JBTL News Roundup: Week of October 15, 2018

Below please find a roundup of business and technology news from the past week.

About JBTL Online Weekly News Roundups

JBTL strives to provide its readers with updates regarding recent news and analysis at the intersection of law and technology. Check out JBTL Online for weekly updates regarding recent developments and subscribe to get updates right in your inbox.

JBTL News Roundup: Week of October 1, 2018

Below please find a roundup of business and technology news from the past week.

  • CNBC reports that, after years of harsh criticism, Amazon has agreed to raise its minimum wage to $15 per hour. While this move has been praised as a positive step by workers’ rights advocates like Senator Bernie Sanders, as JBTL’s resident union expert Mike Shier pointed out last week, Amazon remains staunchly anti-union. For context, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos is the richest man in modern history.
  • President Trump said this week that he has struck a deal with both Canada and Mexico on a trade agreement that would replace the North American Free Trade Agreement (NAFTA). This new trade agreement will be called the United States, Mexico, and Canada Agreement (USMCA). The Washington Post explores the potential “winners and losers” of the new agreement.
  • ABC News reports that Elon Musk has reached a $40 million settlement agreement with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which also requires Musk to resign as chairman of the board at Tesla for at least three years. Musk will stay on as CEO of the company. The SEC filed suit against Musk late last week over what the agency described as misleading tweets about a proposed Tesla buyout.
  • Gizmodo details Facebook’s latest data scandal: users provided Facebook with their phone numbers to enable two-factor authentication, and Facebook then provided those phone numbers to advertisers. This new scandal opens up a further conversation about the power and scope of hyper-targeted advertising.
  • Finally, NPR reports that a federal judge in D.C. has ruled that Democratic members of Congress do have standing to sue President Trump over what they argue are violations of the emoluments clause of the Constitution. The plaintiffs contend that the President’s continued profits (often from visiting foreign governments) from his hotels and properties around the world, paired with his decision to not divest his interest in those properties, constitute unlawful gifts or payments from foreign governments. The Justice Department’s argument, by which the federal judge was not persuaded, was that only the body of Congress as a whole, and not its individual members, have standing to sue over the emoluments clause.
  • Gizmodo reports that Amazon’s anti-union training video for their managers has been leaked.  The video gives a glimpse at how aggressive Amazon has been at attempting to keep unions from organizing their employees.

About JBTL Online Weekly News Roundups

JBTL strives to provide its readers with updates regarding recent news and analysis at the intersection of law and technology. Check out JBTL Online for weekly updates regarding recent developments and subscribe to get updates right in your inbox.

JBTL News Roundup: Week of September 24, 2018

Below please find a roundup of business and technology news from the past week.

  • The Verge reports that Sirius XM has acquired music streaming service Pandora Radio for $3.5 million. The buyout comes as a relief to Pandora, who lost $200 million in the first half of 2018 after struggling against competitors like Spotify and Apple Music.
  • TechCrunch notes that Snapchat is rolling out a feature allowing users to take pictures of products and then purchase those products on Amazon. Snap has declined to disclose the financial details of the partnership with Amazon.
  • NBC News reports that Chinese billionaire and Alibaba CEO Jack Ma stated that the growing trade war between the U.S. and China has made it impossible for Ma to follow through on a promise to create one million jobs in the United States. Ma also stated that in his estimation, the trade war could last decades.
  • The Washington Post reports that the future of 5G cell service in America may hinge on FCC regulations regarding how much companies should pay to access public utility poles. The agency is likely to vote on this issue this week. From the article: “The proposal by the Federal Communications Commission would establish new limits on the fees that cities and towns can charge wireless carriers as the companies set up their new 5G data networks. And it would require local officials to make decisions more quickly on carriers’ permit applications.”
  • Finally, Bloomberg reports that Starbucks is planning significant restructuring, including layoffs at top corporate levels.
  • The October 2018 issue of the ABA Journal has a great piece on the tension between law enforcement’s interest in curtailing crime and consumers’ interests in maintaining privacy. It’s worth a read!
  • The Washington Post reports that today, Uber reached a $148 million dollar settlement with all fifty states and the District of Columbia to settle allegations that the company violated data breach laws by waiting one year to disclose to customers a breach of 57 million people’s data, and by paying the hackers $100,000 to keep the breach quiet. This settlement is the largest multi-state penalty laid down for a data breach.

About JBTL Online Weekly News Roundups

JBTL strives to provide its readers with updates regarding recent news and analysis at the intersection of law and technology. Check out JBTL Online for weekly updates regarding recent developments and subscribe to get updates right in your inbox.