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FILE PHOTO: Senator Elizabeth Warren (D-MA) addresses the audience at the morning plenary session at the Netroots Nation conference for political progressives in Atlanta, Georgia, U.S. August 12, 2017. REUTERS/Christopher Aluka BerryEquifax’s unprecedented data breach, which potentially exposed 143 million American’s personal information last week, has already cost the credit agency $9.75 billion in market value, and the stock could plunge even more, Morgan Stanley says.

In its updated bear case out Friday, the investment bank asks, "Where’s the floor?" and says Equifax’s stock could plunge as low as $50 a share, about one-third of where it was before the hack.

"The main risks that we see to EFX center around: 1) greater impairment to the Global Consumer Solutions segment (GCS), 2) potential bleed into other businesses and/or share shift, 3) increased regulation, and 4) higher-than-anticipated fines," writes analyst Jeffrey Goldstein.  "We note that many of these risks are difficult, if not impossible to quantify, but we give our best estimates."

Morgan Stanley maintains its equal-weight rating for the stock, and has dropped its base case price target to $127 from $140. 

Regulation is a key concern for investors, the bank says. Senator Elizabeth Warren said Friday she, along with 11 other Democratic senators, had launched an investigation into the breach.

"This could result in higher compliance costs at best, or nationalization of the credit bureau function at worst," Goldstein says. "We believe that the sharp price decline over the past few days is related to the steady drumbeat of legislative inquiries,and a lack of clarity on what this means for EFX's future business model. The ultra-bear case that we have heard is that the government could decide to takeover the function of the credit bureaus."

Shares of Equifax continued their losses Friday afternoon, trading down 5% at 2:15 p.m. ET. They have plunged more than 35% since the breach was announced. 

Equifax data breach stock priceMarkets Insider

Original author: Graham Rapier
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waymoWaymo is testing its self-driving cars in Phoenix, Arizona.Waymo

We finally have an idea of how much Google has poured into self-driving cars.

Between 2009 and 2015, Google spent at least $1.1 billion to develop the tech powering its self-driving cars, IEEE Spectrum's Mark Harris first reported. The details were made public in a court filing that shows the August 24 deposition of Shawn Bananzadeh, a financial analyst at Waymo, the self-driving car company that was spun out of Google.

Bananzadeh was testifying as part of Waymo's lawsuit against Uber, which claims the ride-hailing company stole intellectual property and trade secrets to develop its own autonomous technology.

Bananzadeh said it costs at least $1.1 billion to develop three different trade secrets within that seven-year time period. That figure, however, is a low estimate because it does not factor in equity and other expenses, Bananzadeh said.

"As I mentioned earlier, there are — there are equity that's missing from this, as well as, like, intracompany expenses of the allocated expensive," he said.

Before it was Waymo, Google's self-driving-car research was an internal program dubbed Project Chauffeur. The secretive project was born in 2009, but it was kept under wraps, making it difficult to assess how much Google was spending to make its driverless utopian vision a reality.

Bananzadeh's testimony shows Google spent at least $1.1 billion on just tech development from the program's inception to 2015. 

Although $1.1 billion is nothing to sniff at, it seems relatively modest in an industry dominated by tech giants with deep pockets. Alphabet reportedly wants to invest $1 billion in ride-hailing startup Lyft, a sum that would equal its 7-year spending on tech development. 

Visit Markets Insider for constantly updated market quotes for individual stocks, ETFs, indices, commodities and currencies traded around the world. Go Now!

Original author: Danielle Muoio
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CNN hollywood CNN's office in Los Angeles, California. David McNew/Newsmakers

CNN is set to launch a new technology-focused vertical about the changing media landscape on the West Coast.

Titled "Pacific," the new franchise will be led by Senior Media Reporter Dylan Byers, and will focus on the powerful West Coast-based companies that have changed media, technology, and politics.

"We're living in a time when media is not just expanding, it's exploding," CNN Executive VP of Editorial Andrew Morse told Business Insider in a phone call on Friday.

"Media isn't just in Los Angeles and New York anymore. It's in San Francisco and Seattle."

While Byers has already shifted his coverage to focus more specifically on West Coast tech and media, in the coming months, CNN will roll out a corresponding daily newsletter, a podcast, and events under the Pacific brand.

Though Politico reported earlier on Friday that Byers was potentially leaving the media beat, Morse said that "couldn't be further from the truth."

"Dylan will be the tip of the spear in CNN's expansion of media and commitment to covering tech," he said.

CNN has doubled down on its tech coverage this year, launching a standalone tech site focused on the business of tech and innovation, with verticals for business, culture, gadgets, and startups.

The move is the latest shift in the media reporting landscape.

In the last two months alone, Politico lost its two biggest media reporters to Vanity Fair and CNN, while gaining another — The Huffington Post's Michael Calderone.

NBC announced on Friday the launch of its own media reporting team headed up by senior media editor Claire Atkinson, a veteran media reporter from the New York Post, who joined NBC earlier this month.

Original author: Maxwell Tani
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bitcoinAndrew Burton/Getty Images

Bitcoin has plummeted further after China launched a crackdown on cryptocurrencies.

The currency went into freefall on Friday, after reports that China was about to ban cryptocurrency exchanges.

It has continued to decline in value, currently standing at $4161.62 (£3155), down more than $500 from a high of $4698.72 (£3562) on 7 September.

Chinese outlet Caixin first reported the ban on Friday. On Monday, Bloomberg followed up with a report that China would ban the trading of virtual currencies on domestic exchanges, but permit over-the-counter transactions.

Bitcoin $500 dropMarkets Insider

Two of China's biggest bitcoin exchanges, Okcoin and Huobi, have said they hadn't had any instructions to stop trading. China's central bank has also not commented on the reports.

The reported ban comes after China decided to ban initial coin offerings, a hot new way for startups to raise funds by generating their own virtual currency or "tokens." Sceptics say it's simply an unregulated way for firms to raise money, without going through the due diligence required for conventional fundraising methods like venture capital. Beijing described ICOs as illegal fundraising.

China also barred customers from withdrawing bitcoin in February, but allowed them to resume withdrawals in June.

Get the latest Bitcoin price here.

Original author: Shona Ghosh
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metaio augmented reality app apple acquisitionAugmented reality apps allow you to superimpose items onto the real world.Metaio/YouTube

The augmented reality (AR) technology in Apple's new iPhone — due to be unveiled as the iPhone X in California on Tuesday — will provide Apple with a fresh revenue boost, according to analysts at Macquarie Research.

In a note to investors on Monday, Macquarie Research analysts Benjamin Schachter and Ed Alter said they expect Apple's latest innovations in AR to increase revenues across Apple's Services business, which includes the App Store, iTunes, Apple Music, iCloud, Apple Pay, and more. Revenue across Apple's Services business was $7.3 billion (£5.5 billion) for the last quarter.

"Services line to benefit from AR and other new innovation," the analysts wrote, pointing to the fact that Apple has already generated hundred of millions from the wildly-popular "Pokémon GO" AR app.

When Apple releases iOS 11, the operating system will become the largest AR platform in the world overnight. Programmers have already started building AR apps for iOS 11.

Updated iPhone X hardware — combined with software updates set to be rolled out with the iOS 11 operating system at the end of the month — will likely allow consumers to hold their phone up to something or somewhere in the real world and get feedback through the iPhone screen in ways that they haven't experienced before.

The analysts also think that Apple's marketing teams will focus on the AR abilities of the new iPhone. "Unlike VR, AR's 'wow factor' can be communicated easily via video advertising" they wrote.

"Tim Cook's excitement for AR is palpable and we expect AAPL to highlight AR in its iPhone launch presentation and future marketing efforts. Services remains somewhat underappreciated among investors (though not nearly as much as when we first started discussing the theme) and we continue to see that as driving upside."

Other companies like Facebook and Snapchat are also building augmented reality technology into their platforms but the analysts predict AR-related announcements from the other major technology companies over the next 18 months.

"We expect significant capital to be deployed in attempts to establish leadership positions for the coming AR platforms," they added.

Original author: Sam Shead
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