May 30, 2017

Spotify could affect Uber's IPO plans

AP Photo/Gene J. Puskar

Uber may closely watch Spotify's plan to go public via a direct listing rather than a traditional IPO, based on comments made last summer by Uber CEO Travis Kalanick and relayed in a new book by Fortune's Adam Lashinsky:

"Kalanick loves nothing more than to bat around ideas, the zanier the better. He wonders aloud to Emil Michael, his top deal-maker and fund-raiser, if Uber could go public without investment bankers. Michael, a lawyer by training, suggests instead a reverse merger... Kalanick suggests using no bankers but giving 3% of the capital raised ― the fee bankers would have received ― to charity. When I suggest giving that money instead to drivers, Kalanick lights up. He says he wants to give equity to drivers... but Uber has found the securities-law implications to be complicated."

Fast forward: That part about "using no bankers" might have sounded zany in mid-2016, but that was before Spotify made its intentions known. Moreover, the Wall Street Journal today reports that New York Stock Exchange is asking the SEC to approve a change to its listing standards so as to permit direct listings on the Big Board (thus letting it better complete with Nasdaq, which already takes direct listings).

Bottom line: If Kalanick still likes this idea, then a blueprint may be waiting by the time Uber is ready to take its public plunge.

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Coronavirus kills 2 Diamond Princess passengers as South Korean cases surge

Data: The Center for Systems Science and Engineering at Johns Hopkins, the CDC, and China's

Two elderly Diamond Princess passengers have been killed by the novel coronavirus — the first deaths confirmed among the more than 600 infected aboard the cruise ship.

The big picture: COVID-19 has now killed more than 2,100 people and infected over 75,000 others, mostly in mainland China, where the National Health Commission announced 114 new deaths since Wednesday.

Go deeperArrowUpdated 1 hour ago - Health

Massive MGM data breach: Guests' personal details posted on hacking site

The MGM Grand hotel in Las Vegas. Photo: Smith Collection/Gado/Getty Images

An MGM Resorts security breach last summer resulted in the personal details of 10.6 million guests published on a hacking forum this week, ZDNet first reported Wednesday.

Why it matters: Federal government employees and high-profile guests were affected by the breach, according to analysis by data breach monitoring service Under the Bridge and ZDNet — including officials from the FBI, Department of Homeland Security and the Transportation Security Administration, Twitter CEO Jack Dorsey, Microsoft staffers and singer Justin Bieber.

George Zimmerman sues Buttigieg and Warren for $265M

George Zimmerman in Sanford, Florida, in November 2013. Photo: Joe Burbank-Pool/Getty Images

George Zimmerman filed a lawsuit in Polk County, Fla., seeking $265 million in damages from Democratic presidential candidates Pete Buttigieg and Elizabeth Warren, accusing them of defaming him to "garner votes in the black community."

Context: Neither the Massachusetts senator nor the former Southbend mayor tweeted his name in the Feb. 5 posts on what would've been the 25th birthday of Trayvon Martin, the unarmed black teen Zimmerman fatally shot in 2012. But Zimmerman alleges they "acted with actual malice" to defame him.