Is Google the EU's ATM?

Macro 6 minutes to read

Michael O’Neill

FX Trader, Loonieviews.net

Summary:  Google shares have shrugged off the latest EU fines while Wall Street struggles to turn positive on FOMC day,


The European Union is after Alphabet (GOOGL: Nasdaq) the parent company of Google, again. For the third time in as many years, the European Commission slapped Google with a hefty €1.49 fine. That brings the three-year total to €8.19, the equivalent of $9.30 billion at today’s exchange rate. 

Today’s fine was for using its AdSense for Search app on its Android product to reduce competition. Bloomberg reports that 2017's €2.4 billion fine was for failing to give rival comparison shopping sites equal treatment. The EU didn’t like how Google responded to its 2017 order and slapped them with a whopping €4.3 penalty in 2018. The European Commission seems to believe that not only does” familiarity breed contempt", but so does success.

Google shareholders shrugged off today’s news. The company reported $30.738 billion in net income for 2018 and today’s fine is easily absorbed. The stock is up 0.70% in early trading.

Wall Street turned a positive open into a negative in the first forty-five minutes of trading although the dips are shallow. Shares in FedEx (FDX: NYSE) are being hammered, losing 5.5% in the first hour. Shareholders are venting their frustration after the company posted lower than expected earnings per share and revenue and slashed 2019 earnings forecast.

FX markets are doing the “FOMC shuffle,” a back-and forth-sideways dance with GBPUSD front and centre. UK Prime Minister Theresa May formally asked the European Union for a three-month extension to Article 50. Reuters reported the EU wants a shorter delay until May 23 or a longer delay to at least the end of the year. GBPUSD plunged on the story, sinking from 1.3225 at the New York open to 1.3142 before rebounding to 1.3180 as of 14:15 GMT.
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GBPUSD (15-minute, source: Saxo Bank)

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