JBTL News Roundup: Week of October 8, 2018

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

  • Staff editor Kevin Redden has flagged some great analysis from The Washington Post regarding Google+’s data privacy scandal. A vulnerability in the code animating Google+ left the data of 500 million users vulnerable to hacking. This article comes at the story from a unique angle, discussing the idea of digital “junk” that users create and then forget about. (Google kept the bug secret for months before effectively shutting down Google+.)
  • Reuters reports that the proposed $69 billion merger between CVS and mega-insurer Aetna has won antitrust approval from the Department of Justice. This merger will afford the merged corporation significant control over health care costs for customers–time will tell if those costs go up, down, or stay static.
  • Last week’s roundup noted that Amazon had raised its minimum wage to $15. The Associated Press reports that lost in the fine print of that announcement was the company’s plan to simultaneously eliminate bonuses and stock options for those same workers.
  • CNN reports that on Wednesday morning, the Dow fell 400 points as investors grow concerned about rising interest rates. Tech companies’ stocks have been hit particularly hard by this slump.
  • CBC News went undercover at a ticket company convention and revealed that Ticketmaster may be complicit in assisting scalpers.  By doing so, it has a dual effect of raising ticket prices and allowing Ticketmaster to profit from fees on selling the tickets originally, and then again if the scalper uses Ticketmaster’s website to re-sell them.
  • Media industry news outlet Variety discusses former White House communications director Hope Hicks’ move to head communications at Fox News, announced this week. Hicks’ move is the latest in a series of lateral moves between the White House or Trump campaign and major television news stations.

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 August 27, 2018

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

About JBTL 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.