You did it! Whether "it" was a 3-mile run or a daring drive to the grocery store, you made it through the weekend.
Situational awareness: Alibaba co-founder Jack Ma is resigning from the board of embattled Japanese tech giant SoftBank.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
Despite a deadly pandemic that has made tech a lifeline for people stuck at home, 2020 could see major confrontations between Big Tech and government after all, Axios' Kyle Daly and Margaret Harding McGill report.
Driving the news: A new report Friday that the Justice Department and 50 state attorneys general are moving closer toward suing Google reminded the tech industry that the coronavirus only hit "pause" on the ongoing techlash.
What's happening: Today, tech philanthropy group the Omidyar Network is unveiling what authors call a "roadmap" for an antitrust case against Google.
What they're saying: "[T]here is significant reason for concern that Google has violated U.S. antitrust law," write the report's authors, Omidyar's David Dinielli and Yale's Fiona Scott Morton, who both served in the DOJ's antitrust division during the Obama administration.
The other side: Google has long denied engaging in anti-competitive behavior, noting in a blog post last year that the ad tech sector is "famously crowded" and that the average online advertiser uses three to four platforms to reach users.
Meanwhile, Facebook's purchase of Giphy could raise antitrust questions for the social network at a time when it is already under intense scrutiny.
The bottom line: As companies edge back toward business as usual and revive their merger pipeline in a friendlier public atmosphere than they enjoyed before the pandemic, each step they take will test regulators' appetite for challenging them.
Illustration: Aïda Amer/Axios
The American economy is in a dark period right now, but some in Silicon Valley are optimistic it could spawn a generation of startups, Axios' Kia Kokalitcheva reports.
Why it matters: It may sound counterintuitive to launch new businesses in the middle of an economic crash, but it's worked during past downturns, and Silicon Valley's founders and investors remain willing, so far, to keep rolling the dice.
The big picture: Y Combinator, the famed startup accelerator program, is seeing 15%–20% more applicants for its summer program, admissions chief Dalton Caldwell tells Axios — a sign that some entrepreneurs want to forge ahead both with new ideas and with companies they’ve already been working on.
What’s happening: Initiatives like Cleo Capital’s Chrysalis and Chapter One’s Future Founders list are hoping to help newly unemployed tech workers explore starting new companies, while accelerator programs are seeing an uptick in interest.
How it works: Kunst’s program, dubbed Chrysalis, will select about 100 applicants from a pool of experienced tech professionals who are not currently employed and connect them online via Slack, the work chat app, in the hopes they find others interested in pursuing similar startup ideas.
What's next: It's too early to know what these new companies look like, how will they function, and what will they build.
Yes, but: Not all the startup signals are bullish. Notably, equity management company Carta recently laid off 16% of its staff in response to lowered expectations about new startups being formed in the near future.
Flashback: Recessions have often triggered startup baby booms. After the dotcom bust in the early 2000s, a wave of small companies emerged to build "Web 2.0." And many of today's industry leaders got started during the Great Recession of 2008–2009.
Courtesy of Cleo
A coalition of tech companies has signed a pledge to find ways to support working parents at their firms through the coronavirus crisis, thereby setting examples for other employers.
Why it matters: Many parents face the taxing challenge of having to homeschool their kids while also working from home during the pandemic.
Details: The "Invest in Parents" initiative involves several nonprofits and is being coordinated by Cleo, a startup that provides services to new parents as an employer-paid benefit.
What's happening: "Working parents aren't OK," Cleo CEO Sarahjane Sacchetti tells Axios.
"Working mothers are being pushed even further to the brink," Sacchetti adds. "We don’t want to see diversity and inclusion fall apart."
Editor's note: This story has been corrected from an earlier version that listed Slack as one of the companies signing the working parents pledge.
The Secret Service warns that an organized scam ring from Nigeria has been using stolen personal information to apply for unemployment benefits in various states, Krebs on Security reported over the weekend.
Why it matters: States were already struggling with a deluge of claims and trying to speed up the process. Defending against scammers could prompt governments to instill stricter security measures, potentially delaying payment to the millions who have recently lost their jobs.
What's happening: The Secret Service memo was circulated last week, per Krebs, and warns that the scammers appear to have a large database of personal information they are using to apply for benefits.
We try to teach Harvey not to play with his food. That said, hats off to this artist who uses food as their medium.