Alphabet (GOOGL) - Get Alphabet Inc. Class A Report is well-known for a lot of different businesses, mainly its search and YouTube segments. But there are other less talked about ventures the company is involved with as well, one of those being Google Wallet.
The company has added automatic transfers to its repertoire, as it competes with our person-to-person payment platforms, like PayPal (PYPL) - Get PayPal Holdings Inc Report , Square (SQ) - Get Square, Inc. Class A Report and Venmo (owned by PayPal).
What is an automatic transfer anyway? Let's use an example. Bret sends Steve $100 for any various reason you can think of. Bret lost a bet. Steve was selling snow skis. Anything, you name it.
Previously, that $100 would have hit Steve's Google Wallet and it would have sat there until he needed it. The only problem is, when Steve would finally need it, he would have to manually transfer it and then wait for it to move to his bank account. Well now Google's solution is to sweep those funds right into a user's bank account.
This option works great for some, but not great for others. Particularly the type of people that like to or need to keep money in their Google Wallet accounts. Luckily, it's functionality is optional.
Shares of Alphabet closed $793.22 Friday, up 0.2%.
Alphabet and PayPal, as well as Facebook (see item below), are holdings in Jim Cramer's Action Alerts PLUS Charitable Trust Portfolio. Want to be alerted before Cramer buys or sells GOOGL, PYPL or FB? Learn more now.
Of course, the deal gained the attention of many skeptics, particularly because Tesla CEO Elon Musk also serves as the chairman of SolarCity and is its largest shareholder.
The innovator also put up $65 million of his own cash, along with cousins Lyndon Rive and Peter Rive, who serve as the CEO and CTO of SolarCity, in the company's recent $124 million 18-month bond offering.
I know, there's a lot of interweaving going on here.
Anyway, Tesla's idea to acquire SolarCity shouldn't meet much opposition now that the feds have given the green light for the acquisition. Musk, being the largest shareholder in SolarCity and the largest individual shareholder in Tesla, obviously approves of the deal, and it's likely that Fidelity will too -- a very large shareholder of both companies. It's portfolio manager has spoken highly of management and pledged its support of its leaders.
The question is quickly turning from whether the deal will get done, to whether Tesla can juggle both businesses.
Shares of Tesla closed at $219.99 Friday, down 0.4%.
The move has been viewed by investors as Facebook's baby steps toward monetizing its chat platform, which boasts more than 1 billion monthly active users.
However, it didn't take long for the companies to find some opposition. A privacy watchdog group out of the U.K. has announced its intentions to investigate the WhatApp's new plans.
From the organization, (compliments of TechCrunch): "We've been informed of the changes. Organisations do not need to get prior approval from the ICO to change their approaches, but they do need to stay within data protection laws. We are looking into this."
This seems more like a check-and-pass type of situation. It seems hard to imagine that WhatsApp won't be able to share user data with Facebook, given that Facebook owns WhatsApp, but we shall see.
Shares of Facebook closed at $124.96 Friday, up 0.9%.
This article is commentary by an independent contributor. At the time of publication, the author held no positions in the stocks mentioned.