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tv   Bloomberg West  Bloomberg  March 23, 2015 1:00pm-2:01pm EDT

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cory: live from pier three in san francisco, welcome to "bloomberg west" where we cover technology, innovation, and the future of business. i'm cory johnson. we have it check of your bloomberg top headlines -- texas senator ted cruz becomes the first major candidate to officially announce he's running for president. the republican and tea party favorite kicked off his campaign at liberty university in lynchburg, virginia. >> i believe in the power of millions of courageous conservatives rising up to reignite the promise of america. and that is why today i'm
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announcing i am running for president of the united states. [applause] cory: a person for later with the matter says ted cruz's wife is taking an unpaid leave of absence from her gig as managing director at goldman sachs to help him run his campaign. the federal reserve's vice chairman, stanley fischer says a hike is coming. here he is at the economic club of new york. >> the interest rate is expected to lift off for the end of this year as the normalization of monetary policy gets underway. the extraordinary monetary policy the fed has undertaken in response to the crisis has contributed importantly to the economic recovery. the economic recovery has taken longer than we expected. cory: he also said subsequent
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increases would not be uniform or predictable. data shows the u.s. housing market is struggling to gain traction as sales of previously owned homes rose to an annual rate of 4.9 million. the national association of realtors says low supply and higher prices are keeping buyers out of the market. the greek prime minister is in britain today with meetings with german chancellor, angela merkel. greece posco editor's have been demanding the country detail specific reforms it will take before it gives them the money. greece has 1.6 ilion do this week. the ncaa is down to the sweet 16. let's get a check of the leaderboard on bloomberg's brackets for the cause. you will not see me but you will see john donahoe it's.
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other tech noticeable -- notables include eric schmidt and john leisure -- john leger. google may have escaped a investigation in antitrust, but internal documents show google acted in anti-competitive manners across the board, including demoting those of competitors and restricting advertisers from working with rival search engines. but google did some voluntary changes in the case was dismissed. joining us now from new york is the bloomberg intelligence analyst who knows a lot about antitrust. i want to leave whether it should have been brought aside -- what is the bad behavior the
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staff around in their investigation? what goes on in this kind of investigation and how thorough is there worth? >> their work is incredibly thorough. i was practicing law until last october and was involved in these investigations and it was unbelievable how many documents the staff could review. they take depositions and interview people in the industry. they really don't leave any stone unturned. when they come up with these conclusions and come to their opinion about whether they think something has occurred that is him toward, it is based on the totality of the evidence. >> with be more specific. you say leave no stone unturned but what do they do? what kind of evidence do they examine and what kind of powers do have to gather that evidence? >> the ftc has powers of
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investigation when they have suspicion to believe there might have been a violation of antitrust laws. what happens is the commissioners decide whether the compulsory process can be served on parties. the parties get what is called a civil investigative demand. that's a huge cepeda that asks for a lot of data asks for documents and information. in addition, it is customary to bring in business people from the companies being investigated , have informal interviews and formal depositions which are essentially foreign testimony and issue investigative demands to a competitors and other participants to understand their viewpoint and how they see the conduct. it's not unusual for the ftc to ask companies to turn over the database. they are able to reach far into a company's business to understand what they are doing.
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cory: google is in a unique place in the world of technology and in the world of business at this point. the airline industry, the flight industry, there is an amazing quote in the document that the "wall street journal" found by accident. one of the lines is amazing -- it says even though it displays a flight search above any other natural search result from flight booking sites, google does not provide the most flight options. right there, it's saying no one can put their stuff on top. if you wanted a flight from new york to san francisco and google did not have access, they would not show you the result. >> the issue here is whether or not that conduct in whatever it is google is doing overall, not just with respect to shopping more flights, but what they are doing overall was anti-competitive.
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and no were couple of different allegations being investigated. the decision in relation to search by us, whether google favored its own products and services over products and services of its competitors was that while there may have in some detriment to the competitors, overall, this made for a better user experience. it does not necessarily mean the search results that came to the top were the best search results in this specific context, but overall, there was a benefit to the user experience. cory: it might have looked for your for the user but if the whole results weren't there -- there's also some strong language about intention and this sort of self emoting intention. there's another line that said google embarked on the multi-year strategy and a have a
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strategy of demoting and a refusal to display certain websites. it did not cite yelp here, but i can't imagine google's local reviews hit those of yelp. why should we be concerned? >> this is obviously the kind of thing being investigated and yelp complained about it as well as others. getting access to this leak document normally would be exempt from foia. it's only one half of the pictures -- one half of the picture. here, we are looking at what they did that was bad. but when we are evaluating something under antitrust law, we are looking at what the legitimate procompetitive net of that restraint? what we have seen in the press is one half. we have seen the determination
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of what is bad. what was likely in that 160 page document and gathered by the commission was what's the legitimate competitive justification for the conduct? that is difficult and difficult to extinguish exclusionary conduct from plain old ordinary conduct. cory: we have a jump here, but it is an interesting story. google has said charges were not filed, but that doesn't mean we are going to start reporting on it will stop we will be back with more on this story and a lot more "bloomberg west" coming up after this. ♪
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cory: this is "bloomberg west." i'm cory johnson.
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why apple execs are digging a new steve jobs biography. in the trials tribulations rocking silicon valley. first, let's get a check of the bloomberg top headlines. mario draghi tells the european parliament that the euro zone economy is improving in the bond buying program is key to that improvement. >> we intend to carry out our purchases at least until the end of september, 2016. in any case, until we see a sustained adjustment on the part of inflation which is helping achieve our inflation rates are low but over 2% for the medium term. cory: he said the bank is prepared to restore relations with greece if the talks get back on track. yemen inches closer to civil war. the latest happened in yemen's fourth largest city.
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rebel leaders have called on forces to mobilize for war. china's alibaba is looking to israel to improve its cyber security, investing in jerusalem venture partners. that has been focused on security and is focused on building what it calls a global hub for cyber security technology. uber's plans to partner with the u.n. to create millions of jobs for women is often just weeks after it was announced. they warn the driver jobs could be dangerous for women. the company is trying to slow down the rise. it's a global transportation company that operates in 20 countries with 80,000 employees. joining me is their north american ceo. tell us what the company is. i think the firm is unfamiliar
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to most of us. >> we are a worldwide operator the largest worldwide operator multimodal private operator transportation systems and we have a large retail on-demand business that includes supershuttle and several taxi companies and technology businesses that connect to over 100,000 vehicles around the world will stop >> it's a rollup of a lot of us is an taxi companies that it is global in nature? >> we have buses, taxi companies, we are in 20 countries and in new york alone, we serve 20 companies that represent about 5500 vehicles in new york city alone. cory: then i would assume you know how awesome uber is. >> uber has great technology and provides a very good service that people like a lot. there are a lot of people who
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would like to see more competition for uber because they are very concerned about their business practices. cory: what is unique to uber that's not endemic to the transportation business? >> what is unique to uber? cory: what are the things uber is doing worse that other taxi companies are doing? >> to have one platform where they are able to take the cream they only take customers with credit cards, they only take customers who have smartphones they only book trips now, so they have a good clean business model. they also don't really follow rules and regulations. they can consistently battle
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whether drivers should be properly licensed and they try to rewrite the rules. but that doesn't hold them back because they go into markets and thumb their nose at regulators until they can get to critical mass. what they also have that is unique is about $4 billion in cash. it is ironic that uber criticizes and attacks what they call big taxi when uber represents the largest taxi company in the world. they like to position themselves as a technology business but at this point, they are just a very large taxi company. cory: i would argue every business is a technology business these days, but their contention is parts of industry are really tight -- tightly regulated. they've been developed over decades and therefore the rules
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were written to support the players, not the customer. what do you argue back to that? >> they are the ones who hired david plus and they are the ones outspending the industry at any local level by an order of magnitude of 10 to one. they are throwing money around and local jurisdictions, kansas city baltimore various paces -- various places. i don't agree with that in terms of a relationship. on behalf of the industry, the taxi industry has to do a better job of customer service. at the end of the day, people want great service and expect rate service. what they don't want is someone to say trust me with regard to my driver licensing and to
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refuse to have a proper background check will stop the da's for san francisco and l.a. filed suit against uber saying their criminal background checks are completely worthless and they don't do fingerprinting on their drivers. the question needs to be asked why are they so resistant when they spend a fortune on lobbying . why don't they want drivers properly licensed and why don't they want vehicles properly insured? if there is a level playing field, i feel confident the public will benefit from better service and proper regulation. it's not about cutting corners, it's about giving great service. cory: why don't they want their drivers properly vetted? >> they want speed to market. they don't want someone waiting for a proper criminal background check which could take a couple of weeks will stop they want to put that person behind the wheel
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today. they have in or miss churn. they talk about hiring a million drivers. how many drivers are they losing? they have disregard for their drivers and travis has indicated once they have driverless vehicles, they will be able to get rid of the dude behind the wheel. 80% -- the drivers are paying uber 20% of every trip. the ones generating the value are the drivers will stop to not properly vet and train the drivers long-term is not a good strategy. cory: the travis you are referring to is the cofounder. i wonder at this point if there is any stopping uber? >> look at asia. uber is getting their clock
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cleaned in asia right now. i think they've proven you can stop uber. in the case of lyft which is raising a lot of money, they are challenging uber in san francisco but they have conceded internationally and basically said in their most recent round of fund raising that they are going to focus on the u.s. and their are enormous assets that can come into play in our industry with the use of good technology. so we are playing catch-up but it is by no means over. cory: we appreciate your time. "bloomberg west" will be right back. ♪
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cory: tomorrow, a new account of steve jobs'life and career hits the bookstore. the unauthorized biography makes -- it's a little different than earlier accounts because it seems to have the company's support. joining me now is tim higgins who covers apple and has read some of the book. is this book decidedly different? >> it is a little bit of a different tone. i think it gets at the complicated nature of trying to put steve jobs in a box. the isaacson book was talking about the trouble steve had in his life will stop this one was to show how he matured and developed as a person and painted him as a person you would want to spend all of your
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time slaving away after. >> there were at least a dozen fortune cover stories -- that was his calling card and a silicon valley. >> he may have been a jerk but he was no a-hole was the quote. cory: an important apple executive writing about him, here is what he had to say -- he said best portrayal is about to be released. well done and first to get it right will stop >> these are the people who were his loyalists. i think the isaacson book spends a lot of time talking about people who did not have as fund of memories of him. >> i wonder if that has allowed these people to have different perspectives on everything steve was. >> there's interesting insight
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from tim cook now that how he offered to donate part of his liver. cory: thank you very much. "bloomberg west" will be right back.
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cory: you are watching "bloomberg west is quote where we focus on innovation, technology in the future of business. let's check the bloomberg top headlines -- on kerry says the deal on iran plus nuclear program is still doable despite some differences will stop a new interview with president obama says a major sticking point remains. >> what's going to have an impact is number one is iran prepared to show to prove to the world it is not developing a nuclear weapon and can we verify that in a conclusive, consistent
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way? cory: iran wants the u.s. and europe to end sanctions immediately rather than over years will stop the cleveland fed president says june remains a viable option for an interest rate hike. >> as we have said, we are going to assess the data as it comes in and evaluate whether it changes our outlook and move on the data. it gives us more options. cory: she says she's becoming more optimistic about the u.s. economy. pepsico has named the former dallas had president to its board. he step down from the board and was often at odds with the other members. pepsico says he brings experience in trade and international regulation.
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vivendi is rejecting a call to spin off its music business. they want them to spend off universal. they say they will spend off -- will spin off another for a dividend increase will stop its parking question about plans for the money. ebay has appointed two independent directors ahead of its planned spinoff of paypal. the go pro president, tony bates is joining the board. john donahoe says the new appointment will help create two world-class boards. the stakes in the case against kleiner perkins just got a little higher. former venture capitalists can sue kleiner perkins for punitive damages. included are the $16 million she
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lost in wages and earnings. katie bennett has been following the case and has in at the courthouse will stop this is interesting because there has been a lot of testimony that has not been good for alan powell but the notion the damage has just opened up $100 million is a huge deal. >> it is a big deal because the damages, their reserve -- they are reserved to punish a company that has been found to do something malicious or oppressive. when the judge made this ruling he said there sufficient evidence from which a reasonable juror could conclude kleiner perkins engaged in gender discrimination and acted with malice, fraud or oppression. this has really raised the stakes for the firm. cory: i wonder -- does this explain why kleiner went to
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trial with this instead of just writing a check? they have loads of not just investors money but the partnership itself has a lot of money. >> you have to assume they feel confident they are going to win the case where there would not be a trial. ellen powell herself would not have settled, so they are forced to go to trial. they have 17 witnesses that went in and pointed to key points in her testimony, including the fact that women were left out of events and had high profile clients who said that wasn't the case. the defense has done a good job pulling a pallet -- pulling apart powell's testimony, so you will see both sides some of their strongest point. ellen pao will go in and her lawyers will say this is a firm that has not been good to women. they are going to talk about
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other instances where they felt ellen powell was left out of meetings and people do not handle their complaints about harassment and discrimination in the work lace. the fact they did not have a policy that is relatively available and could not find it when an investigator asked for it these are the kinds of things they're going to hammer on. they are going to reiterate statements from other employees who say they found a great place to work and importantly, they will reiterate the point that she was a problem child and was not a good worker and is using gender discrimination as a way to explain why she did not do a good job at work. cory: we talked about this on friday or first day. i wonder -- you mentioned the real beneficiaries might not be the lawyers and might not even be women in silicon valley, but will be the hr people.
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it's intriguing to me that a firm like kleiner perkins which is among the biggest names in all of silicon valley and is one of the most professional places did not have some of these basic things in lace. -- in place. is this a great been to the hr industry? >> for a firm of about 50 people, you don't have to have an hr person. if they did not have one in place, they would not be breaking the law. cory: if this shows anything you do have to have an hr person and policies in place if this was indeed a bad actor. >> i think people are going to say it better to be safe than sorry. others would say if this happened at my firm -- i would not know how to deal with it. a lot of executives wouldn't know what to do and would have to call in and outside professional.
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cory: there are so many new firms on the software side of things, in terms of establishing policy, if these software firms might see an opening to sell to smaller businesses of the 50 and lower variety? >> i don't think software can tease apart the really difficult issues we've seen in this case. i think you need a human being for that kind of work. cory: imagine that. thank you very much will stop "bloomberg west" will be right back. ♪
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cory: i'm cory johnson.
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coming up, president obama pushes stem education -- solar power -- solar panel technology for everywhere. first, a check of the bloomberg top headlines. president obama is encouraging more student to pursue education in science, technology engineering and math. the president announced more than $240 million in funding for stem education, bringing total support up to a billion dollars. the theme is the -- the theme of the science there is diversity. one of the most iconic rands in baseball has been sold. they have bought louisville slugger, paying $70 million in all caps for the company. they had sales of $75 million last year. nissan is being investigated for not fixing an airbag.
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they recalled nearly a million vehicles last year. it possibly called an airbag not to deploy. some say it continues even after multiple repairs. nissan says it was corrected. time for our series "the spark" were we find innovators for seemingly unsolvable problems. solar technology has gotten cheaper but still provides only a tiny fraction of the worlds power. sam grobart visited one company hoping -- hoping to develop solar cells that can be installed almost anywhere. >> there's really only one renewable energy source that can power the whole world today and that is solar energy. there is more enough solar
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energy here to power the earth many times over. sam: we're all familiar with the story of solar technology, limited attentional and disappointing results. one of the big hurdles is where to put it. in the places we need power there are spaces for heavy opaque panels. if you could make solar cells then, light and transparent, you could put them almost anywhere. >> this is a solar panel you are probably fairly with. it's been around for decades and it absorbs the light that hits the surface and converts it into electricity. here is an example of a transparent version. this is a transparent solar cell. we are commercializing what we call a transparent solar cell.
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it's an invisible film you can put on any service -- any surface. it can generate energy on those services. our vision was that we want to integrate solar technology into the products and services we interact with every day. the idea of transparency has risen to the top -- that things have a lot of value. sam: in the past, people tried to make solar cells transparent by sinking down the components that only get you so far. they figured out the key to a truly transparent solar cell isn't the size of the cell you use but the kind of like you are trying to absorb. >> the material it's visible light passes through but can harvest the parts of the spectrum we cannot see with our eyes, namely the ultraviolet part of the spectrum.
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we can have a transparent solar cell. >> you are not capturing the visible light and that's effecting the efficiency of the panel to some degree. >> if you look at a traditional solar cell, it absorbs light of all parts of the spectrum. 33% of the light can be converted to electricity. with a transparent cell, you can still achieve 22%. we expect to reach around 10%. sam: which is a drop, but there are advantages to having things you can see through as opposed to not. >> you have areas you can apply solar technologies to. sam: the first place they want to put it is on the displays for mobile devices, meaning the soul -- meaning the smartphone of the future never runs out of power. it really becomes clear once you start to think egg -- like skyscraper big.
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>> currently, there's a huge amount of surface area that is unused for energy purposes. using solar cells to convert those into solar panels a way to utilize that service area so you're not just constrained to these types of devices on the roof, you can use the vertical area of the building as well. >> we see this as being deployed everywhere generating power in the background without you even knowing it is there. this will be the only solution but we see it as being an important technology to make a more sustainable society. cory: that was bloomberg's sam grobart. "bottom line" with mark crumpton is coming up. he joins us with a preview. mark: greece is once again in the spotlight. the prime minister holds talks
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with german chancellor angela merkel. the relationship has been tense as germany insists austerity measures continue greases to receive more bailout funds. greece faces another payment deadline and as early as this week, the country has to outline measures it will undertake if the bailout money is to be dispersed. we will have reports from hans nichols in berlin and our chief euro area economist who is in london. cory: "bloomberg west" will be right back. ♪
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cory: i'm cory johnson. the bwest byte is where we focus on one number that tells us a whole lot. today's fight is 0 -- the dollar
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amount paid and the number of patents life 360 was found to infringe on any recent case. the case was filed after a $50 million funding and they received notice another company filed a patent infringement suit against the start up. rather than settling the back and paid zero in damage because of zero patents were found to be infringed. i cracked up because it past mating -- you were willing to go against these guys who sued many people. >> trolls in general sue a lot of people. it's a huge problem. we as a startup needed that to stop. we said if we give you zero dollars that's a long-term economically viable move. if we make it clear we don't settle frivolous lawsuits
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people won't sue us. the problem with patent trolls as they assume you will follow their calculus where it's cheaper to pay them off and go to court. cory: i'm debating whether i should ask how old you are because you are showing enormous maturity or maybe lack there of. >> hindsight is 2020. here's how we thought about it. if you are a very early stage company, you may not have been able to made the choice -- make the choice we did. this case was not going to put us out of business. our goal is to build a lasting brand and a 100 year business stop we might get sued again. we already had to trolls that went away after seeing our defense year but maybe after the third or fourth troll we kill, people will realize it's not ok to throw abs lawsuit at life 360. cory: we've reached out to them
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and they said we are an operating business and we are not patent trolls. we have invented some things and we are and operating business that uses those patents will stop >> no one likes being called a troll and part of our strategy is to name names, in particular, name the names of the lawyer. every troll starts out as a real company and what we found out as part of this case went on -- we are going on the offensive. they acknowledge we have nothing to do with their business and that we did not copy their idea. they egg knowledge if we made one tiny change to our product, we would not be infringing. i can tell you who is going after us -- kenyan and kenya and shook us down. they are not trolls all they want that we went to a jury trial and everything is public record. >> describe what your business
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does. >> we are a family networking app. you can pull out your phone and see where everybody is. cory: i can find out where my daughters are and where my wife is. >> exactly. cory: you guys have had some big backers. >> we've raised $76 million today. a home security company has joined us because they realize it's not just about the phone. cory: many companies think you are bumping into patents. what is it about the state of the patent world or what your business does? >> two things. there's a whole state of patents that took these a sick concepts and said now we are going to do them on a smart phone. cory: such as? >> having a touch screen you interact with. apple has patents around doing a
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swipe. but the basic idea that made up what we consider the trolls business is things everybody saw coming and they are so obvious most people did not think to patent them. we found screenshots of prototype products similar to ours from the 90's. we don't claim to have invented this ourselves will stop what we did his package these simple ideas in a way that gets distribution and took it vantage of the proliferation of smartphones so the idea should never have been patentable in the first place. cory: there are firms that started in silicon valley in the last 15 or 20 years where the companies are lawyers and they invent something, they try to get people to license it and pursue laws against people trying to steal it. qualcomm was built up around basically that same idea. do you imagine your is us will have a contingent of lawyers as an important cost of the
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business? >> in the short run, i think we will have big costs. but i do think in the long run people will know and i will show you some economics in this case -- it costs over a million dollars to defend ourselves but the other side spent far, far more. we counted almost 20 people from the opposing legal team. even if they had beaten us, they would have lost millions of dollars. eventually, people will get the message that we are not an easy target. if every company had the same standard comedy problem would go away. cory: thank you for joining us and congratulations on your victory. we talked about a week ago about issues surrounding multiple e-mail accounts on the black filler -- on the blackberry. we did not answer people's questions about what was possible. our guest says it wasn't possible until 2013 to have multiple e-mail accounts on a single black or device but the company contacted us and said that you could going all the way back to 2002.
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we will continue this discussion on "bloomberg west." ♪
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mark: from bloomberg world headquarters in new york, i'm mark crumpton and this is "autumn wine" -- the intersection of business and economics with a main street perspective. to our viewers in the united states and those of you joining us from around the world welcome. we have full coverage of the stocks and stories making headlines on this monday. we have the latest on the investigation into the collapse of the honeybee population. our chief washington correspondent, peter


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