Business
Sara Fischer 7 hours ago
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Facebook exec: Russians wanted to divide Americans, not sway election
Photo by Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

Facebook Vice President of Ad Product Rob Goldman tweeted Friday that he can "very definitively" say that swaying the election was not the main objective of the Russian actors that meddled in the 2016 elections using social media, but rather sowing discord was their goal.

Why it matters: Facebook executives have been saying for months that the majority of Russian ad spend occurred after the election, meaning the objective of the Russians was to cause disruption and division among Americans, not tip ballots.

Axios 9 hours ago
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Elon Musk gets permit to build part of the Hyperloop in D.C.
Elon Musk. Photo: PETER PARKS/AFP/Getty Images

Elon Musk's tunnel-digging company, the Boring Company, could soon start cutting under D.C. roads to construct a tunnel for Hyperloop, his futuristic, high-speed transportation system that would travel between New York, Philadelphia, Baltimore and D.C., WashPost reports.

What's next: The Boring Company is now allowed to begin digging and excavating in a portion of the parking lot at the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives. A Boring Company spokesman told WashPost that “a New York Avenue location, if constructed, could become a station.”

Axios 10 hours ago
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#MeToo finally hits Wall Street
Photo: Volkan Furuncu/Anadolu Agency/Getty Images

"What the Point72 Lawsuit Says About Wall Street: Steve Cohen’s firm is part of an industry in which swagger and jerkdom are conflated with trading aggression" — Barron's "Streetwise" column, by Mary Childs(subscription).

Why it matters: "Like the civil charge that finally stuck after years of government effort to prove his firm traded on insider information, Bonner’s suit outlines a failure to supervise, a tolerance of bad behavior. That would be Cohen and Point72’s responsibility, and yet it can’t be pinned on them alone; they’re part of a culture in which testosterone-laden swagger and jerkdom are conflated with trading aggression and market conviction."

Sara Fischer 13 hours ago
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Facebook, Twitter respond to Mueller indictment
Photo: Daniel Leal-Olivas/AFP/Getty Images

Facebook reiterated Friday that it's increasing the number of people working on security from 10,000 to 20,000 this year, the company's VP of Global Policy Joel Kaplan said following Robert Mueller's indictment of Russian cybercriminals Friday.

Why it matters: Social media companies have come under fire over the past year for failing to police the activity of bad actors using their platforms to meddle in the election.

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AT&T and feds fight over proof of political interference
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A U.S. district court judge will decide by Tuesday whether AT&T has the right to call the Justice Department's antitrust chief Makan Delrahim to the stand in the March trial over the government's law suit to block the merger with Time Warner.

Why it matters: The decision will determine whether AT&T has grounds to believe that the White House has interfered with the DOJ's merger review, which is supposed to be independent from the president. If the court rules in favor of AT&T, the government would have to hand over all communications between the White House and DOJ.

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Google didn’t violate labor laws by firing engineer over memo

The National Labor Relations Board concluded last month that Google's firing of engineer James Damore over his infamous memo didn't violate labor laws, according to Bloomberg.

Why it matters: Damore's firing after he published a document arguing that biological gender difference could account for the lack of women in tech has been hailed as proof of Silicon Valley's intolerance for conservative viewpoints.

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Uber looking to sell Southeast Asia business to rival company
The logo of transport network company Grab is seen inside a mall in Manila, Philippines on Saturday, May 27, 2017. Photo: Richard James Mendoza/NurPhoto via Getty Images

Uber is reportedly preparing to sell its Southeast Asian operations to Grab, its rival in the region that's also backed by investor Softbank, in exchange for a stake in the company, according to CNBC.

Why it makes sense: The deal would be similar to what Uber did with its Chinese operations in 2016, which put an end to the $1 billion it was spending per year there. Earlier this week, Uber CEO Dara Khosrowshahi called the company's spending to compete in regions like Asia "optional," adding that its ride-hailing business in developed markets like North America and Europe is financially sustainable.

Grab declined to comment and Uber has not returned a request for comment.

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Ares to convert from partnership to C-corp

Ares Management yesterday announced that it is converting its corporate tax status from a partnership to a corporation, becoming the first publicly-traded investment firm to make the switch. Others, including Apollo Global Management and KKR, are weighing a similar move.

"We believe [the conversion] will simplify our structure, broaden our potential investor base, improve our liquidity and trading volume and provide a more attractive currency for strategic acquisitions."
— Ares CEO Michael McFerran
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Commerce recommends major tariffs on steel and aluminum
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The Department of Commerce will recommend tariffs on steel and aluminum that, if applied, would be the first shots in a global trade war, according to two sources briefed on the report.

Background: The fight over whether to use the Section 232 law to impose tariffs has already become the hottest trade fight inside the Trump White House. Gary Cohn, Steven Mnuchin, Rex Tillerson and James Mattis have all been fighting against these tariffs on steel and aluminum — arguing they would harm the global economy and damage relationships with allies.

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Belgian court deals privacy loss to Facebook
A man walks by a giant Facebook logo
Facebook's London office. Photo: Dominic Lipinski/PA Images via Getty Images

A court in Brussels told Facebook to halt its collection of data generated when its users are on the internet but away from the social network, according to multiple reports.

Why it matters: The court is threatening the company with a fine as high as 100 million Euros — with daily fines of a quarter-of-a-million Euros — if it doesn't comply with the ruling. Facebook is taking a beating on privacy issues in Europe, with a German court contesting the company's data practices earlier this week.