The DeanBeat: What’s at stake in Apple’s potentially apocalyptic IDFA changes

The Identifier for Advertisers, also known as IDFA, seems like an unlikely candidate for causing an apocalypse in mobile games, advertising, and the iPhone ecosystem. But the obscure tracking technology, which anonymously profiles a user, seems like Death riding in on a pale horse.

Starting in June, Apple caused a stir by saying it was effectively getting rid of the IDFA, making it harder for advertisers to target consumers with ads. Apple’s plan was to enhance privacy, but it caused a great stir among the likes of Facebook, mobile marketers, and their customers such as game developers. Apple did this without widespread consultation with the app and game industry.

By getting rid of the IDFA, Apple could make its platform more attractive to those who value privacy, consistent with the latest privacy-marketing ads for its iPhones and iPad. But the uproar from Apple’s partners forced Apple to delay its move from mid-September, with the release of iOS 14, to sometime in early 2021.

A lot of mobile game companies and marketing firms felt like it was a stay of execution. The stay came just as Brian Bowman, CEO of mobile user acquisition firm Consumer Acquisition, warned that the IDFA change could result in thousands of layoffs at the mobile-app advertising ecosystem, including game companies, mobile ad measurement firms, mobile marketing, user acquisition, and ad networks.

“You ever see the movie The Green Mile?” said Bowman. “We’re walking to death row. The phone rings. We walk back. That’s all this is. In five months, we do the walk again. I think the thing that was most shocking to me was how few people were willing to talk to the press about the topic. It was clear that there’s the fear of retribution in the industry, that your next title may

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway discloses Snowflake stake, confirming a rapid $800 million gain

warren buffett
Berkshire Hathaway chairman Warren Buffett sings and plays his ukulele with The Quebe Sisters Band at the Berkshire Hathaway annual meeting in Omaha May 1, 2010.


  • Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway confirmed the size of its Snowflake stake in a regulatory filing on Monday.
  • The billionaire investor’s company owns about 5.1 million Class A shares, or 2.2%, of the cloud-data platform’s outstanding stock.
  • Berkshire has notched a $800 million gain, as it spent $735 million on shares worth more than $1.5 billion as of Monday’s close.
  • The unusual bet shows that Buffett’s company is “evolving and becoming a much more tech-aware, tech-centric, tech-focused conglomerate,” Snowflake CEO Frank Slootman told Yahoo Finance.
  • Visit Business Insider’s homepage for more stories.

Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway officially disclosed its stake in Snowflake on Monday, confirming it has scored a $800 million gain on its investment in the cloud-data platform.

The famed investor’s conglomerate owns about 6.1 million Class A shares, it said in a regulatory filing. The holding represents about 2.2% of Snowflake’s total outstanding shares, which include 40.4 million Class A shares and roughly 240 million Class B shares.

Berkshire spent $250 million to buy about 2.1 million shares in a private placement when Snowflake went public earlier this month. It bought another 4 million shares at the IPO price of $120 from former Snowflake CEO Robert Muglia in a secondary transaction, costing it $485 million.

The upshot is Berkshire splurged $735 million on Snowflake shares that have more than doubled in value to $1.5 billion, based on Snowflake’s closing share price of $250 on Monday. As a result, it has notched a $800 million gain.

More Snowflakes might drop

Berkshire’s Snowflake bet surprised many investors as Buffett has historically eschewed loss-making, aggressively valued technology companies and IPOs in favor