images
The company Stripe had already moved beyond its core business of payment processing into areas like helping businesses incorporate. Now the San Francisco-based company is getting into book publishing, my colleague Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
The details: It recently published its first book, “High Growth Handbook,” by entrepreneur and investor Elad Gil.
“Stripe’s mission is to grow the GDP of the internet,” a company spokesperson tells Axios, adding that the company does this by providing tech tools as well as “by sharing previously hard-to-acquire knowledge and expertise about starting and running companies.”
Read more of Kia's story here.
There was an upside to Amazon's Prime Day problems. It gave us #dogsofamazon.