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Alphabet Stock Has Risen 10% since Latest France Fine

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Alphabet (NASDAQ:GOOGL) stock started 2020 on a positive note. So far, the stock has risen more than 10% YTD (year-to-date). Alphabet has maintained its lead as the best-performing FAANG stock into the fourth week of 2020. Apple and Facebook (NASDAQ:FB), the other high-flying FAANG stocks, have risen more than 8.0% and 7.8% YTD, respectively. Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) and Netflix (NASDAQ:NFLX) stocks have each gained less than 3.0% YTD.

Alphabet stock has risen despite the company taking several hits from regulators around the world. European regulators have targeted Alphabet’s practices. The European Union has hit Google, Alphabet’s main unit, with several fines totaling about $10 billion since 2017.

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Individual European countries haven’t hesitated to act against Google when there’s an issue. France has slapped several fines on Google in recent months, which resulted in a bill of about $1.2 billion. Google’s latest French fine was on December 20. The country demanded about $166 million from Google for allegedly abusing its dominance in digital advertising.

However, the French fines haven’t diminished the appetite for Alphabet stock. The stock has risen 10% since Google took the latest fine in France. Google also faces several antitrust probes in the US.

Alphabet stock soars, investors focus on lucrative cloud business

Investors have warmed up to Alphabet stock in 2020. They even overlooked the risk of fines as they focus on Google’s lucrative cloud computing business. Google doesn’t provide updates regularly on the progress of its cloud business. However, for the two times that it has provided updates, the picture has been clear—the business is growing rapidly. In February 2019, Google announced that its cloud business was averaging $1.0 billion in quarterly revenue or $4.0 billion annually. In July, Google announced that its cloud business was averaging $8.0 billion in annual revenue.

Google still lags Amazon and Microsoft (NASDAQ:MSFT) in the cloud market share. However, the company is pursuing market leaders. In fact, Google has set a target to become the largest cloud vendor in the next few years. The company’s bid to rise to the top of the cloud vendor chart received several boosts this month.

On Monday, the company announced that it won the cloud business from Lufthansa—the world’s largest aviation group in terms of revenue. The company also inked a potentially lucrative cloud deal with Indian telecom operator Airtel. On Tuesday, Google signed leading online travel provider Sabre as a cloud customer.

Alphabet ended 2019 as one of the best-performing stocks in the FAANG group alongside Apple and Facebook.

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