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Photo: Ina Fried/Axios

The TED conference in Vancouver is the latest major gathering to be affected by the coronavirus, with organizers telling Axios they plan to either postpone the event or hold a digital-only gathering.

Why it matters: The high-profile weeklong conference brings together some of the biggest names in tech, entertainment and business.

  • "We're presently working to figure out what makes the most sense for the health and safety of our community," TED organizers said in a statement to Axios. "We've narrowed it down to two options — either postpone the conference to July 26–30 (still in Vancouver) or go digital."
  • The organization is currently discussing the options with attendees and expects to make a decision by the end of the day on Monday.

"We are not canceling!" TED curator Chris Anderson said in a note to attendees. "We have two compelling options for how to outwit this virus, and we need your input."

Anderson outlined the pros and cons of each option and said organizers will take feedback until Friday morning.

  • An in-person event in July would be in the same place and preserve the traditional feel, but the virus could force the event to go digital even then. If the event moves to July, TED wold open the last day to family members, recognizing that the new date comes when many people are doing their summer travel.
  • Moving digital would allow the conference to go on as planned in April — and let attendees share the event with friends and family — but just listening to talks online is only a part of the conference.

The big picture: TED's move follows the cancellations of Mobile World Congress, Facebook F8, Google I/O, among other events. Others have been postponed, including Game Developers Conference and Lesbians Who Tech's San Francisco Summit.

Meanwhile: Organizers of SXSW insist their event will go on as scheduled later this month, despite Facebook, Twitter, Amazon, TikTok and others pulling out and tens of thousands of people petitioning for the event to be canceled.

Update: IBM told Axios it is converting its THINK conference in May from an in-person event in San Francisco to a digital-only event. Last year's conference drew 30,000 attendees.

Go deeper: Coronavirus drives more tech industry events to be postponed or canceled

Go deeper

Bipartisan group of senators seeks coronavirus stimulus deal

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.V.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine). Photo: Drew Angerer/Getty Images

At least eight Republican and Democratic senators have formed an informal working group aimed at securing new coronavirus spending during the lame-duck session, a move favored by President-elect Biden, two sources familiar with the group tell Axios.

Why it matters: It may be the most significant bipartisan step toward COVID relief in months.

FCC chairman to depart in January

FCC Chairman Ajit Pai. Photo: Alex Wong/Getty Images

Ajit Pai will leave his post as chairman of the Federal Communications Commission on Jan. 20, the agency said today.

Why it matters: Pai's Inauguration Day departure is in keeping with agency tradition, and could set up the Biden administration with a 2-1 Democratic majority at the FCC if the Senate fails to confirm another Trump nominee during the lame-duck period.

Ben Geman, author of Generate
3 hours ago - Economy & Business

GM's shrinking deal with Nikola

Illustration: Rebecca Zisser/Axios

General Motors will no longer take an equity stake in Nikola Corp. or build its pickup truck, under a revised deal that still envisions GM as a key tech supplier for Nikola's planned line of electric and fuel cell heavy trucks.

Driving the news: The revised agreement Monday is smaller in scope than a draft partnership rolled out in September that had included a $2 billion stake in the startup and an agreement to build its Badger pickup.