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Courtesy of Waymo

A pair of Morgan Stanley analysts believe Waymo, Alphabet's self-driving car unit, would be worth $70 billion (roughly the same at Uber's current private valuation) if it were to spin out of its parent company, according to an analyst note first spotted by Business Insider.

The reasoning: Waymo's recent partnership with ride-hailing company Lyft will likely help the company rack up more miles driven by its self-driving cars, according to analysts Brian Nowak and Adam Jonas, providing Waymo with more data to improve its technology. Spinning it out could also isolate Alphabet from regulatory challenges (including liability and ethics) faced by the self-driving car industry, leaving it all to Waymo to navigate.

Bigger picture: Waymo is part of what Alphabet considers its "Other Bets"—its experimental units outside of Google. The latter includes Android and YouTube as well, and continues to be the company's revenue engine. However, these Other Bets are getting increasing pressure (especially since the hiring of CFO Ruth Porat) to find ways to make money and reign in their spending. Spinning out Waymo could serve as a first test for Alphabet's Other Bets and their viability as stand alone businesses.

Go deeper

Tech scrambles to derail inauguration threats

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Tech companies are sharing more information with law enforcement in a frantic effort to prevent violence around the inauguration, after the government was caught flat-footed by the Capitol siege.

Between the lines: Tech knows it will be held accountable for any further violence that turns out to have been planned online if it doesn't act to stop it.

Dave Lawler, author of World
5 hours ago - World

Uganda's election: Museveni declared winner, Wine claims fraud

Wine rejected the official results of the election. Photo: Sumy Sadruni/AFP via Getty

Yoweri Museveni was declared the winner of a sixth presidential term on Saturday, with official results giving him 59% to 35% for Bobi Wine, the singer-turned-opposition leader.

Why it matters: This announcement was predictable, as the election was neither free nor fair and Museveni had no intention of surrendering power after 35 years. But Wine — who posed a strong challenged to Museveni, particularly in urban areas, and was beaten and arrested during the campaign — has said he will present evidence of fraud. The big question is whether he will mobilize mass resistance in the streets.

Off the Rails

Episode 1: A premeditated lie lit the fire

Photo illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios. Photo: Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images

Beginning on election night 2020 and continuing through his final days in office, Donald Trump unraveled and dragged America with him, to the point that his followers sacked the U.S. Capitol with two weeks left in his term. Axios takes you inside the collapse of a president with a special series.

Episode 1: Trump’s refusal to believe the election results was premeditated. He had heard about the “red mirage” — the likelihood that early vote counts would tip more Republican than the final tallies — and he decided to exploit it.

"Jared, you call the Murdochs! Jason, you call Sammon and Hemmer!”