FCC Airwave Auctions Have Made Many Billions for Investors


Panic at the disco. The big story out in the real world, of course, was the stock market crash. Prompted by fears of higher interest rates and perhaps other factors like the impact of trade war tariffs finally sinking in, stocks plunged. The market benchmark S&P 500 Index dropped more than 3%, its worst one-day slide since February, but the damage was much worse for most tech stocks. Apple lost 4%, Google parent Alphabet fell 5%, and Amazon dropped 6%. Netflix and Twitter each lost 8%, Facebook and Salesforce were down 7%, and Alibaba and Adobe fell 6%. Thought you could hide in the cryptocurrency market? No such luck. Bitcoin fell 5% and Ethereum lost 10%, too.

I write sins, not tragedies. After the huge plunge in regular trading, Square’s stock price also got a dumping after hours. The stock price of the payments processing startup dropped 10% in the usual session. Then, after the market closed, the company announced that longtime CFO Sarah Friar would leave in December to become the CEO of local social network Nextdoor. The news pushed the shares down another 10%. At about $70, the stock is all the way back to where it was…in July. It’s still more than double where it started the year.

Look ma, I made it. While investors had a tough day, the Conference Board released its annual survey of CEO pay and found that the leaders of some tech companies have made out pretty well over the past year. At the top of the compensation list at $103 million was Broadcom CEO Hock Tan. First Data CEO Frank Bisignano was second at $102 million. The bulk of both those paydays was stock, so they might be worth a little less after Wednesday’s trading. Shares of both companies declined more than 5%. Broadcom was also the subject of a bizarre, forged national security scare. “We’ve officially crossed over into nuts,” quipped longtime chip industry analyst Stacy Rasgon at Bernstein Research.

Say amen. Seeking to avoid an unintended consequence, Amazon said it would raise the pay of some hourly workers so that the company’s new $15 per hour minimum wage in conjunction with the end of bonus and stock award programs would not lower any worker’s pay.

Nine in the afternoon. The third quarter PC sales rankings are out and there’s a new name in fifth place, at least in the United States. Edging out Acer and garnering 4% of U.S. shipments was Microsoft and its growing Surface line of devices, according to Gartner. Still, the Redmond software giant will need to sell quite a few more to catch number four Apple and its 14% share. And globally, Acer is still ranked fifth by Gartner, which includes two-in-one devices but not Chromebooks or tablets in its calculations.

Death of a bachelor. Power management chipmaker Dialog Semiconductor is getting $600 million from Apple over the next few years in return for certain assets and staff plus a licensing deal. Apple is already the British company’s largest customer, relying on the chips for the iPhone.

King of the clouds. Online document management startup Egnyte raised $75 million in private capital from Goldman Sachs. The money will go to adding customer support staff, but Egnyte won’t be hiring in San Francisco or New York City. Instead, the new hires will be located in cheaper locales like Spokane, Wash. and Raleigh, N.C.

(Headline reference video explainer, that you and my 14-year-old son may not need.)

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