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Illustration: Greg Ruben / Axios; Photo: Noah Berger / AP

Facebook on Friday said in a regulatory filing that it will no longer issue a new class of non-voting stock that had become the focus of a lawsuit that would have required Mark Zuckerberg to testify next Tuesday in a Delaware courtroom.

At issue: The new stock would have allowed Zuckerberg to maintain his majority voting rights at Facebook, despite selling existing shares to fund his philanthropic efforts. But the plan sparked a class action lawsuit, and was on hold pending an outcome.

Why it matters: Tuesday would have been only the second time that Zuckerberg testified in open court. And it would have come at a particularly fraught time, as he handles allegations that the Facebook platform was used by Russian operatives during the election.

Bottom line: Facebook blinked.

Going forward: Zuckerberg posted on Facebook shortly after the announcement, saying that the move will not affect the scope of his philanthropic intentions. He wrote, in part:

Over the past year and a half, Facebook's business has performed well and the value of our stock has grown to the point that I can fully fund our philanthropy and retain voting control of Facebook for 20 years or more. As a result, I've asked our board to withdraw the proposal to reclassify our stock -- and the board has agreed. I want to be clear: this doesn't change Priscilla and my plans to give away 99% of our Facebook shares during our lives. In fact, we now plan to accelerate our work and sell more of those shares sooner. I anticipate selling 35-75 million Facebook shares in the next 18 months to fund our work in education, science, and advocacy.

Go deeper

Updated 7 hours ago - Politics & Policy

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Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

  1. Health: Large coronavirus outbreaks leading to high death rates — Coronavirus cases are at an all-time high ahead of Election Day — U.S. tops 88,000 COVID-19 cases, setting new single-day record.
  2. Politics: States beg for Warp Speed billions.
  3. World: Taiwan reaches a record 200 days with no local coronavirus cases.
  4. 🎧Podcast: The vaccine race turns toward nationalism.

Technical glitch in Facebook's ad tools creates political firestorm

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg. Photo: SOPA Images / Contributor

Facebook said late Thursday that a mix of "technical problems" and confusion among advertisers around its new political ad ban rules caused issues affecting ad campaigns of both parties.

Why it matters: A report out Thursday morning suggested the ad tools were causing campaign ads, even those that adhered to Facebook's new rules, to be paused. Very quickly, political campaigners began asserting the tech giant was enforcing policies in a way that was biased against their campaigns.

8 hours ago - Health

States beg for Warp Speed billions

A COVID-19 drive-thru testing center yesterday at Hard Rock Stadium in Miami Gardens. Photo: David Santiago/Miami Herald via AP

Operation Warp Speed has an Achilles' heel: States need billions to distribute vaccines — and many say they don't have the cash.

Why it matters: The first emergency use authorization could come as soon as next month, but vaccines require funding for workers, shipping and handling, and for reserving spaces for vaccination sites.