MarketWatch First Take: The SEC wants to know why Google doesn’t report YouTube revenue

The Securities and Exchange Commission had similar questions as MarketWatch about why Alphabet Inc. does not break out revenue for its YouTube business, but appears to be willing to allow Google to continue the practice for now.

The SEC on Monday published correspondence between Alphabet GOOGL, -1.29%GOOG, -1.25% and U.S. regulators that seeks to understand the company’s reasoning for its approach to financial reporting. Through nearly half a year of back-and-forth, one theme is prevalent: Who knows about YouTube revenue, and when do they find out?

This is a very important question at the moment, as new revenue-recognition rules suggest that investors should receive the same information as the top executive in an organization.

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