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Google in talks to invest in Lyft

Josh Edelson / AP

Google has held talks to invest around $1 billion in Lyft, Axios has learned from multiple sources. Bloomberg is reporting the same. It is unclear which group within Google would make the investment — the company has several investment arms and also invests off its balance sheet — but word is that this is being driven by top-level executives like Alphabet CEO Larry Page.

Why it matters: It would be a stunning move, given that Google was an early investor in Lyft rival Uber, even though the two companies have since gotten litigious over allegations of trade secret theft. Or, as one Uber investor explained it to Axios: "That is seriously messed up."

Complication: SoftBank currently is in talks to invest in Uber, but is insisting on a minimum ownership of 17.3% (i.e., some existing shareholders would need to sell). If SoftBank can't reach that threshold, it has threatened to instead invest in Lyft — a move that theoretically could impact the company's negotiations with Google.

Funding history: Lyft has raised over $2 billion in funding to date, from backers like General Motors, Carl Icahn, Andreessen Horowitz, Floodgate, Mayfield, Coatue Management, Founders Fund and Rakuten.

A Lyft spokesperson declined comment. Google has not yet returned requests for comment.

Amy Harder 12 hours ago
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Column / Harder Line

The swamp’s tug-o-war over America’s ethanol mandate

American eagle with corn in its claws
Illustration: Rebecca Zisser / Axios

A biofuels standard Congress passed more than a decade ago in the name of rural development, energy security and climate change has devolved into an arcane fight over market share that has nothing to do with those initial three goals.

Why it matters: The law — called the renewable fuel standard that requires refineries to blend biofuels into gasoline — is a textbook example of how regulations create winners, losers and unintended consequences.

Caitlin Owens 12 hours ago
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GOP: Fixing the tax law is nothing like fixing the ACA

Sens. John Thune, Roy Blunt and Mitch McConnell
Sens. John Thune, Roy Blunt and Mitch McConnell (Photo: Al Drago / Getty Images)

Republicans have discovered their tax law contains a mistake and are hoping Democrats will help them fix it. But if the narrative of "one party passed a giant law and now wants to change it" sounds familiar, Republicans are insisting this is different from when they wouldn't help fix the Democrats' Affordable Care Act.

Between the lines: This is a great indicator of why Congress struggles to get anything done — because now the precedent has been set for one party to refuse to fix problems with the other party's laws. And for what it's worth, some Democrats are also denying the parallel — because, of course, they say their ACA process was much more inclusive than the GOP's tax one.