Tech: Tesla is not going private
Tesla will remain a public company after all, said Elizabeth Lopatto in TheVerge.com. CEO Elon Musk “attributed the decision to shareholder sentiment.” Musk said last week in a blog post that taking Tesla private would have been “even more time-consuming and distracting than initially anticipated.” Musk’s original plan to do so, which he announced on Twitter without board approval, sparked “consternation among his shareholders” and an investigation from the Securities and Exchange Commission, which is assessing whether Musk “misled investors and violated federal securities laws.”
Auto: Toyota invests $500 million in Uber
“Toyota just placed a big bet on autonomous vehicles,” said Matt McFarland in CNN.com. The automaker announced this week it is pumping $500 million into Uber and will closely align itself with the company in a bid “to accelerate the development and deployment of self-driving vehicles.” The move will see Uber retrofit Toyota’s Sienna minivans with its autonomous driving technology and embark on “real-world testing” by 2021. “The deal gives Toyota a key partner in a field that is growing rapidly.” Uber’s rival Waymo has a similar arrangement with Chrysler and Jaguar Land Rover.
Privacy: Yahoo mines user email for data
Yahoo scans the email inboxes of its users for data to sell advertisers, said Douglas MacMillan in The Wall Street Journal. Yahoo’s owner, Verizon, “has been pitching a service to advertisers that analyzes more than 200 million Yahoo! Mail inboxes and the rich user data they contain, searching for clues about what products those users might buy.” AOL Mail, also part of Verizon’s Oath media division, follows the same practice. The services buck the current trend toward increased data privacy, making Verizon “the only major U.S. email provider that scans user inboxes for marketing purposes.”
Wages: Walt Disney World workers win pay increase
Walt Disney World workers will earn a starting pay of $15 per hour by 2021, said Christina Caron in The New York Times. The deal between Disney and unions representing 38,000 Florida-based service employees caps “nine months of tense wage negotiations that led to large protests.” The unions say most workers earn less than $11 per hour at the Disney-owned theme park and will get new contracts that raise minimum hourly pay rates in $1 increments. Starting wages will go to $13 an hour in September 2019, and hit the full $15 in October 2021.