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Amazon corporate office building in Sunnyvale, California. Photo: Lisa Werner / Contributor.

This week was another PR nightmare for Facebook, riddled with political ad bans, a new lawsuit from advertisers, its retracted statement about Portal-related ads and election security reassurance. But here are some other tech headlines you may have missed this week.

Catch up quick: Google plans to start charging for Android apps in Europe; How northern Virginia checks the most boxes for Amazon HQ2; eBay sues Amazon, alleging it illegally poached sellers; Lyft now has a subscription plan for $299 a month; JD.com to launch online store on Google shopping for Americans.

Google plans to start charging for Android apps in Europe (Axios)

How northern Virginia checks the most boxes for Amazon HQ2 (The New York Times)

  • Why it matters: Tight-lipped Amazon has the entire country wondering where its second headquarters will be. Northern Virginia checks out as a top choice: good transit, diverse residents, a friendly business climate and a single developer with a big chunk of land.

eBay sues Amazon, alleging it illegally poached sellers (Axios)

  • Why it matters: The two e-commerce giants go up against each other, as eBay asks for a jury trial and a halt to the allegedly fraudulent activity by Amazon, along with monetary and punitive damages. The lawsuit alleges Amazon reps contacted American and international eBay sellers using eBay’s messaging system — a fraudulent act.

Lyft now has a subscription plan for $299 a month (TechCrunch)

  • Why it matters: Lyft and rival Uber have been experimenting with monthly subscriptions and bundles for a while now—not a surprise as they can can hook customers into paying a big sum upfront. The Lyft plan comes with 30 rides at up to $15 each, with a 5% discount on subsequent rides.

JD.com to launch online store on Google shopping for Americans (Bloomberg)

  • Why it matters: In June, JD.com took a $550 million investment from Google as part of a partnership to help each other expand into their respective markets. JD is in direct competition with Alibaba. The main hiccup for China’s second-largest retailer is the trade war between the U.S. and China — a potential for inflation of shipping costs and levies on imported goods.

Go deeper

6 mins ago - Technology

Facebook changes corporate name to Meta

Screen shot of CEO Mark Zuckerberg at the company's "Connect" virtual event

Facebook CEO Mark Zuckerberg on Thursday said the social media company is rebranding its company Meta.

Why it matters: The effort is meant to shift its image from a social media giant to a “metaverse” company that focuses on building virtual work and social communities.

Dan Primack, author of Pro Rata
43 mins ago - Economy & Business

Filings show Sweetgreen isn't profitable, despite claims

Illustration: Sarah Grillo/Axios

Restaurant chain Sweetgreen on Monday filed to go public, and revealed that it lost money in each year since 2014.

Why it matters: The company lied when it repeatedly told reporters it was profitable.

U.S. border cities again see low violent crime rates

Expand chart
Data: FBI, Kansas Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Census Bureau; Chart: Jared Whalen/Axios

Reported violent crime in the United States rose in 2020 for the first time in four years, but violent crime rates in 11 of the largest communities along the U.S.-Mexico border stayed below the national average, an Axios analysis found. 

Why it matters: Year after year, data showing low violent crime rates in majority-Mexican American and Mexican immigrant border communities dispels myths of the U.S.-Mexico border as a region filled with crime and chaos.