Alphabet soup

Written by Mark Evans

Alphabet, Google’s parent company, produced lower than expected profits in the last quarter of 2017.

Increasing advertising sales were eroded by higher costs, making the profits fall to $6.8bn and missing analysts’ forecasts.

The reasons for the costs? As with Alibaba and Amazon, there is a drive to diversify in order to keep growth and tie together the information on users and more concentrated revenue generators.

For Alphabet this meant investment in cloud, corporate security, health tech and YouTube alongside rising costs of ensuring its search engine is a default on Safari and Firefox browsers.

But with more search now being done on phones, Google has been paying more to ensure its search engine is the default option on products and services including Apple iPhone and Mozilla's Firefox browser.