May 13, 2019

Axios PM

Situational awareness: Actor Felicity Huffman pleaded guilty to fraud conspiracy in federal court today after admitting to paying $15,000 to boost her daughter's SAT scores.

Breaking: Uber just lost another $7 billion in value, as shares fell 10.37% on their second day of trading since going public. Chart.

1 big thing: Amazon's army

Photo: Hyoung Chang/The Denver Post via Getty Images

In its race to get to one-day shipping, Amazon is offering to pay its own employees 3 month's salary and up to $10,000 in startup costs to quit their jobs and launch startups delivering for ... Amazon.

  • "[M]ore than 200 Amazon delivery businesses have been created since it launched the program last June, says John Felton, Amazon's vice president of global delivery services." (AP)
  • Amazon hopes to start hundreds more this year. The program is open to anyone, but the incentives are just for Amazon staff.

Why it matters, by Axios' Erica Pandey: It’s becoming increasingly clear that Amazon wants to own the entirety of the e-commerce process.

  • They’ve got the store, they’re filling it with private label products, and they want to take charge of the delivery.
  • With one-day shipping, they’re upping the ante for all their competitors and making Prime an even stickier service.
  • They’re already turning their shipping prowess into a service, working to transform what used to be a cost for them into a source of revenue.

The big picture: Amazon is undoubtedly threatening the big shipping players if it gets into shipping, Erica notes.

  • This could reduce its use of UPS and FedEx, and even take away additional business from them.
  • They’ve got data UPS, USPS, FedEx would love to have, after making billions of decisions about which carrier, which truck and which route each package should take to get to doorsteps the fastest.
  • UPS statement: "Amazon is a good customer, but e-commerce offers many opportunities beyond Amazon ... We’re building innovative solutions and partnering with e-commerce leaders to serve small, medium and large businesses around the world."
Bonus: Inside the Vatican
Franco Origlia/Getty Images

Pope Francis ordains 19 new priests in St Peter's Basilica:

  • Wearing white robes, the seminarians stood in three rows, replying one by one as their names were called: "Here I am."
  • Francis, reciting a ritual, asked if they were worthy to become priests.
  • Later, the seminarians prostrated themselves on a carpet in front of the altar, in a sign of obedience to church authority and to God. (AP)
2. What you missed
  1. The Supreme Court ruled that a group of iPhone users can sue Apple over allegations the company has built an illegal monopoly on the sale of applications for the smartphone. Details.
  2. President Trump will meet with Vladimir Putin and Xi Jinping at the G20 Summit in June. Go deeper.
  3. China announced higher tariffs on $60 billion in U.S. products, and the stock market had a bad day because of it. Details.
  4. Trump praised far-right Hungarian Prime Minister Viktor Orbán for his immigration policies: "Probably like me a little bit controversial, but that's OK. You've done a good job and you've kept your country safe." Video.
  5. Trump joined other prominent Republicans in criticizing Rep. Rashida Tlaib (D-Mich.) after she invoked the Holocaust while explaining why she supports a one-state solution to the Israeli-Palestinian conflict. Go deeper.
3. 1 fun thing

Photo: Jonathan Daniel/Getty Images

The Milwaukee Bucks are the "hottest ticket in town," the AP reports from Wisconsin, where the Eastern Conference finals tip off Wednesday night.

  • "Losing season after season made the Bucks almost an afterthought in Wisconsin, where most teams live in the shadow of the Green Bay Packers."
  • "It’s a golden era in Milwaukee: The Bucks are in contention just a year after the Brewers came within one game of going to the World Series, shifting the focus of this sports-crazed state from the beloved Packers to two long-neglected teams suddenly on the rise."
  • "The Bucks’ success has been a long time coming. Their only NBA title came in 1971, when a team featuring legends Kareem Abdul-Jabbar and Oscar Robertson beat the Baltimore Bullets."